Mississippi State coach appreciated concern Stoops had for his injured player

By LARRY VAUGHT

Early in the third quarter Mississippi State offensive lineman Darryl Williams was hurt when the Bulldogs kicked a field goal against Kentucky.

He laid motionless on the field for over 10 minutes before he was put on a stretcher and taken off the field to a waiting ambulance. State coach Dan Mullen had his players surround him and they prayed for Williams.

Kentucky fans, players and coaches applauded as Williams left the field. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops spent time on the field checking on Williams.

Highlights from Kentucky’s win

This time UK turned bitter loss into dramatic win thanks to Austin MacGinnis’ clutch field goal

Austin MacGinnis celebrates the win. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

Austin MacGinnis celebrates the win. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Even for Kentucky, this was going to be a tough loss to accept for a lot of reasons.

Kentucky had a 34-24 lead early in the fourth quarter Saturday night and had the ball inside the Mississippi State 10-yard line. A touchdown would push the lead to 41-24 and secure the win.

Instead, quarterback Stephen Johnson fumbled for the eighth time in six games. Mark McLaurin got the loose ball for State and went 81 yards to score. A possible 41-24 lead suddenly was 34-31. But it got worse when State scored on a 7-yard pass with just 1:09 left to take a 38-37 lead.

Kentucky-Mississippi State postgame notes, numbers

KENTUCKY POSTGAME NOTES

Mississippi State at Kentucky

Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, Ky.

Oct. 22, 2016

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 40, Mississippi State 38

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 4-3 overall, 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State is now 2-5, 1-3 in the league.
    • The last time Kentucky was 3-2 in SEC play was 1999.
  • Kentucky has won three straight SEC home games for the first since 1996.
    • It is also the first time UK has won its first three conference home games since 1990.

Stoops tried to make sure Cats not looking ahead

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops

By LARRY VAUGHT

Going into tonight’s game with Mississippi State, Kentucky finds itself at 3-3 and needing a win to help secure a possible bowl bid.

But the Wildcats are also 2-2 in SEC play and have a chance to stay in the SEC Eastern Division race — yes, I know that sounds strange — if they win tonight.

“You can’t look that far ahead. We’re really focused on this week. I think our players do realize that if we continue to take care of our business, then we’ll have a good opportunity this week. It’s just week to week,” coach Mark Stoops said.

Mitchell believes this is “going to be a great year” for sophomore Maci Morris

Maci Morris (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Maci Morris (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sophomore Maci Morris had a solid freshman season, but coach Matthew Mitchell made it clear at Friday’s Media Day that he thinks she’ll be a much better all-around player this season.

“She’s really improved in all areas. That’s going to be one that I think everybody is going to go, wow. She really looks — she’s put on some muscle. She’s definitely improved in her speed agility quickness, athletic explosiveness is there, and she worked her tail off this summer and in this fall, and she is in phenomenal shape,” Mitchell said.

Blue-White didn’t show real UK defense

Isaiah Briscoe got around Malik Monk Friday. (UK Athletics Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe got around Malik Monk Friday. (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON — At Wednesday’s SEC Media Day, Kentucky coach John Calipari explained how he thought his team could be one of his best defensive teams.

Kentucky looked anything but like a great defensive team in Friday’s Blue-White Game. Yet that did nothing to change the UK coach’s mind about his team’s defense.

“We really guarded on the ball really good. It all starts right there. You have De’Aaron Fox, you have Dom (Hawkins), you have Malik (Monk), you have Isaiah (Briscoe). They can all guard the ball, which means you’re not getting broken down, having to rotate,” Calipari said.

QB Danny Clark commits to UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky plays Mississippi State tonight, but coach Mark Stoops already has been a winner today.

Former Ohio State quarterback commit Danny Clark committed to the Wildcats Saturday during his second unofficial visit in the last three weeks.

The 6-4 quarterback had been committed to Ohio State for over two years and UK was one of the few schools to stay in touch with him during that time. When he decided to de-commit — he does have an Ohio State tattoo — his connection with UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow got him to Kentucky.

When Calipari says go, Fox takes off

De'Aaron Fox, left, had five steals Friday. (UK Athletics Photo)

De’Aaron Fox, left, had five steals Friday. (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky fans finally got a chance to see what freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox can do on the basketball court — and he did not disappoint during Friday night’s Blue-White Game.

Fox had 31 points on 11-for-20 shooting from the field and 8-for-10 at the foul line, 12 rebounds, six assists, five steals and two blocked shots. That’s a stat-stuffer whether it is an intrasquad scrimmage or marquee matchup with a ranked opponent.

Blue-White notes and numbers

Malik Monk (Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics)

Malik Monk (Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics)

Blue-White Game

Blue 110, White 94

Oct. 21, 2016

Rupp Arena – Lexington, Ky.

Postgame Notes

Team Notes

  • This is the ninth year the Blue-White Game has been played in Rupp Arena.
  • Tonight’s attendance of 16,089 broke a school attendance record for the Blue-White Game. The previous record was 15,035 to open the 2013-14 season.
  • The teams combined to shoot 52.4 percent from the floor (77 of 147). The Blue Team shot a combined 59.5 percent from the floor, but just 27.3 percent from 3-point range. The White Team shined from long distance, connecting on 42.1 percent of its shots with an 8-of-19 mark.