A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK coach Mark Stoops says Josh Paschal’s leadership giving Wildcats a big lift on defense

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky coach Mark Stoops hasn’t been surprised by Josh Paschal’s leadership this season. “He is an amazing individual,” Stoops said Monday. “… Josh has been through some tough situations and to see him come out on the other side is also inspirational.” Nearly two years removed from a cancer scare, Paschal had an interception and just missed scoring a touchdown...

Billy Reed: The ‘fellowship of the miserable’ is watching to see what’s next for Stoops

After the Kentucky Wildcats posted another of their signature come-from-ahead losses a week ago yesterday, this time a 42-41 overtime defeat to an Ole Miss team they led by 14 in the third quarter, the fan base spent the week moaning, groaning, finger-pointing, whining, and lamenting their historic bad luck. But I liked the Wildcat fan who found a silver lining in the debacle. He said he didn’t mind...

Jamie Vaught: Just like Coca-Cola’s 1970s marketing campaign, UK football is now the ‘Real Thing’

Like the old Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign back in the 1970s, UK football is now the “Real Thing.” Yes, coach Mark Stoops’ Wildcats are becoming a regular threat in Southeastern Conference battles. They are now winning against the mid-tier conference schools along with a chance to beat SEC (and national) powerhouses like Florida and Georgia. And Kentucky has won against the bowl veterans...

Keith Taylor: Promising season becomes memorable one as Bowden’s heroics made UK football special

What began as a promising season turned out to be a memorable one for Kentucky. 
The Wildcats opened with two consecutive victories before veteran quarterback Terry Wilson went down with a season-ending injury. The Wildcats then turned to Troy transfer Sawyer Smith, who was solid – and heartbreaking – 29-21 setback to Florida. 
A banged-up Smith started two games and a 24-7 loss at South...

Bowden ends collegiate career in style; Cats bring home Belk Bowl championship, 37-30 over Va. Tech

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today CHARLOTTE, N.C. (KT) — Lynn Bowden’s last play as a collegiate football player was a touchdown pass that will be remembered for years to come and one that put the finishing touches on his final season at Kentucky. 
Bowden, who will enter the NFL Draft in April following a stellar junior season, threw a 13-yard scoring strike to Josh Ali with 15 seconds to play that...

The Belk Bowl: Fun and games are over, as Kentucky gets down to business against Virginia Tech

Gametracker: Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech Noon, Saturday. TV/Radio: UK Radio Network. By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today CHARLOTTE, N.C. (KT) — The fun is over and Kentucky is ready to get down to business.   “At this point, you start getting a little anxious (and) you’re ready to go play the game,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday.   Kentucky has circled the Charlotte Motor Speedway,...

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops gets team’s attention, says Cats are locked in on South Carolina

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops got the attention of his football team this week. Mired in a two-game losing streak and coming off a disappointing 28-13 loss to Mississippi State last week, Stoops liked the way his team responded in practice this week ahead of Saturday’s contest at South Carolina. “We had their attention,” Stoops said Thursday. “They were very attentive and trying...

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops sees silver lining, shares blame following Cats’ loss in Starkville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops found a silver lining in his team’s 28-13 loss at Mississippi State on Saturday but took the blame for his poor start against the Bulldogs. “(I) didn’t feel like we played very good football in any phase,” Stoops said. “I didn’t see signs of that during the week, but obviously I didn’t have them ready to play and come into an environment like...

Jamie Vaught: UK football has tough act to follow, but look for Wildcats to finish 8-4 with another bowl trip

The football Wildcats from Lexington will have a very tough act to follow this fall. That’s after we saw a historical campaign by the 2018 University of Kentucky squad, which came up with the school’s best season in 41 years as the Cats posted a remarkable 10-3 record — including a New Year’s Day bowl victory over Penn State. Kentucky also finished with a winning league mark of 5-3 for the...

Blue blasts White as Cats unleash explosive plays in scrimmage; Benny Snell looks on

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Benny Snell gave high-fives and mingled with his former teammates during Kentucky’s annual Blue-White game Friday night at Kroger Field. 
Snell got a glimpse of what Kentucky’s offense will look like next season and came away impressed. Snell’s replacement in the backfield — A.J. Rose — rushed for 86 yards and scored three touchdowns to help lead the...

Kentucky football squad finishing spring practice with annual Blue-White game, then taking a break

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops will get one more look at his Kentucky squad before taking a summer break.   The Wildcats will conclude spring practice with the annual Blue-White game set for 6 p.m. Friday night at Kroger Field. The format will feature the Blue team against the White team in four 10-minute quarters. The team’s quarterbacks and specialists will play for both teams and...

Jamie Vaught: Looking ahead to 2019 after ‘Amazing Cats’ add exclamation point to outstanding season

Before New Year’s Day in 2019, like many fans, I only saw ONE great UK football team during my career as a sportswriter. But that statement changed after the 16th-ranked Wildcats ended their stunning 2018 campaign with an exciting 27-24 victory over No. 12 Penn State on Tuesday in a sunny Citrus Bowl in Orlando, finishing with an amazing 10-3 mark, including three wins over nationally-ranked teams...

Citrus Bowl-bound Wildcats head to 3rd straight postseason game under Stoops on New Year’s Day

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be in the spotlight on New Year’s Day and the extra attention will be motivation for the Wildcats when they take on Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. Coach Mark Stoops watches team practice in Orlando. (UK Athletics photo) “I think as you move up and play in New Year’s Day bowl game, and play Penn State, it’s definitely motivation,”...

Jamie Vaught: In UK football history, Sonny Collins comes to mind, says records are made to be broken

When you think of UK football history, you probably would mention former players/coaches like Paul “Bear” Bryant, Tim Couch, George Blanda, Jerry Claiborne, Randall Cobb, and Sonny Collins, to name a handful. And it is Collins who has been getting some attention lately. The 1973 SEC Player of the Year, Collins is currently the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,835 yards but his career mark...

Mark Stoops says records won’t matter when ‘Cats take on struggling Cardinals Saturday in Louisville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Louisville has struggled this season but Mark Stoops said that won’t matter when Kentucky takes on the Cardinals in the regular-season finale for both teams Saturday at Cardinal Stadium. “In a rivalry game, you can throw the records out the window,” Stoops said Monday. “We’re worried about ourselves and play the best football that we can.” Like Stoops, Kentucky...

Linebacker Josh Paschal returns to play in last football home game of the year after battling cancer

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Josh Paschal never knew if he would play football this season or ever again after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma nearly three months ago. He returned on Kentucky’s last home game of the year. 
One of Kentucky’s most promising defensive players, the sophomore linebacker spent most of his second season with the Wildcats developing a treatment plan, while...

Stoops takes responsibility for loss to Vols as Cats prep for final home game: ‘We need to do better’

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops didn’t like what he saw in a 24-7 loss to Tennessee last weekend in Knoxville. He wasn’t much happier after breaking down his team’s second consecutive setback to close out the Southeastern Conference schedule. 
As he did following the Wildcats’ 17th consecutive setback at Neyland Stadium, Stoops pinned the loss on himself for not having his team...

Stoops is more concerned about defeating UT than ending 34-year drought in Knoxville

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops addresses the media during his weekly press conference Monday. the Wildcats close out the SEC portion of the schedule at Tennessee Saturday. (Kentucky Today/Mark Stoops) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky hasn’t won a football game in Knoxville since 1984, but Mark Stoops won’t be making that a point to his team leading up to Saturday’s Southeastern Conference...

Georgia proves it’s the best in the SEC East, Wildcats look to regroup

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Georgia is good and is the best team in the Eastern division of the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs proved it yet again Saturday night. The Bulldogs clinched the SEC East with a 34-17 victory over No. 11 Kentucky, sending Georgia into the SEC championship game for the second straight season. Sixth-ranked Georgia (8-1, 6-1) defeated Auburn 28-7 in last year’s conference...

Dogfight: Kentucky, Georgia meet to determine the best team in the SEC East

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky hasn’t beaten Georgia in nine years and owns just three victories in the last 27 tries against the Bulldogs. Although wins over Georgia in 1996, 2006 and 2009 were monumental, none would compare if the Wildcats break an eight-game losing streak to Bulldogs Saturday at Kroger Field. A win would give the 11th-ranked Wildcats (7-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference)...