A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK, Stoops hit reset button after historic victory at Tennessee, set sights on talented Missouri

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops didn’t waste any time forgetting about Kentucky’s first road win over Tennessee since 1984. Less than 24 hours following the rare and exhilarating 34-7 victory over the Volunteers in Knoxville, the UK head coach was already looking ahead to Saturday’s contest at Missouri. “We enjoy a victory for less than 24 hours, depending on what time you play,...

UK looks to carry offensive momentum from win at Tennessee into Missouri contest this Saturday

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky It was the University of Kentucky defense that garnered much of the attention during and after Saturday’s win at Tennessee, and rightfully so. It was the UK defense that accounted for the Wildcats’ first two touchdowns in the 34-7 victory, with Kelvin Joseph and Jamin Davis each returning interceptions for touchdowns. And it was the defense that...

UK defense dominant, Wildcats crush Tennessee in 34-7 blowout; first triumph in Knoxville since 1984

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today KNOXVILLE — The University of Kentucky football team accomplished a rare feat by defeating Tennessee on Saturday afternoon, and and it wasn’t even close. For the first time since 1984, UK left Knoxville with a 34-7 victory, bringing an end to a 17-game losing streak at Neyland Stadium and handing the 18th-ranked Volunteers their second straight setback. Tennessee...

Stoops hopeful Kentucky can ‘put it all together’ against Tennessee in pivotal SEC battle

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops is hopeful Kentucky can strike a balance when the Wildcats square off against Tennessee on Saturday in Knoxville. The Wildcats (1-2) used a stellar defensive performance to hold off Mississippi State 24-2 last weekend, picking up the slack from the offense, which managed just 157 yards against the Bulldogs. In a 42-41 overtime loss to Ole Miss the previous...

UK hopes ‘change up’ will bring different result in Knoxville against Volunteers on Saturday

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky Kentucky has played Tennessee in football more times than any other opponent, with the border rivals having met on 115 occasions. In fact, only two Southeastern Conference rivalries have been played more often: Auburn has played Georgia 124 times, and Ole Miss has squared off against Mississippi State on 116 occasions. Tennessee leads the series with UK by a 81-25-9...

Despite 0-2 start, Stoops working to build on positives as UK prepares for Mississippi State

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky While an 0-2 start is not what Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops and his team were hoping for, it’s also not as bad as it might seem to those who have only seen the team’s scores without watching the games. Stoops and his staff are not searching for a lot of answers. They feel like the Cats are close and that once they get some things cleaned up, the...

Lack of execution at ‘critical moments’ proves costly for Kentucky during 42-41 overtime loss to Ole Miss

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky ran every which way but loose, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Wildcats to victory Saturday in the home opener against Mississippi. An extra point in overtime was the difference as Ole Miss escaped with a 42-41 win over Kentucky, giving Lane Kiffin his first victory as head coach of the Rebels. The Wildcats fell to 0-2 on the season and will seek their first...

UK’s Gran says short tenure under Kiffin at Tennessee ‘one of the scariest times’ of his life

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today University of Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran doesn’t remember much about his one-year tenure at Tennessee. Following 14 years on Tommy Tuberville’s staff at Auburn, Gran spent one season at Tennessee, a brief stint, that turned out to be “one of the scariest times” of his life. “I didn’t know anybody real well on that staff.” said Gran, who...

UK faces big challenge of stopping high-powered Ole Miss offense on Saturday in home opener

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky A week after encountering the fast-paced Auburn offense, Kentucky faces another challenge this Saturday as the Wildcats meet Ole Miss and its high-powered attack in the home opener at 4 p.m. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and his offenses have always been able to put up big numbers, and that doesn’t look to change as he takes over in Oxford. In Saturday’s...

Stoops: UK mistakes in loss at Auburn ‘very noticeable,’ but correctable as Ole Miss is next

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky doesn’t have much time to dwell on what went wrong in the season opener last weekend at Auburn. After reviewing film from a 29-13 loss to Auburn, UK head coach Mark Stoops said the team’s two turnovers — an interception and a fumble — were “very noticeable” and added “we have to get that corrected” going into Saturday’s home opener against Mississippi. Stoops...

No. 8 Auburn capitalizes on late UK miscues, pulls out 29-13 victory over Wildcats in season opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today AUBURN, Ala. — It was an opener unlike any other. Facemasks, social distancing and a half-empty stadium. Kentucky officially kicked off its 130th football season on Saturday against a Southeastern Conference opponent for the first time since 1960, when former league member Georgia Tech defeated the Wildcats 23-13. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the season was postponed...

Now healthy, UK quarterback Wilson ‘locked in’ going into season opener at No. 8 Auburn on Saturday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today University of Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson has been in a zone this fall and hasn’t spent much time looking back. “I’ve just been really locked in, knowing my assignment and controlling what I can control and focusing on what I can focus on,” he said. “I’ve just been locked in and not thinking too much about Saturday, just taking it one day at a time and...

Stoops says experienced UK ready for challenge at No. 8 Auburn on Saturday in season opener

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky It’s finally game week for the University of Kentucky football team, and head coach Mark Stoops and his squad have certainly put in their time in the preseason. And it’s been a fall camp unlike any other. “For us, it’s been a long preseason,” Stoops said. “A couple of weeks longer than usual, so it seems like it’s been...

Keith Taylor: Football is back, and it looks like a break-even season for UK against tough SEC

Kentucky will step into unchartered water and right into Southeastern Conference play when the season kicks off this Saturday at Auburn. After weeks and months of debate, the Wildcats will join the rest of the league and provide a dose of normalcy as the nation recovers from a pandemic that has crippled sports and society as a whole since March. What remains to be seen is if the conference can complete...

Seven UK football players voted preseason All-SEC; Duffy, Jackson, Kinnard named to first team

Seven University of Kentucky football players have been voted to the All-Southeastern Conference preseason team by league coaches. SEC coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players. Three UK standouts — center Drake Jackson, punter Max Duffy and offensive tackle Darian Kinnard — earned first-team honors, while offensive tackle Landon Young was named to the second team. In addition, three...

Jamie Vaught: Let’s try this fearless forecast again — with a revised SEC schedule looming for UK football

More than two months ago, I predicted the University of Kentucky would have a nice football team. I wrote that head coach Mark Stoops’ UK team, with several preseason All-Americans, would be respectable, finishing with a 7-5 mark in a 12-game schedule — and the Wildcats would be making their fifth straight bowl trip. Not bad, but could be better. Well, as you know, COVID-19 pandemic has forced...

UK season opener at Auburn set for noon kickoff on Sept. 26; Wildcats meet Ole Miss at home on Oct. 3

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The game times for three of Kentucky’s first four football games have been set. The Wildcats will kick off the season at noon on Sept. 26 at Auburn and will be televised on the SEC Network. Kentucky’s home opener against Ole Miss on Oct. 3 is set for 4 p.m. and also will be televised on the SEC Network. Kentucky’s players are looking forward to the delayed season...

UK quarterback Wilson ‘slinging the ball’ and ‘having fun’ in return from serious knee injury

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today University of Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson felt at ease when he returned to the field this week. Wilson, who missed the final 10 games last year after suffering a season-ending knee injury against Eastern Michigan, took snaps with the first team as the Wildcats opened fall workouts on Tuesday. “It felt good and it felt normal, even with all of the restrictions...

University of Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne leaving Cats for job with New York Knicks

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kenny Payne is stepping up to the next level. A fixture on John Calipari’s coaching staff at the University of Kentucky, Payne accepted an offer from the New York Knicks to become an assistant coach under recently hired Tom Thibodeau. Payne, a former standout at the University of Louisville, spent the past 10 seasons with the Wildcats, including the past six years as...

Alabama, Ole Miss fill out UK’s 10-game football schedule; SEC sends Wildcats to Tuscaloosa

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference has announced the remainder of its football schedule, and Kentucky will visit Alabama and also play host to Ole Miss as part of a 10-game slate this season. The season will begin on Sept. 26 and teams will play 10 games in a 11-week period through Dec. 5. “The two SEC announcements today – the medical protocols and the addition of two...