web analytics

Archive | Kentucky

RSS feed for this section

UK Football Preview: Mississippi State at Kentucky

The last time the Kentucky Wildcats got absolutely creamed at LSU, they came back the next week and beat Mississippi State, on the road. Their next home game was against Georgia, a game they won and was really the first big win in the Rich Brooks era. It was also the last time they went .500 in conference play. This was 2006.

Now they look to get up off the mat and standing in their way is the No. 1 team in the land, Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs are coming off of a bye week and have now had two full weeks to allow the fact that they are No. 1 to sink in a bit. But, after speaking to Charlie Burris, editor of ForWhomTheCowbellTolls.com of SB Nation, I’m not sure that their No. 1 ranking has sunk in yet.

How did Mississippi State get to No. 1? After taking care of Southern Miss, UAB, and South Alabama, they then faced the beast of their schedule, a three-game stint that featured games at LSU, and Texas A&M and Auburn at home. Win two of three and you’re still on schedule for a special season. But, then they took care of LSU on the road, a place where they hadn’t won since 1991. Heck, they hadn’t even beat LSU since 1999. Those are both streaks normally reserved for UK and their SEC opponents.

The win at LSU gave this team tremendous confidence and they rode that to home wins over A&M and Auburn. Now, after a bye week, they face the Wildcats in Lexington, as the No. 1 team in the country.

When you look at Mississippi State, the first thing you notice is their Heisman candidate quarterback, junior Dak Prescott. Prescott is a run/pass threat, the type of quarterback that has seemingly always gave UK problems. He has thrown for 1,478 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has rushed for 576 yards and eight touchdowns. He is really, really good.

prescott640 500x234 UK Football Preview: Mississippi State at Kentucky

As a run/pass threat, Prescott has the ability to use his eyes to hold defenders, is a great decision maker, and he has complete control of the offense. And he fits right into Dan Mullen’s scheme, just as Tim Tebow did at Florida. But, what makes him really special may be his ability to lead. He is a player that his teammates want to play for. He gets the best out of everyone.

One of those players is junior running back Josh Robinson. Robinson is a guy that many didn’t expect to explode on the scene this year, but at the midway point he has 689 yards and eight touchdowns. He is averaging 7.0 yards every time he gets a carry. At 5-foot-9, Robinson is a shorter back, but he’s wide and his low center of gravity makes him tough to tackle. That’s why his teammates call him “The Bowling Ball”.

Sophomore De’Runnya Wilson and Senior Jameon Lewis are Prescott’s two best pass catchers. At 6-foot-5 with a monster wingspan, Wilson is a huge target. He has the ability to make plays when the pass isn’t even there. Lewis has missed the last two games with a leg injury, but after the bye week he is expected to be 100-percent on Saturday.

The biggest problem area for Mississippi State has been their secondary. They allowed 435 passing yards against UAB. 288 to South Alabama. 341 to LSU. 365 to Texas A&M. If there is an area where the Wildcats can make hay, this is it. But, they will have to throw over the top and that is not something we have seen a ton of from UK. A lot of the passing yards that the Bulldogs have allowed have been because teams have been able to go over the top for the big play.

As bad as their secondary has been, their front seven is as good as any in the country. And the best way to take pressure off of their corners is to get pressure on the quarterback. Something they have been really good at. Over and over again, they have found a way to force opposing quarterbacks into bad decisions.

Junior linebacker Benardrick McKinney is the leader of the defense. Three adjectives to define McKinney are dynamic, fast, and huge and he has an uncanny knack to get to the quarterback. Sophomore Chris Jones and Senior Preston Brown are the strengths of their defensive line. Both are deceptively quick and Smith was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week the first three weeks of the season.

Now in his sixth year at Mississippi State, Mullen has created the depth needed to sustain success in the SEC. They lost Lewis for a few weeks at wide receiver and their depth allowed them to not really skip a beat. And they are deep like that at multiple positions, especially the front seven on defense.

Can the Wildcats pull off the upset against Mississippi? Yeah. But, it’s going to be crazy tough. This Mississippi State team is deep and talented. And they see the potential greatness that this season beholds. A loss at UK would put a screeching halt to that. So while the possibility of them overlooking Kentucky is there, don’t expect it.

UK has to get off to a better start. Their starts have been an issue the last three games. They were able to overcome that against USC and Louisiana-Monroe at home, but last week never really got things going against LSU on the road. Well, the Bulldogs have been the exact opposite. They have gotten off to quick starts, which have helped propel them to wins over quality opponents. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead at LSU in the first quarter, a 28-10 lead against A&M at half, and a 21-0 lead over Auburn in the first quarter. If UK digs a whole like that, it’s lights out.

The main reason for UK’s poor start last week was their special teams. That has to be better against MSU. They have to get more from the ground game, which will be a real challenge. I look for maybe Mikel Horton to get more touches.

I know the Air Raid is all about getting skill guys the football in open spaces and not necessarily trying to beat them downfield. But, that didn’t work last week against LSU and I don’t think it will work against MSU either. Covering the deep ball is an area of concern for the Bulldogs. To win the game, the Cats will have to beat them for a couple big plays.

Defensively, they aren’t going to keep the Bulldogs in check completely, but they have to slow down the ground game. Make Prescott be a passer and don’t let Robinson get rolling downhill.

The Cats will look better than last week. I mean, they can’t look worse. They will look considerably better. They will score multiple touchdowns. But, they still won’t win. It could happen, but I think a lot of us jumped the gun on how good this UK team is. They are better. They are improving. They will compete. But, they aren’t a team that can beat the No. 1 team in the land. Not yet.

Mississippi State 34, Kentucky 23

Kobe Bryant to Julius Randle, “You’re an idiot if you f#^@ this up”

kobejulius640 500x234 Kobe Bryant to Julius Randle, Youre an idiot if you f#^@ this up

When you are one of the first players to join the Lakers via the Lottery as Julius Randle was, that means that Kobe Bryant is probably going to apply some pressure on you. He knows his time is running out and that he needs the help from the young guys if they are to prove the pundits wrong by making the playoffs.

On Sunday night, Randle put up eight points, five rebounds and two blocks in their 98-91 preseason victory over the Jazz.

Bryant was asked about Randle, and specifically the opportunity that Randle has to play with Kobe, Steve Nash, Carlos Boozer, and other veterans.

“It means he can’t f— up,” Kobe said. “Seriously, if you f— this up you’re a really big idiot, you know what I mean? ESPN are idiots, but you’re a really big idiot if you manage to f— this up.”

He continued.

“It’s up for me to mess it up. Kobe said, ‘You can’t mess it up, unless you want to,’” Randle said. “I [would] intentionally have to mess things up, having a coach like Byron, learning from greats like Kobe, Boozer, Nash, all those guys. And, on top of that playing for the Lakers organization. I’m in the perfect situation, I can’t mess it up.”

When he mentioned ESPN, he did so because they listed him as the 40th best player in the league entering the year. If he’s healthy, he is nowhere near 40. If he’s not, he is nowhere near 40 either. So No. 40 is a terrible mark.

And Kobe is right about Randle, too. This is a great situation for him. And really this team has no pressure because most don’t expect them to make the playoffs. If Randle can help the veterans get there, it would be a tremendous rookie season for the former Wildcat.

Pick 6: Six Takeaways from UK’s 41-3 loss at LSU

The game ended late on Saturday night and then the Bengals got crushed yesterday, so I haven’t really been in the mood to write. Well, better than late than never, here are my takeaways from LSU’s crushing of the Wildcats.

Bad starts have got to stop – They were able to overcome rough starts in their last two games, but you can’t do that in Death Valley. You can’t do that against better opponents. The game started big return, personal foul, roughing the passer, 1-yard touchdown. Less than three minutes in and it’s 7-0.

Special Teams not so special – A big reason why they got off to such a bad start was the play of the special teams. A huge kick return. A punt return touchdown. An pseudo on-side, squib, floater kick recovered by LSU. Kentucky did not play well enough to win this game on any side of the ball. The special teams made it impossible.

No creativity on offense – The Wildcat isn’t going to work. Especially when it’s fourth and two and a young, but talented team like LSU knows you are going to run it. You can’t keep throwing it out sideways in the flats and expect it to work. I get that LSU’s defense is down, but they are still too fast for those plays to work. And I get that UK’s receivers weren’t creating separation. I get that it’s tough to move the ball against LSU. But, once plays didn’t work, I didn’t see any kind of effort to try something new. And stop it with the QB Read option. Stop it.

Everyone has to play better – It isn’t just Patrick Towles. It isn’t just Ryan Timmons. While those guys probably stand out the most after last Saturday. You got to stop the run. You have to run it. All three aspects have to play better.

We jumped the gun a bit – I thought UK would play LSU tough on the road. I thought LSU was down and that the Cats were on the rise. I thought UK had come a lot further than they probably have. I jumped the gun in thinking they could compete in Death Valley. A lot of people did. But, they got whacked. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe this helps them realize they still have a ways to go. Maybe now they can regroup and play Mississippi State tough.

And while this is a disappointing loss, it doesn’t negate all of the positives that have occurred so far. This program is still trending forward. They just need to play better next week.

Fans need to show next Saturday – I don’t want to hear the “Wait for basketball” talk from UK fans.
There is nothing more annoying than directing someone’s attention towards hoops when football is at the forefront of the conversation. They need to show up on Saturday. They have to fill the house. It’s a 3:30 game. It’s the No. 1 team in the land. Show up.

Three Thoughts from Big Blue Madness

ukmadness640 500x234 Three Thoughts from Big Blue Madness

Last night, 24,000 fans once again showed up to Rupp Arena to watch what was basically glorified starting lineup introductions and some practice drills. As a kid I was enamored by this whole thing, but as I get older and older, it has lost it’s luster a little bit. Back when it was Midnight Madness, it was cool. I guess it is still kind of cool, but it’s not my cup of tea anymore. I’d much rather be at Rupp for the Blue/White game in a little over a week.

But, still you can’t disregard that they fill the house for this thing. And it is the fans first chance to see these freshmen in action. Sort of.

Here are my three thoughts from last night.

Cal didn’t even give his yearly State of the Bluegrass address. After being introduced by Drake, Cal grabbed the mic. But, he hardly spoke. He hugged Drake. Said, “How about this guy?”. Talked about Drake some more. Thanked the fans. And then directed the fans to the videoboard. On the videoboard was his speech from 2009. Just a replay. He then dropped the mic and said, “Let’s play ball”.

Drake didn’t even sing, he just spoke. There was one more player to introduce even though the Wildcats were out of players. That player…Drake. He got the same type of graphics. The same type of intro, “From Toronto, Canada….Drake!” I get that Drake is a great ambassador to the UK program. He resonates with recruits and undoubtedly helps them get certain players. But, what is the point to bringing in Drake if he isn’t going to drop, “Last name ever, first name greatest”? Not even a little of “Started from the bottom, now we here”? Nothing. He just spoke for a little bit, introduced Cal, and then stood next to Cal as they ran 3 on 3 and 5 on 5.

One person that did sing was UK women’s coach Matthew Mitchell. And he wasn’t that bad. It just went on way too long.

I am going to love Tyler Ulis. I already knew this after watching the Cats play in Bahamas. Heck, I knew this as soon as he committed. I have always been enamored by undersized guards, for obvious reasons. Ulis will rank as one of the smallest players in UK history. When I think of small guards at UK, I think Travis Ford. You also had Leroy Byrd in the early 80s, but he didn’t play too much. Ulis is the real deal and I can’t wait to watch him play. Just watching him check Andrew Harrison is fun enough. But, he plays big. He plays hard. It’s going to be fun.

Oh, and a bonus thought. This team is going to be stupid good. I spent most of last night trying to figure out who would start for me. I came up with the Twins, Poythress, Towns, and WCS. But, you can go so many different directions. Jay Bilas made an interesting thought about this team. Remove their top five guys and the rest of the team is still at Top 10 team. It’s pretty amazing. And Derek Willis, a guy who will get limited run, didn’t miss a shot last night.

Quick Look at the LSU Tigers

With a late win last week in Gainesville, LSU avoided their first 0-3 start in the SEC since 1999. This is a young team, but they are maturing quickly. They never quit on the road against the Gators and were able to sneak out a win late. This is a trend that you saw even in their loss to Mississippi State. After being down a lot early, they hung in there and nearly pulled off the comeback.

How young is this LSU team? Nearly 20 freshmen play significantly. They lost both of their starting tackles on defense as they left a year early for NFL Draft. But, now these freshmen are eight games into their season and no longer are they considered freshmen.

Year after year LSU is known for their blistering defense. Is their defense up to that level this year? No. They lack the talent and experience of year’s past, but they do have talent and they are getting better. A sign of that improvement could be the fact that they held Florida to 2-12 on third down and forced three turnovers against the Gators.

At quarterback, look for both Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris to take snaps against UK. Jennings took every snap last week and looked poised. He will get the start, but with this game being at home, I would not be surprised to see Harris at some point. Harris is a true freshman and is quicker and has a stronger arm than Jennings. But, he is also battling a high ankle sprain. Even without an ankle sprain, Jennings would likely see the majority of the snaps simply because of his experience. He has a better grasp of what it is like to play at this level. With Jennings in there, look for LSU to run a lot of read option and to get him to roll the pocket in order to create a run/pass option.

True freshman tailback Leonard fournette was the number one recruit in the nation a year ago. He is as talented of an athlete as there is. He’s a big guy with great speed and a tremendous ability to find holes. He is shifty, difficult to tackle, and when he gets in open space has breakaway speed. Last week in his first start, he racked up 140 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tigers have two fantastic receivers in Travin Dural and Malachi Dupree. Dural leads the country with 26.1 yards per catch and has caught 24 balls for 626 yards and six touchdowns. Dupree is a tall, lanky wide receiver that has 11 catches for 257 yards and four touchdowns.

On defense, look for Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco on the defensive line and Kendell Beckwith, an All-SEC performer, and Kwon Alexander at linebacker. They also have a heck of a kicking game. Colby Delahoussaye kicked the game winner against Florida last week and is one of the best kickers in the country.

Kentucky has a chance in this one, but it’s going to be tough to pull off the upset in Death Valley. I think they play it close, but the young LSU defense will create a turnover late that UK is unable to overcome.

LSU 24, Kentucky 17

LISTEN TO OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH LSU RADIO VOICE JIM HAWTHORNE

Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentucky’s 48-14 win over Louisiana Monroe

After last week’s win over South Carolina, Kentucky needed to roll past ULM to continue their momentum. After a slow start that is exactly what they did. Here are my six takeaways.

Slow starts have got to stop – Kentucky cannot continue to start like this and continue to win. This is now two weeks in a row where the Cats have done absolutely nothing in the first quarter. On offense they looked stagnant. On defense they made ULM look like Oregon. And this is a ULM team that gave up nearly 600 yards and managed just two scores against Arkansas State last week. A hangover after the South Carolina win was not expected, but you can certainly understand it. Still, if you want to win any of your final six games, it’s going to be tough sailing with a slow start like today and last week.

After the game, Stoops agreed, “I thought we started a little flat and a little lethargic. We need to have a better week of preparation, I thought we were a little flat all week.”

Big Plays – One thing that UK teams absolutely could not do in year’s past is make big plays on either side of the ball. Today, it was the big play that helped them dig themselves out of a 14-3 hole and eventually role to an easy victory. It was Javess Blue’s 83-yard touchdown pass from Towles that made the score 14-10 and got them going when they really needed it. Then Josh Forrest picked off a Pete Thomas pass just over a minute later and ran it back 29 yards for a score and a 17-14 lead. They never looked back. At that point in the game, it didn’t look like they had what it took to sustain long drives and get points. That made these big plays even more important.

Speaking of Blue. How about that one-handed catch? We’ve seen guys pull it in with one hand before. What really impressed me was his ability to hold it up against his body why he was doing a somersault. Pretty sick catch. Big plays.

Would love to see more conventional runs – Line it up and run it right at teams like ULM. You are better than them. Your o-line needs to impose it will against lesser teams. So run it at them. None of this Wildcat stuff. None of this Patty Towles read option stuff. Oh, and don’t throw it with JoJo Kemp. Line up, hand it off, allow D.J. Warren to block, and allow JoJo Kemp, Braylon Heard, Boom Williams, or Mikel Horton. That is exactly what happened on Williams’ 58-yard run at the end of the third quarter. But, why do we have to wait so long to see this? I get last week. You would have to be the worst coach in history to not continue to run the Wildcat. I mean you were getting 12 yards a pop. But, this is ULM. Be conventional. Impose you will. And run it.

Third downs of old – One of the strengths of this team compared to teams of old is their ability to get stops on third down and pick up thirds on offense. Today it was pretty ugly on both sides. ULM picked up just 4 of 16 third downs in their loss to Arkansas State. Today they started off 4 for 6. They were just 3 for 13 the rest of the way, but still. And on O’s, UK managed to pick up just 1 of 11 third downs. Far too many times they found themselves in third and long and right now they just aren’t showing the ability to hit passes down field consistently.

Dancin’ Patty Ice – How many times did Andre Ware mention Patrick Towles’ dancing feet during today’s broadcast? Too many to count. But, he’s right. Towles just does not look that comfortable in the pocket right now and he is missing some throws that he has to hit if they are going to pull off some upsets the rest of the way. His numbers are fine as he finished 16-28 for 216 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. But, I don’t see marked improvement from the beginning of the year, something I was hoping to see at this point. I won’t say that I’ve seen regression, but he isn’t getting better. For this team to take that next step, I believe that Towles has to take some positive steps.

Boom goes the dynamite has got to stop. Not the player, the stupid announcers thinking they are creative.

ukulm640 500x234 Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentucky’s 48 14 win over Louisiana Monroe

Not the player. Kentucky needs Boom to go, but the announcers have got to stop saying, “Boom goes the dynamite”. It was awful when Ball State student Brian Collins said it on a student broadcast and it is still awful. Be more creative.

He passes it to the man and boom goes the dynamite! Everyone pays attention to that part of this video so much, but the best part may be the rest of it. Just watch the whole damn thing. His pronunciations of Hakim Warrick and Wayne Simien are money. Then the other student anchors reactions at the end. It’s so awesome.

There is no denying Boom Williams’ importance on this team, though. He definitely gives Kentucky a spark, which was evident of his kickoff return to start the game.

Stoops on Williams after the game, “He was anxious to get out here and he started it with a big kickoff return and then had the big run so it was good to get him out here.”

Quick look at the South Carolina Gamecocks

At the start of the year, I had this game pegged as a loss. South Carolina was listed as a National Title contender and Kentucky was coming off of a 2-10 season. But now, five weeks in, I think the Cats can win this thing. Let’s take a quick look at the Gamecocks.

USC is coming off of a 21-20 loss at Missouri, a game they led most of the way. Penalties and dropped passes in the endzone allowed the Tigers to hang around and late in the fourth quarter they took advantage and stole the win.

It was, however, USC’s best defensive performance of the year. They entered the game with a struggling defense. They were third worst in the world at getting teams off the field on third down and also allowed a million big plays, especially on first down. So, despite the loss, the fact that they held Mizzou to just 21 points and 2-for-16 on third downs were both bright spots.

Why has their defense struggled? Because their secondary just hasn’t been very good. Which is why they have been susceptible to the big play. Three of their top four corners are freshmen, but they are slowly getting better. They also haven’t got much of a pass rush, which hasn’t helped their struggling secondary. Through five games, they have managed just six sacks.

The star of their defense is true sophomore Skai Moore (6-2, 213). He led the Cocks in tackles and interceptions as as true freshman, which had never happened before in USC history. He has a good nose for the football and is excellent in run support.

Because of their struggles on D, their O’s have been asked to do a lot. And they have been pretty good. They are averaging over 33 points per game and scored 48 against Vanderbilt, a team UK could only manage 17 points against. But, you can also flip it the other way. UK only allowed seven points against Vandy, USC allowed 34, two touchdowns came via kick return touchdowns.

The strength of their offense is their o-line. They returned 113 career starts, which ranks ninth in the country and second in the SEC, behind Auburn. In their wins over ECU and Georgia, their offensive line imposed their will and allowed them to chew clock via the running game. They also have good depth in the backfield. Junior Mike Davis (5-9, 223) was Preseason First Team All-SEC and has 368 yards and three touchdowns on the year. In the loss to Mizzou, he accounted for 104 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown, along with two catches for 31 yards. Junior Brandon Wild (6-2, 222) is a bruising runner and at times has shown the ability to carry the offense.

Senior quarterback Dylan Thompson (6-3, 218) has been handed the gig of replacing Conner Shaw, who set several USC records. Thompson is not the runner that Shaw was, but he has shown an ability to make the right plays and protect the football. He is savvy under center and through five games has completed 109 of his 179 passes for 1,359 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three picks.

Sophomore wideout Pharoh Cooper (5-11, 201) does a little bit of everything for Steve Spurrier’s offense. He has been on the field more than any other skill player and against Vandy had a career-high 10 catches for 114 yards. And that’s not all. Cooper also plays a little bit of Wildcat and in that Vandy game he had two carries for 74 yards, including a 70-yarder scamper.

Despite being a disappointed 3-2, the Gamecocks feel that they are not out of it. Spurrier feels that they are a refocused team that still believes they can get into the SEC Championship Game. But, they have no room for error. A loss at Kentucky on Saturday is exactly the error they don’t have room for.

The story of this game to me is UK’s inconsistent offense against USC’s struggling defense. But, then you have to look at a UK defense that has been really good against lesser opponents against a Gamecock offense that has done their best to keep them in games. Which side will give?

If UK’s O’s show up for 60 minutes, I think they win. And I think they finally will. Geeze, I hope I’m not jinxing this thing. Am I too overconfident after UK just broke their 17-game SEC losing streak? Let’s hope not.

Kentucky 31, South Carolina 24

Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentucky’s 17-7 win over Vandy

It wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky got a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon in Lexington. The win ends their ridiculous 17-game SEC losing streak. Here are my six takeaways from the game.

ukvandy640 500x234 Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentuckys 17 7 win over Vandy

Defensive Pressure – The story of the game was Kentucky’s ability to get pressure. True freshman Wade Freebeck was on his heels the entire game, as he completed just 8 of his 25 passes for 85 yards and three interceptions. Those three picks all came when Freebeck was pressured. Put into perspective that UK had just one pick all year last year. That’s crazy. Overall, their offense was just never able to get into a flow, as they managed just 139 yards and zero points.

I know this is Vanderbilt, but I’m prepared to say that this Kentucky defense is pretty damn good. If they can get that kind of pressure, they will have a chance against anyone in the SEC.

Third Down – For the last three years, one reason why Kentucky has struggled is because of their inability to pick up third downs, as well as their inability to get off of the field on third down. On third down, the defense pinned their ears back the entire game and gave Vanderbilt no chance whatsoever to convert. They finished just 2-for-12 on third down. Kentucky’s offense started the game converting on thirds. But, they finished just 6-for-15 on third. They were just 1-for-7 on third downs in the second half.

Inability to put it away – Much like the Ohio game, in which Kentucky dominated, they were unable to simply put the game out of reach. Miscue after miscue. Failed third down attempt after third down attempt. The offense simply did nothing in the second half to put this game out of reach. And Vanderbilt did nothing with the opportunities they were given because Kentucky’s defense refused.

The improvement of this team is obvious. They are now competitive and obviously more talented that at least one team in the SEC. The next step will be getting that killer instinct and putting teams away. They lack that on O’s for some reason right now.

Plethora of weapons – I know they did nothing in the second half. I know they only put up 17 points. But, the amount of weapons that Kentucky continues to use on offense is amazing to me. Four running backs had at least five carries. 11 guys caught balls and none of those guys caught more than four balls. I thought they maybe would shorten their rotation by now, but maybe not. And most of these guys are freshmen. Not a bad way to recruit. Look, if you’re good, we’re going to find spots to play you.

Towles – Towles started off the game completing his first 11 passes and finished 23-for-30 for 201 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. Still, I didn’t think it was his best game. He missed some open guys and Andre Ware made that quite evident during the broadcast. Ware often sounded like the guy that watches you play football over your shoulder on the sticks. “Duuuude, Triangle was wide open on that play. How did you miss him?” Shut up dude! Towles also threw a pick six and put the ball on the ground a few times, one that Vandy scooped up and gave them a chance to get back in it. And then the UK defense came up with another big stop. I’m not that mad at the pick six. That’s just a great read by Darius Sims, a really good player. Still, to beat South Carolina, Towles will have to play a more complete game. He’ll have to be good for 60 minutes.

Kentucky Wildcat – I’ve never seen a team run out the clock by utilizing the Wildcat like Kentucky did against Vanderbilt. UK ended the game with eight straight Wildcat plays. JoJo Kemp kept it on seven of those and handed it to Ryan Timmons for one. Vandy look gassed and they couldn’t stop it. On those seven attempts, Kemp picked up 60 yards, including a 30-yard scamper that was their biggest play of the game. Oddly enough, Kemp had just one carry before he became the show in the final minutes. Still, if I’m Patrick Towles, I’m pissed. You’re gonna make me split wide left eight straight times to end the game and I do nothing?

Extra Point – I’m not sure what Vandy is doing. They didn’t get creative on offense. They refused to realize that Kentucky was going to bring pressure. Especially on third down. They refused to run a screen play that could have dashed UK’s overzealous defense. And then they just quit with two timeouts and down ten with a little under two minutes to play. I don’t care how much you can’t move the football. Never should you go to the locker room with two timeouts in your pocket in a ten point game. Force UK to get a first down and knee it. You never know what is going to happen. Heck, maybe you force a fumble and take it to the house. If I was the AD I would be in Mason’s ear after the game.