Big Blue Links for Thursday:
Georgia has had its back to the wall before, writes Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. “Coming off a disappointing 6-7 season in 2010, the Bulldogs dropped their first two games in 2011 to Boise State and South Carolina. The temperature was high on Mark Richt’s seat, with Georgia’s head coach needing to find a way out of the situation he was in.”
Georgia’s quarterback is now a scout team safety, reports Chip Towers of the AJC. “Georgia’s Faton Bauta is working at safety in practice this week and that’s not a ruse, according to coach Mark Richt. In fact, Richt said the Bulldogs’ junior quarterback, coming off his first career start, actually volunteered to play safety on the scout team.”
Matthew Mitchell talks about the rash of departures in his program, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “The sky’s definitely not falling,” Matthew Mitchell told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday morning, a day after a third player parted ways with his women’s basketball program in as many weeks. “In fact, the sun’s coming up. There’s going to be some storms here and there, but I’m not concerned.”
Posted in SEC, UK basketball, UK football, UK hoops
Tagged Andy Buh, Brice Ramsey, Darnell Williams, Faton Bauta, Greyson Lambert, Harry Giles, John Calipari, Mark Richt, Matthew Mitchell, Mikel Horton, Shannon Dawson
SEC links for Thursday:
The NCAA has cleared Antonio Blakeney to play for LSU, reports Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate. “LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones said freshman guard Antonio Blakeney has been cleared play following an NCAA investigation into workout videos involving a personal trainer. Blakeney got the all-clear from the NCAA on Friday, just before LSU traveled to Shreveport for a Saturday scrimmage with TCU.”
Alabama and LSU are two powerhouses you can count on, writes Alex Scarborough of espn.com. “In the age of spread offenses, they’ve stayed focused on the line of scrimmage, the secondary and running the football. Since 2009, Alabama has had 47 total draft picks, of which the two most prevalent positions selected were defensive back (11) and offensive line (10). LSU, during the same period of time, has had 44 total draft picks, with 11 defensive backs and 11 defensive linemen leading the way. Both teams had seven running backs and five linebackers selected.”
Antonio Callaway on track for best freshman season in Florida history, reports Jesse Simonton of the Miami Herald. “Callaway has appeared almost weekly on SportsCenter, with notable highlights including a one-handed, 34-yard catch at Kentucky and a thrilling 63-yard touchdown-dash to upset Tennessee. He added a punt return score and another nifty, juggling one-handed snag versus LSU. And then, last Saturday, he showcased his athleticism again, snatching an off-balance, tiptoeing 66-yard touchdown against Georgia.”
For this week’s football podcast, I talked with Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader and Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph about Saturday’s Kentucky-Georgia Desperation Day game at Sanford Stadium, noon kickoff on the SEC Network.
Kentucky is coming off back-to-back blowout losses against Mississippi State and Tennessee. Georgia is coming off a 27-3 thumping by Florida at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. Plenty of UGA fans, and some media, are calling for Mark Richt’s job.
Wednesday was the defensive unit’s day to do Kentucky football’s post-practice interviews at the Nutter Training Center. That meant defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot took the podium first and reported that he would be in the coaches’ box upstairs for Saturday’s game at Georgia. For the first time since coming to Kentucky with head coach Mark Stoops, Eliot was upstairs for last week’s loss to Tennessee.
Also talked to linebacker Josh Forrest, who along with quarterback Patrick Towles called a players’ only meeting after the Tennessee loss. Forrest talked about the meeting and what the team hoped to get out of what was said at the meeting.
Apparently, Athens, Ga., is not a fun place to be this week. The Bulldogs are coming off a dispiriting 27-3 loss to Florida, causing many fans to call for the job of head coach Mark Richt. Alhough a two-touchdown favorite, Georgia brings a 5-3 record overall and a 3-3 conference mark into Saturday’s game with Kentucky.
Closer to home, you have to wonder what’s going on with the UK women’s basketball team. A third player in three weeks has left the program. Ranked No. 18 in pre-season, the Cats did pick up a top 10-caliber recruit Tuesday.
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
Despite a home loss to Ole Miss, Alabama appeared at No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings. That was more of a surprise than LSU being No. 2 in the initial poll. Clemson came in at No. 1 with defending national champion Ohio State at No. 3.
Meanwhile, Alabama and LSU prep for their Saturday night showdown in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has won the last four meetings, including a 20-13 overtime victory last season in Baton Rouge. Seven of the last nine games between the two teams have been decided by less than 10 points.
SEC links for Wednesday:
Four quick notes and four videos from Kentucky’s 117-58 win over Ottawa in an exhibition game at Rupp Arena on Monday night:
As Jerry Tipton reports, Kentucky basketball’s exhibition opener is not being televised. (It is available on SEC Network Plus.) This means this is the perfect opportunity for you to follow along via our basketball liveblog for the 7 p.m. tipoff at Rupp Arena.
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Big Blue Links are back:
Kentucky basketball’s first exhibition basketball game is viewable, but not on television, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. The game is available on SEC Network Plus. Jerry has the details.
Ottawa coach appreciates chance to play Kentucky, reports Tipton. “Ottawa University, which plays Kentucky on Monday night, is an NAIA school 54 miles southwest of Kansas City. It’s a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Baptist Church. And, not so coincidentally, it’s the alma mater of UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart.”
Georgia is discussing all possibilities at quarterback, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. The Bulldogs started junior Faton Bauta in the 27-3 loss to Florida last Saturday. Making his first college start, Bauta threw four interceptions. Georgia hosts Kentucky on Saturday.