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SEC Basketball Headlines 11/24/2012

1. Louisville 84 – Missouri 61. 23 turnovers for the Tigers.  Center Alex Oriakhi. “We have a lot of work to do.” Suspended guard Mike Dixon takes to Twitter to defend himself.

2. Alabama 59 – Charleston Southern 46. Defense wins it as Alabama survives 1-for-16 stretch.

3. Kentucky 104 – Long Island 75. 60 points in the paint for John Calipari’s team. Coach expects point guard Ryan Harrow to return this weekend.

4. Georgia 54 – East Tennessee State 38. 63% from the field for the Bulldogs – best shooting night in almost two years.

5. Arizona State 83 – Arkansas 68. Razorbacks drop their first game of the season despite 29 points from BJ Young.

6. Ole Miss 91 – Lipscomb 45. Rebels get game-high 23 points from Murphy Holloway.

7. Florida 79 – UCF 66. Gators bench vs. UCF bench – 28-0.

8. Marist 50 – Vanderbilt 33. Worst offensive performance ever under coach Kevin Stallings.

9. “The sport of college basketball is now a dumpster fire.”

10. Morehead State coach Sean Woods gets one-game suspension for sideline conduct in game against Kentucky.

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Cats Host Vanderbilt in Home Finale

After claiming its fifth win of the season with a 49-21 win over Charleston Southern last Saturday, Kentucky returns to SEC play for its home finale. The Cats are seeking to become bowl eligible for a school-record fifth-consecutive season when they play host to Vanderbilt Saturday on Senior Day in Commonwealth Stadium.

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Kentucky Football: Some Questions For Joker Phillips

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Hey, Joker!  Don't you think we should be improving at this point in the season?

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James Crisp – AP

Hey, Joker! Don’t you think we should be improving at this point in the season?

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I watched the Kentucky Wildcats versus the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on Sunday.  After that review, I felt like Kentucky fans have rather more questions than answers after that game, so in a kind of “open letter” to head coach Joker Phillips, I am wondering a few things:

  • I understand that the defense is young, and as SEC defensive lines go, they are pretty small.  But how is it that Charleston Southern can push us around so much up front?  How long does it take for player to improve, at least incrementally?
  • Why are we repeatedly getting caught out of position on misdirection plays?  Twice, CSU threw back across the field for big plays, and Kentucky defenders were nowhere to be found.
  • Is it just me, or do we have absolutely no pass rush whatsoever?
  • At this point in the season, I think giving up 270 total yards to an FCS team is a real problem, don’t you? Please tell me the team just didn’t take CSU seriously.  I’ll accept that explanation for now.
  • What’s up with the play calling?  How many times did CSU obviously have their defensive backs in cover-0 and we didn’t audible to a vertical or a quick slant route?
  • Why three passes in a row in the second quarter when CSU had proven that they couldn’t stop the run?
  • How long does it take for a linebacker to learn to stay in his gap?  Danny Trevathan seems to get this, but none of the other linebackers do.  After 10 games, am I wrong to expect them to have figured out how to execute something this fundamental?
  • Why have we completely shelved the Wildcat?  I know we didn’t need it to win this game, but shouldn’t we be working on it just a little?
  • Matt Roark gets a one-game suspension after pleading guilty to a DUI in which he ran into a parked car and blew a .192 BAC, not to mention being under age?  I understand that “zero tolerance” is too tough, and I’m sure you are doing some other things, but don’t you think this is a bit … I don’t know, laissez-faire?
  • What’s going on with these in-game suspensions?  Don’t you think perhaps the team would be better served by suspending the player for the entire game and allowing their substitute to get the whole game to show why he deserves to play?  After all, I presume there is a reason you are suspending these guys at all.  Just askin’.
  • I saw some of the most passionate coaching out of you in this game.  Why did I have to wait until the tenth game of the season?  I’m sure it’s just a learning curve, but we do need to see that you care whether we win or lose, not just hear you say it.
I’m not mad at Phillips, and of course I don’t think he should be fired or even on any kind of a “hot seat.”  I just see some puzzling things.  To be fair, I saw puzzling things under Brooks, too, and other coaches as well.  And also to be fair, despite some minor discipline issues, UK is about as far as it is possible for an FBS program to be from Fulmer Cup (maybe we should rename it the Meyer cup now) consideration.
I’m sure many of you have questions, also.  I was disappointed that Kentucky’s defense looked so vulnerable against such a weak football team.  It would bother me less if the defense had showed improvement, but they seem to be making the same old errors over and over again.
Fortunately, the offense was humming along pretty well except for some inexplicable play calling at times.  Turnovers are still a serious problem, although the Mike Hartline interception was just an amazing one-handed grab by the defender. However, Hartline threw that ball on the wrong side of the receiver, so he probably deserved the pick.
Still, I am not pleased with what I saw on Saturday, and I’m sure most of you are equally unhappy with it.  I guess we can just chalk it up to a letdown, but we need a lot better on Saturday against the Commodores, because they could have easily beat this CSU team by similar margins and held them to less than two touchdowns.

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BBL: Basketball preview; football gets a sloppy win

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo)

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Big Blue Links for Sunday:


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Kentucky 49, Charleston Southern 21: Postmortem

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Kentucky's Donald Russell running for yardage.  On the day, Russell ran for 110 yards.

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James Crisp – AP

Kentucky’s Donald Russell running for yardage. On the day, Russell ran for 110 yards.

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The Kentucky Wildcats (5-5, 1-4) football team held serve today in their match-up with FCS opponent Charleston Southern (2-7, 0-4) with a 49-21 victory at Commonwealth Stadium.  The ‘Cats, once again without running back Derrick Locke and Raymond Sanders, still shredded the over-matched Buccaneers for 228 rush yards and five rushing touchdowns.

For the game particulars, follow me after the jump:

The ‘Cats put together several long plays this afternoon, here’s a rundown: A Donald Russell 25-yard touchdown run; a CoShik Williams 41-yard touchdown run; a Mike Hartline 53-yard touchdown pass to Chris Matthews; a Hartline 36-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb; a 47-yard Hartline pass to La’Rod King; a 27-yard Hartline pass to Cobb; and a 37-yard Hartline pass to Cobb.

Donald Russell, replacing the injured Raymond Sanders, who replaced the injured Derrick Locke, ran for a career-high 110 yards on only 10 carries (11.0 yards per carry).  Russell also scored two touchdowns.

Little-used fourth string running back CoShik Williams came up big today for the ‘Cats, running for 95 yards on 13 carries (7.3 ypc) and three touchdowns. 

Randall Cobb had yet another big day: Four catches for 101 yards (25.3 yards per reception) and one touchdown.

Wide receiver Chris Matthews also put up big numbers for UK, catching four passes for 92 yards (23.0 ypr) and one touchdown.

La’Rod King (one catch for 47 yards), tight end Jordan Aumiller (two catches for 23 yards), and uber-athlete Brian Adams (no, he didn’t sing but he did catch two passes for 10 yards) all helped in the Wildcat cause, although, Aumiller did fumble the ball at midfield after making a 15-yard reception (in Aumiller’s defense, it was a flush, helmet to ball hit)

UK quarterback Mike Hartline had an up and down day; at one point missing on six consecutive passes, then, completing seven in a row.  On the day, Hartline completed 15 of 24 passes (62.5%) for two touchdowns and one interception, which happened to come at the CSU goal line.

Morgan Newton took over the play-calling duties at the 10:58 mark of the fourth quarter, and had a nice 11-yard run to set up a Donald Russell 17-yard touchdown run.  Newton was 1-4 through the air for two yards.

Wildcat defensive standouts included the ferocious Danny Trevathan who had 13 tackles and one sack on the day.  Safety Winston Guy Jr. led the ‘Cats in tackles on the day with 16 (it’s never good, though, when the safety leads the team in tackles).  Corner back Martavious Neloms, coming off an injury, produced nine tackles and one sack.

Craig McIntosh, usually a very reliable kick-off man, today kicked the ball out-of-bounds, giving the Bucs the ball at their own 40 yard line.  And of course, CSU scored a touchdown off the UK miscue.  Kentucky also turned the ball over on downs at midfield, leading to a Buccaneers touchdown — The big play of the drive being a 37-yard reception by Gerald Stevenson. 

UK once again lost the turnover battle, this time 2-0.  That makes 18 Kentucky turnovers in the last seven games.  On a positive note, the UK defense did hold the Bucs to only five of 16 on third down conversions (31.3%), but the Bucs converted two fourth downs on two tries.

As a team, the Cats ran for 228 yards on the ground, good for an outstanding 8.4 yards per carry, while the defense held CSU to 140 yards on 2.9 yards per carry.  Kentucky’s offense produced 502 yards of offense to only 269 yards for CSU.

CSU, riding the arms of quarterbacks Andrew Trudnowski and Malcom Dixon, completed 15-18 passes (83.3%) for 129 yards and one touchdown.  Only three incompletion’s? … unacceptable.

All-Big South performer Gerald Stevenson was held in check for most of the afternoon (except for his 37-yard pass reception setting up a CSU TD) by the UK defense, gaining only nine yards on four carries and a touchdown, along with catching five passes for 68 yards (13.6 ypr).

The ‘Cats now sit at 5-5 with Vanderbilt – who took a major beat-down from the Florida Gators today — coming to Commonwealth next week, and two weeks later, UK travels to Knoxville in an attempt to do the seemingly impossible … send the Vols home unhappy.

Thanks for reading and Go ’Cats!

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Kentucky Cruises Against Charleston Southern

Mike Hartline finished with 272 yards and two touchdowns, and Kentucky pulled away from Charleston Southern 49-21 on Saturday. The Buccaneers tied Kentucky 14-14 with just less than 6 minutes left in the second quarter but Kentucky rallied with two touchdowns before halftime. Kentucky (5-5) won its 19th consecutive non-conference game, a streak dating back to 2006. Randall Cobb finished with 101 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Cobb has scored or passed for a touchdown in nine of Kentucky’s 10 games this season.

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Charleston Southern Buccaneers @ Kentucky Wildcats: Open Game Thread

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The Kentucky Wildcats enter the home stretch of their season today versus the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.  With three quarters of the season gone, the Wildcats are still two wins away from bowl eligibility and three away from a sure thing.  That’s not a nice place to be with only three games left.

Game particulars are as follows, courtesy of

Charleston Southern @ Kentucky
Game Notes UK Notes Get Acrobat Reader | UK Depth Chart Get Acrobat Reader
CSU Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Saturday, Nov. 6
12:30 p.m
Coverage TV: BBSN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio listen
Online Video via ESPN3 (subject to blackout)
Location Commonwealth Stadium
Lexington, Ky.
Gameday Information

This game represents an actual must-win for Kentucky.  Charleston Southern is an FCS school, and it would be a major upset if they were to come into Commonwealth Stadium and knock off Kentucky.

Late breaking bad news is that Derrick Locke will not be playing today, although he will be dressing.  It is very important that we get him back for the final two games of the season — Vanderbilt at home in Commonwealth, and Tennessee on the road in Knoxville — and we can only hope that this is his last game of the season on the bench.

Scheduling FCS school games are a sore spot with many fans of FBS schools, but they are found in almost every SEC schedule each and every year.  They obviously represent “guaranteed” wins (I use the parenthesis in memory of the 2007 Appalachian State upset of the Michigan Wolverines in the Big House), but they can also represent opportunities for younger players to improve and gain confidence.  Let’s hope that’s what happens today, particularly defensively, because the Wildcats need some improvement and confidence there.

Some interesting subplots also exist in this game:

  • Randall Cobb has an opportunity to use this game as a springboard to put him in position to break Tim Tebow’s SEC record for touchdowns scored if he chooses to return next year;
  • Mike Hartline having a big day here (400 yards) would keep him right in it for the #1 passer in the SEC.  Mallett Currently leads by 47 yards, but in 1 fewer game.
  • Danny Travathan currently leads the SEC in tackles with 10.8 per game.  He could solidify his All-SEC season with a big game today.

Finally, Kentucky needs to show it can play a game without turnovers.  Not only that, the Kentucky defense needs to really work hard to get turnovers.  UK started the year with a really positive turnover margin, but the last four games have turned that positive into a giant, hairy negative.

I myself will be doing the Breeder’s Cup thing today, but I’ll be checking in on the game when I get a chance.

Go, ‘Cats!

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SEC Game Day Headlines 11/6/2010 Part One

Florida at Vanderbilt

1. A sandwich game for the Gators.

2. The no-huddle, hurry-up offense has the Gators thinking good thoughts while Vandy tries to prepare for it.

3. The Commodores plan to face a trio of quarterbacks today.

Idaho State at Georgia

4. Why fans should applaud Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

5. The Bulldogs have a budding star in tight end Orson Charles.

Charleston Southern at Kentucky

6. Playing in another bowl game is the motivator for the Wildcats.

7. Maybe it will change today.  Kentucky’s backup QB’s haven’t seen much action this season.

Chattanooga at Auburn

8. Cam Newton: “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

9. A roundup of Friday’s developments here.

10. Jon Solomon: “Forgive me for not being outraged.”

11.  Ron Higgins: “Some dubious nonconference games today.”

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Week Ten On The SEC Hot List

It’s time for our regularly-schedule SEC stock check and we’ll once again keep things short and to the point.  Below you’ll find our most recent Hot List rankings as well as one sentence on each squad as they head into Saturday’s action.

Here goes…

The Hot List

1.  Auburn

The Tigers don’t have much to worry about with Chattanooga… but you can bet they’ve got plenty of other things on their minds.

2.  Alabama

The Crimson Tide and LSU have the two toughest defenses in the SEC.

3.  LSU

But Alabama’s got a more balanced offense and that should be the difference at Tiger Stadium tomorrow.

4.  Florida

The Gators’ rejiggered offense should have no trouble outscoring Vanderbilt.

5.  South Carolina

The Gamecocks will top Arkansas if Steve Spurrier pounds the ball with Marcus Lattimore on the ground.

6.  Mississippi State

The Bulldogs have a weekend off to mourn, regroup and try to steady themselves for a tough stretch run.

7.  Arkansas

Carolina might be tempted to attack the Hogs’ short corners, but the Razorbacks are 4th in the SEC in picks per pass attempt.

8.  Georgia

Dawg fans are howling and it’s likely Mark Richt’s squad takes out their frustrations on poor Idaho State.

9.  Kentucky

If UK somehow stumbles and falls to Charleston Southern, the Joker Phillips era could crumble before it ever really begins.

10.  Ole Miss

Not even the Rebels’ defense is bad enough to lose to Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Lafayette.

11.  Tennessee

The Vols need for Tyler Bray to smoke a horrible Memphis defense and put an end to UT’s quarterback controversy.

12.  Vanderbilt

No Warren Norman, Adam Smotherman or chance against Florida.

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UK Plays Host to Charleston Southern in Non-Conference Finale

After six consecutive Southeastern Conference games, Kentucky will take a break from league play when it plays host to Charleston Southern in the final non-conference game of the season.

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