A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cards show they haven’t lost their style, blast BC to send a message to playoff committee

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent If it was truly “style points” that the College Football Playoff committee thought Louisville had been missing recently due to a couple of unexpected close calls when it was a heavy favorite, the Cardinals delivered Saturday afternoon, compiling style points that would make Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger envious in walloping Boston College 52-7 in...

Keith Taylor: UK signees Fox, Monk provide glimpse into future; Briscoe, Lee to explore options

Kentucky won’t have Tyler Ulis or Jamal Murray next season, but the backcourt duo to De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk provided impressive performances in the Jordan Brand Classic last weekend in Brooklyn, giving Big Blue Nation a glimpse of what to expect next season. Fox and Monk combined for 45 points and shared the Most Valuable Player award for the East and West squads. Fox finished with 23 points...

Sports Notes: Even in a year that saw teams with losing records rewarded, UK left out of bowl mix

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor Let’s just call it adding insult to injury, the announcement of the various bowl matchups coming on the heels of another disheartening Kentucky football season. This is all you need to know: In a year in which three teams with losing records (Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State) were rewarded with bowl spots, the Wildcats are once again sitting on the...

Towles transfer from UK helps illustrate the shortcomings of modern college football scene

By Kay Collier McLaughlin Special to KyForward As an ardent fan of college football, I think it’s time to shine some light on some of the more troubling aspects of the game. Self-disclosure. I grew up as the daughter of a football coach who went from to high school to professional to college to professional. I love the game. I’m an active member of two non- profits who celebrate and promote...

Billy Reed: Towles exits gracefully, but is there a graceful exit option for Stoops, Barnhart?

In the more than 60 years that I’ve followed University of Kentucky football, the coaching job this season might be the worst I’ve ever seen, the miserable John Ray era notwithstanding. It was a season where chaos and confusion ruled the sideline, where players consistently showed a lack of discipline and preparation, and where coach Mark Stoops and his coordinators constantly made questionable...

Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles decides to transfer to finish out collegiate career

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer Playing football at the University of Kentucky was a dream come true for Patrick Towles. He just wishes he could have ended his career as a Wildcat. Towles announced Sunday that he plans to transfer next season. Towles started Kentucky’s first 10 games before Drew Barker took over after the Wildcats lost five straight games. Towles gave no indication of...

Sports Notes: Despite modest numbers, Barker came up big for Cats when it counted the most

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor By most standards, the numbers were modest, nothing to brag about really. Kentucky redshirt freshman Drew Barker completed 12 of 29 passes in his first collegiate start at Kentucky for just 129 yards. No interceptions, no touchdowns. Mainly, he handed the ball off on a cold, windy and wet night at Commonwealth Stadium and watched his running backs account for...

Keith Taylor: Stoops gives Drew Barker keys to offense, hopes backup can drive UK to bowl game

Mark Stoops has pulled the plug on Patrick Towles. Towles guided the Wildcats to a 4-1 start, but five straight losses, including a disappointing 21-17 setback at Vanderbilt last week, prompted Stoops to make a change with two games remaining in the regular season. Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker will make his first start Saturday against Charlotte (UK Athletics Photo) Drew Barker, a redshirt freshman...

Sports Notes: Wildcat fans are starting to question whether Stoops and Co. are up to the task

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor After more than a month of watching junior quarterback Patrick Towles’ play regress, after watching Towles and his offense fail to score a point after gaining first downs inside the Vanderbilt five-yard line twice, after seeing Towles audible to a fade pass and throw a killer interception from the VU one, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops finally decided he had...

Kentucky has its chances, but the end result is the same in 21-17 loss at the hands of Vandy

Sophomore running back Stanley “Boom” Williams rushed 13 times for 115 yards on Saturday but it wasn’t enough as Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt 21-17 in an SEC matchup in Nashville. Williams had rushes of 66 and 38 yards in his return from an elbow injury. Kentucky (4-6, 2-6 SEC) lost its fourth game in a row and is still two wins short of becoming bowl eligible with home contests still on...

Towles, Barker feeding off renewed competition at quarterback prior to Vandy game

The week began with an apparent big change for Kentucky. The competition at quarterback between Patrick Towles and Drew Barker was open anew, making for a compelling few days of practice. But in reality, the change isn’t all that significant, not in practice anyway. The Wildcats will try to end a four-game losing streak Saturday at Vanderbilt. Kick off is set for 4 p.m. “It’s just been a normal...

Sports Notes: Kentucky’s season, bowl hopes figure to hinge on tough road match with Vanderbilt

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor The SEC Network experts analyzing the Kentucky-Georgia game Saturday were unanimous in their predictions. None of them thought much of the Wildcats’ chances to pull off the upset between the hedges. Their opinion about coach Mark Stoops’ troops sure didn’t improve much following a 27-3 blowout that saw UK outscored 17-0 over the final two quarters...

Keith Taylor: Stoops puts Towles on notice as Wildcats prepare for conference finale at Vandy

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has put starting quarterback Patrick Towles on notice as the Wildcats prepare for their last Southeastern Conference game of the year. Following a dismal performance in last week’s 27-3 loss at Georgia, Towles’ job appears to be in jeopardy as Kentucky prepares for Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt. Kentucky coach Mark...

Towles: Following disappointing loss to Tennessee, it’s time for Cats to come back to work

Kentucky is only days removed from a deflating 52-21 loss to Tennessee, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the Wildcats practice on Tuesday. “On a Tuesday after you lose like that, it’s hard,” quarterback Patrick Towles said. “It’s hard to come back to work. But I expect that from my guys and from my team and we did that today. We responded well.” Mikel Horton, atop the depth chart...

Keith Taylor: Window of opportunity smaller for Kentucky after 52-21 blowout loss to Tennessee

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer The losses are piling up and the window of opportunity is getting smaller for Kentucky. For the second straight week, the Wildcats (4-4, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) lost and the margin wasn’t even close, dropping a 52-21 setback to rival Tennessee Saturday night. Kentucky running back Mikel Horton gets tackled by a Tennessee defender Saturday night (UK...

Sports Notes: Backup Barker finally gets on the field on the wrong end of a Kentucky blowout

Kentucky backup quarterback Drew Barker saw his first live action of the season in the fourth quarter of the Mississippi State game (UK Athletics Photo) By Glenn Osborne KyForward Sports Editor All season long, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has maintained that he’d like to get some live snaps for his backup quarterback, redshirt freshman Drew Barker. The only problem was finding the right...

Sports Notes: Expectations for Kentucky football program may be a little unrealistic

Despite disappointing losses to Florida and Auburn, UK coach Mark Stoops has the Cats on track for a six- or seven-win season and a bowl appearance (UK Athletics Photo)   Perhaps it’s just indicative of Mark Stoops’ ability to inspire confidence that expectations for the Kentucky football program have risen so high and so quickly.   When Stoops took over the program from Joker...

Stoops: Nationally televised night game with Auburn presents 'another great opportunity'

Mark Stoops and his Kentucky Wildcats will have a national stage Thursday night when they host Auburn at Commonwealth Stadium (UK Athletics Photo)   Winners of four of its first five games to open 2015, Kentucky will seek to secure its third Southeastern Conference win with a showdown with the Auburn Tigers on Thursday, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. and the game televised live on ESPN and broadcast...

Stoops: Nationally televised night game with Auburn presents ‘another great opportunity’

Mark Stoops and his Kentucky Wildcats will have a national stage Thursday night when they host Auburn at Commonwealth Stadium (UK Athletics Photo)   Winners of four of its first five games to open 2015, Kentucky will seek to secure its third Southeastern Conference win with a showdown with the Auburn Tigers on Thursday, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. and the game televised live on ESPN and broadcast...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky is searching for a level of consistency on offense during bye week

Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson are searching for consistency this week (Bill Thiry Photo)   Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops knows his team hasn’t arrived, but will gladly take four wins in five games to open the season, even if they were all close encounters.   “You take them any way you can get them,” Stoops said.   [widgets_on_pages...