Big Blue Links for Monday:
Missouri slips in the polls, reports Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After the 9-6 win over Connecticut, the Tigers dropped three spots in the coaches’ poll (to No. 23) and three spots in the AP poll (to No. 25).
Missouri’s offense is searching for an identity, reports Joe Walljasper of the Columbia Daily Tribune. “Missouri’s problem is an offense that can’t score, kill time or even figure out what it wants to be. Last year, at least the last part of the equation was clear, as the Tigers wanted to pound Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy and take some shots down the field to Bud Sasser. This year, the coaches haven’t figured out how to gain yards with their running backs, or how to compensate for the lack of production from their running backs or how often to use Drew Lock in place of Maty Mauk.”
There were some Mizzou bright spots in ugly win, reports Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star. “It’s easy to watch Missouri struggle through a 9-6 win at home against Connecticut and assume there’s no chance at a third straight SEC East title. But how many people felt the same way after the Tigers lost to Indiana last season or in the wake of a 34-0 beating at the hands of Georgia?”
Kentucky’s coaches shoulder most of the blame for the loss to Florida, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “Everybody is just pressing,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said of the Kentucky offense. “You can see it in everybody’s eyes. Everybody wants to make a play so bad. And really what you’ve got to do in that situation is just relax, but it’s hard to do. It’s hard to do for everybody.”
UK volleyball shakes off slow start to beat Louisville, reports Jared Peck of the Herald-Leader. “The return of junior Anni Thomasson to the starting lineup and a 3-1 win (25-27, 25-18, 25-20, 25-23) Sunday at Memorial Coliseum over highly regarded rival Louisville gave the No. 24 Cats a three-game win streak and some confidence heading into SEC play.
Full house of recruits showed up for UK-Florida, reports Ben Roberts of NextCats. “It was a festive environment Saturday evening on the Commonwealth Stadium field, where most of the University of Kentucky’s football commitments gathered before the Wildcats’ game against Florida. Former UK quarterback Tim Couch hobnobbed with some of the recruits and had a lengthy conversation with Craig Yeast, the father of class of 2017 commitment Russ Yeast and Couch’s favorite target from their college days in Lexington.”
Florida’s defense was too tough, reports Josh Huff of the Kentucky Kernel. “Florida’s defensive line wreaked havoc on UK. It routinely played peekaboo with Towles, who was sacked six times. To add more misery to the outcome, Florida had 10 tackles for loss. The stats are so skewed that Towles rushed 8 times for negative 8 yards, and this even was after he had a 33-yard scramble in the 3rd quarter.”
Photo from UK-U of L volleyball by Amy Wallot/Herald-Leader