Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

September 20th, 2019

KSR show thread 9/20: Live from Corbin

LIVE from Corbin, it’s Kentucky Sports Radio!

This morning, Matt Jones and the KSR crew is LIVE from the RE/MAX office at 208 South Main Street in Corbin, KY from 10 a.m. to noon.

There, they will break down Kentucky’s upcoming matchup against Mississippi State in Starkville and Josh Allen’s big night in the NFL, among plenty other topics.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (772) 774-5254.

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Today on KSR: Josh Allen is still a monster

© Douglas DeFelice | USATSI

Good morning and happy Friday, BBN!

In case you didn’t get the chance to see last night’s Thursday Night Football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, let me be the first to tell you that former Kentucky superstar Josh Allen is still a pretty good football player.

Like, really freaking good.

In a 20-7 victory over the Titans, Allen recorded four tackles (three solo), three QB hits, two sacks, and one forced fumble, joining a Jacksonville pass rush that combined for a whopping nine sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

Allen’s first sack came on a third and nine with Tennessee pushing into field goal territory. On the crucial down, Allen shot into former top-ten draft selection and All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin, tossed him aside in the backfield, and managed the clutch strip sack on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota ultimately recovered the loose ball near midfield, but it was Allen that forced Tennessee well out of field goal range and into a punt.

While Allen’s second sack wasn’t as highlight-worthy – he wasn’t even credited with the sack initially – the slow-motion replay showed just how much of a force the former Wildcat is and will be as his NFL career progresses.

Once again, Allen found Conklin at the line of scrimmage, but continued to push him back into the pocket, ultimately forcing Mariota to trip over the former No. 8 draft selection in 2016 and secure the sack.

Allen was also in the backfield on several other occasions, including another play on the quarterback that probably should have at least given him another half-sack, but I suppose two will do.

Following his big week three performance, Allen is now up to 10 total tackles (six solo), three tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble in three games. ESPN now has the former Wildcat projected to finish the season with 53 total tackles (32 solo), 10.7 sacks, and five forced fumbles.

For those keeping track at home, the all-time record for rookie sacks is 14.5 (Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999). I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Kash Daniel will play

Following his controversial extra-curricular play on Florida quarterback Kyle Trask this past weekend, there was a bit of speculation on whether or not Kash Daniel would be available to play against Mississippi State on Saturday.

During a media opportunity on Thursday evening, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops announced that after discussing the incident with the SEC, all parties involved decided that no punishment was necessary for the Wildcat linebacker.

“I addressed those issues with the league office,” Stoops said. “He’ll be out there Saturday.”

That being said, regardless of what may or may not have happened and Daniel’s playing status for Saturday, Stoops also made it clear that his team understands that the idea of intentionally hurting an opponent is unacceptable and will not happen moving forward.

“In general, nobody’s going to intentionally hurt anybody though,” he said. “It’s not going to happen on our team.”

Jacob Tamme is LIVID about the targeting penalty

While we were all frustrated with the targeting penalties that forced Kentucky’s Yusuf Corker and TJ Carter out of the game against Florida on Saturday, former Wildcat tight end Jacob Tamme topped us all on Thursday morning.

Tamme called in to Tom Leach’s radio show, The Leach Report, Thursday morning to share his unfiltered thoughts about the rule as a whole and why there is a need for immediate change.

“Something has to be done about that targeting call,” Tamme told Leach, “and I’m not sure that I’m going to be the one to do anything about it, but if we get enough people talking about it, the conversation has to be had.”

“Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of different ways we could’ve won that game, so I’m not blaming the loss on the officials necessarily, although I do think both calls were bad,” he continued. “I think the T.J. Carter call was, ultimately, really detrimental. But the call itself — when you have a call that you cannot make consistently, the consequence cannot be as severe as it is right now.”

Preach, Jacob. Preach.

Kentucky is on the recruiting trail

On Thursday morning, Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne drove out to Bardstown at 6:00 a.m. to watch four-star forward JJ Traynor work out.

Afterward, Bardstown head coach and former Louisville basketball player Boo Brewer posted a picture with his former UofL teammate on Twitter, thanking Payne for getting up early to see his star player in action.

A source close to the Bardstown program told KSR that Payne called John Calipari during the workout and told him he needed to come watch Traynor in person soon, adding that they felt an offer could come sooner rather than later.

This one will be one to watch closely…

Speaking of Coach Cal, Adam Zagoria’s report of the Kentucky head coach visiting five-star forward Isaiah Jackson on Tuesday evening slipped through the cracks a bit, but it’s rather significant.

In an interview with Zagoria, Jackson’s father, Wesley Jackson, said things went very well during the trip and his son is still a top priority for the Kentucky coaching staff.

“Cal came to the high school yesterday,” Jackson said. “The visit went well. He said he just wanted him to know personally Isaiah is an important piece to his recruitment.”

Jackson joins 2020 five-star forwards Isaiah Todd and Greg Brown, along with four-star forward Cliff Omoruyi, as Kentucky’s top options in the frontcourt for next season. Should he ultimately decide to go to college, top-ten prospect Makur Maker would also likely become a major priority for the UK coaching staff. If Traynor continues to see his stock spike once his senior season begins, you’ll certainly have to throw him in as a serious target moving forward, as well.

KSR in an hour

Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond, and Shannon the Dude will be live on your airwaves from 10 a.m. to noon to talk about all of the latest in the world of UK Athletics and what’s going on around the state.

You won’t want to miss it.

September 19th, 2019

KSBar’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day

KSBar and Grille is the place in Lexington to catch University of Kentucky games (pre and postgame too) as well as other events such as the NBA Playoffs, UFC fights, the World Cup, MLB games, PGA tour events, and more.

KSBar might be known for their smoked wings but don’t miss out on the brisket platter, fried katfish, chicken and waffles, and the great assortment of burgers. Start off with the house chips loaded to the ceiling smothered with pulled pork or chicken straight off the smoker topped with the house BBQ sauce. 

Head to the KSBar and Grille website to see a full menu and drink list. 

Be on the look out for different specials and events.

KSBar and Grille is located at: 1030 South Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504

You can be a part of KSR’s Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Advised Gaming

C’mon KAT!!!

#9 Jimmy Brown

Josh Allen: still pretty good.

#8 Blue Hair Guy

No lies here.

#7 Michael Rains

We miss TD Terry!!

#6 Steve Kries

We NEED them.

#5 Are You Ready for some FOOTBAWWWLLL?

Props to the guy who brought it to life!!

#4 FunKY Cat75

This guy gets it. I like this guy.

#3 Not Jerry Tipton

Don’t be sad that it’s over. Be happy that it happened.

#2 Ryan


#1 KY Clips

I wish I would’ve known this before betting the Titans to cover.

Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets:

Kentucky visits 2020 five-star forward Isaiah Jackson


Kentucky’s pursuit of 2020 five-star forward Isaiah Jackson remains full-speed ahead.

On Tuesday evening, UK head coach John Calipari paid a visit to the 6-foot-9, 195-pound power forward out of Waterford Mott HS (MI).

In an interview with Adam Zagoria of ZAGSBLOG, Jackson’s father, Wesley Jackson, said things went very well and his son is still a top priority for the Kentucky coaching staff.

“Cal came to the high school yesterday,” Jackson said. “The visit went well. He said he just wanted him to know personally Isaiah is an important piece to his recruitment.”

Jackson, the No. 25 prospect overall and the No. 3 power forward in the class of 2020 (247Sports), took an official visit to Kentucky on August 30. He has a trip to Syracuse scheduled for Sept. 27-29, followed by another official visit to Alabama in October. The 6-foot-9 forward is widely expected to make a decision and sign in November.

Jackson joins 2020 five-star forwards Isaiah Todd and Greg Brown, along with four-star forward Cliff Omoruyi, as Kentucky’s top options in the frontcourt for next season. Should he ultimately decide to go to college, top-ten prospect Makur Maker would also likely become a major priority for the UK coaching staff.

Recently, 2020 five-star power forward Dawson Garcia cut Kentucky from his list after failing to receive an offer, giving UK one less potential frontcourt option in the spring. He told KSR in June that he was “very high” on Kentucky and was excited to have the coaching staff watch him during the live recruiting period in July, but an illness kept him from competing with D1 Minnesota on the adidas circuit.

Last week, Kentucky received a commitment from 2020 four-star forward Lance Ware, meaning they will likely still have two or three scholarships remaining in the frontcourt following the expected  departures of E.J. Montgomery, Nick Richards, and Nate Sestina next offseason.

They’ll have to fight off Alabama, who is seen as a serious contender in this recruitment, for Jackson, but Kentucky is right in the thick of things with a decision expected in the coming months.

Until then, check out some of Jackson’s most recent highlights from Peach Jam below:

NFL Cats: Week 3 Schedule

Tonight, Josh Allen and the Jacksonville Jaguars host Wesley Woodyard and the Tennessee Titans at 8:20 p.m. on the NFL Network. Here’s when you can see the rest of the NFL Cats in action this weekend.

Josh AllenJacksonville JaguarsDEThursday, 8:20 PM vs. TennesseeNFL Network
Wesley WoodyardTennessee TitansLBThursday, 8:20 PM at JacksonvilleNFL Network
Randall CobbDallas CowboysWRSunday, 1 PM vs. MiamiFOX
Za’Darius SmithGreen Bay PackersDESunday, 1 PM vs. DenverFOX
Corey PetersArizona CardinalsDTSunday, 4:05 PM vs. CarolinaFOX
George Asafo-AdjeiNew York GiantsOTSunday, 4:05 PM at Tampa BayFOX
Mike EdwardsTampa Bay BucaneersDBSunday, 4:05 PM vs. New York GiantsFOX
Bud DupreePittsburgh SteelersDESunday, 4:25 PM at San FranciscoCBS
Benny SnellPittsburgh SteelersRBSunday, 4:25 PM at San FranciscoCBS
Lonnie JohnsonHouston TexansCBSunday, 4:25 PM at Los AngelesCBS
Larry WarfordNew Orleans SaintsOGSunday, 4:25 PM at SeattleCBS
Danny TrevathanChicago BearsLBMonday, 8:15 PM at WashingtonESPN

Avery Williamson (Jets) and Chris Westry (Cowboys) are on IR

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 182: Rick Pitino Settlement + Week 4 CFB + Former Pro Bowl WR Braylon Edwards

It’s an all new Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, and boy was it a doozy. Aaron welcomes Nick Coffey back onto the show to talk about the latest developments at Louisville before Torres takes a look at Week 4 of college football. He wraps with a wild interview with former Michigan Wolverine and New York Jet, Braylon Edwards, where Edwards holds nothing back!

Here is a recap of the day’s show:

College Hoops in the News: Aaron opens the show by welcoming in Nick Coffey to talk about all the big comings and goings in college hoops. The guys discuss the Louisville settlement with Rick Pitino, what’s next for Louisville and now that this is behind him, will Pitino ever coach again? Then the guys discuss this week’s news that Tony Bennett refused a raise from the University of Virginia, why it’s impossible to dislike Bennett, and just how lucky was Virginia to actually win the title last year? Then Aaron makes his Week 4 college football picks.

Former Michigan Wide Receiver Braylon Edwards: Next up Aaron is joined by Braylon Edwards, a former All-American at Michigan and Pro Bowler in the NFL. He discusses his time in Cleveland where he got in a bar fight with LeBron James’s friend, what it was like to play for Rex Ryan and why the Jets should have won the Super Bowl in 2010. Then he discusses the state of Michigan football heading into the weekend. What is holding them back and is Jim Harbaugh the guy to figure things out? This is one of the best interviews in the history of the podcast, as Edwards holds nothing back.

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or simply stream online through Spotify.  Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.

Scouting Report: Mississippi State Bulldogs

(Photo: © Kelly Price | Mississippi State Athletics)

The crushing loss to Florida is still fresh on everyone’s mind, but the season rolls on like a freight train coming downhill. Mark Stoops and his squad make the trip to Starkville for the fourth time and the hope is that he can finally get a victory in Davis Wade Stadium.

Nuts and Bolts

Before Dan Mullen arrived in Starkville, the Mississippi State Bulldogs were the kings of mediocrity in the SEC West. Former Washington State, Pittsburgh, and Texas A&M head coach Jackie Sherrill took over the program in 1991 and he followed six coaches who all had career losing records at the school. Despite an SEC West title and four AP Top 25 finishes, Sherrill would finish with just a .5oo record after 13 seasons.

Sylvester Croom stepped in the following year to become the first African-American head football coach in SEC history. The NFL assistant and former Alabama center went just 21-38 in five seasons with just one bowl appearance. After 2008, State convinced Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen to make the move to Starkville.

The Urban Meyer disciple quickly became the best coach in program history by recording 69 wins in nine seasons with three AP Top 25 finishes. Mullen had the Bulldogs in the national title hunt in 2014 and appeared to have another contender returning in 2018 before he left after the 2017 season. His presence still looms large in Starkville.

Newly appointed athletic director John Cohen quickly hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead once the job opened despite no ties to the south. Moorhead has surprised some on the recruiting trail, but his offenses have not been what they were cracked up to be through 16 games.

At Penn State, Moorhead had the No. 6 scoring offense in FBS in 2017 thanks to the work done by Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley. The heavy RPO scheme took the Big Ten by storm his two seasons in State College and Moorhead quickly became a huge hit.

With a roster loaded with legit NFL defensive talent at each level and an experienced quarterback, many thought Mississippi State could challenge Alabama for the SEC West last season. That was not the case.

On their way to an 8-5 season, the Bulldogs were upset three separate times and most notably lost to Dan Mullen in his return trip to Starkville. State put up a combined three points against Alabama and LSU on their way to finishing unranked after being upset by Iowa in the Outback Bowl. Despite a contract extension, there is some pressure on the former Fordham head coach this season.

This will be the 47th meeting in the series with the teams tied up at 23 games apiece. Kentucky has won two of the last three, but before that lost seven in a row. UK hasn’t won in Starkville since 2008.

Out in the desert, Mississippi State is a 6-point favorite with a total of 48.5. That’s a projected final score of around 27-21. UK is 3-0 against the spread this season with the over hitting each time. Mississippi State is 1-2 against the number with the over hitting each outing. The Bulldogs have been the betting favorite in the series every year since Mark Stoops arrived. The last time UK was favored was in Dan Mullen’s first season a decade ago.

Offensive Breakdown

It was clear that Joe Moorhead’s offense just didn’t work for Nick Fitzgerald last season. Despite dual-threat quarterback Keytaon Thompson having a bunch of talent blended with experience, the second-year head coach decided to go with something more reliable.

Tommy Stevens decided to grad transfer from Penn State after it became clear that Sean Clifford was going to win the QB1 job. It did not take long for him to pledge to Mississippi State. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound righty got off to a fast start throwing for two scores and averaging 7.9 yards per attempt in the season opening win over Louisiana. However, Stevens injured his shoulder the next week against Southern Miss and did not look like himself against Kansas State.

The Indianapolis native has been pulled in consecutive games and only completed 7 of his 15 passes last week. The grad transfer is clearly dealing with a shoulder issue and we’re not sure if he’ll be ready to play a full 60 minutes despite being listed as day-to-day. A true freshman has been used off the bench.

Garrett Shrader was a top-250 prospect and Moorhead’s first quarterback recruit. The plan was to redshirt the 6-foot-4, 220-pound freshman but an injury to Stevens and Keytaon Thompson’s unknown status has forced him into early action. Through two halves of football, Shrader has been the SEC’s least accurate passer.

The dual-threat is completing just 47.8 percent of his passes with a woeful 5.3 yards per attempt average. State could be in trouble if they have to turn to him, but he can do damage on the ground and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line.

This offense wants to toss the ball around the yard, but it is clear that State is dealing with some significant quarterback issues at the moment. The Bulldogs likely need to lean on the run, but that is not a bad thing when you have Kylin Hill to ride.

The Mississippi native was a huge recruiting win for Dan Mullen and he currently leads the SEC in rushing. Hill ranks third in the FBS in rush yards (431) and his 21.7 carries per game rank sixth. He has been a workhorse despite suffering an ankle injury against Southern Miss. Expect a heavy workload from No. 8 on Saturday because the other two backs on the depth chart have a combined 17 carries through three games.

The Mississippi State receivers really struggled last season and they might have had the worst receiving corps in the SEC in 2018. Most of those guys return, but this group still has a long way to go. Osirus Mitchell is turning into the go-to option.

The former low three-star prospect leads the team in receptions (13) and is putting up 16 yards per grab with three touchdowns. He has a next level frame (6-foot-5, 210 pounds) and will be a tough cover.

Outside of Mitchell, the Dogs are really scrambling. Junior college transfer Stephen Guidry was a big time recruit who just hasn’t panned out. Redshirt senior Deddrick Thomas operates out of the slot, but the long-time reserve has been inefficient. Farrod Green is more of a blocker than pass catcher at tight end. Big things were expected from Kansas State grad transfer Isaiah Zuber, but he has been a disappointment through three games.

Joe Moorhead is 16 games in and he’s still desperately searching for good, consistent wide receiver play.

In the trenches, redshirt senior Darryl Williams returns and slides down to center after starting at left guard. He figures to be one of the top centers taken in the upcoming NFL Draft. He wasn’t the only one who shifted around this offseason. Stewart Reese move from right tackle to right guard while Greg Eiland went from left tackle to right tackle. State has a lot of experience in this group.

Defensive Breakdown

Bob Shoop got his first FBS defensive coordinator gig when James Franklin was hired at Vanderbilt and since then he’s been running defenses. Shoop has worked at Vandy, Penn State, Tennessee and Mississippi State with only one of his defenses finishing outside the top-50. Four of his units have finished in the top-20 with last year’s group taking home the crown as the top defense in FBS. Despite all that, Eddie Gran has had a ton of success against him.

In three meetings with Gran calling plays, Kentucky is putting up 31 points per game and 6.6 yards per play. Despite never passing for more than 200 yards in a single game, UK is still averaging seven yards per rush attempt. For some reason, Gran has had Shoop’s number.

Lost off last year’s defense were three first-round picks and they’ve been dearly missed. Most notably Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat on the line. Those two were unblockable and this year State is really missing the havoc they created. So far the defensive line has only produced 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack despite having a two-deep littered with former blue-chip recruits. This is the biggest reason Bob Shoop’s defense ranks 11th or worse in the SEC in yards per play, yards per pass, scoring, and rushing.

At the second level, Erroll Thompson was a preseason All-SEC selection and is one of the finer Mike linebackers in college football. He’s second on the team in tackles and this will likely be the redshirt junior’s final season in college football. Kentucky better get him blocked when they run inside zone.

Former Kentucky target Brian Cole II made a pitstop at East Mississippi Community College after transferring from Michigan before landing in the Starkville. The senior plays the Star position (nickel) for the Bulldogs and has been very good this season. He leads the team in sacks and causes the most havoc of any individual player.

Leading tackler Jaquarius Landrews lines up at strong safety, but corner Cameron Dantzler is the name to know.

The junior missed last week’s game against Kansas State, but will be back this week. The Louisiana native was a second-team All-SEC member last season and look for him to be the guy State puts on Ahmad Wagner more often than not.

Special Teams Breakdown

Currently the Bulldogs rank 108th in the SP+ rankings thanks to some iffy play all around the board.

Kansas State recorded a kickoff return touchdown and gained 44 yards on punt returns last week. Kickoff specialist Scott Goodman has a touchback rate of just 42 percent. The Bulldogs have hit just 3-of-5 field goals and are averaging just 17.9 yards per kick return.

Malik Dear has been a highlight in the punt return department and that’s about the only good thing going for their special teams.

Keys to Victory

  • Despite Kylin Hill doing his thing on the ground, State has struggled to protect the passer. The offense currently has a sack rate of nine percent and that is no bueno. UK’s defense has a sack rate of 6.5 percent and that has a chance to bump up on Saturday.
  • It’s going to be a hot afternoon in Starkville and depth will be a question mark for both teams. Due to last week’s targeting penalty, T.J. Carter will miss the first half and Phil Hoskins is currently listed as questionable. That means Kordell Looney will be getting his first career start. UK could be calling on youngsters Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald,  Davoan Hawkins, and Qua Mahone to play early. They need to be up to the challenge to slow down the run.
  • In just about every statistical category, Mississippi State’s defense ranks towards the bottom of the SEC except one. The Bulldogs have been excellent in forcing takeaways having created 10 turnovers in just three games. That leads the SEC and ranks second nationally. Ball security has been an issue for Kentucky and if they don’t get it fixed it could cost them another close game.

Unexpected Suspensions

Just a week before Mississippi State kicked off the season, the school reached an agreement on a punishment with the NCAA due to a tutor taking exams and doing assignments for student-athletes. However, due to a government law, the names of the players are not allowed to be identified. After three games, we have a good idea who those players are.

Starting defensive tackle Lee Autry played against Southern Miss, but missed the two other games. Starting Will linebacker Willie Gay Jr. has missed all three games. These are the most prominent players that seemed to be tied to the suspensions, but there are others such as backup safety Marcus Murphy and former blue-chip receiver Devonta Jason.

The school is allowed to stagger these suspensions so it’s not a guarantee that these players will miss Saturday’s game. Add this in with the starting placekicker being suspended the first game for a DUI arrest and it has been quite the roster balancing act.


Exactly how loud are those Cowbells? Ask the upperclassmen

Butch Dill | Getty Images

There’s nothing that defines Mississippi State football more than the cry of their signature cowbell. The noise has been echoing over the speakers at Kentucky football practice all week, but the upperclassmen on the team know the pumped-in noise will hardly compete with the real thing.

In fact, Calvin Taylor says the fake noise “doesn’t even compare at all” to what the Cats will hear inside the stadium this Saturday.

“It’s always loud. The first time – my redshirt freshman year – when we played them there it was so loud. I’d always heard about it, but it’s pretty loud,” Taylor added. “It’s cool though.”

On the other hand, defensive lineman Marquan McCall has no time for this cowbell nonsense. The sophomore hasn’t traveled to Starkville yet, but he’s not too worried about the distraction.

“I personally don’t know about Mississippi State,” McCall said when asked about the ‘bells. “We’re not focused on [any of that]; we’re just ready to go get them, play hard and stop the run. That’s it.”

This Saturday will mark Sawyer Smith’s first road game in the SEC. Even though he has some experience in hostile environments, it’s understandably hard for him to fully imagine what all of those cowboys will actually sound like in person.

“Every away game is different; everywhere has a different vibe. I’ve never heard hundred of cowbells; I’ve never heard that,” Smith laughed. “It’s going to be funny to listen to, I’m sure, for 60 minutes. I’m ready for it. It’s going to be fun.”

Cowbells? Fun? Let’s hope the Kentucky fans who decide to brave the game in Starkville feel the same way by the fourth quarter. Stay strong, BBN.