Mark Story and myself talk about what we consider the most interesting aspects to Kentucky’s game Saturday with Vanderbilt.
After this afternoon’s practice, we the media got our final face-to-face with UK coach Mark Stoops before Saturday’s clash with the Commodores.
In this video, Stoops talked about how the move to a more physical practice on Fridays is working, if his team has been focused this week and the play of his linebackers.
Jennifer Smith has the full transcript of all Stoops’ post-practice remarks.
College football games on television Thursday night:
- 7:30 – Applachian State at Georgia Southern (ESPNU)
- 7:30 – Texas Tech at Oklahoma State (ESPN)
- 8:00 – Missouri Western at Lindenwood (CBS Sports)
- 10:00 – UCLA at Arizona State (Fox Sports 1)
After practice on Wednesday, UK big man Matt Elam told the media he is not as big as he once was — going from 390 pounds to 360 pounds.
Scottsdale, Arizona police have released the raw surveillance video of Rex Chapman at a local Apple store on several occasions. Chapman was arrested last week on charges of shoplifting.
Former Florida great Emmitt Smith has apologized to the Gators for his tweet during last Saturday’s game saying quarterback Jeff Driskel should be benched.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that Smith had called to apologize for a tweet that read “Put Jeff Driskel on the bench. I’ve seen enough.”
“Emmitt called to apologize. To me, to Jeff Driskel and our football team,” Muschamp said, according to the Gainesville Sun. “He was frustrated. He wants us to win. He wants us to be successful. He’s a great Gator. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. And I appreciate Emmitt calling and saying the things he said, I really do. He’s a class individual, and he’s about all the right things.”
Driskel completed just nine of 28 passes for 93 yards in the Gators’ 42-21 loss at Alabama.
John Infante of the Bylaw Blog reports that the NCAA has a new, lesser penalty for athletes who test positive for “street drugs” and that a notice has been sent to schools that it may be applied to tests taken before the new penalty.
Back in April, the NCAA passed legislation that reduces the penalty from a year’s suspension to a suspension of 50 percent of a player’s season.
Schools must submit a request to the NCAA concerning making a particular player’s penalty retroactive.
Infante mentions Mitch McGary, the former Michigan center who despite not playing in the NCAA Tournament because of injury, tested positive and elected to go pro rather than sit out the season.
“The decision to re-evaluate old penalties under the new standard is the correct one, but the McGary case highlights that the legislation should have been drafted better,” Infante writes. “The NCAA should have assumed that universities and athletes who were currently facing year-long suspensions would want them reduced to the new, shorter penalty.”
Self told Andy Katz for an ESPNU podcast he doesn’t think Coach K gets much of an advantage, and if he does, more power to him.
“When you recruit against Duke and Coach K, that’s hard enough. Throw in USA Basketball, and that’s a big deal,” Self said. “But I know this. We all look for edges and angles to get as much exposure for our programs as possible.”
Self pointed out that Kansas is representing the U.S. in the World University Games in South Korea in 2015, and he said he is using that in recruiting.
Big Blue Links for Thursday:
- Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader writes on offensive lineman Cole Mosier, a now former walk-on who has proved invaluable for the Cats.
- Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason calls Kentucky “tremendously explosive,” reports the H-L.
- A Sea of Blue says look for some potentially explosive plays this Saturday.
- My column is on how Kentucky’s current 17-game SEC losing streak stacks up against other such conference streaks. The current Cats are tied with the Cats of the John Ray days for longest in school history.
- Kentucky preparing for unique Vanderbilt challenge, writes Guy Ramsey of Cat Scratches. If not in talent, the Commodores look a lot like Stanford.
- Vandy will test UK’s improving offensive line, reports Alex Forkner of Cats Illustrated.
- Stopping the run is No. 1 for Kentucky defense, reports Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal.
- UK basketball target Antonio Blakeney meets with John Calipari, reports Ben Roberts of Next Cats.
- The Phoenix Suns have scored big with Eric Bledsoe signing, writes Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic.
- UK women’s basketball announces additional television games, reports Smith.
- Anchor of Gold gives a primer on Kentucky football.
- Vanderbilt aims to improve its third-down defense, reports the Tennessean.
SEC links for Thursday:
- Mark Bradley thinks Tennessee is going to upset somebody, just not Georgia on Saturday. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera is enjoying a breakout season. [Columbus Ledger-Enquirer]
- Tennessee defense is eager to face Georgia’s Todd Gurley. The two teams meet Saturday. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]
- Arkansas will definitely test Texas A&M’s run defense on Saturday. The Razorbacks have twice rushed for 400+ yards in a game this year. [ESPN]
- Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen is making an impact with his feet. [Arkansas News]
- Philip Lutzenkirchen’s father wants lessons learned from son’s death. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- Auburn coach Gus Malzahn thinks his quarterback, Nick Marshall, is the best in the country with game on line. [AL.com]
- Brandon Harris has closed the gap, but Anthony Jennings is still likely to start at quarterback for LSU. [The Advocate]
- South Carolina’s players are taking Steve Spurrier’s criticisms in stride. [The State]
- Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett unfazed by miss against South Carolina last season. [Kansas City Star]