New Mexico State thought it was ready for Stephen Johnson but it was not

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky starting quarterback Drew Barker lasted only one series against New Mexico State here Saturday night. He hurt his back and then threw an interception on the third play.

That brought on backup Stephen Johnson and he threw for 310 yards and three scores  in UK’s 62-42 victory over New Mexico State.

New Mexico State coach Doug Martin, a former UK player, said his team was not surprised by what Johnson did.

“We kind of anticipated that. We thought that’s the way they would go eventually, so we worked on that all week,” Martin said.

UK-New Mexico State postgame notes, numbers

KENTUCKY POSTGAME NOTES

New Mexico State at Kentucky

Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, Ky.

Sept. 17, 2016

 

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 62, New Mexico State 42

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 1-2, 0-1 in the Southeastern Conference.  New Mexico State is 1-2, 0-0 in the Sun Belt Conference.
  • This was the first all-time meeting between the two schools with Kentucky now leading the series, 1-0.
  • New Mexico State is the second of four non-conference opponents this season for Kentucky. The Wildcats will host Austin Peay on Nov. 19 and travel to top-10 ranked Louisville on Nov. 26.

Good news UK wins and scores 62; bad news still gives up 42

By LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON — After going six quarters with no offense, Kentucky found just what it needed — quarterback Stephen Johnson, tight end C.J. Conrad and a consistent running game against a porous New Mexico State defense.

Kentucky’s 692 yards of total offense was its most since getting 801 against Louisville in 1998. And the Wildcats scored 62 points after getting just one touchdown in the last six quarters.

Johnson came on when starter Drew Barker hurt his leg in the first quarter and went 17-for-22 passing for 310 yards and three scores. Conrad came into game with 16 catches for 154 yards and one TD but had five catches for 133 yards and three touchdowns Saturday.

Matthew Bradford speaks to Kentucky football players

Matthew Bradford talked to UK's players Thursday.

Matthew Bradford talked to UK’s players Thursday.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Former Marine Matthew Bradford, who lost both legs and his eyesight when bomb exploded under him in Iraq in 2007 while he was on patrol, spoke to the Kentucky football team after practice Thursday.

Kentucky will celebrate Heroes’ Day Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium when police officers, firefighters and military members/veterans will be UK’s guests. Stoops had policemen out at practice Wednesday.

UK should honor Charles Hurt at game today

By LARRY VAUGHT

Since today is Heroes’ Day at Commonwealth Stadium to honor all active, reserve and veteran members of the armed forces along with police, firefighters and first responders, I think Kentucky  needs to find a time for a moment of silence for former UK basketball standout Charles Hurt.

He passed away Friday from leukemia at age 55. He was a veteran of the  U.S. Army.

Hurt was beloved by former teammates and many, many UK fans even though he had not been back at  UK for a basketball game since his graduation in 1983.

RIP Charles Hurt, one of the really good guys ever to play at Kentucky

Charles Hurt, right, has lost his battle with leukemia.

Charles Hurt, right, has lost his battle with leukemia.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Charles Hurt was always a battler when he played at the University of Kentucky. He was probably one of my all-time favorite players because he was so rugged on the court, but such a kind, caring, fun-loving person off the court.

He’s been battling leukemia for way too long now and finally has lost that fight. He has passed away at age 55 based on what several former UK players told me tonight.

“He is one of the best people I know,” former Shelby County athletics director Sally Zimmerman once told me.

Eddie Gran not about to let up

Jeff Badet (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jeff Badet (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Don’t worry about offensive coordinator Eddie Gran’s attitude after UK’s offense has struggled the last six quarters going into Saturday’s game with New Mexico State.

He says he is “energized” daily and coaching as hard as ever.

“You can’t let up, and it’s our job as an offensive staff – as it came down from Coach Stoops – offensively as a staff, we’ve got to be more detailed. If their not getting it done then it’s on me, then it’s on them,” Gran said. “And at the end of the day, that’s the bottom line and so our kids have responded to it.

New Mexico State football notes

A few notes about New Mexico State going into Saturday’s game at Kentucky:

  • NM State trailed against New Mexico until 5:46 left in the fourth quarter when Greg Hogan caught an 8-yard pass from Tyler Rogers.
  • OJ Clark caught a career-high six passes.
  • Tyler Rogers had a career-high 15 rushing attempts.
  • Rogers also racked up his second consecutive 200-yard passing game during the 2016 season. He now has 12 200-yard passing games in his career.
  • With 205 yards rushing, Rogers now has 4,164 yards over his career. This ranks eighth in career passing yards in the all-time Aggie record books. He has surpassed Charley Johnson, who finished his career with 4,144 passing yards.

Wildcats Dominate All Phases of Match and Roll to Sweep of Cards

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team earned an impressive 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-9) sweep of the Louisville Cardinals on Thursday in the KFC Yum! Center behind a dominating effort in all phases of the match. UK grabbed early leads in every set and rolled to a convincing victory – it’s fourth in a row over Louisville.

With the win, Kentucky improves to 6-4 on the young season. Louisville drops to 4-5 on the year. The Wildcats waste little time returning to action. UK will welcome Lipscomb to Memorial Coliseum on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. first serve to mark the final non-conference matchup of the season.

Unveiling of Statue Honoring SEC Trailblazers Set for Sept. 22

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The statue honoring the four players who broke the color barrier in Southeastern Conference football – Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg – will be unveiled at an event at the site of the statue on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. The event will be open to the public.

The statue commemorates the playing careers and lives of the first four African-American football players in SEC history. It will be located on a pedestal in the plaza between the new Kentucky Football Training Facility and Commonwealth Stadium, positioned to remind fans, coaches and players of the incredible contributions made by Northington, Page, Hackett and Hogg to the University of Kentucky, the SEC and college football on a national level.