Guest post: Does Florida have any real incentive to reschedule game with LSU?

By KEITH PEEL

With no UK football game occurring this weekend it is interesting to see what is happening around the SEC. The most interesting occurrence in my opinion is the controversy over the rescheduling of the LSU vs. Florida game that was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.

Because both schools’ schedules do not match up well going forward and both schools want to maintain a seven-game home schedule it appears that the game might not be played at all. That is where the interesting part comes in.

Florida’s remaining SEC schedule is Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina. All winnable games.

D.J. Eliot on focus, linebackers, Mike Edwards

Safety Mike Edwards could be UK's best defender. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Safety Mike Edwards could be UK’s best defender. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot took his turn with the media after Wednesday’s practice — the last time UK coaches or players will be available to the media until Monday with the Wildcats not playing this week.

Here are some of the things Eliot had to say to the media.

UK Sports Network to Air ‘Before the Madness’ Special

2016-17-mbb-poster_skj_gabrielLEXINGTON, Ky. – The UK Sports Network will once again air a pre-Big Blue Madness TV special on Friday prior to Big Blue Madness presented by Papa John’s. “Before the Madness” will be televised live from 5:30-7 p.m. on UK Sports Network select networks.

Big Blue Madness presented by Papa John’s is slated to start at 7 p.m.

Before the Madness will feature exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content from the Kentucky men’s and women’s basketball teams and more. Dave Baker and Christi Thomas will serve as the hosts for the night and will be joined by special guests.

Elam probably in, Barker out for Mississippi State

Matt Elam (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matt Elam (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said on the SEC Coaches Teleconference Wednesday that he expected defensive lineman Matt Elam would be back from injury to play against Mississippi State but he does not expect quarterback Drew Barker to play in the same game.

“Matt Elam, we do expect him to be back. I would expect him to be back by the Mississippi State game. If he doesn’t have any setbacks and looks like that is going to happen. Or it has to this point. He’s progressing and getting better and better so we’ll see moving forward here in the next week and a half,” Stoops said.

Thursday radio: Paul Karem on WPBK, Judy Griffin on WKYB

By LARRY VAUGHT

Former Kentucky quarterback Paul Karem of Louisville will join Tim Estes and myself on WPBK (102.9 FM) from 7:30-8 a.m. Thursday to talk about UK’s recent unveiling of a statue to honor the first four African-American football players at Kentucky in the late 1960’s.

The four — Greg Page, Nate Northington, Houston Hogg and Wilbur Hackett — were all Karem’s teammates at UK and he’s been on a 20-year crusade to have Kentucky honor the four. Why it took 50 years for UK to understand the significance of what these four men did is still mind-boggling to me — and Karem.

Guest post: Nerlens Noel perfect fit for Boston

By BEN SCHODOWSKI

What’s going on with Nerlens Noel?  The Philadelphia 76ers have had “the process” going on for quite some time, and that brings up some questions about Noel….

WHAT IS THE PROCESS?:  The process is a term phrased by 76ers fans, as the team played poorly with poor players and “intentionally” tried to obtain high draft picks.   This plan included drafting Noel in 2013 6th overall.  The Sixers made a trade to get him, and drafted two other high draft picks at his position in subsequent years (Joel Emiid, Jahlil Okafor).
WHAT IS NOEL’S FUTURE?:  The Boston Celtics.  For you UK/NBA fans, I predict a straight up trade between the 76ers and Boston Celtics for Noel and Avery Bradley.  This trade fits needs for both teams with extremely young players on each side that excel at their positions.  The 76ers have an overflow of young talent in their front-court, and the Celtics have the sub-verse of that with their glut of backcourt talent.
BOTTOM LINE:  This trade, if  it does to happen, completely fortifies the Boston Celtics.  I believe that Nerlens Noel can fully develop into a prime post defender in Boston.   Alongside new Celtic Al Horford, this can be a beautiful inside-outside combo.  I believe that is this trade were to happen, it may solidify Noel as the next Ben Wallace.

C.J. Conrad Named to John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore tight end C.J. Conrad has been named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List it was announced Wednesday.

Given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and the 2016 John Mackey recipient will be announced on Dec. 7 and then presented live on Dec. 8 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU. Other key dates include the announcement of the 2016 Mackey Semi-finalists on Nov. 14 and the 2016 Mackey Finalists on Nov. 22. All future announcements can be found at www.johnmackeyaward.com.

Bye week gives UK linebackers time to heal

Denzil Ware with game-saving sack against South Carolina. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Denzil Ware with game-saving sack against South Carolina. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

The bye week could not have come at a better time for Kentucky — or at least the Kentucky defense.

Coach Mark Stoops hinted Monday on his radio show that the team’s depth at outside linebacker had taken a hit without getting specific about who might be hurt.

“We’re starting to move some guys around a little bit. Kobie (Walker) will be out, it looks like for some time as well. Denzil (Ware) and Josh (Allen) have been banged up,” Stoops said.

Gran says Boom Williams “will be just fine”

Boom Williams (Keith Taylor Photo)

Boom Williams (Keith Taylor Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

When Boom Williams was taken out of a game last season and didn’t like it, he let everyone know and may have even temporarily left the team even though that report was never confirmed.

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said all summer he need Williams to mature physically and mentally. Apparently he has.

The junior running back fumbled against Vanderbilt last week and the ball was returned for a score in the third quarter. Williams never got back in the game because JoJo Kemp and Benny Snell both came in and ran well.

Stoops now says Johnson’s wrist injury “not an issue”

Stephen Johnson (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Monday night on his weekly radio show Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said quarterback Stephen Johnson had a “banged up” wrist.

After practice Tuesday, Stoops said that he did not want to talk about the wrist and neither did Johnson.

“It’s not an issue. He’s got a little banged up. Everybody is banged up and bruised. Nobody here is looking for that excuse, and certainly not Stephen. Everybody’s got to play banged up,” Stoops said.

Johnson ran the ball more in last week’s win over Vanderbilt when he was just 10 of 24 passing with one interception.