Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
After a week of rest, the Kentucky Wildcats welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks into Kroger Field on Saturday. Kentucky hasn’t played Arkansas since 2012, when the John L. Smith led Hogs took Joker Phillips and the Wildcats to the woodshed, 49-7 in Fayetteville. The overall series between the two schools is 4 wins for UK, 3 for Arkansas.
This matchup looks like another close one with Kentucky giving up approximately a touchdown in the odds. I’d take Arkansas to cover if I were a betting man, which I’m not (at least on sports).
When it comes to the elephant in the room, A.K.A. “Who will be the Kentucky quarterback?”, the word answer appears to be Sawyer Smith. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told the media yesterday that Smith was feeling significantly better, and if he’s able to return to form, I’d expect to see him as the signal caller on Saturday.
But I’d also expect Lynn Bowden to get reps under center as well. The injury to Smith exposed Kentucky’s weakness at the QB position (understandable when you lose your starter and your backup gets injured), but Stoops & Co. absolutely must find a viable option in case of another injury to Smith (assuming he’s sufficiently recovered now). So Bowden needs some game experience at the position, and I expect he’ll get some Saturday.
This game is important to Kentucky coming off three straight losses against SEC foes, but typically the coaching staff is giving it a public “meh,” the proverbial “It’s a football game and they’re all important.” But a four-game losing streak will not help UK’s momentum, and even though every game on the schedule other than the one at Georgia next a week from Saturday looks winnable, beating Arkansas would go a long way to restore team confidence and right the ship for a solid season. Limping across the line at 6-6 shouldn’t be considered a successful season at this point.
In related news, former and recently deceased UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen will be honored by the university for his accomplishments as UK quarterback between 2000 and 2003. Jared will never be forgotten, and not just because it’s hard to forget a guy who thew for more that 10,000 yards and 78 touchdowns in a 3-year career. The Wildcat faithful will never forget the Hefty Lefty.
Tweet of the Morning
This was the text I got during the show— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) October 7, 2019
Calipari meeting with Cade Cunningham today https://t.co/cblWjDe09O
Big news. It’s been a while since Coach Cal landed a top two recruit.
Fran Fraschilla as the Dutch Uncle:
Coaches: Think strategically & not tactically. Don’t run all of your best offense early in season. Save some good stuff for conference play & even a few things for postseason. But, start working on them now. Your players love it when you spring a surprise on opponent.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) October 8, 2019
Here’s something Kentucky and Louisville fans should be able to agree on. pic.twitter.com/YNmuo0YijS— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 8, 2019
- Stoops, Wildcats eager to get back on the field.
- Lynn Bowden next challenge for the Arkansas defense.
- Arkansas Fight: Three reasons Arkansas should beat Kentucky.
- The Courier-Journal’s John Hale tries to make some sense out of UK’s quarterback situation.
- Kentucky’s latest crop of freshmen live up to the hype.
- Coach Cal calls this year’s team a “lively group.”
- 6’7” Cade Cunningham is the top player left on Kentucky’s wish list for 2020.
- Lynn Bowden preparing to help Kentucky at quarterback on Saturday.
- This guy is very interesting...
Other Kentucky sports
- The ten best individual college basketball seasons of the decade, and Zion Williamson is not at the top.
- Ranking all 10 college basketball seasons since 2010, and Duke is not at the top.
- Duke has the only #1 draft picks in the ACC in the 21st century, but that could change this year.
Other sports news
- After Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey tweeted out support for Hong Kong’s anti-government protesters, China’s state media canceled plans to show a pair of pre-season games on Chinese TV later this week. NBA commissioner Adam Silver came out with what I consider to be a milquetoast response, apologizing for upsetting Chinese officials and fans but defending Morey’s right to say what he said.
In Silver’s defense, he is essentially a businessman, and Morey’s statements were bad for business. But I don’t think this is a good look for Silver or the NBA, and points out why China must be held at arms length as a business partner, especially when it comes to mass media.
Related: A very sharp, perceptive tweet (as usual) from Aaron Torres:
No matter what side of this whole NBA/China story you're on, it's kind of wild that this whole thing - which has turned into a full blown international controversy- started over one tweet ♂️ ♂️— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) October 8, 2019
- Early earthlings may have watched the Milky Way galax’s center explode 3.5 million years ago. I’ll bet that was a sight!
- Mars Rover finds evidence of an ancient oasis on Mars.
- Mind-controlled exoskeleton allows paralyzed man to walk again.
Colonel Miles Quaritch [Avatar’s antagonist] smiles.