Big Blue Links for Thursday:
– Jen Smith of the Herald-Leader writes that UK’s defense figures to face a stern test from Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, you know, the guy dating Katherine Webb. McCarron has played in a ton of big games.
– Alabama’s Amari Cooper is trying to shake the injury bug. The star wide receiver has seen his production slip thanks to a nagging foot injury. “(Cooper) is a hard worker, a guy who wants to be good and do well,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “I think it’s very frustrating when you have something that’s nagging you that you can’t do things on a consistent basis like you’d like to do them.”
– Kyle Tucker of the C-J reports that UK quarterback Jalen Whitlow grew up Crimson-tied. Whitlow’s sister attends Alabama and helps out with football recruiting. And the quarterback says that back in Prattville 99.9 percent of the people are Alabama fans.
– A Sea of Blue thinks the comments made by Kelly Oubre, Sr. about one-and-dones and players being run off are a tempest in a teapot. Glenn Logan writes, “Mr. Oubre was explaining why he and his son thought that Kansas was a better fit for them, and one of those reasons is that he felt that Kansas was more friendly to a two or three year stay than Kentucky. That perception is of course wrong, but that’s not the same thing as construing his comments as an attack on Calipari.”
– Kentucky women’s road to the Final Four could be a short route. The NCAA awarded Memorial Coliseum first- and second-round games in the tournament come March.
– Alabama’s Blake Sims is making strides as future Crimson Tide quarterback. Sims saw plenty of action last week when the Tide rolled Georgia State 45-3.
– Tide center Chad Lindsay did well in his first start last week.
– Alex Forkner of the Kernel says that Kentucky needs to focus on confidence to do well against the top-ranked Tide on Saturday. He points out that the last UK quarterback to beat Alabama also wore No. 2.
– No. 1 Alabama is the end of a historic stretch for the Cats.
– Transcript of Mark Stoops and Neal Brown after Wednesday’s practice.
– The UK men’s soccer intro video:
Photo of AJ McCarron by David J. Phillip of AP.