Category Archives: UK Football

UK Sports – Six New Football Wildcats Enroll

Four High School Graduates, Two Transfers From Nebraska Join UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Six new Wildcats have enrolled at the University of Kentucky and joined the Wildcat football program, Coach Mark Stoops announced Wednesday.

The mid-year enrollees are four high school stars who graduated in DecemUK Change the Gameber – offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei, tight end C.J. Conrad, defensive end Kengera Daniel and linebacker Jordan Jones – along with a pair of transfers from the University of Nebraska, tight end Greg Hart and linebacker Courtney Love.

All six players will count toward the 2015 signing class. They will go through the off-season high performance program and participate in spring practice.

George Asafo-Adjei, Offensive Lineman, 6-5, 315, Fr-HS, West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) –Physical offensive line prospect who brings SEC size to the Bluegrass out of Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio … Two-year starter on the offensive line and also played some on the defense line … Four-star prospect by 247sports.com and three-star player by Scout.com, Rivals.com and ESPN.com … Scout.com ranks him  the 27th-best offensive guard in the class of 2015 and the second best in the state of Ohio … Rivals.com and 247Sports.com rank him the No. 21 overall prospect in the state of Ohio … Scout.com says he is a “natural bender with the ability to pull and reach his target while keeping balance and getting great explosion from the hips along with his physical size and strength to overpower defenders” … Was a 2014 All-Ohio first-team selection … First-team All-Southwest Ohio in 2013 and 2014 … Also first-team Greater Miami Conference … Participated in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in January 2015 after being named a Semper Fidelis All-American … Named the Anthony Munoz Foundation Offensive Lineman of the Year this past season … Blocking helped guide Lakota West to the Elite 8 of the state playoffs as a senior, the best finish in school history … His pass protection helped the team shatter the school’s single-season passing record in 2014 … Coached by Larry Cox … “George’s success had a direct correlation with his character,” Cox said.  “As great a football player he is, he is an even better human being. He is the hardest worker and strongest player we have had here in this program and that is broad ranging because I have players that have started for Texas, Alabama and Ohio State. He has only been playing football since his freshman season and has just scratched the surface of his potential. The sky is the limit for him and it has been very rewarding for me to see him go from a first-time player his freshman season to a High School All-American” … Asafo-Adjei will rejoin former Lakota West teammates Mikel Horton and Kyle Meadows at UK … Also wrestled in high school one season, winning several varsity meets … Chose Kentucky over Louisville, Florida, Ohio State and Nebraska.

Personal: Born in the Bronx, N.Y. … Last name pronounced “ah-SAH-fo ah-JAY” … Son of Kate Boadi … Major is undecided.

 

Coach Stoops says: “George is an extremely physical player and has the stature you look for in an offensive lineman. He’s also very athletic for a player his size.”

 

C.J. Conrad, Tight End, 6-5, 245, Fr-HS, LaGrange, Ohio (Keystone) – An athletic and explosive tight end … A four-star prospect by Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … Three-star player by ESPN.com … Considered by all four services to be one of the best tight end prospects in the nation, including ranked seventh by Scout.com, who says he “naturally catches the football well and tracks it and adjusts to passes” … Helped lead his team to a conference championship in 2013, the first for the school since 1971 … In 2014, Keystone went 8-2 and qualified for the Division IV playoffs for the first time in school history … Lettered all four years and on top of playing tight end also played free safety, defensive end and split end his freshman and sophomore seasons … Started varsity midway through his freshman season and ended his career with 180 catches for 2,436 yards, 32 receiving touchdowns and two punt returns for a touchdown … Senior season ended with 55 receptions for 752 yards, 10 receiving touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one punt return for a TD … Included in those stats was an impressive performance in the school’s first-ever playoff game, making nine catches for 114 yards and one touchdown, adding 12 tackles and two sacks on defense … Had 47 catches for 579 yards and six receiving touchdowns as a junior and 59 catches for 924 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore … On the defensive side, he had 170 career tackles and six interceptions … Participated in the 2014 Columbus Nike Football Training Camp and won the MVP award for the tight ends and receivers group … Earned an invitation to Nike’s exclusive The Opening 2014 … Was awarded the annual Lorain County Golden Helmet Award, which is presented to the county’s top senior football player … Only the second player in school history to earn the award, with the last coming in 1972 … He was named 2014 All-Ohio second team, and the 2014 All-Northeast Lakes District, All-Lorain County and All-Patriot Athletic Conference first teams … Named the PAC’s Offensive Player of the Year and earned a PAC Scholar-Athlete Award … All-Ohio special mention his junior season and All-Ohio third team his sophomore season … Coached by Rob Clarico, who said, “C.J. is blessed with a lot of physical talent and add on his work ethic and that makes him a very special player. He is a natural leader and really works at that, but also spends time developing his craft. He never misses a workout and put in a lot of extra time to become a better player throughout the year” … A four-year varsity letterman in basketball, helping the team to the conference championship his freshman season and earning several all-county, all-conference and all-district honors … Honor roll student that was named to the scholar-athlete list every season, keeping a 3.5 GPA or higher … Chose Kentucky over Ole Miss, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas and Duke.

Personal: Born in Fairview, Ohio … Son of Mike and Lois Conrad … Both played basketball at Tiffin University in Ohio … Plans a major in business.

 

Coach Stoops says: “We’re very pleased to have C.J.  He can be a complete tight end. He has great size and will continue to develop. He’s a good pass catcher who can make plays in space.”

 

Kengera Daniel, Defensive End, 6-5, 250, Fr-HS, Raleigh, N.C. (Millbrook) – Defensive end prospect only began playing football in high school and shows plenty of potential … Battled injuries in high school that limited his stats but still posted 65 tackles and 19 sacks in 2014 … Had 13 sacks and one interception in limited time in 2013 … A three-star recruit by all four major recruiting databases … Scout.com ranks him the fourth-best defensive end prospect in the state of North Carolina, while Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com all rank him a top-25 player in the state of North Carolina … Versatile athlete played defensive end, linebacker, tight end and fullback in high school … Two-year letterman who helped his team break the school’s single-season sack record in 2014 … Guided Millbrook to finish second in the conference and advance to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs … Best career game came against Heritage High School when he had 12 solo tackles, including five tackles for loss and two sacks … The Fayetteville Observernamed him the No. 16 best recruit in August 2014, saying “Daniel is a pure speed rusher who comes off the edge like a rocket … and once he gets his big hands on a ballcarrier, they’re going nowhere but to the ground” … High school head coach Clarence Inscore said, “First off, he is the ultimate team player and did everything that we ever asked of him, as you can tell by him playing defensive end, linebacker, tight end and fullback. He played defensive end mainly last year but we did put him in at tight end some and he caught a touchdown pass, which shows you how athletic he is. I think his best football is in front of him because he has only been playing football for three years and he is improving every day” … All-around athlete also lettered two years in basketball at center/power forward … Honor-roll student … Was very active outside of athletics, working with an outreach club in high school that spent time over at a local middle school tutoring … Chose Kentucky over Louisville, NC State, Virginia and Alabama.

Personal: Born in Coral Springs, Fla. … Name is pronounced “ken-JAIR-ah” (jair like hair with a “j” sound) … Son of Gerald and Kenyatta Daniel … Plans a major in biosystems engineering.

 

Coach Stoops says: “Kengera has great physical presence, with length and speed. He is extremely disruptive as he has the ability to create negative-yardage plays.”

 

Greg Hart, Tight End, 6-5, 240, So-Tr, Dayton, Ohio (Archbishop Alter/Nebraska) –

At Nebraska: Played in nine game in 2014, mostly on special teams … Redshirted his first year with the Huskers … Named to Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2014 and Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014 … Coached by Bo Pelini … Active in the community, volunteered his time with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Uplifting Athletes, Husker Heroes, Husker Hotline and several local hospitals, elementary school and community rec centers while at Nebraska.

High School: Was a standout two-way player at Archbishop Alter High School in Dayton … Behind his efforts, Archbishop Alter posted an 8-2-1 record in 2012 and reached the first round of the state playoffs … Ended his senior season with better than 30 receptions for approximately 300 yards and three touchdowns … All-around athlete who also played defensive end and had better than 60 tackles, including a league-leading 10 sacks and an interception … Earned conference defensive lineman of the year honors and was a Division III All-Ohio choice … Impressive junior season, helping the team to a 10-1 record … Alter ended regular season with a perfect record in 2011 before losing in the first round of the state playoffs … Coached by Ed Domsitz … Coming out of high school, he was regarded as one of the top 30 tight end prospects in the country and one of the top 40 overall prospects in the state of Ohio.

Personal: Born in Kettering, Ohio … Son of Thomas and Linda Hart … Plans a major in finance/marketing.

 

Coach Stoops says: “Greg has the size and toughness needed to play tight end. He also brings some good experience from his two seasons at Nebraska.”

 

Jordan Jones, Linebacker, 6-2, 215, Fr-HS, Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney) – A four-star prospect by Scout.com and three-star recruit by 247Sports.com, ESPN.com and Rivals.com … A top-20 player in the state of Ohio by 247Sports.com and ESPN … Ranked as one of the top 40 best outside linebackers in the class by all four databases …  Strong senior season with 185 tackles, including 10 sacks, five fumbles forced and four fumbles recovered … Also had a great junior season with 123 tackles, 10 sacks, five fumbles forced, three fumbles returned for touchdowns and 27 tackles for loss … Was named to Big 22 Class of 2014, which honors the best 22 players in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania … Named first-team All-Ohio Division IV as a junior and senior … Was 2014 Division IV Defensive Player of the Year … Started at linebacker and tailback in his two years at Cardinal Mooney … Head coach was P.J. Fecko … High school defensive coordinator Chris Amill said, “Jordan is a hard worker, probably the hardest worker that we have had come through Mooney. His explosiveness is really what stands out to me. He can move from sideline to sideline with ease and can gain on you in the blink of an eye, which should really help him at the next level. He is a special player because even if he does make a little mistake, his athletic ability, speed, quickness, explosiveness and relentlessness will make up for it” … Played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Reynoldsburg HS in Columbus, Ohio, starting at running back both years … Also ran track two years at Reynoldsburg, competing in the 100- and 400-meter dashes … Played three years of basketball as a power forward … Picked Kentucky after considering Miami (Fla.), Michigan State and Oklahoma.

Personal: Born in Columbus, Ohio … Son of Robert Jones and Vanessa Lang … Robert played defensive end at Ohio State during his collegiate days … Plans a major in marketing or communications.

 

Coach Stoops says: “Being from Cardinal Mooney (Coach Stoops’ high school), Jordan is a player I’ve watched grow up. He has the size and speed you’re looking for in a linebacker.”

 

Courtney Love, Linebacker, 6-1, 240, So-Tr, Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney/Nebraska)

At Nebraska: Played in 12 games in 2014 with six total tackles, including one tackle for loss … Sat out the 2013 season as a redshirt … Was a standout on the practice field and earned Scout Team Defensive MVP honors that season … Coached by Bo Pelini … Also earned a 2014 Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award and named to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team … Was active in the community, volunteering his time with Uplifting Athletes, Husker Heroes, Make-A-Wish, Husker Hotline, and local hospital and community rec center outreach events.

High School: A two-time All-Ohio selection at Cardinal Mooney High School who posted impressive numbers as a senior, registering 110 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and nine sacks … Also forced four fumbles and had two pass breakups, despite missing one game because of injury … Was honored for his efforts as a first-team Division III All-Ohio selection for the second straight year … Played a key role in Cardinal Mooney winning the Division III state title his junior season, recording 130 tackles with seven sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery … Was Mooney’s leading tackler in the state title game victory over Springfield Shawnee … Strong junior season in 20111 led to first-team All-Ohio honors and Division III Co-Defensive Player-of-the-Year recognition … Was regarded as one of the nation’s top 30 linebackers by multiple recruiting services and was listed among the top 30 overall prospects in the state of Ohio … Coached by P.J. Fecko … Initially chose Nebraska over Florida State, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Illinois and Indiana … Rejoins former high school teammate Marcus McWilson at UK.

Personal: Born in Youngstown, Ohio … Son of Cory Love … Plans a major in business administration.

 

Coach Stoops says: “Like Jordan Jones, Courtney is a player I’ve watched grow up and we welcome him to our program. He has the size and physical presence to be an inside linebacker.”

Towles Named to Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll

Sophomore quarterback honored after career day rushing and passing against No. 1 Bulldogs

UK QB Patrick Towles - Photo by Tammie Brown - Camen Media
UK QB Patrick Towles – Photo by Tammie Brown – Camen Media

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After rushing for a career-high 76 yards and two rushing touchdowns and passing for a career-best 390 yards with two touchdowns through the air, University of Kentucky sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles has been named to the Paul Hornung Award Week Nine Honor Roll, it was announced Monday morning by the Louisville Sports Commission.

This is the first time Towles has been named to the honor roll, which honors student-athletes each week before giving out a season-end award to the most versatile player in major college football. Towles was named to the list along with Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah and Utah State running back/linebacker Nick Vigil.

Towles had a career outing with 477 total yards in Kentucky’s loss to top-ranked Mississippi State. Towles was 24-of-43 passing for 390 yards with two touchdowns and connected with nine different receivers. He logged 76 yards on 23 attempts and a pair of scores on the ground, which included a career-long rush of 48 yards in the third quarter. He also caught one pass for 11 yards. Towles accounted for four plays of more than 40 yards, including a pair of touchdown tosses that went for 58 yards or longer.

The sophomore’s big game placed him in elite company as he became only the third quarterback in program history to pass for 365 yards or more three different times in the same season. The other two quarterbacks to claim that honor were Jared Lorenzen and All-American Tim Couch.

For the season, Towles is 163-for-271 for 2,077 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those numbers are the best for a UK quarterback since Mike Hartline in 2010. Led by Towles, Kentucky has posted 440+ yards of total offense in three games vs. Southeastern Conference foes this season for the first time since 2001. UK’s 253 points scored this season in just eight games is also more than it posted each of the last three seasons.

The season-end award is voted on by fans, who can vote as often as once every 24 hours atwww.paulhornungaward.com for players who were on the preseason watch list or who have been named to a weekly honor roll. A finalist will be chosen in mid-November with fans then getting a chance to vote from a group of finalists.

For the latest on the Kentucky football team, follow @UKFootball on Twitter or University of Kentucky Football on Facebook.

Wildcats give #1 Mississippi St. all they can handle

Cats give Number 1 ranked Mississippi St. a scare in Lexington.

UK vs Miss. St - Photo by Tammie Brown - Camen Media
UK vs Miss. St – Photo by Tammie Brown – Camen Media

It did’t look good early for U.K. as Mississippi St, jumped out to an early 17-7 2nd quarter lead before finishing off a greatly improved Wildcat team 45-31. Heisman candidate Dak Prescott accounted for 3 scores as he threw for one score and ran for 2 more. UK QB ran for two touchdowns of his own and connected on two more for a 67 yard strike and a 58 yard bomb. Statistically, Towles far outshined Prescott, but in the end, it comes down to wins and losses, and Prescott has not lost this season. Towles rushed for 123 and passed for another 390, while Prescott ran for 104 and passed for 216. UK continues it is vastly improved and will be a force to reckon with in upcoming years.

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Football Announces 2015 Schedule, Including 8 Home Games

UK football team to play eight home games at The New CWS in 2015

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The fall of 2015 will start a new chapter for the University of Kentucky football program with the opening of The New CWS, and fans can now start making plans for fall trips to Lexington as the Wildcats’ 2015 schedule, including eight home games, was released Tuesday night.

 

The challenging 2015 schedule includes non-conference home games against UL Lafayette, EKU, Charlotte and Louisville. Kentucky will play an eight-game Southeastern Conference schedule, facing SEC Eastern Division opponents Florida, Missouri and Tennessee at home and South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt on the road. UK will host Auburn on a Thursday night in Lexington, before traveling to Mississippi State the following weekend to complete play against SEC Western Division opponents.

 

Kentucky will start its 2015 season at home on Sept. 5 against UL Lafayette, marking the second straight season UK has opened a season at home after neutral-site or true road game season openers the previous six seasons. The Wildcats start SEC play at Williams-Brice Stadium against South Carolina on Sept. 12, before returning to Lexington to start a four-game home stretch, including contests against Florida on Sept. 19 and Missouri on Sept. 26 to complete the month of September.

 

The Wildcats will leave conference play to start October, hosting in-state foe EKU on Oct. 3, before an open date on Oct. 10 and a Thursday home game vs. Auburn on Oct. 15. It will be Kentucky’s first-ever Thursday home game. Kentucky concludes the month of October by traveling to Mississippi State on Oct. 24 and hosting Tennessee on Oct. 31. It will be the earliest UK and UT have met since 1909.

 

UK starts November on the road, traveling to Georgia on Nov. 7 and Vanderbilt on Nov. 14. The VU game will conclude SEC action for the Wildcats as they play host to Charlotte on Nov. 21 and in-state rival Louisville on Nov. 28 to conclude regular-season play. It will be the first time UK has ended the regular season with consecutive non-conference games since joining the SEC in 1933.

 

For the 24th consecutive year, the 2015 regular season will culminate with the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, December 5 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

 

The complete 2015 schedule and notes about the schedule are below.

 

For more information about UK football, follow @UKFootball on Twitter and Instagram, or like Kentucky Football on Facebook.

 

2015 Schedule Notes:

  • UK has eight home games in 2015, the most in a single season since UK also had eight in 2007.
  • It will be Kentucky’s first-ever meeting against UL Lafayette and Charlotte. Charlotte is currently a FCS Independent school, but will play its first season as an FBS team (Conference USA) in the fall of 2015.
  • For the second consecutive season, the UK-UofL game will be on the final weekend of the regular season. Prior to 2014, the UK-UofL game had been played early in the season since the series renewed in 1994. The 2015 game will be the 22nd straight year the two rivals have met.
  • Kentucky and Tennessee will face off in the month of October for the first time since 1909. It will only be the fourth time in UK’s 125-year history it has faced Tennessee in the month of October.
  • It will mark the 111th all-time meeting between Kentucky and Tennessee, the most for UK vs. any one opponent. The two teams have met annually since 1919, except for 1943, when Kentucky did not field a team.
  • Kentucky will start SEC play against South Carolina for the first time in program history. UK had opened SEC play each of the past six seasons against Florida.
  • The Wildcats will have a four-game home stretch from Sept. 19 to Oct. 15, marking the longest home stand since the 2001 team started the season with four straight home games.
  • UK’s open date will be Saturday, Oct. 10. UK has had two open dates each of the past two years.
  • Kentucky’s game against Auburn will be on Thursday, Oct. 15. It will be the first Thursday home game in program history. UK has played several Thursday road games over the past few seasons (2007 at South Carolina; 2011 vs. WKU in Nashville, Tenn.; 2013 at Mississippi State).
  • It will be Kentucky’s first meeting against Auburn since the Tigers’ National Championship season in 2010.
  • UK’s permanent SEC West opponent, Mississippi State is on the schedule for the 26th straight season.
  • Kentucky and EKU will meet for the first time since 2009. UK leads the series 3-0.
  • UK ends the regular season with consecutive non-conference games for the first time since it entered the SEC in 1933.

 

2015 Kentucky Football Schedule

Date                      Opponent                           2014 Record     2014 Ranking (as of Oct. 12)

Sept. 5                  UL LAFAYETTE                    2-3                    not ranked

Sept. 12                at South Carolina              3-3                    receiving votes in AP

Sept. 19                FLORIDA                              3-2                    not ranked

Sept. 26                MISSOURI                           4-2                    not ranked

Oct. 3                    EKU                                        6-0                    No. 12 in FCS Coaches’ Poll

Oct. 10                  Open date                          –                       –

Oct. 15 (Thu.)     AUBURN                              5-1                    No. 6 AP; No. 8 USA Today

Oct. 24                  at Mississippi State          6-0                    No. 1 AP; No. 1 USA Today

Oct. 31                  TENNESSEE                         3-3                    not ranked

Nov. 7                   at Georgia                           5-1                    No. 10 AP; No. 10 USA Today

Nov. 14                 at Vanderbilt                      2-5                    not ranked

Nov. 21                 CHARLOTTE                        3-4                    not ranked

Nov. 28                 LOUISVILLE                         5-2                    receiving votes in AP

Kentucky Black Magic Knocks out Gamecocks

By Ricky Blair – Could lightning actually strike twice?  In the case of Kentucky pulling off a big win while wearing their black jersey uniforms – the answer on Saturday was a resounding – Yes!

The last time the Wildcats wore the black jersey uniform, they ended a 26-game losing streak to the Tennessee Volunteers (2011) using a wide receiver with the #3 (Matt Roark) at quarterback.  Well, once again, it took a #3 lining up at quarterback to pull off the magic of a big win. This time it was running back Jo Jo Kemp who lined up as quarterback out of the ‘Wildcat’ formation, providing the offensive spurt that led to a 45-38 UK win over the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks.

Kemp rushed 17 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns on the night.  On this magical night – all five of Kentucky’s offensive touchdowns came out of the ‘Wildcat’ formation.  In addition to the three that Kemp scored, there was also a 38-yard touchdown run by Brandon Heard in the first half. Then, in the second half, Ryan Timmons pulled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Towles after Kentucky ran a double reverse pitch back pass out of the formation.

The Wildcats’ determination came through as they overcame a 14-point deficit in both the first and second half.  South Carolina jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but the Wildcats were able to even the score at 17 apiece going into the halftime intermission.

In the second half, the Wildcats took a seven point lead when Towles hit Timmons on the 48-yard pass play, but the Gamecocks came storming back with 21 unanswered points to go up by 14 points for a second time.

Just when it looked like the game may be over for the ‘Cats, they turned to Kemp and the ‘Wildcat’ formation to score back-to-back touchdowns and tie the game at 38 with 2:46 left in the contest.  However, unlike in times past where the home team fostered hope for Big Blue fans only to have it stripped away with a heartbreaking loss, this time the magic was on Kentucky’s side.  South Carolina’s pass attempt by quarterback Dylan Thompson was batted up in the air by UK senior defensive lineman Mike Douglas and intercepted by fellow senior defensive lineman Bud Dupree, who ran six yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Most of the season high 62,135 crowd stormed the field after the win in celebration of a truly amazing victory.  With that win, the Wildcats move to 4-1 on the season and 2-1 in the SEC.

WHY NOT KENTUCKY

The UK Wildcat football team is riding high after a hard fought victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks in Lexington. The Cats fought back on three different occasions to include trailing by 14 in the 4th quarter. JoJo Kemp nearly single handedly carried UK to their win. Kemp,

Why Not UK
Why Not UK

running the Wildcat offense, ran at will through the Gamecock defense. UK overcame a horrible call on a South Carolina fumble and a defense that allowed 500 yards in total offense and 282 yards rushing. South Carolina would go away from their running game when it mattered in the 4th quarter only to have UK intercept a SC pass for a pick 6 to take the lead for good. UK would intercept another pass in the waining moments of the game to seal the victory.

Kentucky is 4-1 and could easily be 5-0 if not for a missed call at Florida. It is still early on in the season, but the Wildcats have shown they have changed the atmosphere in Lexington in regards to their football program. Kentucky will now face UL Monroe before they start the true tough part of their schedule that includes 4 of their last 6 games on the road. Their remaining schedule has UK at #15 LSU, at Home against #12 Mississippi St., at #24 Missouri, home against #13 Georgia before traveling to Tennessee and at Louisville. Assuming UK can win next week at home against UL Monroe to go to 5-1, they would have to win at least one of their remaining 5 games to qualify for a bowl bid. Not bad for a team who hadn’t won an SEC game since 2011 and only won 2 games all of last year. Things are looking up for the Kentucky Wildcat football team and has fans throughout the State of Kentucky saying, WHY NOT KENTUCKY!!!

Kentucky gets 1st SEC win since 2011

By Ricky Blair

Not since 2011 had the Kentucky football team walked off the field with a win over a conference foe; but this past Saturday the Wildcats put that shameful streak to rest with a 17-7 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.

While this game wasn’t nearly as exciting as the last SEC victory – a game in which receiver-turned-quarterback Matt Roark was carried off the field by teammates and fans after leading the Wildcats to their first triumph over the Tennessee Volunteers in 26 years — it was none-the-less important for this coaching staff and young team as they try to turn a corner for this football program.

The Wildcats’ offense scored a touchdown on its first possession when quarterback Patrick Towles hit receiver Ryan Timmons on a 20-yard pass across the middle.  Timmons lost the ball, but it was ruled that he crossed the goal line before fumbling.  It was a close call for the Wildcats, who struggled for most of the game to move the football and to put points on the board.

Kentucky finished the first quarter up 7-0, but it wasn’t long before Vanderbilt took advantage of a Towles miscue. Towles threw a slant pass that was intercepted at UK’s own 10-yard line by Commodore cornerback Darrius Sims, who then trotted into the endzone for a touchdown. The Vanderbilt score tied the game at seven apiece.

In response, the Wildcats added a 44-yard Austin MacGinnis field goal, followed by a 12-play, 66-yard touchdown drive just seconds before halftime, which was capped by a 1-yard Towles run.

While the offense struggled for most of the day, the defense shined during this victory.  The defense was led by middle linebacker Josh Forrest, defensive end Bud Dupree, and cornerback J.D. Harmon, who each had five or more tackles.

The defense was also opportunistic, intercepting three passes in the game, which matches last year’s season total.  Marcus McWilson, Ashley Lowery and A.J. Stamps each had a take away during the fourth quarter to preserve the win.

Regarding the win, UK coach Mark Stoops said, “It was a thing of beauty.”

While it wasn’t always pretty to watch for most of the fans, at this point any conference win is a beautiful thing.