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Kentucky, Texas A&M Blowout Non-Conference Opponents

postgame-links-150x1501Kentucky 48 – Alabama State 14. Video Highlights

1. That was a win Kentucky needed. It was the Wildcats’ first win in 56 days.

2. Kentucky hasn’t committed a turnover in four straight games. That’s a school record going back to 1946.

3. Writer John Clay: “If we didn’t know it before, we know now that Jalen Whitlow is Kentucky’s quarterback from here on out.”

4. Kentucky isn’t used to handling blowout wins. “We’ve got to learn to celebrate better.”

Texas A&M 57 – UTEP 7. Video Highlights

5. It was another big game for Johnny Manziel: He totaled 340 yards and six touchdowns.

6. Texas A&M got off to a slow start before it outscored UTEP 48-0 in the final three quarters.

7. Texas A&M still has work to do to improve. Coach Kevin Sumlin: “Our guys understand that we can be better than we were tonight.”

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SEC Headlines 10/8/2013

headlines-tue2-150x150SEC Football

1. What’s up with South Carolina’s defense?  Gamecocks have allowed 51 fourth-quarter points past three games – more points than any other SEC team has allowed in fourth quarter all season.

2. Has South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney hurt his draft stock? NFL executive: ”No one cares. He’s injured.”

3. Fourth quarter woes also an issue at Mississippi State.  Bulldogs have been outscored 49-17 in fourth quarter this year.

4. Arkansas has been outscored 27-0 in the fourth quarter in its three-game losing streak.

5. “I’m not sure any SEC team has been more embarrassed in victory than the Hogs’ 10-point home win over Samford.”

6. Help for Ole Miss comes in the form of the schedule.  Four of first five games on the road – next six are at home.

7. With Todd Gurley injured and Keith Marshall out for the season – big opportunity at Georgia for freshman J.J. Green who wasn’t even listed as a tailback when he enrolled in January.

8. Georgia coach Mark Richt on Missouri’s offense:  ”They’re really doing some great things.”

9. Mizzou running back Henry Josey on quarterback James Franklin: “We feed off him. He’s our quarterback and he’s the leader of the team.”

10. Florida hasn’t forgotten what happened two years ago at LSU – a 41-11 loss. “It was definitely a low point in most of our careers here.”

11. Last year, LSU receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. committed a key fumble in the Tigers 14-6 loss to the Gators. This year – he won’t do interviews before the game.

12. Why South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw would love to play Kentucky every week.

13. Alabama native and Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow preparing to face the Crimson Tide.  He was a high school teammate of Bama freshman O.J. Howard.

14. Is Alabama coach Nick Saban worried about a suspension trend? ”If players are committed to doing the right things, we won’t have those issues to deal with.”

15. Greg Doyel on charges surrounding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s suspension: “Alabama is in trouble — unless it’s not.”

16. With two more non-conference games left on the schedule, 4-1 Auburn has all but assured themselves of making a bowl this year.

17. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on Auburn: “It’s not like they don’t have great players there.”

18. On Saturday, Tennessee coach Butch Jones was playing Georgia.  On Monday night, he was speaking in Georgia.

Practice/Injury Reports

19. Arkansas cornerback Will Hines may not be done for the season after all.  Center Travis Swanson battling a knee injury.

20. Georgia running back Todd Gurley not practicing today.

21. Ole Miss defensive end C.J. Johnson is day-to-day with an ankle injury.

22. Alabama linebacker Denzel Devall has a knee injury but expected to play against Kentucky.

23. LSU sophomore Corey Thompson got the first start of his career against Mississippi State. Strong safety Craig Loston has a leg injury.

Media

24. ESPN”s Jeremy Schaap: “I find college football coaches are the prickliest of them all because often they’re kind of the emperors of their own domains.”

25. Peyton Manning - your junk food endorsements are making us fatter.

SEC Basketball

26. John Calipari: “Before I retire, I’d like to coach and undefeated team because they say it can’t be done.”

27. Documentary on Kentucky fans - The Sixth Man: Bluesanity - will premier later this month.  Watch a trailer here.

Extras

28. Falcons lose to the Jets , Braves lose to the Dodgers – worst night in Atlanta sports history?

29. What happened when then-Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen drafted wide receiver Mike Williams instead of DeMarcus Ware?  His son punched him.

30. That late touchdown by Ohio State Saturday against Northwestern?  Produced about a $100 million swing from bookies to bettors.

 

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Kentucky’s Stoops Says It Would Be “Reckless” To End The Cats’ QB Rotation

maxwell-smith-and-jalen-whitlow-black-jerseysMaxwell Smith is the dropback passer.  Jalen Whitlow is the dual-threat guy.  Neither has done a particularly scintillating job of commanding Kentucky’s offense.

For that reason, the quarterback merry-go-round in Lexington won’t stop until someone claims the starter’s gig once and for all.  According to head coach Mark Stoops:

 

“With the quarterback situation we need to continue to evaluate that, both guys struggled at times Saturday, that had to do with a great Florida defense and us not executing.  We will continue to look at that situation as we go forward…

We’re in a little bit of a quandary right now with what to do.  We’re going to try to give it to one person, give him the reps and see what he can do.  I think we need to do that.  It has not been clear-cut at this point; it would reckless for us to name one guy at this point because nobody has taken the job and we’re going to evaluate it this week…

We need to take one of these guys to take our team.  We just practice and practice every day, and play our games and hope one guy takes charge.  He hasn’t done that yet and I think like most people we feel the same frustration at times.”

 

A comparison of the two signal-callers to date:

 

  Quarterback   Comp-Att   Yds   TDs   INTs   Yds/Att   Rush Yds   Rush TDs
  Smith   44-of-76   634   4   1   8.3   -25   0
  Whitlow   33-of-50   321   1   1   6.4   169   2

 

Pick your poison, folks.  The Wildcats fell 24-7 to Florida last weekend.  This week they travel to South Carolina.  They’ll follow that up with a visit from Alabama.

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Good News For Kentucky: QB Smith Expected To Play Against Florida

maxwell-smith-passingWhen 1-2 Kentucky steps back onto the field next Saturday to try and snap the nation’s longest uninterrupted losing streak by one team to another, they should at least have quarterback Maxwell Smith healthy and ready to go.  The sophomore injured his throwing shoulder in UK’s 27-13 loss to Louisville last weekend.  Head coach Mark Stoops said after yesterday’s practice that he thinks Smith should be fine:

 

“He told me he was feeling good.  I mean, he didn’t throw any balls today, but he said he’s feeling good… Hopefully it’ll just be a few days, I would think.  Doesn’t seem like anything major.”

 

Smith said the same, telling reporters that he was “going to be fine, and I’ll be ready to go for our next opponent.”  The next opponent is Florida, a team that’s beaten the Cats in 26 consecutive years dating back to 1986.

On the year, Smith has completed 32-of-56 passes for 544 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.  Jalen Whitlow — the change-of-pace runner of the UK quarterbacks stables — has completed 28-of-44 passes for 286 yards with one score and one pick.

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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 9/14/2013

gameday-linksLouisville at Kentucky

1. Is this rivalry game in danger of ending after the current contract runs out in 2016?

2. Today’s game marks the beginning of a brutal stretch of games for Kentucky – four straight against top-20 teams.

3. Kentucky’s quarterback tandem of Max Smith and Jalen Whitlow rotated in and out 13 times in the first half last week – expect more of the same today.

Southern Miss at Arkansas

4. Razorbacks want to run the ball and control the clock.  Southern Miss is yet another no-huddle offense.

5. Just how good has the running back duo of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams been so far?   Collins leads the conference in rushing and Williams is third.

6. Southern Miss is the team that current Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson led to an 0-12 season a year ago.

 Tennessee at Oregon

7. Tennessee is on a 16-game losing streak against ranked opponents.  Last time they won against a ranked team, Lane Kiffin was the coach.

8. Expectations for the Vols?  ”A close defeat would be commendable. A win over the Ducks? Jones might have a street named after him in Knoxville before the team’s flight even lands back in town.”

9. Should Alabama lose today at Texas A&M today, Oregon is looking at this game as a chance to vault to No. 1 in the polls. (We’ll have out Gameday Links for Alabama/A&M coming up next).

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Both Smith And Whitlow Expected To Play QB In Kentucky’s Opener

uk-qbsHead coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown have made up their minds on who should run Kentucky’s new Air Raid offense.  Only it’s not just one guy, it’s two.

Stoops told The Lexington Herald-Leader yesterday that both Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow are likely to see action against Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky squad in 10 days.  According to the first-year Wildcat coach, “We haven’t made a decision on the starter yet.  We have narrowed it to two, and I think both of those guys will play in the first game; I know both of those guys will play in the first game.”

For their careers, here’s how the two QBs stack up:

 

  Player   Comp.   Att.   Yds.   Comp. %   TD   INT
  Smith   187   303   1794   61.7   12   8
  Whitlow   87   161   801   54.0   3   2

 

If you’re looking to categorize the two players, Smith would be the passer and Whitlow would be the runner.

And former Kentucky Mr. Football and fan favorite Patrick Towles would be the guy on the bench behind the other two.  “He’s got as much talent as any quarterback we have on campus,” Stoops said.  “But it’s just a matter of letting him grow into the situation a little bit.

If Smith, Whitlow or a combination of the two can hold down the fort for the Cats this season, Stoops added that Towles would be open to taking a redshirt this year.  Towles’ father was very much against a redshirt for his son last year as a true freshman.  All three UK signal-callers are sophomores this season.

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SEC Headlines 4/15/13

headlines-monSEC Football

1. Alabama receiver Kenny Bell – recovering from a broken leg – is motivated to become a better leader.

2. Crimson Tide running back Jalston Fowler has “a little ways to go” as he returns from a torn ACL.

3. Alabama will visit the White House Monday for the third time in the last four years.

4. Ellis Johnson is adding in some flexibility to his defense at Auburn.

5. Johnson and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee – 32 years apart in age – are learning from each other.

6. LSU coach Les Miles says the Tigers’ offense has continued to improve this spring.

7. Will former Ole Miss basketball player Murphy Holloway take a shot at playing football?

8. Texas A&M’s offense looks “solid” following Saturday’s spring game in College Station.

9. Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore is still expected to start at right tackle for Florida this fall.

10. Here’s an estimated look at Georgia’s offensive depth chart following spring practice.

11. Here’s a video of Kentucky coach Mark Stoops discussing the Wildcats’ defensive ends.

12. There’s more talk about quarterback Jalen Whitlow, who’s making a case to be Kentucky’s starting quarterback.

13. Tennessee needs more consistency from its secondary, which struggled badly in 2012.

14. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin: the 2013 Tennessean of the Year.

15. There’s more talk about Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who’s “just a different guy,” according to Gary Pinkel.

SEC Basketball

16. Patric Young returning could give Florida the nation’s best frontcourt next season.

17. Jordan McRae will return to Tennessee next season. The Vols could be a top 25 team if Jarnell Stokes does the same.

Extras

18. The NCAA office believes Miami is “grasping at straws” as it tries to have its case dismissed.

19. Wooden Award winner Trey Burke announced Sunday he will leave Michigan for the NBA.

20. Ohio State has title hopes for 2013. The Buckeyes will lean on quarterback Braxton Miller to lead them.

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WOW Headlines – 10/1/12

Kentucky QB Maxwell Smith out indefinitely with torn ligament in ankle…
True freshmen Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles will play for UK versus Mississippi State on Saturday
Alabama has lost backup RB Dee Hart and WR DeAndrew White for the season to knee injuries
Arkansas LB Ross Rasner says players to blame for Razorbacks’ collapse, not coaches
The SEC has five teams in this week’s Top 10 of the AP Poll and four of them play each other this weekend
#4 LSU will play #10 Florida in Gainesville
#5 Georgia will play #6 South Carolina in Columbia
ESPN’s “College GameDay” show will be in Columbia for Bulldogs versus Gamecocks
Keep up with news from across the SEC every day on MrSEC.com!

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UK QB Smith Out With Ankle Surgery; Freshman Towles To Play

Joker Phillips must feel that he’s being trailed by a black cloud these days.  Two plays into Saturday night’s game with South Carolina, quarterback Maxwell Smith — who Kentucky had built its up-tempo, passing game around — went down with an ankle injury.  Today, the severity of that injury was learned.

According to The Lexington Herald-Leader, Phillips said Smith (pictured at left) is out indefinitely after tearing a ligament in his left ankle.  Surgery will obviously be required.

On the bright side — at least for fans — they’ll be able to see “the next Tim Couch” in action on Saturday against Mississippi State.  In addition to true freshman signal-caller Jalen Whitlow who went in for Smith in UK’s 38-17 loss to Carolina, true freshman Patrick Towles will see action. Phillips said, “They’ll both play.”

As we noted last week, Towles was going to redshirt this season, even though fans, Towles and Towles’ father — who went to the press with his concerns — wanted to see what the Bluegrass State’s former Mr. Football could do.

On Saturday, everyone will find out.  And Phillips will hope all of the “next Couch” hype turns out to be true.

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