A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Transylvania receives federal funds to help bolster Kentucky research and manufacturing technology

Transylvania University will receive part of a $24 million National Science Foundation grant to help boost Kentucky’s research and manufacturing capabilities. Over five years, the university is expected receive a total of around $200,000 for faculty and student physics research and cutting-edge chemistry lab equipment. The research at Transylvania made possible through these funds will complement...

Jamie Vaught: Kentucky sophomore Benny Snell Jr. joins impressive list of Wildcat running backs

Over the years, Kentucky has had a good handful of All-SEC or All-American football standouts who are among the school’s career rushing leaders. Remember the glamorous Wildcat stars like Sonny Collins, Moe Williams, Rafael Little, Mark Higgs, Derrick Ramsey, George Adams, to name several? I have seen them all and they are among UK’s career leaders in rushing yardage with Collins, who played for...

UK QB Stephen Johnson banged up but expected to play against Ole Miss Saturday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Stephen Johnson is banged up but Mark Stoops expects his starting quarterback to be back in the pocket when the Wildcats take on Ole Miss Saturday. “He definitely is very sore,” Stoops said. “I saw him Sunday. He was beat up. He was beat up pretty good. Johnson injured his shoulder in the third quarter but later returned and scored the decisive touchdown on on...

‘Cats quarterback Stephen Johnson was the right play caller at the right time in win over Tennessee

Stephen Johnson may not be considered the top quarterback in the Southeastern Conference and isn’t in the running for the Heisman Trophy, but he’s the right signal caller at the right time for Kentucky. Although the junior college transfer hasn’t been perfect during the past two seasons, he has been instrumental in leading the Wildcats to what will be back-to-back postseason appearances. Johnson...

Keith Taylor: Make no mistake, Kentucky players elated to reach halfway mark at 5-1

Kentucky’s players aren’t paying much attention to some of the negativity going into open week. They’re happy to be within one game of bowl eligibility with six games left. The Wildcats have won five games in their first six encounters and in third place in the current Southeastern Conference standings. The five wins were by a combined margin of 38 points, including a 40-34 triumph over Missouri...

Johnson, Snell combine to spark Kentucky’s second half comeback in 27-16 win over Eastern Kentucky

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The last time Kentucky played Eastern Kentucky, it took overtime and the fourth-largest comeback in school history for the Wildcats to fend off the Colonels. This time, Kentucky had to rally, but no extra period was needed. The Wildcats (2-0) received a scare from the Colonels and trailed 13-3 in the second quarter before outscoring Eastern 24-3 the remainder of the contest...

Back from injury, Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker could see action in season opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Drew Barker didn’t emerge as Kentucky’s starting quarterback following preseason workouts, but that doesn’t mean the junior signal caller won’t just stand on the sideline with a clipboard in the season opener. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Barker could see some action at Southern Mississippi Saturday against the Golden Eagles, who defeated the Wildcats 44-35...

After struggling last season, UK QB Johnson making strides in short, intermediate passing game

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Stephen Johnson hasn’t lacked in confidence since fall workouts began and is delving deeper into the team’s play book. Johnson showed an ability to throw the deep ball last season, but struggled with the short passing game, an area of emphasis for the senior quarterback going into the second week of training camp. “(He’s) hitting those (intermediate passes) better,...

Now healthy, Kentucky junior quarterback Barker battling Johnson to regain starting job

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Drew Barker knows what it’s like to be a starter. He’s also been a backup during his three-year career at Kentucky and finds himself in that same role this season. A year ago, Barker took center stage as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback, a role he kept for two games and for one series in the home opener against New Mexico State before a back injury sidelined him...

Kentucky starting quarterback Johnson confident, poised for big senior campaign

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Stephen Johnson’s role has changed since he arrived on campus last fall and it’s all been for the better. The junior college transfer failed to beat out incumbent Drew Barker for the starting job at quarterback last season, but took over the reigns in the pocket following an injury to Barker in the team’s home opener against New Mexico State and has been the starter...

Kentucky senior quarterback Johnson among 47 nominees to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List

University of Kentucky senior quarterback Stephen Johnson has been named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List, it was announced Thursday. Stephen Johnson led UK to a thrilling upset of the 11th-ranked Louisville Cardinals in the regular-season finale (41-38) (UK Athletics Photo) After an injury to sophomore quarterback Drew Barker just two games into the season, Johnson stepped in vs. New Mexico...

UK quarterback Drew Barker no longer takes little things for granted on road to recovery

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer Drew Barker has enjoyed being back on the football field and it’s the little things the Kentucky quarterback no longer takes for granted. “Having a big setback like that makes you appreciate just being out there every day … the little things, like being back out there for practice and it’s awesome being back out there with my teammates,”...

Kentucky defense makes big plays while offense sips some bad ‘Kool-Aid’ during Saturday scrimmage

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer LEXINGTON — Eddie Gran has been through several spring practice sessions during his long coaching career. The Kentucky offensive coordinator had plenty to say after the team’s intra-squad scrimmage Saturday and it wasn’t good. To say Gran wasn’t happy following the 20-minute scrimmage totally dominated by the Wildcats’ defense is an understatement. Kentucky...

Dieting in Reverse: Wildcat QB Johnson trying to grow into his job as team’s No. 1 signal-caller

By Guy Ramsey Special to KyForward Stephen Johnson is dieting, but not like a normal person would. His diet basically consists of eating as much as possible. “Not anything and everything, but they really have me eating a lot of food. I have two smoothies right now with a goodie bag to take home,” Johnson said as he left Kentucky’s football facility on Tuesday. “So I’m just trying to eat really...

UK QB Drew Barker out for ‘significant amount of time,’ Johnson to start against Gamecocks

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Kentucky will be without its starting quarterback for at least a month, maybe longer, coach Mark Stoops said Wednesday. Drew Barker, who started the first three games and left after the first series in the Wildcats’ 62-42 rout of New Mexico State last week, is out because of an injured back, Stoops said. Stoops said Barker met with a specialist this...

No QB controversy as Stoops plans to start Barker if he’s healthy against Gamecocks

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer If all goes as planned, Drew Barker will be Kentucky’s starting quarterback when the Wildcats take on Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina Saturday. Barker, who left after the first series in Kentucky’s 62-42 rout of New Mexico State last week, injured his back after getting hit on the third play of the game and didn’t return. Stoops said...

Keith Taylor: Backup QB Johnson steps in pocket, steers Kentucky to first win of season

After leading Kentucky to its first victory of the season, Stephen Johnson couldn’t sit still. He was back on his feet. As he took questions from reporters following a 62-42 win over New Mexico State Saturday, Johnson asked if he could stand instead of sitting in a chair. From that point on, the backup quarterback refused to look ahead to a possible quarterback controversy but dwelled on his career...

Keith Taylor: UK QB Barker the starter, but backup Johnson will be giving chase during offseason

Former Conner High School standout Drew Barker is penciled in to be Kentucky’s starting quarterback next fall, but he can’t afford to relax this summer. Barker won the job during spring drills, beating out junior college transfer Stephen Johnson. Barker threw for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Kentucky’s blue-white scrimmage last weekend and Johnson threw for just 36 yards...