Larry Vaught

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Gran has found ways to adjust offense

Jeff Badet had two touchdown catches against Mississippi State. (Bill Thirry Photo)

Jeff Badet had two touchdown catches against Mississippi State. (Bill Thirry Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s expected starting quarterback — Drew Barker — has played two games. One of its top returning receivers — Dorian Baker — has been hampered by a hamstring injury and has yet to make a catch.

That has challenged offensive coordinator Eddie Gran in his first season at UK after leaving Cincinnati.

Calipari wants to update Joe Craft Center

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s basketball facility — the Joe Craft Center — is now 10 years old. It’s still regarded as one of the best facilities in the nation, but Thursday coach John Calipari said it was time for some renovations.

“Let’s go through and make it more modern. There are some other ideas that I have. Again, you want to stay the gold standard,” Calipari said. “You want to tie all of what we’re doing together on the campus and other things.

Cats excited for exhibition game

Mychal Mulder (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mychal Mulder (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky opens its exhibition season Sunday night at 7 against Division II Clarion, a place UK coach John Calipari once played.

“We’re all really excited to be able to line up against somebody that we don’t know so well. We work hard every day against each other and I’m excited to see us really project that against an opponent,” UK senior guard Mychal Mulder said Thursday.

Cats must reduce turnovers

Coach Mark Stoops knows quarterback Stephen Johnson has to reduce his fumbles. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Coach Mark Stoops knows quarterback Stephen Johnson has to reduce his fumbles. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

In seven games, Kentucky has 18 turnovers — 11 fumbles and seven interceptions. In those same seven games, UK foes have given up seven interceptions and only two fumbles.

Yet despite the minus nine turnover margin, Kentucky is 4-3 going  into Saturday’s game at Missouri. Coach Mark Stoops knows the turnovers — UK has given up a defensive touchdown on a fumble return in three straight games — has to stop.

Derrick Ramsey, Jason Todd join Cat Calls tonight

Former UK coach Fran Curci, right, reacts to the crowd after being introduced Saturday while former players, from left, Art Still, Warren Bryant and Derrick Ramsey applaud. All three players earned All-American honors at UK. (Bill Thirry Photo)

Former UK coach Fran Curci, right, reacts to the crowd after being introduced Saturday while former players, from left, Art Still, Warren Bryant and Derrick Ramsey applaud. All three players earned All-American honors at UK. (Bill Thirry Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

We will have plenty of football experts to weigh in tonight on from 6-7 on Cat Calls at Mallards on WKYB (107.5 FM).

Kentucky is coming off a dramatic win over Mississippi State and could move to 5-3 with a win over Missouri, which would also improve UK’s SEC mark to 4-2.

UK defense has to be ready for fast tempo

UK's defense will face a tougher challenge at Missouri. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

UK’s defense will face a tougher challenge at Missouri. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Even though Missouri lost at home to Middle Tennessee State University last week, the Tigers still had 112 offensive plays.

“We’ve just got to get ready for the tempo. We have to have a lot of substitutions,” UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said about Saturday’s game at Missouri. “We have to have a lot of guys play. We need to play with high energy every down, and we need to make sure we have high urgency, and those are the things we’re emphasizing this week in practice.

Kemp, Young will play; Toth iron horse of line

JoJo Kemp. (Vicky Graff Photo)

JoJo Kemp. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

I had two things I wanted to ask Kentucky coach Mark Stoops on today’s Southeastern Conference coaches’ teleconference.

First, running back JoJo Kemp had his left hand in a cast when last week’s game ended against Mississippi State and offensive tackle Landon Young had his ankle taped after spraining it during the game.

Would one or both play Saturday at Missouri?

“Yes,” said Stoops.

That was it.  Not sure if they will be 100 percent, but they will play and that’s good news.

SEC Network spotlights UK win over State

Tonight at 7, the SEC Network spotlights Kentucky’s dramatic comeback against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at home.

Kentucky lost its lead with only a minute left in the fourth quarter, but was able to pull off the 40-38 win thanks to Austin MacGinnis’s 51-yard field goal in the final second of the game.

The show features new vantage points and sound from the sidelines of the game, as well as footage from Kentucky’s weeklong preparatiion.

Guest post: Have the Cats really turned that proverbial corner?

By RICHARD CHEEKS

Prior to this season, I reviewed the history of UK’s football program’s efficiency from the 2011 season through the 2015 season with an eye toward placing goals for the 2016 season into context. As a matter of review:

 

Year

Adjusted Net Efficiency (ANE)

2011

-0.098

2012

-0.260

2013

0.224

2014

0.982

2015

0.768

UK has personnel Gran can use to run football

Kentucky has more yards rushing than passing this year. (Wade Upchuch Photo)

Kentucky has more yards rushing than passing this year. (Wade Upchuch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

When  Neal Brown was offensive coordinator at Kentucky, he wanted to have a solid running game but it was hard to do with the personnel he had.

Brown is now head coach at Troy and his team is 6-1. The only loss came at Clemson.

So how has Brown, regarded as an “Air Raid guy” by many, handled the offense this year. Troy has rushed for 1,392 yards and 14 touchdowns while passing for 1,979 yards and 16 scores. Not exactly 50-50, but a nice balance.