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Sep 30

Kentucky vs LSU – Preview

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 10:41 am | Leave a Comment (2)
Category: Football

 

This Saturday the Kentucky Wildcats will travel down to Baton Rouge to face the #1 ranked LSU Tigers. The Cats are coming off of back-to-back losses (Louisville & Florida) and looking to find some sort of offensive fire power. For LSU, they are fresh off of their third win over a ranked team (Oregon, Mississippi St. & West Virginia) already this season, an accomplishment that allowed them to leap-frog Oklahoma in the polls. Kentucky was thoroughly outmanned against Florida as they were unable to slow down the Gators back-field and they could not sustain offensive drives to give their defense any rest. For LSU it has been a tenacious defense and a surprising offense that has propelled them to a 4-0 start. For UK to have any chance against LSU, they must be able to run the ball at least enough to slow down the LSU pass rush. If they can’t, Morgan Newton will be running for his life literally all afternoon. The best remedy to allow him any success in the passing game may be to put him in the “Shotgun” most of the afternoon to shorten his drop-back steps; screen passes and quick hitting routes may be the best shot the Cats have in the passing game. For Les Miles, it will be about his young team staying hungry and not getting sidetracked because it is Kentucky. The last time these two teams played and LSU was #1, the Cats pulled off the upset victory in Lexington, KY. In fact these two teams have played a couple of memorable games over the last 6 years or so including the “hailmary” touchdown victory by LSU in Lexington when it seemed that there was now way for the Cats to lose that game. The Tigers were installed as heavy favorites in this game (28 pts) and judging by the way UK was spanked by Florida that is understandable. But if the Cats are going to show that they are still trying to fight, it has to start this weekend. They have to embrace the role of the “underdog” and approach the game with an “us against the world” or “nothing to lose” mindset. However, the game is on the road and clearly the better talent and team is the home team…………I say the Cats may hang around for a quarter but in the end, talent trumps heart in this one……….LSU 37 – UK 6.

Sep 30

It’s All Mental According To Joker

Posted by: Ryan at 8:26 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Football

Sep 28

Coach Cal Hits Up Tent City

Posted by: Ryan at 1:28 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball

 

Sep 27

SEC Roundup Week 4

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 1:18 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: SEC

Florida 48 – Kentucky 10: While the Cats continue to search for answers, particularly on offense, it appears the Gators have the answer for theirs, hand the ball to Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. Florida (4-0) piled up over 250 yds on the ground in route to handing UK (2-2) its second straight loss. UK QB Morgan Newton (124 passing yds, 1 TD & 2 INTs) was once again harassed into some bad throws and one again even when his throws were on target, his wide-receivers couldn’t always hang on to the ball. Newton ran for a team high 50 yds but against the Gator defense, you need a lot more offensive production than that if you want to win. The Cat’s “D” was just on the field way too much and could not prevent the Gators from ripping off several big runs against them. Demps ran for 157 yds on just 10 carries and added 2 TDs in a game that was 31-10 at halftime. Florida heads back home to Gainesville to host #3 Alabama this weekend while UK will not hit the road to go to Baton Rouge to play the new #1, LSU.

Georgia 27 – Ole Miss 13: In a game I dubbed the “if you lose, your coach will be fired” game, it was the Bulldogs (2-2) that kept Mark Richt’s job safe for at least another week. Meanwhile, the Rebels (1-3) continue to have problems on offense as they were once again held to below 250 yds of total offense. Houston Nutt’s job security in Oxford is waning with every passing week and you have to wonder at some point if he may not even make it through the season. For Georgia, QB Aaron Murray passed for 268 yds & 2 TDs and freshman RB Isaiah Crowell ran for 147 yds on 30 carries. Georgia has a huge game this weekend as they will host Mississippi St.

Alabama 38 – Arkansas 14: For at least a quarter and a half, the Razorbacks (3-1) were able to go toe-to-toe with the Crimson Tide (4-0); late in the second quarter, Alabama began to flex and then early in the third decided to apply the knockout punch to the Hogs. The tide rolled up 24 unanswered points between the 2nd and 3rd highlighted by a defensive TD, a punt ret for a TD and 61 yd screen pass to RB Trent Richardson (126 rushing yds.) for a TD. Alabama stifled the high-octane Razorbacks by stopping the run first (RB Ronnie Wingo had just 35 yds on 11 carries) and then going all out on every passing play to harass Hog QB, Tyler Wilson (185 passing yds, 2 TDs & 1 INTs). The Tide will get a much stiffer test as they head to the “Swamp” Saturday to face Florida while Arkansas will head home to host former rival, Texas A&M.

Auburn 30 – Florida Atlantic 14: For a half it appeared as though Auburn (3-1) was still hung-over from its loss to Clemson last week. That all changed in the 3rd when the Tigers rolled up 20 unanswered points against the Owls (1-3) and that was the ballgame. Tiger QB Barrett Trotter threw for 178 yds & 2 TD while the Auburn “D” forced 3 INTs (including one taken back for a TD) out of the Owls QB. Tiger RB Michael Dyer was limited to just 68 yds on the ground but his backfield mate, Onterrio McCalebb had a 51 yd pass reception for a score. Auburn has a huge road clash with South Carolina this weekend and that could be a very exciting game.

Mississippi St. 26 – La. Tech 20 (OT): The Bulldogs (2-2) appear to still be reeling after their two consecutive losses that dropped them out of the Top 25 polls. They looked nothing like a team that was thought to be a contender in the SEC as they had to fight and claw their way to an overtime win over La Tech (1-3). Bulldog QB Chris Relf passed for 164 yds, 1 TD & 1 INT but completed only 48% of his passes; RB Vick Ballard was held to just 68 yds & 1 TD on 17 carries. On the flip side, La. Tech’s QB, N. Isham was able to get the Bulldogs secondary for 233 passing yds, but they took one of his 2 INTs “to the house” for Mississippi St.’s first TD of the game. Dan Mullins knows his team must wake up this week in practice because the game down in Athens will be crucial for both teams.

South Carolina 21 – Vanderbilt 3: Coach Jeff Franklin has the Commodores (3-1) headed in the right direction; the problem is they still have a way to go to compete with the upper echelons of the SEC. The Commodores were absolutely stymied in Columbia on Saturday as the Gamecocks (4-0) just battered the ‘Dores in the 2nd and 3rd on both sides of the ball. Vandy QB Larry Smith was knocked out of the game in the 3rd after fumbling; before that he was struggling as he had just 44 passing yds and a pick; RB Zack Stacy had 18 yds on 7 carries an he was also injured. The good thing for Vandy is their defense had a good showing as they held Gamecock RB, Marcus Lattimore to 77 rushing yds but he had a receiving TD and a rushing TD. But they picked off Stephen Garcia four times in spite of giving up 228 yds thru the air. Spurrier’s club didn’t look particularly sharp on offense but the defense is rounding into form and they will get a test with Auburn’s spread offense.

LSU 47 – West Virginia 21: Coach Les Miles will not tell you his team is the best in the country, at least right now but his club expresses how they feel when they step on the field; the Tigers (4-0) can now add the Mountaineers (3-1) to he list (3)of Top 25 teams they have battered and beat-up. The Tigers thought they had TKO’d the host in the 1st half by jumping out to a 27-7 halftime lead. But West Virginia responded with two 3rd qtr TDs to cut the lead to 27-21 and get Nehlen Stadium fired-up. That was until they kicked-off after the 2nd of those touchdowns. LSU took the ensuing KO for a TD and then proceeded to add two more TDs in the 4th to stake their claim to being #1. Tiger QWB Jarrett Lee passed for 3 TDs and 180 yds and RB S. Ware ran for 92 yds on 23 carries. While WVU could not get much going on the ground (except at the end of the 2nd and into the 3rd qtr), their QB Geno Smith did throw for 463 yds & 2 TDs against a secondary that some think will send all four to the NFL one day. They did manage to pick Smith twice but he didn’t seem to be bothered much, he kept throwing & throwing. The Tigers will have to be careful not to have a let down as a down-trodden UK team comes to town Saturday. Last time they met and LSU was ranked #1, UK pulled off the upset, all be it in Lexington and not Baton Rouge.

Sep 27

A Patrick Towles and Austin Sheehan Update From the Highlands

Posted by: Ryan at 9:04 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Football

Check out this highlight video of Towles #8 and Sheehan #6 from this past Saturday as Highlands beat Cov Cath 42-37. The video shows us 3, count them, 3, Patrick Towles rushing touch downs and an 80 yard TD reception from Austin Sheehan.

Patrick Towles is on a roll this season thus far where he remains the leading passer in the Greater Cincinnati Tristate area, #1 of 170 QBs and is the leading passer in the entire state of Kentucky. He can also run the ball which you saw in the video, but check out the stats below:

Rushing:

31 carriers
216 total yards
8 rushing TDs
Average of 6 yards per carry.

Passing:

1384 total passing yards
14 passing TDs
60 of 102 for 59% completion rate
Average of 23 yards per completion

Fellow Kentucky commit Austin Sheehan isn’t a bad target for Towles either, in fact, he remains the leading receiver in the Greater Cincinnati Tristate area, #1 of 650 WRs, he’s also the #4 leading receiver in the entire state:

579 total receiving yards.
4 receiving TDs.
14 total receptions
Average of 41.35 yards per catch.
42% of Highlands total reception yards this year are by Sheehan
Sep 26

Madness Tickets Cattle Call At Memorial

Posted by: Ryan at 10:21 pm | Leave a Comment (1)
Category: Basketball

Sep 26

Joker On The Cats Preparation For #1 LSU

Posted by: Ryan at 4:25 pm | Leave a Comment (1)
Category: Football

Sep 26

Joker Wraps Up A Miserable Night In the Commonwealth

Posted by: Ryan at 8:40 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Football

Sep 23

Cats vs Gators Preview

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 10:27 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Football

Coming off of its first loss of the season, the Kentucky Wildcats (2-1) will host the Florida Gators (3-0, 1-0) this weekend. The Cats will be looking to find some semblance of an offense while trying to slow down a red hot Florida rushing attack that features two of the fastest players in college football in RBs Chris Rainey and Jeffery Demps. The Cats may have found a consistent receiving target (that can catch the ball) in E.J. Fields; he had 7 catches against Louisville last Saturday. The other problem for the passing attack is that Morgan Newton is not getting a whole lot of time in the pocket; he was under constant duress by the Cardinal’s “D”. That does not boast well for a ridiculed offensive line that must now face one of the fastest defenses in the SEC. The Gators are fresh off of a 10 point victory over Tennessee last week in the Swamp. The Gator’s “D” harassed Vol QB Tyler Bray all afternoon; not to mention the Gators stifled what had been a pretty effective ground game for Tennessee. New coach Will Muschamp has his defense flying to the ball and making plays from sideline to sideline. Meanwhile, he an new offensive coordinator, Charlie Weiss have simplified the offense game plan, putting more of an emphasis on running the ball, thereby taking some of the pressure off of QB John Brantley. UK’s defense has been pretty solid and they seem to play better in the 2nd half of games. The problem is they may want to play good in the 1st half this weekend because if not, the 2nd half could just be a formality. The Cats may need to consider playing 8 in the box early on just to force Brantley to pass more. They will have to be sure tacklers and force everything back to the middle of the field; Rainey and Demps are extremely dangerous if they can hit the corners and stay outside. In fact, the Cats will need to get their own running game cranked up to help alleviate the pressure off of the passing game; last week, the ground game was a non-factor. The Vegas’ odds have the Gators about a 3 touchdown favorite, even on the road. Joker Phillips has been pleased with how his team has practiced this week……….I say it is Florida 36 – Kentucky 17.

Sep 23

Coaches On the Hot Seat Already

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 8:59 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Football

Well we are headed toward the fourth weekend of the college football season and it is apparent that some teams are struggling to keep their head above water already. But while the team is struggling to stay afloat, it is the head coaches of these teams that are already sunk. Coaching is a position / job where you have to win, recruit and sell out the stadiums, all while staying within the NCAA guidelines if you want to keep your job. Well there are currently some big name coaches whose seat is hotter than a “bed of burning coals” and it goes to say that unless they can get their teams turned around in a hurry, they may be in the unemployment line, even if just for a little while. Let me take a trip around the nation and touch on some coaches who may be in their last season with their current school.

Rick Neuheisel at UCLA – Neuheisel is back at his alma mater for his 4th season now and it just seems as if his teams are underachieving every year. The Bruin faithful were hoping Rick could be the savior for a program that began to decline and was struggling to compete on the field and in recruiting with cross-town rival USC. While Neuhisel has managed to improve the recruiting aspect a bit, the fact is it has not translated to wins on the field. His three teams thus far have finished 4-8, 7-6 & 4-8 and he is currently off to a 1-2 start this season with a trip to Corvallis to play Oregon St. this weekend. The Bruins need a win in the worst way and I would even venture to say will need to finish at least at .500 or better overall and in conference to ensure he will return next season.

Mike Stoops at Arizona – Bob Stoops’ young brother was part of several great coaching staffs that compiled a winning percentage of almost 77% so it only stood to reason that when he took over the job in Tucson in 2004, the fans and the alumni were expecting to win. Well fast forward now and Stoops has an overall record of 40-45. He has posted 3 consecutive winning seasons (8-5) twice and then 7-6 last season but that has not stopped the grumblings about his job security. Arizona has not beaten an FBS opponent since before Halloween of 2010. They are 1-2 this season (lone win over an FCS opponent) and they will host Oregon this weekend. Some feel Stoops has earned more time but others feel like his window for success may be closing. It was thought his team may be a contender for the PAC-12 title but now they would be happy to just beat an opponent on the same level.

Mark Richt at Georgia – Mark Richt has had a pretty good career at Georgia and on a personal level the respect and admiration for him is as high as any coach in the SEC or the nation for that matter. But over the last couple of seasons, some of the bulldog faithful have started to come unglued with untimely losses and failed recruits, but nothing pushed the envelope like last seasons 6-7 (overall), 3-5 (SEC) record. Add to that this season’s 1-2 start (lone win over Coastal Carolina) and some say that rich may need to finish the season no worse than 9-3 to maintain his employment “between the hedges” in Athens. He is 96-34 over 10 seasons in Athens, two SEC Championships, (’02 & ’05) and yet it means absolutely nothing right now as the fans want to know “what have you done for us lately”. More importantly Rich is just 2-8 against the rival Gators and he could really use a victory over them this season.

Houston Nutt at Ole Miss – The Rebels are coming off of 4-8 season last year and are already under .500 at 1-2 this season (lone win over FCS, Southern Illinois); Saturday they will host Georgia and Mark Richt and it is safe to say that the lose of that game will undoubtedly be out of a job after the season. Ole Miss is coming off an absolutely stunning and embarrassing loss on the road at Vandy in which the offense only managed 1 TD. Nutt has not been able to out recruit cross-town rival Mississippi St. for in state talent and that is reason enough for concern around Oxford. The Rebels were not projected to contend this season but the opening season home loss to BYU (4th qtr. Cougar rally) rubbed some fans the wrong way. Six wins and a shot at bowl eligibility probably would have been sufficient for the year……….at 1-2 and staring at 1-3, it is not likely to happen at this point.

Ron Zook at Illinois – Surprisingly, Zook’s has cooled just a little but going into last season, he was where Mark Richt is now. Still all is not glorious in Champagne as the fans and alumni would like to see at least 8 wins this season and a finish in the top half of the Big 10. After last Saturday’s come back win over a ranked Arizona St. team, and the Big 10 seemingly not as strong outside of the Top 3 teams (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan St.) as was thought, the Illini have a great chance at coming thru with 8 wins and a high finish in the Big 10. But Zook need not get comfortable as we know how quick things can turn.