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September 1st, 2014

Stoops Knows There’s Room to Grow

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Keep it simple, stupid.  After breaking down the film, Coach Stoops found many areas needing improvement on the defensive side of the ball, “Anytime you go 8-9 possessions with 150 yards and zero points, you’ll take it, but there were still some things we need to get a lot better at.”

Part of it is simple fundamentals, “Just not striking people, being as violent as we need to be.”  The biggest mistakes occurred when players were trying to do too much.  Bud and Za’Darius were anxious to get that first sack, but trying too hard kept them from making that big play.

“I saw a couple instances where they were trying to do too much.  And that’s bound to happen when you’ve got guys that want to be playmakers.  They want to do what they can do, and that’s make big plays, but you have to do that within the scheme.

AJ Stamps does things you can’t teach.  In his first game as a Wildcat, AJ Stamps showed the BBN his versatile playmaking ability.  He’s comfortable making big plays in the air and coming up for the big hit on the run.  His decision-making ability gives him an advantage that you can’t teach.

“I think what impresses me most is that comfort level, the instincts he has,” Stoops said.  “Sitting there when you have to read in a run/pass conflict, and you’re darn near 100% on when you’re ‘pulling the pin’ and playing the run or pass.  Those things are very difficult to coach, all of those little minute little points.”

Stoops wasn’t pleased with 2nd D, except for one guy.  After holding UT-Martin to next to nothing for 3 quarters, Stoops was upset on how much offense was allowed late in the game.  One guy that didn’t disappoint was Kendall Randolph.

Stoops has not been able to use depth in the secondary, but Randolph brings explosive energy every time he takes the field.  It didn’t take long for him to prove that he’s a playmaker, “That was the 9th play he played when he came in on the sideline and caused that fumble for a touchdown.  He has great energy, he plays fast, he’s fearless, so we need to get him in the mix.”

Big plays bring big relief.  You don’t have to be a football guru to notice the difference in this year’s playmakers and the ones from years past.  Blake Bone wowed with a big catch, Braylon Heard made people miss, and AJ Stamps’ made the most athletically impressive play we’ve seen in awhile.  Coach Stoops even got caught up in it on the sidelines, “(I was) Very relieved to know there are some playmakers coming up.”

Ohio is a well coached squad.   Ohio’s coach Frank Solich has been around the game of football for a long time, taking Nebraska to the National Championship in 2001 (he lost to Stoops’ Canes).  At Ohio, they’ve been in five straight bowl games.  You can’t be that successful without teaching great fundamentals, “They’re a team that’s not going to beat themselves. They’re just good and sound.”

Increasing the competition from FCS to the MAC will be more challenging, but he doesn’t expect any of his players to get a big head after one win, “We definitely can’t take anyone for granted.”


Today in gross Tennessee fans…

@jbean6utk

@jbean6utk

Remember this picture if you want to avoid overeating at your Labor Day BBQ.


Stoops “very discouraged” by the backup defense Saturday

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Saturday was a feel-good win for the Cats, but Mark Stoops is already bringing them back to Earth, pointing out several areas for improvement, particularly on defense. During his presser this afternoon, Stoops said he was unhappy with several things on defense, especially against the run. “We’re just not striking people, being as violent as we need to be,” Stoops said. “We need to be more precise, more physical at the point of attack.” He was particularly discouraged by the backup defense. “It won’t be a pleasant film session, I can promise you that,” Stoops vowed.

As far as injuries go, wide receiver Alex Montgomery (knee) is running and cutting to try to be back for Saturday, while Jeff Badet (eye) has a doctors appointment Thursday, but Stoops doesn’t think he’ll play. Javess Blue and Braylon Heard both tweaked their ankles on Saturday, and although both feel better today, “Braylon would be a question mark” for Saturday’s game.

Nick Roush will be by with a full recap in a little bit.


Watch Mark Stoops’ preview Ohio on SECSports.com or WatchESPN.com

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It may be Labor Day, but Mark Stoops isn’t taking the day off. Stoops’ weekly press conference is about to start on SECSports.com and WatchESPN. If you have the SECNetwork, click here or on the pic above to watch Stoops talk about Saturday’s game against Ohio. It starts in five minutes.


No big changes in the Week 2 Depth Chart

Photo by Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Photo by Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

The week 2 depth chart is out, and other than Darrian Miller’s return at left tackle, there are no major changes. Regardless, enjoy it below:

Offense

Tight end
85 Steven Borden, 6-3, 246, Sr-1L
80 Ronnie Shields, 6-5, 254, Sr-3L

Left tackle

77 Darrian Miller, 6-5, 292, Sr-3L
68 Nick Haynes, 6-5, 319, Fr-RS

Left guard
75 Zach West, 6-4, 318, Jr-2L
74 Cole Mosier, 6-6, 348, Fr-RS

Center
72 Jon Toth, 6-5, 301, So-1L
57 Zach Myers, 6-3, 287, So-Sq

Right guard
69 Ramsey Meyers, 6-5, 300, Fr-RS
64 Max Godby, 6-4, 298, Sr-1L

Right tackle
70 Jordan Swindle, 6-7, 306, Jr-2L
73 Kyle Meadows, 6-5, 294, Fr-RS

Wide receiver
9 Demarco Robinson, 5-10, 158, Sr-3L
6 Blake Bone, 6-5, 198, Fr-HS

Wide receiver
1 Ryan Timmons, 5-10, 195, So-1L
82 T.V. Williams, 5-10, 160, Fr-HS

Wide receiver
8 Javess Blue, 6-0, 191, Sr-1L
2 Dorian Baker, 6-3, 197, Fr-HS
81 Rashad Cunningham, 6-4, 225, Jr-1L

Wide receiver
87 Joey Herrick, 6-1, 197, Jr-1L
19 Garrett Johnson, 5-11, 176, Fr-HS

Quarterback
14 Patrick Towles, 6-5, 238, So-1L
12 Reese Phillips, 6-2, 218, Fr-RS or 7 Drew Barker, 6-3, 216, Fr-HS

Fullback

39 D.J. Warren, 6-0, 251, Sr-3L
10 Jeff Witthuhn, 6-3, 246, So-Sq

Running back
5 Braylon Heard, 5-11, 189, Jr-Tr
3 Jojo Kemp, 5-10, 194, So-1L

Special teams

Long snapper
59 Kelly Mason, 6-3, 223, Jr-2L

Holder
13 Jared Leet, 6-3, 196, Jr-2L

Kicker
99 Austin MacGinnis, 5-10, 168, Fr-RS

Punter
9 Landon Foster, 6-1, 198, Jr-2L

Kickoff returner 

18 Stanley “Boom” Williams, 5-9, 200, Fr-HS
5 Braylon Heard, 5-11, 189, Jr-Tr

Punt returner
9 Demarco Robinson, 5-10, 158, Sr-3L
1 Ryan Timmons, 5-10, 195, So-1L

Defense

Defensive end
94 Za’Darius Smith, 6-6, 263, Sr-1L
91 Farrington Huguenin, 6-4, 275, Jr-2L

Defensive tackle
90 Melvin Lewis, 6-4, 320, Jr-JC
69 Matt Elam, 6-7, 375, Fr-HS

Defensive tackle

50 Mike Douglas, 6-4, 288, Sr-3L
67 Cory “C.J.” Johnson, 6-3, 299, Jr-JC or 96 Regie Meant, 6-4, 286, Fr-RS

Defensive end/Linebacker
6 Jason Hatcher, 6-3, 242, So-1L
47 Jabari Johnson, 6-1, 276, Jr-1L

Defensive end/Linebacker
2 Alvin “Bud” Dupree, 6-4, 264, Sr-3L
41 TraVaughn Paschal, 6-4, 257, Sr-2L

Middle linebacker
45 Josh Forrest, 6-3, 236, Jr-2L
41 TraVaughn Paschal, 6-4, 257, Sr-2L

Weak-side linebacker
22 Khalid Henderson, 6-1, 228, Jr-2L
33 Ryan Flannigan, 6-2, 225, Jr-JC

Nickelback
24 Blake McClain, 5-11, 194, So-1L
29 Kendall Randolph, 6-0, 168, Fr-HS

Cornerback
3 Fred Tiller, 6-0, 170, Jr-2L
11 J.D. Harmon, 6-2, 201, So-1L

Safety
5 Ashely Lowery, 6-1, 220, Sr-3L
15 Marcus McWilson, 6-0, 210, So-1L

Safety
1 A.J. Stamps, 6-0, 199, Jr-JC
28 Eric Dixon, 5-11, 193, Sr-3L

Cornerback
16 Cody Quinn, 5-10, 172, Jr-2L
21 Nate Willis, 6-0, 168, Sr-1L


See Damien Harris and Mark Stoops hug it out at the Catwalk

There was a very important visitor at Saturday’s Catwalk: 5-star running back Damien Harris. Harris had a front row spot at the Catwalk, and both Mark Stoops and Neal Brown made sure to stop and say hello. In fact, Harris and Stoops shared a very manly hug, as you can see in this video by the Herald-Leader.

Watching Damien watch the Catwalk was a highlight of the pregame show, and you can hear us narrate the whole event on the podcast below. The Catwalk starts around the 55-minute mark. We were a little giddy.

The Cats made a good impression during the game as well, with 234 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. Harris takes his first official visit to Ohio State this upcoming weekend for the Virginia Tech game, so hopefully the happy memories from Lexington will linger…


No show today…

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Happy Labor Day! There’s no show today, so kick back, relax, and figure out something else to do for the next few hours.

Feel free to just keep refreshing the site all day. KSR doesn’t take days off, so I’ll be here to give you all the Kentucky sports news available in the most ridiculous manner possible. Thankfully, Mark Stoops doesn’t take days off either, so we can all watch his weekly press conference together at noon.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Enjoy the 1998 Title Game This Morning


KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend

Darrell Bird Catspause

Darrell Bird Catspause

It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the Weekend. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness.

#10 Scott Charlton

You know Willie so well.

 

 

 

#9 Larry Wells 7⃣0⃣

I cannot think of a better reason to marry someone.

 

 

 

#8 Perry Stevenson

I am glad to know this is still acceptable when you are a grown up.

 

 

 

#7 Trey Lyles

I feel like you kinda left us hanging, Trey. We need a little bit more background to this tweet.

 

 

 

#6 SeasonNeverEnds

He is upset at Tebow’s NFL career.

 

 

 

#5 Damien Harris

That’s right. You stick up for your right to go support the Cats, Damien.

 

 

 

#4 BleedBlue

I think we found a more lame answer than Ryan’s ‘jumping’ explanation.
(P.s- I thought that guy was ‘throwing his L’s up’ at first, but its just a wave)

 

 

 

#3 Kelsey Wolf

Put her on defense. Girl can spike the ball like no other.

 

 

 

#2 Luke Hatcher

FINALLY! Someone with their priorities right.

 

 

 

#1 renee from richmond

I really wish people were less honest sometimes.

 

@Sealey_KSR


Anthony Davis on today’s USA Win

Anthony Davis was held scoreless in the first half of the USA’s victory over Turkey.  He was limited to just ten and a half minutes after picking up two early fouls.  All he had was just one rebound.  And then came the second half.

“I think we didn’t come ready to play in the first half and we can’t afford to do that if we want to win a gold medal,” Davis said. “So we’ve got to come out ready to play no matter who we’re playing against. I tried to come out in the second half and just be a different player, just be the player I’m used to being.”

Davis would finish the game with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and a couple of blocks.  That is the player we are used to seeing.  Davis had also scored 17 points in yesterday’s blow-out over Finland.  He definitely has been the talk of Team USA all summer, and many think he will be a top 3 player in the NBA very soon.  Even Coach Cal joined in on the talk before yesterday’s game.

“Right now, you look at (Davis) and say, ‘Man, in five years, he could be the best player in the NBA,’ ” Calipari said. “And this USA Basketball stuff pushes that date sooner. Again, here’s what it does for him: how to work, new things to add to his game, and confidence like, ‘These are the best in the world, so I’m all right.’ “

It’s certainly an exciting time right now for Anthony Davis.  We are slowly watching one of our former Wildcats become the next NBA superstar.


DB Darius Smith May Visit UK After Football Season

Class of 2015 defensive back, Darius “Dee” Smith, may hold out on his official visit to UK until after the 2014 football season.  Smith is currently a 3-star defensive back/outside linebacker from Florence, Alabama.  He’s a very talented player who could add to the depth Stoops is putting together on defense.  Dee has offers from UK, Louisville, Miami-Fl, and Missouri.  He doesn’t, however, have an offer from Alabama, but has participated in their camps.  Without an offer from his home university, Kentucky is the projected front-runner according to 247 Sports’ crystal ball.  

The Cardinals are hoping to lure Smith away from UK, as he may also attend this year’s rivalry matchup on an official visit to U of L.

 


Towles and Stamps given SEC Network’s Saturday Superlatives

The brand new SEC Network will be giving out superlatives throughout the football season, and two Kentucky players are some of the first to earn one.  Greg Mcelroy and Booger Mcfarland joined the SEC Network yesterday to pick their first “Saturday Superlatives”.

Patty Ice was Mcfarland’s “Unsung Hero”, after leading his offense to a tremendous day on the field.  It sure was fun to watch, and Towles didn’t make too many mistakes.  Maybe a few over/under-thrown balls, but no INTs or stalled drives for him.  Just a lot of yards and more than a few touchdowns.

AJ Stamps was the unanimous “Defensive Star of the Day”, and who would disagree with that?  After his one-handed interception, which was #3 on the ESPN Top-10 plays list, nobody was going to deny Stamps as the defensive player of the day.  Along with his INT, Stamps also had a few tackles and pass break-ups to finish out the game.

 


Team USA defeats Turkey with help from Faried & Davis

 

Team USA just defeated Turkey 98-77.  The duo of Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis completely took over the game, especially in the 2nd half.  Faried finished the game leading Team USA with 22 points and 8 rebounds.  Davis followed Faried closely with 19 points and 6 rebounds of his own.  Both players are products of Kentucky basketball, and it’s always great to see them doing big things on the international stage.

If you didn’t catch today’s USA basketball action, they play again Tuesday at noon against New Zealand.  Be sure to set your DVRs!

The talk of the game was Davis’ huge alley-oop slam in the 2nd half.  Check it out!

 

 


Honorary UK baseball player needs help to get life-changing medical treatment

Jacob Casteel is a 14-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder in the spine that prohibits him from playing sports. If Jacob were to ever be injured, that injury could be fatal, a cruel joke for a teenager that loves sports more than anything else.

Through Team Impact, an organization whose goal is to help improve the life of children with life-threatening illnesses, Jacob has been named an honorary member of the UK Baseball team. His parents are currently trying to raise enough money to take him to meet a specialist at Johns Hopkins. Because all four of the Casteel children are cardiac patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Jacob’s mother has cardiomyopathy herself, raising the money to take Jacob to Baltimore has been difficult. So far, they’ve raised $480 of the $800 they need to make the trip to change Jacob’s life possible.

To learn more about Jacob’s story or donate, please click here.


Photo Gallery: UK clobbers UT Martin

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There was no shortage of exciting moments in Kentucky’s decisive 59-14 season-opening win over UT Martin.

Patrick Towles shined in his first career start under center, as did AJ Stamps and Braylon Heard in their UK debuts.

If you missed any of the action at Commonwealth Stadium to kick off the 2014 season, relive it with this CatsPause.com Photo Gallery featuring 33 images from Saturday.

@ChrisFisher247