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The anticipation is building Aug. 30, 2013

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stoops looks to continue family tradition of football excellence By Tom Hurley thurley@kykernel.com

Coaching football is a family tradition for Mark Stoops. When he accepted the task of rejuvenating the UK football program on Nov. 27, 2012, he became the third son of Ron and Eveylyn Stoops to become a head coach at the top level of college football. Not bad for a eight-member family from the south side of Youngstown, Ohio. “The Stoops name is big time up there,” said UK freshman safety Marcus McWilson, a Youngstown native. “We love the Stoops family.” McWilson, a Cardinal Mooney High School alumnus like Stoops, originally committed to Nebraska, but reversed his decision on Jan. 28 — nine days before signing day — in order to play for Stoops at UK. Stoops’ father coached at Cardinal Mooney throughout his childhood, while both he and brothers Mike, Ron Jr. and Bob starred for the Cardinals defense in high school, like the fourstar rated McWilson. “He’s a Mooney guy so I trust him. I trust him with my life, “ McWilson said at football media day on Aug. 5. “I know he wouldn’t steer me wrong. To be out here with him is a great feeling. He’ll point me and the rest of the guys in the right direction.” The Stoops name is root-

ed in Youngstown football. Ron Stoops coached at Cardinal Mooney for 28 years until he died in 1988. It was during the many nights in his family home watching his father do football homework when Stoops’ preparation for Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky University began. He and his brothers would look on as their father analyzed film and drew

I’m highly motivated to build this program to national prominence” MARK STOOPS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH

plays on a projector screen set up against the refrigerator in the family kitchen. Each son would go onto star for the Cardinal Mooney defense, before moving onto college and then into the coaching ranks. Stoops followed brothers Mike and Bob, playing a key role for Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry at the University of Iowa. After collegiate careers on Fry’s defensive line, the three swapped pads for clipboards, becoming graduate assistant coaches at their alma mater. The oldest of the four brothers, Ron Jr.,

trained to be a teacher at Youngstown State before beginning his coaching as an assistant at Youngstown South High School in 1978. Fast-forward some 24 years to November 2012, and all four were still coaching. Ron Stoops Jr., was back at Cardinal Mooney coaching the defense as his father had in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Bob Stoops was in his 14th season as head coach at Oklahoma, accompanied by Mike as his defensive coordinator. Mark Stoops, meanwhile, was in his third season as defensive coordinator at Florida State after holding the same position for six years under Mike Stoops at Arizona. Fast-forward again to Dec. 2, and Mark Stoops arrived in Lexington with his wife, Chantel Stoops, and sons Zack and Will, to be introduced as the third Division I head coach in his family. “I’m highly motivated to build this program to national prominence,” Stoops said at the press conference. Stoops has created a new culture in the months since his appointment. He has brought in a highly-ranked recruiting class. Ticket sales are up, with more than 50,000 fans at the spring game in April. Senior players have said they notice a buzz around the state toward the football team usually rexserved for the men’s bas-

Coaching History

Name: Mark Stoops Hometown: Youngstown, OH College: Iowa (1986-1988)

-Iowa, Graduate Assistant - 1990-1991 -Nordonia High School, defensive backs 1992-1995 -South Florida, defensive backs - 1996 -Wyoming, defensive backs - 1997-1999 -Houston, co-defensive coordinator and safeties - 2000 -Miami, defensive backs - 2001-2003 -Arizona, defensive coordinator and defensive backs - 2004-2009 -Florida State, defensive coordinator and defensive backs - 2010-2012

PHOTO BY JAMES HOLT | STAFF

UK head football coach Mark Stoops instructs his new team on April 13. ketball program. Stoops has reached out to former players, sending care packages to ex-Cats in the NFL full of UK merchandise and inviting them to attend games at Commonwealth Stadium. Players will now wear khakis, dress shirts and blazers on the “Cat Walk” before games. As he enters his first season, Stoops understands the importance of beginning his tenure on a winning note. “There’s a lot of excitement around our program and around the state, and nationally, really,” Stoops said Monday. “It’s time for us to go out and prove it and see what we’re all about. I’m excited, and I think our team will be as well.”


Friday, August 30, 2013 | PAGE 3


Quarterback battle continues Smith, Whitlow bring different skill sets to the table By Alex Forkner aforkner@kykernel.com

When the UK offense takes the field Saturday, hoping to fill the Nashville sky with Air Raid sirens, the man taking the first snap of the game will be a surprise. Head coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown agreed on not naming either sophomore Maxwell Smith or sophomore Jalen Whitlow the starter in the week leading up to the season opener against Western Kentucky University. “We’ll go in and whoever the starter is, they’ll be given some rope,” Brown said. “I anticipate playing both quarterbacks, but obviously if one quarterback comes in and plays well, we’re not going to take somebody out if they’re playing well.” The quarterback competition was narrowed in the last week of fall camp, as the staff logged statistics for each quarterback in multiple situations. After more than 30 practices, Smith and Whitlow were the most productive. Sophomore Patrick Towles was eliminated from contention. “(Towles) fought,” Stoops said. “He wanted to win the starting job, but he’s had a great attitude, and that’s what I told him. Patrick has been very good, has continued to work extremely hard. He’s got as much talent as any quarterback we have on campus, but it’s just a matter of letting him grow into the situation a little bit.” Stoops said he and Towles have discussed the

possibility of redshirting the quarterback. Going into game week, Stoops and Brown are looking for which quarterback can produce in the new offense, and both Smith and Whitlow bring different skill sets to the table. Despite suffering a left ankle ligament tear against the University of South Carolina, Smith passed for 975 yards and eight touchdowns in four games last season, while boasting an impressive 68.7 percent completion rate. Smith has started seven games and played 12 in total. “I think I get an advantage in terms of, you know, I’ve had a lot of playing experience,” Smith said. “Jalen actually started more games than me (last year) because of my injuries, but I have a lot of experience and I think it helps me.” Whitlow played in 10 games last season, starting seven, and threw for 801 yards and three touchdowns. But Whitlow displayed an extra dimension, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Whitlow, the star of the spring game, said his athleticism could help him adjust to the pace of the new offense. He’s also worked on becoming a more vocal leader. “I’m not a big ‘hoorah’ guy, but I try to be a little more vocal and serious once we get on the field,” Whitlow said. Stoops has said the decision ultimately will be his, once he gathers input from Brown and the rest of the offensive staff. And though the two-man

PHOTO BY EMILY WUETCHER | STAFF

UK quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow and Maxwell Smith run a drill in practice on Saturday. battle is the most publicized position battle on the team, Stoops said the competition is no different than any on the rest of the team. “Everybody talks about it because it’s the quarterback,

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but it’s not different than any position. I mean anybody. If one person’s doing good then they’re the starter,” he said. “If they’re not, then the next person is in, and that’s the way it is across the board.”


2013 schedule: Each opponent’s top player By David Schuh dschuh@kykernel.com

vs.

AUG. 31

Andrews

Full name: Antonio Andrews Position: RB Year: Senior Hometown: Fort Campell, Ky.

vs.

Sept. 7

Scott

Full name: Dawan Scott Position: WR Year: Junior Hometown: Columbia, S.C.

Sept. 14

Bridgewater

Clowney

vs.

Full name: Jeff Driskel Position: QB Year: Junior Hometown: Oviedo, Fla.

at Full name: Jadeveon Clowney Position: DE Year: Junior Hometown: Rock Hill, S.C.

vs.

Oct. 12

McCarron

Perkins

University of Miami (OHio)

Full name: AJ McCarron Position: QB Year: Senior Hometown: Mobile, Ala.

Nov. 2

Scott struggled for consistency last season, but his 11-catch, 208-yard and two-touchdown performance against Akron last September showed what he’s capable of. As a junior, Scott is poised to be even more explosive by the time the Redhawks get to Lexington.

University of Louisville

University of FLorida

at

Matthews

University of south carolina

Nov. 23

University of Alabama

Nov. 30

He isn’t the most physically-gifted quarterback UK will play this season, but McCarron has led Alabama to back-to-back national championships. He threw 30 touchdowns with only three interceptions last season. The Cats will have their hands full at every position against the Tide, and they shouldn’t count on McCarron turning it over. Neal

alabama State

Full name: James Franklin Position: QB Year: Senior Hometown: Corinth, Texas

Driskel hasn’t been the best statistical quarterback, but he did lead Florida to a Sugar Bowl appearance last season. He threw for just 1,646 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, but those numbers are bound to improve. Driskel did run for 408 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. The Cats will have to force him into a few turnovers to have a chance for success against the Gators this year.

Gurley

vs.

vs.

Nov. 16

If there is anyone Bridgewater is chasing in the Heisman race, it’s Clowney. The Gamecocks’ star defensive end may be the most feared player in the game and his 13 sacks last year are proof. He could easily be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft next year. The Cats will have their hands full keeping whoever is playing at quarterback upright.

Mississippi State

Full name: Isaiah Crowell Position: RB Year: Junior Hometown: Columbus, Ga.

Nov. 9

Franklin

at

Perkins ran for 110 yards and a touchdown last year Full name: LaDarius in a 27-14 win over UK. Returning for his senior seaPerkins son, he’s likely to increase on his 205 carries from last season — a season in which he broke 100 yards in four Position: RB games. He will be the main focus of the UK defense in Year: Senior Starkville. Hometown: Greenville, Mich.

Crowell

vs.

Oct. 5

Oct. 24

The senior running back isn’t just the Hilltopper’s top returning offensive weapon, he may be one of the country’s best at his position in 2013. He ran for more than 100 yards in every game but three last season, totaling 1,684 yards and 11 touchdowns. If he plays at a similar level in their opener against the UK, the Hilltoppers could make it two straight wins over the Cats.

Coming off a season where he threw for more than Full name: Teddy 3,700 yards, Bridgewater is an early season Heisman Bridgewater Trophy candidate. UK’s defense will have their hands full just containing the Cardinals’ aerial attack. Position: QB Year: Junior Hometown: Miami, Fla.

Set. 28

Driskel

wKU at Nashiville, Tenn.

Full name: Jordan Matthews Position: WR Year: Senior Hometown: Madison, Ala.

at Full name: Todd Gurley Position: RB Year: Sophomore Hometown: Tarboro, N.C.

vs. Full name: Rajion Neal Position: RB Year: Senior Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.

Crowell racked up 850 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman at the University of Georgia. Crowell then was arrested on weapons charges and dismissed from the university. Now that he has transferred to Alabama State, he has a fresh start at an FCS program. He will be the focal point of the Hornets’ offense.

University of Missouri Franklin started in eight of the Tigers’ 12 games last season and won the starting quarterback position near the end of preseason practice. In a limited role last season, Franklin threw for 1,562 yards, completing 59.4 percent of his passes. But Franklin threw for 2,865 yards as a sophomore in 2011. He’ll likely see a return to top form now that he is a consistent starter again.

Vanderbilt University Matthews became one of the best wide receivers in the SEC last season, gaining more than 100 yards in seven games. The Commodores were one of the biggest surprises in the conference and he was a key to that. The Cats will do well to hold him under triple digits in yards.

university of Georg ia Gurley burst onto the scene last season, rushing for more than 100 yards nine times in his freshman season. Nearly 1,400 yards later, he returns in 2013 as one of the best rushers in the SEC.

University of Tennessee Tennessee finished just 5-6 last season, but Neal was one lone bright spot. He got the bulk of the Volunteers’ carries for the first time in his career and turned it into 708 yards and five touchdowns. His team is in rebuilding mode this year under new coach Butch Jones, but he can be a dangerous part of their offense.

Photo credits to athletic departments at Western Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi St., Alabama St., Missouri, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Tennessee.

Student excitement for Stoops’ debut varies Many hopeful Cats will ‘keep pace in SEC’ By Matt Overing sports@kykernel.com

Mark Stoops has yet to coach a game as UK’s head football coach, but that has not discouraged high expectations for his first season. Junior accounting major Cody Henson said he believes the Cats can make it to a bowl game this year. “We have a chance to win six games this year,” Henson said. Most UK students have not see the Cats make it to a bowl game in their time as a college student. UK’s last bowl bid was in 2010. Biology freshman Maggie Haffler doesn’t think UK will make a bowl this year. “We have the same players as last year,” Haffler said. “So I'm not expecting as much as others.” Two of those returning players, Max Smith and Jalen Whitlow, are the top two candidates for the starting quarterback position. Students are split on which quarterback will get the nod on Saturday against Western Kentucky University. “I think Whitlow will get

the start against WKU,” political science junior Nate Dillon said. “After that, I'm not sure.” Henson thought the opposite. “I'd say Max Smith will be the starting quarterback, but I don't think he'll be the starter all year,” Henson said. UK head coach Mark

Stoops came at the right time. He’s young, and I think he will be here a while.” NATE DILLON

Political science junior

Stoops said that the team has no real game plan for which quarterback will receive the most playing time on Saturday. “We're not going to set anything in stone,” Stoops said in regards to the quarterback situation. One major change some

students are expecting is that the Cats will be competitive in SEC play. “I do expect to be in a lot of close games — games that we weren't in last year,” Dillon said. “I think size on the defensive line will be this team’s greatest strength, and it will keep us in games.” Henson said that UK will have limited improvement in 2013. “I don’T think UK will ever reach the top tier of the SEC,” Henson said. “We may have some nice seven or eight win seasons, but we will never be on par with Florida or Alabama.” Some fear that Stoops PHOTO BY JAMES HOLT | STAFF may not be a very permanent UK head football coach Mark Stoops walks down field in front of a record crowd at the Blue vs. White game at fixture in UK Athletics. Commonwealth Stadium on April 13. Stoops will coach his first official game Saturday against WKU. “I’m sadly under the impression that Stoops will gram. opportunity for the football indicate that football fans will leave after a few strong years remain in their seats late in “I’m expecting the foot- team. here,” Henson said. ball team to be much better “I don't think attendance the year. Dillon disagrees. “The hype shouldn’t fade under Coach Stoops,” Wells will drop for the football “Stoops came at the right said. “Just the hype about team if they win games,” Dil- for the football team this year time. He's young, and I think how they have improved lon said. “If we have four or when basketball begins,” he will be here a while,” Dil- makes me excited to watch five wins late in the year, Henson said. “I think UK will lon said. them my freshman year, and I there will be tons of excite- be in a lot of close football Freshman psychology am hopeful that the football ment about the possibility of games late in the year.” major Jon Wells thinks the team can reach the prestige beating Tennessee and makhype surrounding Stoops’ that the basketball team has.” ing a bowl.” first year is great for the uniHenson thinks season Dillon sees the time beversity and the football pro- fore basketball season as an ticket sales, up from last year,


and

bestworst-case scenario By Alex Forkner aforkner@kykernel.com

vs. Miami University (ohio)

UK falters in its most winnable SEC matchup, putting the Cats in danger of back-to-back winless seasons in conference. Missouri wins 34-21.

By Alex Forkner

When Mark Stoops hired D.J. Eliot as UK’s new defensive coordinator, the two were already well acquainted. Eliot served as defensive ends coach under Stoops at Florida State University from 2010-2012. Before that, they coached together at University of Miami (Fla.), University of Houston and University

of Wyoming. At Wyoming, Stoops coached the defensive backs while Eliot played linebacker. During their various stops, the two converted defenses from struggling to staunch. Before their arrival at FSU, the Seminoles were 108th in total defense. By 2012, FSU ranked second in total defense (254.1 yards per game) and sixth in scoring defense (14.7 points per game).

Eliot, now a first time coordinator, has his work cut out for him in Lexington. UK ranked 59th nationally in total defense last season, but was dead last in 3rd-down defense, as well as 113th in turnovers forced. What’s the biggest adjustment for Eliot so far? “Well, I guess instead of being responsible for eight guys, being responsible for about 30-something guys,” Eliot said. “Just managing

UK wins 31-21.

Vandy continues the trend of leaving UK in the rearview mirror. With a new commitment to football and hot-headed coach James Franklin making waves in recruiting, continuing to lose ground in the division will hurt. Vanderbilt wins 34-14.

ent teams where you had different strengths, but having four good defensive linemen is important,” Eliot said. You don’t have to cover somebody if they sack them, you know what I mean? So it goes a long ways.” Eliot’s defense will mostly manifest as a 4-3, but he recently said he would employ the use of 3-4 and nickel packages in certain situations. In his first season at UK,

Eliot will have to handle a young back seven, a daunting schedule and a host of Heisman contenders to defend. And Eliot plans to take the season step by step. “Well, the process is dayto-day,” Eliot said. “It’s not just the game. So we work on what we have to work on that day and then we evaluate ourselves on that day. We are concentrating on the process and not the outcome.”

sept.

sept.

BEST CASE WORST CASE

Florida wins 42-14.

vs. alabama state university

UK wins 34-24.

A national audience watches UK struggle to a loss, and the talking heads get to overanalyze what is maligning the program. Mississippi State wins 31-13.

WORST CASE

The Cats use the Thursday night ESPN broadcast as a commercial for their new direction. The publicity of playing well and winning will prove fruitful in recruiting.

BEST CASE

nov.

24

2

UK coasts to a victory while remaining healthy. The coaching staff and players can focus their attention on the last stretch of the season, which could make or break a possible bowl appearance. UK wins 42-10.

UK wins, but suffers some key injuries that jeopardize the rest of the season. It could be a quarterback, running back or someone on the defensive side of the ball. Staying healthy is key late in the schedule.

at university of g eorg ia

UK wins 28-14.

vs. university of tennessee

23

nov.

16

The Cats have always relied on Vandy to occupy the basement apartment in the division, but the rental agreement has changed in the past few seasons. The Commodores have owned the Cats in the last two meetings, outscoring UK 78-8. Stoops will surely focus on changing that trend. There’s no way to go but up, after all.

UK’s losing streak gets another year older, making us all wonder when it’s going to move out and do something with its life. The Gators do what their ancestors have done, seemingly since the dawn of football. Big plays doom the Cats and start a long SEC season of turmoil.

Like the South Carolina and Alabama games, this is one I can’t see UK winning no matter how well they play. Last season in Lexington, an inspired performance by Jalen Whitlow and a sleepwalking Georgia defense helped UK almost pull off a massive upset. While I expect UK to play better this season, I’m sure Georgia will as well. Plus the game is in Athens, where UK has won only four times since 1939. Aaron Murray has a knack for picking the Cats’ secondary apart. There’s more talent back there now, but still a lot of youth. Georgia wins 38-24. Georgia is ranked No. 5 in the preseason for a reason. Should the Bulldogs season go as they hope, they’ll be in the thick of the hunt for SEC and national titles when they face UK in late November. Murray finished 30-of-38 passing for 427 yards and four touchdowns in Lexington last year. Should he put up those numbers again, and potentially improve on them, a long day awaits the Cats. Georgia wins 45-21.

BEST CASE

Alabama wins 45-7.

and being responsible for the entire defense has been a big change.” Though Eliot is now overseeing the entire defensive unit, he will rely on a defensive line laden with upperclassmen, including seniors Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble on the interior, and junior Bud Dupree and junior college transfer Za’Darius Smith on the ends. “I’ve coached on differ-

Louisville wins 38-10.

oct.

The Cats don’t compete and look downright scared to line up against Alabama. A problem for UK in the past has been a lack of belief, beating itself before it steps on the field. In a new era of UK football, that trend has to end.

BEST CASE

Alabama wins 38-21.

Eliot and Stoops team up again to coach Cats aforker@kykernel.com

BEST CASE

12

When defending champions and preseason No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide roll into Lexington, they will likely be undefeated, pending the anticipated rematch with Texas A&M in College Station. Maybe adrenaline lets UK hang around for a half, but Alabama is just too talented, too deep and too well-coached for the Cats to seriously threaten its bid for another national title.

nov.

BEST CASE

UK wins 28-10.

WORST CASE

Missouri plays Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee on consecutive weekends before traveling to Lexington — a perfect recipe for some worn-down Tigers. UK could have beaten Mizzou in Columbia, Mo., last season if not for terribly timed turnovers. If the Cats take care of the ball, UK can win this one.

The Cardinals control the game from the opening kickoff, much like last season when Louisville coasted to a 32-14 victory in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Strong’s defense thwarts the Air Raid. Neither quarterback looks comfortable, sending a shockwave of ineptitude through the offense that has fans flashing back to last season. The defense is thrown over and run through, and Bridgewater looks like the first-round pick he is projected to be.

UK wins 26-24.

at mississippi state University

at vanderbilt university

9

UK wins 40-37

28

The world spins off its axis as UK somehow, some way beats the Gators for the first time in my lifetime, and probably yours, too. The current longest win streak over one opponent — 26 years — ends as UK’s defense manages the game and the offense scores enough points to outlast a late Florida rally. With decades of demons exorcised, fans rush the field and burrow into the turf, hoping to spend the rest of their lives surrounded by the joy of that moment.

WORST CASE

South Carolina wins 45-14.

WORST CASE

UK wins 17-7.

vs. university of florida

14

In an epic showdown reminiscent of 2007, the Cats get the better of the Cards, reclaiming the Governor’s Cup and bragging rights. Whitlow/Smith outduels Heisman hopeful Teddy Bridgewater, and Stoops’ defensive scheme outfoxes UL head coach Charlie Strong. The victory not only creates momentum heading into SEC play, but helps sway some recruits’ decisions in the offseason.

nov.

Steve Spurrier, the southern gentleman that he is, extends a warm welcome to Mark Stoops and company by way of demoralization. In the post game press conference, Spurrier condescendingly compliments UK’s mouthpieces.

nov.

The Cats bumble and fumble around the film in their first game at Commonwealth under Stoops. Remember in 2010 when the RedHawks hung around in The Swamp and put a scare into Florida? UK still wins, but does so sloppily, serving up some uneasy feelings heading into Governor’s Cup week. A quarterback controversy reemerges, making things a little more complicated going forward.

oct

South Carolina wins 35-28.

BEST CASE

Traveling to Columbia has never been easy on the Cats. After winning the first five games of the season and cracking the Top 10, the 2007 team dropped a primetime matchup, 38-23. In 2009, starting QB Mike Hartline was lost for the season with a torn ACL against the Gamecocks. Remember the 2011 incident when USC ran away 54-3 and you weren’t sure you could call what UK did that day “football?” The last time UK was victorious at South Carolina was way back in 1999 (30-10).

WORST CASE

oct.

BEST CASE WORST CASE

5

vs. university of missouri

BEST CASE

UK wins 34-10.

vs. university of alabama

at university of south carolina

WORST CASE

The Cats fine-tune their game en route to an easy victory over an inferior opponent, equaling their win total from last season. The home crowd at Commonwealth provides a raucous environment, creating an energy that carries throughout the season. This game serves as a nice warm up for a Top-10 rival.

WORST CASE

WKU wins 21-7.

7

BEST CASE

The metamorphosis Mark Stoops wants to bring to UK doesn’t materialize right away, and the Cats play like they’re still in a cocoon. New Hilltoppers head man Bobby Petrino gets back to his old habit of inflicting pain on UK like he did during stints at Louisville and Arkansas. Once coveted by Cats fans, Petrino has the fanbase in Lexington crashing back to Earth, wondering if they hired the wrong guy.

vs. university of louisville

WORST CASE

UK wins 37-13.

BEST CASE

The seeds of excitement planted in the spring blossom with a decisive win over the Hilltoppers, avenging last year’s home loss that arguably ended Phillips’ chances of retaining his job. Whichever quarterback trots out on the field to engineer new offensive coordinator Neal Brown’s version of the “Air Raid” offense looks great, halting any lingering quarterback controversy. Stoops’ and new defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot’s defense dominates WKU, setting the tone for a new identity for the defense.

sept.

31

WORST CASE

WORST CASE

BEST CASE

aug .

vs. Western Kentucky University

30

Even though it was only two years ago, UK’s bizarre victory over Tennessee in 2011 seems like a distant memory. Last year’s 37-17 loss in Knoxville halted the chance of UK actually establishing a winning streak over it’s “rival” to the south, if you can even call the Volunteers that. If Stoops can somehow pull off a victory over Tennessee, which is in its first year under new head coach Butch Jones, the win will be a big step toward turning this rivalry into an actual rivalry. UK wins 31-30

Tennessee has had an even better off season than UK, boasting the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for 2014, according to Rivals. The Vols haven’t received quite the national attention the Cats have, mostly because Tennessee having a top recruiting class isn’t a novelty. If the Vols get back in the habit of putting a hurting on UK, this lopsided rivalry will get even more lopsided. Tennessee wins 35-17.

Brown brings high-tempo offense to UK New coordinator hopes ‘Air Raid’ will lead to success By Tom Hurley thurley@kykernel.com

When Neal Brown accepted the task of running UK’s new-look offense under Mark Stoops, it completed a circle for the Kentucky native. Born in Louisville and raised in Danville, Brown

was a three-sport, all-state athlete at Boyle County High School where he played basketball, baseball and football. From there he spent three years as a wide receiver at UK before transferring to Massachusetts. Now at the age of 33,

Brown is back, and he’s ready to turn a youthful Cats attack into a hard-working, up-tempo offensive unit. Brown’s two priorities for his first season are simple. “We want to win the turnover margin, which I think is going to be huge for us this year, and we have got to figure out a way to make more explosive plays than the other team,” Brown said.

Brown said he thinks Cats fans will enjoy seeing the same kind of effort and physicality that Red Raiders fans have seen over the past three seasons. “I feel like this is a bluecollar state, from east to west. We want to put a product out there that resembles the people in this state,” Brown said. “We want to play high tempo, we want to play physical and we want to get after people.”

But that doesn’t mean the Cats will be doing nothing but throwing the football in Brown’s “Air Raid” offense. “I think that running the football is always going to be a part of what we do. There’s no question it’s important, especially in this league,” Brown said. “We have got to be able to establish it. And especially kind of where we are at as a unit right now, we are going to depend on some playaction passes for some big plays.” Brown prefers to stand

on the sidelines during games as opposed to sitting in the press box like some offensive coordinators. “I like it down there,” Brown said. “I think you get a little better feel for when to use tempo, when to not.” Brown also has a couple of familiar faces helping him groom the Cats to the “Air Raid” style. Wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord — who will sit in the press box during games —and running backs coach Chad Scott served under Brown at Texas Tech.


UK stiffening game day security

Cats’ motivation should lead to victory Saturday Coaching: New face vs. different place UK has a new face on the sideline and will matchup with a familiar one on the opposite side, albeit wearing a different brand of red than the Cats have seen before. Mark Stoops is a first-time head coach with a ALEX FORKNER highly regarded pedigree as an Kernel assistant. He’s columnist assembled a well-respected, young staff that is bringing new energy to UK football. Bobby Petrino has a track record of success at every stop (well, in college anyway). He’s been relegated to a mid-major job like Western Kentucky University only because of personal folly and poor motorcycle driving.

As head coach against UK, Petrino is 4-1. The four wins came while Petrino coached the University of Louisville, and included some fierce beatdowns: 28-0 in 2004 and 59-28 in 2006. The lone loss came in Petrino’s first year at Arkansas, when some freshman named Randall Cobb caught two late touchdown passes to give the Cats a 21-20 win in Lexington. Both men will have a lot on the line Saturday night. Stoops will be aiming to make a good first impression, and Petrino to take advantage of his second chance. Petrino reportedly expressed interest in filling UK’s coaching vacancy before Stoops got the job, so he might be extra motivated to claim a victory, just to show the folks in the athletic department what they’re missing. But I think Stoops has more to lose in this one, and is thus more motivated. Beating Petrino and the Hilltoppers will go a long way in sustaining the momentum the pro-

gram has gained this offseason. I doubt many expect WKU to take off right away under Petrino. Plus, losing to Western didn’t work so well for the last guy to coach the Cats. Stoops knows the importance of this game and will rally his troops accordingly. Edge: UK Roster: UK’s youth vs. WKU’s experience The Hilltoppers return a load of experience. Thirty-three upperclassmen appear on WKU’s two-deep depth chart. UK, conversely, lists 23 underclassmen in the top two at each position. A good portion of this Hilltopper team knows success, winning 14 games in the last two years. One of those wins came over UK last season, so it’s safe to say Western has no fear of stepping on the field with an SEC team — though WKU middle linebacker Andrew Jackson might question the Cats’ right to boast that claim.

And don’t count on a huge talent disparity favoring UK. Western fields a number of three-star talents and even a few four-star players, according to Rivals’ rankings. UK’s win total the last two seasons? Seven. The Hilltoppers know what it takes to win games, a lesson the Cats are trying to relearn. Even though some young UK players, especially on defense, saw a lot of action last season, they’re not near as battle-tested as the boys from Bowling Green. Edge: WKU Overall Edge: Expect a pretty even battle in Music City, with UK prevailing by a scant margin. Both offenses will probably need to work out some kinks in their new systems, so points will probably be at a premium. The Cats score just enough to leave LP Field victorious, avenging last year’s overtime loss and starting the Mark Stoops era off on a positive note. Prediction: UK 21, WKU 20

By Morgan Eads meads@kykernel.com

One of the more noticeable changes to the 2013 game day experience will be the increased enforcement of bag size restrictions. In an effort to fall in line with national security trends, UK football games will see more thorough regulations on what can be brought into the stadium, said Kevin Saal, event manager for UK Athletics.

BAG SIZE New bins at stadium entrances will allow security officers to measure bags, ensuring that they are within the allowed dimensions: 13.5 inches by 10 inches by 7 inches PROHIBITED ITEMS -Alcohol -Aluminum containers -Artificial noisemakers -Backpacks -Chair backs with backs larger than 18 inches -Firearms -Food -Golf carts -Glass containers -Ice or ice chests -Irritants -Large bags -Pets (excluding service animals) -Portable or combustible fuel heaters -Tobacco products

Season ticket sales on the rebound By Morgan Eads meads@kykernel.com

As UK football wins decline, so do ticket sales. In 2007, the UK football team had one of the most successful seasons in recent history, and season ticket sales were well above 50,000, according to Tony Neely, media relations director of UK Athletics. In 2012, however, when the team won two of 12 games, season ticket sales were just over 38,000, he said in an email to the Kernel. This season, with high hopes surrounding new head coach Mark Stoops, ticket sales are on the rebound. So far, around 45,800 season tickets had been sold, Neely said. The latest numbers were available Aug. 26.

NEW IDs Students attending the football games with student tickets are encouraged to have their new IDs by the first game on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Manage your student udent information on the go with the

MOBILE MOBI ILE APP FFeatures eatures Include: Innclude: Enhanced Enhanc ed Campus Map M Browse Br rowse e Course Catalog alog View Your V iew Y o Class Information our ormation Register er for Classes s Make Account Payments Paym ments s View V iew Enhanced nhanced d Student, dent, Faculty, Directory Faculty y, & Staff Staffff Dir rectory ec ctory Out Events Check O ents nts Download d at www.uky.edu/apps www .uky.eddu/apps for iPhone e and iPod Touch. Touc ch. soon Coming so oon Android! for Andr oid!

myUK


Past UK head Coaches found Mixed success during first year By Nick Gray ngray@kykernel.com

Bear Bryant 1946 First-year record: 7-3

Paul William “Bear” Bryant came to UK in 1946 after one year at Maryland and immediately won. Bryant’s first game with the Cats was a 20-6 victory over Ole Miss, which began a three-game winning streak. UK’s only losses in 1946 came against teams in the AP Top 25, and the 7-3 record was the first winning record in four seasons in Lexington. Bryant holds many UK coaching records, including career wins and consecutive finishes in the AP Top 25 poll, along with the Cats’ only claimed national championship in 1950 via the Sagarin rankings.

Blanton Collier

Charlie Bradshaw

1954

1962

First-year record: 7-3

First-year record: 3-5-2

Collier took over for Bryant and continued the success, at least in his initial season. The Cats won seven of the final eight games in 1954 after falling to two teams ranked in the Top 10 in Maryland and Ole Miss. But UK would not earn seven or more wins in a season for 22 more years.

John Ray 1969 First-year record: 2-8

Bradshaw’s first year included ties against Florida State and Georgia and a victory over Tennessee, but the Cats’ offense scored 17 or more points in only two games all season. UK earned a winning record under Bradshaw in 1964 and beat three Top-10 teams in his tenure, including a victory over No. 1 Ole Miss in 1964.

Ray was faced with a schedule more difficult than Mark Stoops’ first slate. The 1969 Cats faced six teams in the Top 15, beating No. 8 Ole Miss in the conference opener, led by junior quarterback Archie Manning, 10-9. UK’s other win was against Jerry Claiborne’s Virginia Tech squad in Lane Stadium. Ray’s teams failed to win more than three games in his four seasons.

Fran Curci 1973 First-year record: 5-6

Jerry Claiborne 1982

Out of the gate, the Cats improved their per-game averages and overall record under Curci. UK won three conference road games and defeated No. 14 Tulane at newly constructed Commonwealth Stadium. Two-point losses at Florida and versus Tennessee completed Curci’s first season. Curci earned the program’s last conference championship in 1977, but NCAA sanctions forced the Cats out of postseason play.

First-year record: 0-10-1 Bill Curry Claiborne, a UK alumnus, took over the Cats from Maryland in a similar route to Bear Bryant, from Maryland. UK had gone through four straight losing seasons prior to Claiborne’s arrival, and recruiting sanctions from the prior staff still lingered in the program. Claiborne mustered a lone 13-13 tie to Kansas as the only positive result in 1982. The Cats would rebound to earn consecutive trips to the Hall of Fame Classic behind an effective rushing attack. Claiborne retired in 1989.

Hal Mumme 1997 First-year record: 5-6

1990 First-year record: 4-7

Mumme’s “Air Raid” offense debuted with sophomore quarterback Tim Couch at the helm, but was handed a difficult schedule with four conference games at home against opponents ranked in the Top 25. The Cats’ failure to keep opponents out of the end zone in 1997 and beyond (UK’s defenses finished no higher than 84th in scoring defense in Mumme’s four years) contributed to the fact that Mumme finished with a winning record once in four seasons. Severe recruiting violations and incoming NCAA sanctions forced Mumme to resign before the 2001 season.

Curry came to UK after winning the SEC Championship with Alabama in 1989. The Cats beat Central Michigan by three points and lost to a three-win Rutgers team 24-8 the following week. UK failed to win a road game in 1990, and Curry’s first road win in the blue and white came on Oct. 17, 1992 at LSU. Curry struggled to win throughout his seven seasons in Lexington, never posting a winning record even with an appearance in the 1993 Peach Bowl.

Joker Phillips 2010

Guy Morriss 2001 First-year record: 2-9

Rich Brooks 2003 First-year record: 4-8

Sanctions after Mumme’s tenure at UK left Morriss, the assistant head coach under Mumme, with a young roster and a tough sell to recruits. Morriss lasted two years as head coach, and managed a 7-5 record in 2002, a season memorable for a certain play and a certain loss to LSU in the final seconds at Commonwealth Stadium.

The program was still suffering from NCAA sanctions when Brooks was hired in 2003. The most notable game from Brooks’ first year was a 71-63, seven-overtime loss to Arkansas, which is the longest game in the program’s history. Though his team won only nine games from 2003-2005, Brooks led UK to its first bowl win since 1984 in 2006 and coached the program to four consecutive bowl games before his retirement after the 2009 season.

Smith seeks immediate impact Transfer impresses teammates By Tom Hurley thurley@kykernel.com

Christmas came early for UK head coach Mark Stoops on Dec. 19 with a little help from newly appointed defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh. During his time coaching at Florida State, Stoops spent some time recruiting a 6-foot6, 254-pound junior college defensive end named Za’Darius Smith. Texas A&M and Mississippi State were among the schools battling for the East Mississippi Community College player, who was ranked as the No. 10 overall junior college prospect in the nation by ESPN. The Aggies and Bulldogs were the last two schools being considered by Smith; that

is, until Brumbaugh left his role as defensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at East Missipssipi for a place on Stoops’ staff at UK. Soon after, Smith followed. “It had a big impact,” Smith said. “I trusted (Brumbaugh). Me coming from junior college with him was a big deal.” In a two year career at East Mississippi, Smith made 66 tackles, including 18 for a loss, and had 11 sacks. His performance was enough to garner the No. 1 ranking among junior college defensive ends from JCGridiron.com at the end of 2012. Smith graduated from East Mississippi in November and wasted little time getting

to Lexington. He enrolled in classes in January and was able to take part in spring practice and play in the spring game, where he made six tackles. Not bad for someone who didn’t play a game of football until his senior year at Greenville High School. Before football, basketball was the focus of his sporting life growing up in Greenville, Ala. “I’m going to leave that in my past,” Smith said. “Football is my main thing now.” It has not taken long for Smith to impress his peers, including senior defensive tackle Mister Cobble, who is glad to have Smith, with his post-high school football experience on the Cats’ line. “He brings a lot of energy and a lot of power to the defensive end position,” Cobble said. “He has experience on

the field that some of our younger defensive ends don’t have … he can make our young guys better.” Since arriving on campus, Smith has spent many hours in Nutter Training Facility making sure his body is ready for the coming season. He now bench presses 385 pounds and squats 505 pounds, which is “way more” than he had lifted previously. The junior did spend two weeks taking it easy, however, after suffering a high-ankle sprain on his left ankle, keeping him out of training camp. Stoops said Smith looked good when he returned to practice on Aug. 23, adding, “he won’t be behind” the rest of the team in terms of preparation. Saturday against WKU, Smith will have his chance to “be a leader on the Dline.”

First-year record: 6-7

After being named head coach-inwaiting before the 2009 season, Phillips took control of the program in 2010. Led by seniors Randall Cobb and Mike Hartline on offense, the Cats averaged over 30 points per contest, and won all four nonconference games, including the season opener at Louisville. UK lost the BBVA Compass Bowl to Pittsburgh by 17 points, and Phillips won only seven more games in his tenure.


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The Kentucky Kernel is not responsible for information given to fraudulent parties. We encourage you not to participate in anything for which you have to pay an up-front fee or give out credit card or other personal information, and to report the company to us immediately.

Horoscope To get the advantage, check the day's rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Aries (March 21-April 19) —Today is a 5 —Thinking outside the box provides great ideas. Playing with the box is a lot of fun, too. Balance playtime with work time. Taurus (April 20-May 20) —Today is a 6 —Spread the good around, and it comes back to you, possibly even tenfold. Don't judge too harshly —not yourself, or others. Gemini (May 21-June 20) —Today is an 8 —A new assignment brings in more revenue, but don't go wasting it. It would be easy to blow, but it's important to conserve resources.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) —Today is an 8 —Watch out, world! You have the confidence to handle anything. Follow your dreams, but don't spend what you haven't got. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) —Today is a 5 —Today and tomorrow get introspective. You may want to hide from the world. However, you can be very persuasive now. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) —Today is a 6 —This week is good for travel. Believe you can prosper, and do so. Go for what you believe in. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) —Today is a 6 —Get back to work, and bring home the bacon. If you've done the homework, you'll get more respect, and you'll be able to pay debts. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) —Today is a 7 —Upgrade your image. Surf the web for ideas, and then

shop locally. Call ahead to avoid running all over town. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) — Today is a 6 —Do the paperwork and pay the bills. Let your partner help. Enjoy the company of elders. There's plenty to learn. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Today is a 7 —The next two days are good for negotiations and compromise. Things get easier with your partner's help. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) —Today is an 8 —Read any news or fresh reports and make an important connection. You're entering two days of steady work effort. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) —Today is a 6 —Streamline your routine and your nerves will become less frazzled. Use what you can get for free.

Editor’s note: The Kernel’s Weekend Timeout is on hiatus for the first week of class due the Pigskin Preview edition. The weekly Friday section will return next week.



Kernel in Print — Aug. 30, 2013