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SEC Power Poll Ballot: Week Ten

South Carolina
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A fan holds up a sign after South Carolina returned from Florida after South Carolina's 36-14 win over Florida in an NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, in Columbia, S.C. No. 17 South Carolina is heading to its first Southeastern Conference championship game after winning the East division. (AP Photo/The State, Kim Kim Foster-Tobin)

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Kim Kim Foster-Tobin – AP

about 6 hours ago:

A fan holds up a sign after South Carolina returned from Florida after South Carolina’s 36-14 win over Florida in an NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, in Columbia, S.C. No. 17 South Carolina is heading to its first Southeastern Conference championship game after winning the East division. (AP Photo/The State, Kim Kim Foster-Tobin)

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1. Auburn Tigers

2. LSU Tigers

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

4. Arkansas Razorbacks

5. South Carolina Gamecocks

6. Mississippi St. Bulldogs

7. Florida Gators

8. Georgia Bulldogs

9. Kentucky Wildcats

10. Tennessee Volunteers

11. Mississippi Rebels

12. Vanderbilt Commodores

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Vanderbilt Commodores 20, Kentucky Wildcats 38: Postmortem

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Larry Smith dominated the Wildcats in the first half.  Not so much in the second.

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Ed Reinke – AP

Larry Smith dominated the Wildcats in the first half. Not so much in the second.

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Today was Randall Cobb day in the the Bluegrass.  Thanks in large part to Cobb’s heroics, Kentucky is bowl eligible again and will not have a losing season.

Nice effort by the Vanderbilt Commodores, who dominated the first half in almost every conceivable way.  Fortunately for Kentucky, they were only able to visit the end zone once in the first half, instead of three.  As maligned (and rightly so) as Kentucky’s defense is, they did manage two critical stops that forced field goals.

The Commodores really came to play today, but the injuries and lack of depth took a toll that eventually had them worn down.  At that point, Cobb, Hartline & Co. took over the game and put up 28 points to Vanderbilt’s 7 in the second half.  Both the Kentucky offense and defense played much better in the second half, eventually burying the Commodores under a fusillade of points.

I know most Kentucky fans will join me in the frustration I feel toward this team.  They do the most senseless things, from drive-killing penalties to end-zone celebrations to dropped passes to fighting and getting ejected.  It’s just not what we are used to seeing, and I am not really enamored of this new “Catitude” that I have been seeing lately.  Kentucky has been whistled for a ton of personal fouls this year, and I am getting sick of it.

The good:

  • Mike Hartline.  He threw the ball very well, hitting receivers in the right places all day.  He threw maybe one bad ball all day, an back-footed pass to Cobb that almost got picked.  But overall, he was very good.
  • The Kentucky offense.  It was a tale of two halves for them, but overall, they got the job done in style.
  • Special teams.  The punting unit did a good, if not great job.  The kickoff team was pretty good overall.
  • Danny Trevathan.  He’s always good, and had 10 tackles again today, at least two of them were touchdown-saving.
  • Derrick Locke.  He got better as the game went on, culminating in an 83-yard touchdown run.

The bad:

  • The defensive secondary.  They allowed a non-passing team to rack up 198 yards on them.
  • Chris Matthews.  Yes, he caught a touchdown, but he was personally responsible for 40 yards in penalties and dropped a perfect pass.  He sometimes plays out of control, and today was one of those times.
  • Martavius Neloms.  Not only did he get beat repeatedly on defense, he lost his mind and punched a Vanderbilt player.  He is likely to be suspended for at least one game, and I wouldn’t be upset if he didn’t play again until the post-season, if there is one.
  • The fourth and goal play that Vandy stopped.  What the heck was that?
  • The defensive line.  This is a close call, as they played much better in the second half.  Still, it took them until the second half to bring any pressure, and they repeatedly got moved out of their gaps allowing many big plays.

The studly:

  • Randall Cobb.  Wow.  He took the game over in so many ways, it’s just hard to grasp.  279 total yards is an amazing statistic for any player, but Cobb’s diversity of skill is breathtaking.
  • Winston Guy Jr.  Guy’s performance wasn’t flawless, he made several mistakes in coverage and gave up some big yards.  But 18 tackles in a game is studly, and that’s why he gets mentioned in here.

Overall, it was a typical Kentucky performance — lousy first half, stellar second half.  I don’t get it, but I suppose we can’t complain about a convincing win even if we had to wait a whole half for Kentucky to take control.  I continue to be frustrated with the play of this team on both sides of the football, but they could have thrown in a clunker here and refused to do so, mostly due to the inspiring performance of Randall Cobb.

Next up, the Tennessee Volunteers, who own the longest winning streak in the NCAA against the ‘Cats.  As you might expect, they have suddenly emerged as a dangerous team due to the emergence of freshman quarterback Tyler Bray.  Bray tossed for 323 yards today against the Mississippi Rebels and the Vols blew them out 52-14.  This is the same Ole Miss team than handed UK a loss down in Oxford.

But that game is two weeks away.  Perhaps we can be ready to end the streak by then.

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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores: Notes on the ‘Cats and Commodores

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Kentucky's Mike Hartline will look to have a big day against the SEC's 10th ranked pass defense.

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James Crisp – AP

Kentucky’s Mike Hartline will look to have a big day against the SEC’s 10th ranked pass defense.

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The Kentucky Wildcats (5-5,1-5) will look to make it six victories in the last seven match-ups with the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-7, 1-5) this afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium (12:21 EST kickoff).  And as big games go, it does not get any bigger than this.  UK certainly does not want to go to Knoxville in two weeks looking to become bowl eligible … it’s much more prudent to take care of that distinction today.

With the Commodores now without their two top running threats (more on that later), Kentucky, playing at home on Senior Day, simply has no excuses.  If the ‘Cats are at all interested in ending a mildly disappointing season on a high note, today’s contest is one they absolutely must win.

The Commodores, on the other hand, will play their hardest to upset the Big Blue apple cart, something they successfully did only two years ago in Lexington in a 31-24 victory over UK. 

For the particulars on both Kentucky and Vandy, follow me after the jump:

Vanderbilt Personnel

Quarterback Larry Smith: 6-2, 220 lb junior — Smith has completed 96 of 194 passes (49.5%) for 1,058 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions.  He’s also rushed for 193 yards (359 positive yards) on 82 carries (2.4 yards per carry) and scored two rushing touchdowns.

Smith is a dual-threat quarterback the ‘Cats will try to force into throwing the ball. 

Running back Wesley Tate: 6-2, 220 lb freshman — Tate has 34 carries for 121 yards (3.6 ypc) on the year.

The Kentucky game will be Tate’s first collegiate start.

Running back Kennard Reeves: 6-0, 205 lb senior — Reeves has 26 carries for 77 yards (3.0 ypc) on the season.

Warren Norman, the usual starting RB is out (probably for the year) with a dislocated wrist.  Back-up RB Zac Stacey is also out (probably for the year); he sustained a head injury versus Florida last week.  Norman had rushed for 459 yards (6.0 ypc) and four touchdowns, while Stacey had accumulated 331 rushing yards (5.0 ypc) and three touchdowns.  The two were also pass catching threats, combining to make 20 catches for 142 yards on the year.  Norman also returned kick-offs: 22 returns for a 25.4 average.  Norman averaged 140.9 all-purpose yards per game.

Tight end Branden Barden: 6-5, 250 lb junior — Barden, the team’s leading receiver, has caught 24 passes for 281 yards (11.7 yards per reception) and three touchdowns.

If Barden gets matched up with a UK linebacker, watch out, he can eat up yardage.

Wide receiver John Cole: 5-11, 182 lb sophomore — The Somerset native has caught 17 passes for 224 yards (13.2 ypr) and one touchdown.  Cole has also returned 15 punts for a 7.5 average.

Wide receiver Jonathan Krause: 5-11, 168 lb freshman — Krause has made 15 receptions for 145 yards (9.7 ypr).

Wide receiver Udom Umoh: 6-0, 180 lb senior – Umoh, the Commodore’s long-ball threat, has made nine catches for 166 yards (18.4 yr) and two touchdowns.

Linebacker Chris Marve: 6-0, 20 lb junior — In eight games, Marve has 68 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.

Marve was named 2nd Team All-SEC after the 2009 season.  He’s listed on the following watch-lists: Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, and Lombardi Award.

Linebacker John Stokes: 6-5, 235 lb senior — Stokes has 59 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss.

Safety Sean Richardson: 6-2, 215 lb junior  – Richardson has made a team-leading 74 tackles.  He also has 6.5 tackles for loss and five pass breakups.

Defensive back Casey Hayward: 6-0, 185 lb junior — Hayward has 56 tackles, five interceptions and eight pass breakups.

Defensive tackle Rob Lohr 6-4, 235 lb sophomore — Lohr has 6.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 4.0 sacks.

Defensive end Tim Fugger: 6-4, 25 lb junior — Fugger ranks fourth nationally with four forced fumbles. 

Ball-carriers beware.

Commodore Results

Lost to: Northwestern 23-21; LSU 27-3; UConn 40-21; Georgia 43-0; South Carolina 21-7; Arkansas 49-14; Florida 55-14.

Beat: Ole Miss 28-14; Eastern Michigan 52-6.

Commodore Facts

Vandy has fumbled the ball 28 times this season, losing seven … The Commodores have been outscored 45-21 in the first quarter of games this year … The Vandy quarterback position is on pace to finish the year with less than a 50% completion rate for the third year in a row … Last year, UK’s Derrick Locke ran for a career-high 144 yards in the 24-13 Wildcat win … Florida held Vandy to only 109 total yards in the 55-14 Gator victory … In Vandy’s 28-14 week three win over Ole Miss, the ‘Dores held a 3-0 turnover advantage … Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett passed for 409 yards and three touchdowns in the 49-14 Razorback win over Vandy … South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns on 31-39 passing … SC running back Brian Maddox ran for 146 yards (6.1 ypc) in the Gamecocks 21-7 win … UK leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt 40-38-4 … In Lexington, the Commodores are 14-21-2 all-time.

Wildcat/Commodore Statistical Comparison (SEC rank in parenthesis)

Points per game: UK 34.4 (3), VU 17.8 (12)

Scoring defense: UK 29.8 (10), VU 30.9 (11)

Total offense: UK 427.7 (4), VU 267.0 (12)

Total defense: UK 341.7 (7), VU 421.3 (12)

Rush offense: UK 149.8 (8), VU 131.9 (10)

Rush defense: UK 176.3 (11), VU 180.1 (12)

Pass offense: UK 277.9 (2), VU 135.1 (12)

Pass defense: UK 165.4 (2), VU 241.2 (10)

Sacks by: UK 14 (11), VU 18 (9)

Sacks against: UK 13 (3), VU 25 (10)

3rd down conversion: UK 44.4% (5), VU 20.7% (12)

Opp’s 3rd down conversion: UK 38.7 (9), VU 38.0 (6)

TO margin: UK -4 (11), VU -2 (t9)

Red Zone scores: UK 35-41 (85%, 5th SEC), VU 13-17 (76.5%, t9th SEC)

Red Zone defense: UK 35-36 (97.2% 12th SEC), VU 30-37 (81.1%,7th SEC)

‘Cats & ‘Dores in the (SEC) Top Ten 


Mike Hartline: 2nd in passing average (267.4 yards per game); 3rd in total offense (264.0 ypg).

Randall Cobb: 2nd in receptions per game (6.3); 4th in receiving yards per game (78.3); 7th in touchdowns (11); 5th in punt return average (8.9 yards); 8th in kick-off return average (23.1 yards). 

Chris Matthews: 5th in receiving yards per game (71.5).

Ryan Tydlacka: 3rd in punting average (45.2 yards).

Danny Trevathan: 1st in tackles (110, 11.0 pg).

Winston Guy: 10th in tackles (73, 7.3 pg).


John Cole: 7th in punt return average (7.5 yards);1st in all-purpose yards (176.8 per game).

Richard Kent: 9th in punting average (41.7 yards).

Chris Marve: 5th in tackles (68, 8.5 pg)

Sean Richardson: 7th in tackles (74, 8.2 pg).

Casey Hayward: 1st in passes defended (13, eight pass breakups & five interceptions); 1st in interceptions (5).

Tim Fugger: 1st in forced fumbles (4).

** The latest reports suggest UK running back Derrick Locke will suit-up and see action today against Vanderbilt.

Thanks for reading and Go ‘Cats!

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ETSU Buccanneers 65, Kentucky Wildcats 88: Postmortem

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And then along came Jones ...

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Ed Reinke – AP

And then along came Jones …

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It’s basketball time in the Bluegrass!  The season has finally begun, and the Kentucky Wildcats faced off against a worthy foe in last year’s NCAA first-round opponent, the East Tennessee St. Buccaneers.

Congratulations to the Buccaneers for giving an excellent account of themselves and coming into Rupp Arena as fearless and determined as any team ever has.  ETSU has an outstanding coach in Murray Bartow (son of Gene Bartow, John Wooden’s successor at UCLA and former coach of UAB), and his experienced and talented players gave a strong performance against the young Kentucky Wildcats. But the Wildcats did not get the #1 recruiting class in the nation for nothing, and even though the Bucs were much more experienced, they were not as talented.  The result was a convincing Kentucky victory.

I must say that it is hard to judge teams when they shoot the ball as well as UK did.  The old axiom is that good shooting makes up for a bunch of mistakes, and that proved to be the case more often than not tonight.  It isn’t that the Wildcats played poorly — to the contrary, as a team they played very well, arguably their best game of the season so far.  But that does not mean that they played flawlessly.

For once, let’s take the observations in a good/not-so-good/so-so format.  First, the good:

  • Terrance Jones backed up an excellent performace against the Dillard Bleu Devils with an even better one tonight — a double-double in his first official game, 25 ponts, 12 rebounds 2 blocks 3 steals and a couple of assists.  No turnovers.  As they used to say in  Mortal Kombat, “flawless victory.”  Game ball.
  • Brandon Knight did exactly what he must do every game — take care of and distribute the basketball, and score when needed.
  • Doron Lamb just amazes me.  He is so quiet, so casual, and yet he will suddenly do something amazing.  The guy reminds me of Gerald Fitch — he seems to cruise along, and you look up and he has 20 points and 5 rebounds.
  • Nice work tonight by Josh Harrellson.  Despite having some foul difficulties, he did a lot of good, hard dirty work that we desperately need now that Kanter is not an option.  Forget his points.  He got some rebounds, 7 in limited minutes, and turned the ball over only once.
  • DeAndre Liggins led the team in assists with 6 and scored 14 points.  Overall, not a bad outing, but he only managed 3 rebounds.  We need more than that from him, and his defense was not as impressive as it has been.
  • How well did this team shoot?  Pretty well from 2, outstanding from 3.
  • 10 turnovers?  Did Kentucky ever manage so few last year?  I’ll have to think about that a long time …
  • Kentucky defended the three rather well.
  • Darius Miller had 11 rebounds.  That was the good.
  • 18 assists.  That was good.  Not great, but good.  This group of ‘Cats should rarely have fewer than 20.
  • 19 offensive rebounds?  I don’t feel like trying to calculate OR%, but that number looks pretty good to me.
  • ETSU got 7 points off turnovers, and UK got 15.  That’s good, not great.
  • From where I sat, I thought UK hustled pretty well tonight.  Several scums on the floor encouraged me, but we have to be stronger when we get rebounds.

The not-so-good:

  • Darius Miller disappeared in the second part of the first half, and John Calipari made him disappear for about 8 minutes in the second.  He has got to assert himself more on offense, and play better defense.  Overall, an unacceptably weak performance from UK’s leading returning scorer.
  • Eloy Vargas is out of shape, out of wind, and simply not a factor.  He has a long way to go to be able to contribute.  If he were not 6’10″ and 260#, he would have ridden the pine as long as Jarrod Polson.
  • Kentucky’s team defense was not good.  The ‘Cats gave up far too many easy shots, as evidenced by the fact that ETSU shot 50% in the first half.  On most nights, they would have been within single digits.
  • Free throw shooting has to improve, particularly Terrence Jones.
  • Only six steals? That could have been better.

The so-so:

  • The Dribble Drive was so-so.  It had its moments, but overall, I thought that Kentucky could have run it better.
  • Second chance points — 16-9 UK.  Not great.

Overall, this was a good effort by a young team against an experienced and athletic opponent.  I am very satisfied, overall, with how Kentucky performed.  Yes, the defense was not very good, but at this point in the season, it was about what I would expect.  I thought the rebounding, given our lack of real size, was quite satisfactory overall.

All in all, a good start.  This was not a victory that could be taken for granted, ETSU has been a tournament team the last two years and will likely be again this year.  It’s hard to be disappointed in a 23 point win against a team of that quality.

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Techno-rific: How Blogs Are Changing The Sports World

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In the final article of our series about the intersection of technology and sports, we will briefly examine in impact of weblogs (now known as “blogs”) on the sports world.

Many of you remember 1998, the title run by the Kentucky Wildcats that marked our third appearance in the National Finals in as many years, two of which resulted in the Wildcats being crowned national champions.  Many, if not most of us had Internet access back then, but in those days, sports content was limited mostly to the on-line presence of major publications.  There were a few sports-specific message boards and fan sites, but most of these bore little resemblance to the now-ubiquitous sports communities we see all over the Internet.

How different the fan experience was back then for the tech savvy!  You could not really share your feelings with the world, only the relative few inside your immediate circle of friends or family.  Sports information was something you had to purchase from stores, and the only real-time or near real-time sports delivery available was in the form of traditional broadcast media.  Local team coverage was spotty and relegated to a couple of call-in shows and five minutes during the broadcast sports report.  Reporting was a mile wide and an inch deep, with very few opportunities to examine statistical trends, hobnob with fellow dedicated fans, and even interact with the sportscasters who covered the teams themselves.

Enter the sports blog, which began to erupt on the scene in the early part of the decade.  They started off as mainly addenda to existing fan sites and message boards, but as interactive technology became more prevalent and less costly, the value of sports blogs began to be realized.  In-depth analysis, a check on traditional reporting which had too long been allowed to go unchallenged, and interactivity with passionate fan bases made sports blogs popular.  New interactive technologies such as AJAX and the wide availability of high-speed data made blogs more and more interactive.  Streaming video and audio round out the full multimedia experience, along with static photography and expert analysis.

As innovations such as Twitter and Facebook has been integrated into the back-ends of sports blogs, an amazing new trend has developed where you can get feedback on every major sports events from talented and experienced sports commentators as the story develops.  Now, as soon as somebody has an opinion and is able to darken a few pixels on the monitor, he or she can enlighten the world and create value to everyone who enjoys fandom.

Sports blogs not only deliver content themselves, but also direct users to other content and act as a meta-filter to help weed through the maze of the World Wide Web and focus on the most germane and intelligent content, helping users avoid the poorly-written, useless or mundane.  It also provides a forum for the users to interact not just with their fellow fans, but with the fans of other programs and even other nations on a scale would have been impossible only ten years ago.  Vast amounts of content and information can be condensed down into usable bits by skilled bloggers, and delivered for consumption by their readers.

Sports blogs are a relatively new phenomenon, but networks like SBNation, among others, are suddenly among the hotter properties on the Internet, and are growing by leaps and bounds.  Constant innovation is taking place to keep this budding industry growing and prospering, and as more and more people become “plugged in” to the experience, sports enjoyment is radically enhanced.  More fans are more in tune with their team than ever.

Think about then, and think about now.  What a difference a decade makes!

Which technology has most enhanced your Kentucky fan experience?

  40 votes | Results

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Kentucky Wildcats: Top O’ The Morning News

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Can Eloy Vargas replace Enes Kanter.  That and more when I speak with the guys at Unleash the Rage.

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James Crisp – AP

Can Eloy Vargas replace Enes Kanter. That and more when I speak with the guys at Unleash the Rage.

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Breakfast at the Internet Cafe.  Have a pot of coffee ready:

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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Charleston Southern Buccaneers: Notes on the Bucs and ‘Cats

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Kentucky's Randall Cobb stiff-arming the competition.

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Andy Lyons – Getty Images

Kentucky’s Randall Cobb stiff-arming the competition.

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Find Glenn’s UK versus Dillard basketball game “Postmortem” here.

The Kentucky Wildcats find their ship quickly taking on water.  After a hopeful start to the season, the ‘Cats have dropped five of their last six games, making their record a disappointing 4-5 overall, and 1-4 in the SEC.  The culprit?  Turnovers.  Fifteen of which the boys in blue have committed in the fateful six game stretch (all 15 miscues have been in the five losses).  Proving UK’s offense, while good, is not good enough to overcome defensive deficiencies and an abundance of turnovers.

Today, though, offers the Cats an opportunity to end the 2010 season on a high note, for FCS opponent Charleston Southern arrives in Lexington, leading off a three-game slate of contests the ‘Cats should be favored to win.  And with running back Derrick Locke‘s return – albeit, in a supporting role — which should aid an ailing Wildcat running game, the time is now for the ‘Cats to put past failures in the rear-view mirror, and focus on valuing the ball, and again, learning how to win.

For a look at the Buccaneers, as well as how some individual ‘Cats rank in the SEC, and other stats and stuff, follow me after the jump:

Charleston Southern Personnel

Quarterback Andrew Trudnowski: 6-4, 212 lb senior — Trudnowski is 75-144 (52.1%) through the air for 875 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.

Trudnowski took over the starting signal-caller spot for senior A.J. Toscano after Toscano tore his ACL in the Buc’s game with Gardner-Webb on October 9. 

Running back DeMarcus Moon: 5-10, 197 lb senior — Moon has carried the ball 95 times or 323 yards (3.4 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.

Running back B.J. Hackworth: 6-0, 240 lb junior — Hackworth has 31 rushing attempts for 151 yards (4.9ypc).

Wide receiver/running back Gerald Stevenson: 5-10, 165 lb senior — Stevenson has caught 43 passes for 643 yards (15.0 yards per reception) and two touchdowns.  The dual-threat has also ran the ball 33 times for 154 yards (4.7 ypc).  Stevenson also returns punts and kick-offs — Nine punt returns for a 10.1 average, and 12 kick returns for an outstanding 38.2 average and three touchdowns.  Stevenson averages 192.3 all-purpose yards per game.

Stevenson is an All-Big South performer and finds himself on not one, but two FCS watch-lists: Wide Receiver of the Year and Kick Returner of the Year.  If ‘Cat fans are looking for the player capable of beating UK, this is the guy.

Wide Receiver Kwame Krakue: 5-10, 178 lb senior — Krakue  has made 29 catches for 400 yards (13.8 ypr) and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver Anthony Chalmers: 6-2, 185 lb junior — Chalmers (no relation to Mario) has caught 20 passes for 258 yards (12.9 ypr) and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver Deon Lee: 6-1, 200 lb senior – Lee has snagged 20 passes for 247 yards (12.4 ypr) and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver James Nunley: 5-10, 178 lb freshman — Nunley has caught 14 passes for 207 yards (14.8 ypr) and two touchdowns.

Linebacker Chris Patrick: 6-0, 218 lb senior — Patrick leads the Bucs with 63 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 1.0 sacks.

Linebacker Fred Godfrey: 5-11, 225 lb senior — Godfrey has made 50 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

Buccaneer Notes

CSU averages 22.6 points per game, and gives up 37.4 … CSU averages only 89.9 rush yards per game, and gives up an average of 197.9 yards on the ground … CSU opponents are averaging 230.9 yards through the air … CSU averages 338.6 yards of total offense, and gives up 428.8 … The Bucs are a minus-5 in turnover margin … CSU has rushed for 105 yards on 60 attempts (1.7 ypc) over their last two games … CSU’s longest rush of the season is 22 yards by Gerald Stevenson … Stevenson also had 198 receiving yards versus Mars Hill … Defensive back Charles James had three interceptions against Liberty.

Wildcat Particulars

On the year, UK averages 141.1 rushing yards per game … Since Derrick Locke went down three games ago, the ‘Cats have averaged 70.3 rushing yards per game … The ‘Cats average 278.3 passing yards per game … UK is averaging 32.8 points per game … The ‘Cats are giving up 30.8 points per game … Kentucky is piling up the yards, averaging 419.4 total yards per game … They are also giving up the yards, allowing 180.3 rush yards per game … UK’s passing defense is a bit better, giving up only 169.4 yards through the air.

Top Ten ‘Cats

The following Kentucky football players rank in the SEC’s top ten in the noted categories:

Randall Cobb: 1st in receptions per game (6.6); 5th in receiving yards per game (75.8); 6th in points per game (7.1): 6th in punt return average (8.7); 7th in kick return average (23.6); and 2nd in all-purpose yards per game (179.9).  

Mike Hartline: 2nd in passing yards per game (266.9); 2nd in total passing yards (2,402); 3rd in total offense per game (263.1).

Chris Matthews: 5th in receptions per game (4.7); 6th in receiving yards per game (69.2).

Danny Trevathan: 1st in tackles (97, 10.8 pg) — No other Wildcat is in the top 20; 6th in tackles for loss (10.5); t4th in fumbles forced (3).

Ryan Tydlacka: 3rd in punting average (45.4).

Thanks for reading and Go ‘Cats!

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VBall Bulldogs Drop 3-1 Decision To Kentucky

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State got 12-kill performances by Caitlin Rance and Ashley Newsome Friday night but the Bulldogs came up on the short end of a 3-1 SEC volleyball decision to the Kentucky Wildcats. UK (14-11, 8-7 SEC) completed a season series sweep over State (11-14, 3-11 SEC) with the win, prevailing 25-17, 18-25, 25-19 and 25-18.

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Dillard Bleu Devils @ Kentucky Wildcats: Open Game Thread

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Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana is the home of the Bleu Devils (as in Bleu Cheese, or “Sacré bleu!”), who travel north to chilly Lexington and Rupp Arena tonight for a tilt with the Kentucky Wildcats.  As you no doubt know by now, former Wildcat Dale Brown, from nearby Pascagoula Mississippi, is in his third season has head basketball coach at DU.

Game particulars as follows, courtesy of

Dillard @ Kentucky
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Fri., Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: FS South/BBSN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio
Text Updates
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.

This is the final game of the exhibition season for Kentucky, and should be an interesting test.  The Bleu Devils play Dale Brown’s riff on the fast-paced, pressing style of the 1993 Kentucky Wildcats that he played when he was at his best.  It is a style sure to test the ballhandling of these young Wildcats, and since “toughness” has been the watchword around here since the Wildcats were out-gritted by Pikeville earlier in the week, we’ll see if John Calipari’s less tolerant approach to practice will pay dividends early.

Some of the things I’ll be watching for tonight:

  • Brandon Knight doing a better job of getting his teammates involved, and turn the ball over less;
  • Terrance Jones getting on the boards, and being more physical and less grabby;
  • Darius Miller being more assertive, more consistently;
  • Doron Lamb looking to get the ball to open teammates, and attacking the rim;
  • DeAndre Liggins keeping the intensity high all the time, not just after Calipari calls him out;
  • Eloy Vargas just playing better, and acting like he’s 6’10″ instead of 6’5″.
  • Josh Harrellson getting better position inside, and finishing plays;
  • Jon Hood and Stacey Poole stepping up and acting like they want to get some minutes;
  • Gang rebounding;
  • The whole team shooting the basketball better.

The ‘Cats didn’t distinguish themselves in their first game.  Now is the time for them to make up for it with a solid performance in their second and final exhibition outing.  Next Friday, the season begins officially, and Kentucky needs to place themselves on a trajectory of improvement that can be sustained, and get them where they need to be before the really big games come along.

Go, ‘Cats!

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