A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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)...

Smart, Bulldogs not surprised Cats are playing for SEC East division title

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky made its debit in the College Football Playoff Rankings earlier this week at No. 9, while Southeastern Conference foe Alabama was listed at No. 1. The Wildcats (7-1, 5-1) are one of three SEC teams ranked in the Top 10, while three others are among the Top 25. LSU is third and Georgia is sixth, followed by Kentucky at No. 9. Florida is ranked 11th, while Mississippi...

Cats not shying away from hype going into Georgia showdown

Kentucky receiver C.J. Conrad celebrates after the Wildcats rallied for a 15-14 win over Missouri Saturday. Kentucky plays Georgia Saturday, with the winner advancing to the SEC Championship game. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops knows the stakes will be high when Kentucky hosts Georgia Saturday. His players aren’t shying away from the hype, either. “You can’t shy...

Keith Taylor: Stoops has changed culture, expectation of Kentucky football

For the first time in school history, 12th-ranked Kentucky will have a chance to play in the Southeastern Conference Championship game if the Wildcats can beat No. 7 Georgia on Saturday at Kroger Field in the defacto SEC East championship game. It doesn’t get much bigger. The 7-1 and 12th-ranked Wildcats completed a successful five-minute drill in the fourth quarter to erase a 14-3 deficit and...

Show me! No. 12 Kentucky scores on last play of the game to stun Missouri

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today No. 12 Kentucky pulled off an improbable victory with a 15-14 triumph at Missouri Saturday to set up a showdown with No. 7 Georgia for the SEC East championship. The Wildcats (7-1, 5-1) host Georgia Saturday with the winner going to Atlanta for the SEC championship against the SEC West winner, either top-ranked Alabama or fifth-ranked LSU who also played Saturday. The...

Missouri’s ‘explosive’ offense to test Kentucky’s stingy defensive unit

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Missouri is winless in the Southeastern Conference but the Tigers have Kentucky’s undivided attention. “I definitely think there’s some pride there and that’s why this week is so important,” defensive coordinator Matt House said earlier this week. “This is the most explosive offense we’ve faced and we’re going to find out a...

Jamie Vaught: UK football climbs near Top 10 in national poll, has favorable remaining schedule

After Kentucky’s ugly 14-7 win over Vanderbilt in an important SEC matchup last Saturday night, the football Wildcats, as you know, are riding high with a 6-1 overall mark with five games remaining. And they are tied for first place in the SEC Eastern Division race, sharing the same spot with Florida and Georgia. The Big Blue Nation is pretty excited about the rising Wildcats even though the team...