Thank you Mark Stoops for doing the right thing for Grant McKinnis and team

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Thank you Mark Stoops.

No, it has nothing to do with Kentucky’s 44-21 win over Vanderbilt Saturday. Well, it does some, but that’s not what impressed me the most about Stoops on Saturday when UK won its seventh game of the season for the second straight year.

What I liked is that Stoops did not cost sophomore Grant McKinnis a year of eligibility by using him to replace suspended punter Matt Panton. Instead of using McKinnis, last year’s starting punter who was being redshirt this season, he went with Miles Butler — UK’s backup placekicker.

SEC to honor integration pioneers with Michael Slive Award

Nate Northington

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (November 9, 2017) – Four former Kentucky football players and two former Vanderbilt basketball players who helped break the color barrier in the Southeastern Conference 50 years ago have been named recipients of the Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Thursday.

Kentucky football players Nate Northington, Wilbur Hackett, Houston Hogg and the late Greg Page along with Vanderbilt basketball players Perry Wallace and Godfrey Dillard will be honored during several SEC Football Championship Weekend events, December 1-2, in Atlanta.

Stoops proud of way secondary performed

Derrick Baity, right, had one of UK’s four interceptions Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

For a coach who prides himself on having solid players in the secondary, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has gone through a rough season.

His pass defense has been torched — and his team has not been able to force turnovers.

At Vanderbilt Saturday, UK still gave up just over 300 yards through the air. But this time UK had four interceptions — including three in the first half when it built a nice lead in what turned out to be a 44-21 win.

UK-Vanderbilt postgame notes, numbers

Receiver Garrett Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

KENTUCKY POSTGAME NOTES

Kentucky at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.

Nov. 11, 2017

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 44, Vanderbilt 21

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 7-3 overall, 4-3 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt is 4-6, 0-6 in the league. 
  • Kentucky leads the series 44-42-4.
    • Vanderbilt leads the series 27-20-2 in Nashville.
  • The Wildcats will return to action on Nov. 18 at Georgia. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.

 

Team Notes

Snell runs into record books, Cats blitz Vanderbilt 44-21 for seventh win

Benny Snell (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Benny Snell ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown. The Kentucky defense came up with three interceptions — the same number Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur had thrown in the season’s first nine games.

And that was just in the first half at Vanderbilt Saturday.

The Wildcats — coming off that last-second loss to Ole Miss — spotted Vanderbilt a 7-0 lead in Nashville before charging back to win 44-21 and go to 7-3 on the season for the first time in 10 years.

Oak Hill shooting guard Keldon Johnson picks UK

Keldon Johnson (Caroline Williams/USA Basketball)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Keldon Johnson kept insisting he was not sure whether he would commit to Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina State or Texas.

Many close to him believed the Oak Hill (Va.) guard had known for a long time that Kentucky would be his choice.

Saturday he confirmed that by picking Kentucky over the others and joining point guard Immanuel Quickley in UK’s 2018 recruiting class.

The 6-7 Johnson has a non-stop motor and can score from 3-point range or in a variety of other ways. He’s also a solid defensive player.

Cats have little time to fix issues before Vermont

By RICHARD CHEEKS

As the three exhibition games had warned, the current version of Calipari’s Cats are lagging behind their counterparts from the last 8 years in the early going. Last night, the Cats fought from behind to post a 10-point victory over Mark Pope’s Utah Valley Wolverines, but the final 10-point margin is somewhat deceiving because within a minute into the second half, the Cats found themselves trailing Pope’s Second Chance chargers by 12 points, 37-25. Coach Calipari then directed his team to use a 2-3 zone defense, a move that Coach Calipari publicly loathes.

Happy Veteran’s Day

Kami Bivins, center, and her daughters at Rupp Arena Friday. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was really cool to see UK honor veterans at Friday night’s win by the Wildcats over Utah Valley.

Kami Bivins an her daughters came from Gallatin, Tenn., as UK’s guests to honor the memory of Eric Bivins, her husband and their father. He passed away from PTSD and the girls have been on a mission to raise awareness that 22 veterans per day die from the same thing.

Diallo blamed jitters for 0-for-15 funk

Hamidou Diallo (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was the first game of the season, but even with a team dominated with freshmen no one could have anticipated Kentucky missing its last 15 shots in the first half.

Freshman Kevin Knox ended the drought with a 3-point shot early in the second half and seconds later scored on a dunk to key UK’s 73-63 comeback win.

Leading scorer Hamidou Diallo, who had 18 points, said it had to be first game jitters.

Kentucky vs Utah Valley Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff