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Kentucky Offers Receiver Foreman

Has Kentucky found the next Randall Cobb?

That’s probably a reach considering what the Green Bay Packers wide receiver accomplished during his three years in Lexington. But that connection will be made now that Kentucky has offered wide receiver Malik Foreman from Kingsport (Tenn.) Dobyns-Bennett High School, which is about two hours away from Cobb’s Alcoa High School.

Kentucky is the first school from a BCS conference to offer Foreman.

“It was really exciting,” Foreman told 247Sports. “I didn’t really expect it. It was crazy. I had been talking to them but they hadn’t given an indication that they were going to offer. Then I got the letter in the mail and the coach called me and everything.

Foreman has yet to visit Kentucky but plans to do so in the near future. He visited Vanderbilt last weekend to watch the Commodores play Florida.

Vanderbilt hasn’t offered Foreman but has indicated an official invitation could be coming soon.

“They said they were pretty close to offering but I needed to go sit down with the head coach and he needed to get to know me,” Foreman said.

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SEC Headlines 9/30/2012

1. Early look ahead at next week in the SEC.  Georgia heads to South Carolina in a battle of Top 10 undefeated heavyweights.

2. Ron Morris on South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore – “seems to do his dirty work best in the second half of games.”

3. Victory number 5 for the Georgia Bulldogs – “Smack at the intersection of the Sun Belt Conference and a Marx Brothers movie.”

4. Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo returned from their four-game suspensions to contribute to the win over Tennessee.

5. Stewart Mandel: “(T)here was no shortage of missed tackles or blown assignments in No. 5 Georgia’s 51-44 win over Tennessee.”

6. Chris Bahn on the meltdown at Arkansas: “They’re headed for the greatest collapse of the BCS era.”

7. Good idea to not run on the field during a game.

8. For Mizzou’s Sheldon Richardson, Kentucky’s Larry Warford and Georgia’s Sanders Commings – their draft stock is rising.

9. This 4-0 start for Florida is a lot different than last year - in a good way.

10. What’s up with the LSU quarterback? “Mettenberger appears to be regressing…”

11. How Alabama’s defense plays mind games with the opponent.

12. Kentucky freshman quarterback Jalen Whitlow draws comparisons to Randall Cobb.

13. Are critical fans not allowed on Joker Phillips’ radio show?

14. Is Vanderbilt coach James Franklin worried about his incoming freshmen class jumping ship? “To me, three years from now if we’re in this position (1-3 record), then I’d be worried.”

15. Alabama’s 1992 national championship team honored before Saturday night’s game against Ole Miss.

16. Missouri assistant basketball coach Rick Carter on different styles of play: “Obviously, the Big Ten is known for tough, physical, low-scoring, defensive basketball. … The SEC’s more of a fun brand of basketball — get up and down, score a lot of points.”

Extra

17. California becomes the first state in the country to mandate financial protection for student-athletes who suffer career-ending injuries.

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SEC Stat Analysis: Quick Strike Offense (Final)

With the 2011 regular season in the rear view — how hard is that to believe — we wanted to look back at some of our favorite stats to see who did what and who did it best this fall.  Here we’ll look at a stat we call Quick Strike Offense.

While Quick Strike Offense has the word “offense” right there in the title — because it has to do with scoring — it’s actually a measure of a whole team’s ability to score.  Good special teams units and strong defenses aid an offense in its pursuit of points.  So what you’ll find below is a list from best to worst of each SEC team’s touchdowns-to-offensive snaps ratio.  The lower the ratio of plays to touchdowns, the easier time the team had scoring.

Two teams in the league scored a touchdown once every 15 offensive snaps.  Three others ran more than 40 plays between TDs.  Below… the 2011 Quick Strike rankings (conference games only, including SEC Championship Game):

School (SEC Record) Touchdowns Plays Plays/TD
LSU (9-0) 40 562 14.1
Alabama (7-1) 34 522 15.4
Arkansas (6-2) 32 516 16.1
S. Carolina (6-2) 28 551 19.7
Vanderbilt (2-6) 23 507 22.0
Georgia (7-2) 27 675 25.0
Auburn (4-4) 20 513 25.7
Florida (3-5) 17 470 27.6
Miss. State (2-6) 17 526 30.9
Tennessee (1-7) 11 492 44.7
Ole Miss (0-8) 11 515 46.8
Kentucky (2-6) 10 513 51.3

Notes:

* LSU was solid on offense, but a suffocating defense and a big play special teams unit help making scoring easy.  Who would have thought going into the season that the Tigers would score touchdowns every 14 plays?

* The top four teams in the league were a combined 28-5 in SEC contests.  Toss in #6 Georgia and that record goes to 35-7.  But Vanderbilt — with its 2-6 league record — is clearly the exception to the rule.  The Commodores could score touchdowns, but they hit only two field goals all season in SEC play.

* The bottom four teams in this category were a combined 5-27 in league games.  Poor Kentucky — minus Randall Cobb and a quality quarterback for much of the year — managed a touchdown just once every 51 plays in SEC contests.

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MSU, UK Win – In Very Different Fashions – One Opening Night

The college football season is underway and a pair of SEC teams already have wins under their belts.  But they sure got those win in very different ways.


Mississippi State 59, Memphis 14

Quick Take:  No one should get too carried away with a win over miserable Memphis, but State fans have reason to smile this morning.  Vick Ballard ran for 166 yards and three TDs while Chris Relf threw for 202 yards and a pair of long, beautiful scoring strikes… all in just three quarters of action.  It was a feel-good start for a program that’s been doing a lot of feeling good since Dan Mullen arrived.

Relf, Ballard sine as MSU offense picks up where it left off

Mississippi State rolls past Memphis

Mullen dwells on “teaching moments” after easy win


Bulldogs Notebook: Defensive youngsters litter field for State

Mississippi State: Talking points from Memphis win



Kentucky 14, Western Kentucky 3

Quick Take:  Does the word “retch” mean anything to you?  There’s not much to be gained by scheduling teams from the FCS-level or the bottom of the FBS-level.  While UK’s defense did the job, there’s the obvious caveat of: Yeah, but it was against one of the 10 worst teams in the country.  But there was no way to spin any positives out of UK’s offensive performance.  Where have you gone, Randall Cobb?  Heck, where have you gone Mike Hartline?  (Kudos to the less than 25,000 fans who showed up to watch such a boring football game.)

Kentucky football overcomes WKU 14-3

Kentucky struggles past WKU in season opener

Kentucky wins, but not the way it expected


Well, at least it was a Kentucky win

“It’s better to be 1-0 than 0-1″

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SEC Game Projections For Thursday 9/1/11

There are two games on the schedule tonight and below is a quick look at each:


Mississippi State at Memphis
8:00pm ET on SportSouth

Why It Matters:  MSU wants to keep last season’s forward momentum rolling forward.  A rebuilding team like Memphis can’t be allowed to become any kind of speedbump.

What Vegas Says:  MSU by 31

What We Say:  It’s hard to imagine Dan Mullen’s club improving on a 9-4 mark in the brutal SEC West, but there’ll be backsliding tonight.

Prediction:  MSU 38, Memphis 13

Fired-up Bulldogs open tonight

Dogs’ attitude adjustment in full bloom in Starkville

Mullen has built expectations in Starkville



Kentucky vs Western Kentucky in Nashville, TN
9:15pm ET on ESPNU

Why It Matters:  Joker Phillips needs to win over some fans in Year Two.  That means beating all of the Cats’ non-conference patsies.

What Vegas Says:  UK by 18

What We Say:  The Wildcats shouldn’t miss Mike Hartline, Derrick Locke or even Randall Cobb against at Hilltopper defense that held only three teams below 27 points last year.

Prediction:  Kentucky 49, WKU 17

Kentucky football hoping change is for the better on opening night


Kentucky defenders passing on co-defensive coordinator Rick Minter’s “class”

Youth will be served but Kentucky needs time to grow

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King Ready To Be UK’s Go-To Guy

Last year, the Kentucky offense was a 1-2 punch of Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb.  If one didn’t have the ball in his hands, chances were, the other one did.

With both Cobb and Locke gone in 2011, the Cats will be looking for a new point-person on offense.  Receiver La’Rod King tells The Louisville Courier-Journal that he’s ready to be that guy:


“I’m still kind of a young guy, but now I feel like I have the most experience game-wise.  So I know what to do in pressure situations, and I know what to do when we hit adversity…

“It’s not pressure, it’s more expectations. … I don’t want to be labeled as a #1 receiver, I just want to be a go-to guy.  If you need a play, I’ll be that guy.”


The 6-4 receiver caught 36 balls last year for 478 yards and five touchdowns.

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SEC Headlines 7/4/2011

1. Mother of Auburn freshman receiver Quan Bray shot and killed. Player and coach reaction.

2. When it comes to Auburn’s QB this fall, it’s back to Plan A. More here.

3. Alabama’s top pro prospect?

4. David Climer: “The events of last week prove that there is much, much more to James Franklin than a firm handshake and effervescent personality. He not only talks a good game; he also recruits a good game.”

5. John Adams: “At the risk of sounding provincial, I’m starting to wonder if the SEC has outgrown the NCAA.”

6. A South Carolina preview of Tennessee football.

7. An LSU preview of Mississippi State

8. Former Kentucky star Randall Cobb returns to his hometown.

9. When he was on the other sideline, Will Muschamp knew how to play defense against the Florida Gators.

10. An early look at Florida vs. Florida State and what some preseason magazines are saying about the Florida teams.

11. Potential impact freshman in the SEC.

Happy 4th of July!

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SEC Headlines – 3/11/11/ Part Two

1.  Starting their SEC tourney run tonight, Florida’s senior class has come a long way.

2.  Erving Walker believes not having to win the tourney to reach the NCAAs will help this year’s squad.

3.  This writer says it won’t be tough for Florida to beat Tennessee for the third time this season because the Gators are the better team.

4.  Georgia’s Alec Ogletree is ready to be a playmaker at linebacker.

5.  Caleb King is back in the tailback mix in Athens.

6.  Trey Thompkins is putting his best (healthy) feet forward in Atlanta.

7.  Today’s game with Alabama could be an NCAA play-in game.

8.  Kentucky’s rematch with Ole Miss today figures to be physical.

9.  John Calipari says the Rebels “match up athletically” with his Cats.

10.  Randall Cobb had a “pretty good” day at UK’s Pro Day yesterday. 

11.  South Carolina’s season ended yesterday… and a scoring drought lasting 7:31 did the trick.

12.  Darrin Horn once again blames youth for his team’s woes.

13.  Mike Slive says his decision to suspend Bruce Pearl for eight games was “the right decision for our league.”

14.  Tennessee got a big lead on Arkansas last night, then “relaxed” and almost blew it.

15.  This writer says Florida has a better starting lineup, but the Vols have a deeper bench.

16.  Vanderbilt got past LSU without leading scorer John Jenkins and his status is “questionable or uncertain” for tonight’s game. 

17.  Jenkins says he’ll “try to come back and play” despite a turf toe injury.

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SEC Headlines – 1/14/11 Part Two

1.  ESPN basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes believes the three best teams in the SEC are Kentucky, then Georgia and Vanderbilt.

2.  How might the stars — and I use that term loosely — of Florida’s 2010 offense be worked into Charlie Weis’ pro-style system?

3.  Urban Meyer says “the Gators are going to get better” under Will Muschamp.

4.  Georgia linebacker Justin Houston has until tomorrow night to declare for the NFL draft.

5.  Here’s an early look at UGA’s 2011 offensive line.

6.  Trey Thompkins is leading the Dawgs’ basketball resurgence.

7.  Randall Cobb’s many talents will be difficult for Kentucky to replace next season.

8.  Wildcat linebacker Danny Trevathan will return to Lexington for his senior season.

9.  John Calipari wants his team to put aside individual goals and make a “commitment to win.”  (The Cats are 13-3.)

10.  UK’s lack of depth puts a lot of pressure on big man Eloy Vargas.

11.  South Carolina’s offense has to come from its defense.  (Pay site.)

12.  ESPN’s “GameDay” crew will be in Knoxville for tomorrow’s Tennessee-Vanderbilt game.  (Think Bruce Pearl’s situation might come up?)

13.  Struggling against three-point gunners, the Vols will now have to face Vandy’s John Jenkins.

14.  Festus Ezeli has been coming up big for the Commodores.

15.  This writer says Ezeli is putting up “AJ Ogilvy-type numbers — without all the drama.”

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UK’s Cobb Turns Pro Early

Kentucky’s Mr. Everything is taking his skills to the next level.  Receiver/returner/quarterback Randall Cobb announced today that he will leave Lexington and head to the NFL a year early.

One draft analyst told The Lexington Herald-Leader that Cobb could “be as high as a late-second- or third-round pick because of his multiple talents.” 

Late second- or third-round is nice, but it’s not “leave school early” nice.  But Cobb has a history of noticing the lack of fan support for UK’s football team and it’s likely he didn’t feel like going through what looks to be another mediocre year with in a stadium that filled with people who are thinking about basketball.

But without Cobb — and departing senior Derrick Locke — Joker Phillips will be losing two of his best offensive and special teams weapons.  Mediocre in 2011 might actually be a high-end estimate.

Cobb led the SEC with 79 catches for 955 yards and 7 touchdowns this past fall.  He set a league record with 2,396 all-purpose yards in 2010.  he scored a total of 16 touchdowns four different ways.

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