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Cats Beat Tennessee-
End Over 1/4 Century of Frustration/Dominance by Vols
Matt Roark Fills In At QB
Cats Finish 2011 Season 5-7; 2-6
Cats Revive Season, Rise To 4-5; 1-4
Cats Fall To 3-5; 0-4
Cats Lift Record To 3-4; 0-3
Cats Have Off Week
Do Not Add To Loss Column
Demps Outruns UK
All Night Long
Josh Clemons Named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week
See his Record Breaking 87 Yard Touchdown Run:
In the CMU Game, Josh Clemons Became The First Freshman To Post
A 100+ Yard Game in only His Second Game as a Wildcat
Since Moe Williams
SEC Co-DEFENSIVE LINEMEN OF THE WEEK
DT Jaye Howard (Florida) -- Howard had four tackles, 1.5 for losses, and a 12-yard sack in Florida's 41-3 win over Florida Atlantic. The Gators gave up just 30 rushing yards to FAU on 30 attempts.
DT Luke McDermott (Kentucky) -- McDermott had four tackles, including a 5-yard sack in Kentucky's 14-3 win against Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers had just 234 total yards in the game.
OTHER TOP PERFORMERS
S/LB Winston Guy (Kentucky) -- Had 10 tackles, including 2.5 for losses and two interceptions against Western Kentucky.
SCOUTING THE CATS
A Position by Position Examination of the
2011 Kentucky Football Team
The main man: Morgan Newton. The 6-foot-4 junior from Carmel, Ind., didn't have to fight for his starting spot this season and has improved his timing with receivers and his line running on the first team. Coaches also think Newton has become a true leader on the team this off-season, organizing team workouts and 7-on-7 drills with players from other nearby colleges.
The supporting cast: Maxwell Smith and Bookie Cobbins are the backups, in that order. Smith arrived on campus for spring practices and has had more of a chance to learn the offense. He has been progressing well at camp, coaches say. Cobbins is still learning the intricacies of the system. As a high school player, he was more of a rushing style quarterback.
Newcomer to watch: Freshman Maxwell Smith, a 6-4 QB from Granada Hills, Calif., has been developing quickly thanks to extra reps during spring camp. His timing with receivers and the line has been improving.
Outlook: Newton has had his share of growing pains since being called on to start eight games as a freshman. Those included losing out the starting spot last season to senior Mike Hartline, but he says those experiences have made him a better quarterback overall and a more well-rounded individual. Coaches and teammates have been complimentary of his ability to bring the offense together and be a steadying force in the huddle.
The main man: La'Rod King. The 6-foot-4 junior from Radcliff has the most experience of any returning receiver. He caught 36 balls for 478 yards and five touchdowns last season and he has good chemistry with quarterback Morgan Newton. King also has taken on a leadership role for a heralded crop of freshman receivers.
The supporting cast: Gene McCaskill is back after sitting out last season with knee surgery and he can play at all three receiver spots. Other returnees at the position include 6-5 Matt Roark, 6-4 Brian Adams as well as 6-4 juniors Aaron Boyd and E.J. Fields. A talented group of freshmen have come in to challenge for spots as well.
Newcomer to watch: Freshman Daryl Collins, who spurned Alabama for a chance to play right away, has been likened to former UK standout Randall Cobb (now with the Green Bay Packers) in his versatility and ability. Look for Collins to make a name for himself as a freshman.
Outlook: There are a lot of question marks at this position that can only be answered on game day. It's nearly impossible to replace All-Southeastern Conference performers like Cobb (1,017 yards and seven TDs) and Chris Matthews (925 yards, nine TDs), but Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips and position coach Tee Martin believe they have a special freshman class that is pushing the veterans to be even better.
The main man: Raymond Sanders. Even though there are several options at the running back spot, position coach Steve Pardue referred to the 5-8, 205-pound sophomore back from Stone Mountain, Ga., as "our guy" last week. Sanders, who ran for 254 yards and three TDs last season as a true freshman, is a cerebral back with a good understanding of the offense.
The supporting cast: Cats coaches believe they have plenty of potential stars — if mostly untested — in the pack, including sophomores CoShik Williams (136 yards, four TDs last season) and Jonathan George, red-shirt freshman Brandon Gainer and true freshmen Josh Clemons and Marcus Caffey.
Newcomer to watch: Josh Clemons has a true SEC running back body and has developed a good understanding of the offense in a quick period of time. Clemons, the state offensive player of the year in Class AAAA in Georgia, rushed for 2,003 yards and 25 touchdowns (8.3 yards per carry) last season at Fayetteville.
Outlook: It's hard to go through a season in the SEC injury free, even if you're a sturdy running back. So Kentucky's depth could be a big boost, especially when league play gets going. There is a lot of versatility and depth at this position, and behind such a veteran offensive line the Cats could have a solid year on the ground.
The main man: With four starters and a collection of key role players from last season all back, it's hard to come up with just one main player. The linemen point to 6-foot-4, 295-pound, two-year starter Stuart Hines as being one of the most important anchors on the line.
The supporting cast: The line of five returns four starters, including First Team All-SEC lineman Larry Warford, center Matt Smith and right tackle Chandler Burden. These will all be key players for the Cats this season, along with Billy Joe Murphy, who has started in nine games as a reserve at nearly every position on the line.
Newcomer to watch: Coaches like how several linemen are performing in fall camp, especially since most of the starters have been out with assorted injuries. Specifically, 6-foot-6 Kevin Mitchell and 6-4 Jake Lanefski have been drawing praise. Other names that have been mentioned include redshirt freshman Teven Eatmon-Nared and true freshman Darrian Miller out of Bryan Station.
Outlook: Question marks abound for the offense at key skill positions like quarterback, running back and wide receiver, but the one steadying force is likely to be the offensive line. Four out of the five starters have missed significant time during fall camp with bumps and bruises, but that has allowed some of the younger players to develop quickly and give the line some much-needed depth, coaches say. Look for the inexperienced offense to lean heavily on its biggest players, especially early in the season.
The main man: There are five players back with experience at the tight-end spot from last season, and there has been no final decision made about who will get the start. Jordan Aumiller (6-4, 231 pound, so.) has the most experience with 18 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown last season.
The supporting cast: There are seven players who have been mentioned as potential starters or backups. They are Aumiller, Anthony Kendrick (6-3, 264, so.), Nick Melillo (6-2, 226, sr.), Tyler Robinson (6-3, 252, so.), Ronnie Shields (6-5, 240, redshirt fr.), Gabe Correll (6-5, 229, fr.), Alvin Dupree (6-4, 229, fr.).
Newcomer to watch: Names that have come up most recently include Robinson, who had 11 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown last season, playing in 11 games with three starts as a true freshman. But coaches also seem to like the physical play and blocking of Shields.
Outlook: Depth at a position is never a bad thing, so the coaches feel good that they'll find the right fit at tight end to put on the field. Don't be surprised to see all of them on the field at some spot before the end of the season.
The main man: Senior punter Ryan Tydlacka has improved his average each season and will start for the third straight year. He averaged 43.8 yards a punt last season, including a career-best 73-yarder.
The supporting cast: Returning place-kicker Craig McIntosh is back after making 11 of 15 field goals last season and 34 of 35 extra points. His highlight kick was a career-long 50 yarder against the wind. Joe Mansour, a sophomore, is likely to be the team's kickoff man, but he is hoping to develop into a complete kicker. Coaches say he has the leg strength and accuracy to do it.
Newcomer to watch: Randall Burden, among others. Even though he's a senior, Burden will be new to punt returns for UK and will replace the departed Randall Cobb. Other kickoff specialists could include Gene McCaskill, Raymond Sanders and a host of freshmen, according to coaches.
Outlook: Special-teams coach Greg Nord was none too pleased with the Cats' effort in his first season when they gave up 11.9 yards per punt return (while managing just 7.1 yards themselves) and 23.5 yards per kickoff runback (to just 22.8 yards themselves), but Nord and the UK head coach hope that a stronger, more physical coverage team will right some of the wrongs from last season and make this a strong overall unit behind some solid kickers.
The main man: Martavius Neloms, a 6-foot-1 junior, likely will be the go-to guy in the secondary with the position move for Winston Guy. Neloms had 55 tackles (fifth on the team), including 5.5 for a loss and two sacks last season. He had a career-high eight against Auburn.
The supporting cast: There are several veteran players — none with true star power — but coaches like the experience and the balance overall with players like Randall Burden, who had 36 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss with an interception, as well as Anthony Mosley, a fellow senior, who had 34 tackles and an interception. Others returning with promise include Mychal Bailey (58 tackles), but he will sit the opener, and Taiedo Smith, who has been battling injury.
Newcomer(s) to watch: Three freshman safeties will be called on to get into the rotation quickly in Ashely Lowery, Glenn Faulkner and Eric Dixon. Defensive backs coach Steve Brown seemed to like all of them equally and called them "attentive kids, kids who really want to be good" who are learning the system fairly quickly.
Outlook: In a year that's already full of transition with the new scheme under co-coordinator Rick Minter, the secondary also is a group in transition within the transition. If the veterans can step up their games and the young players can be as good as they're believed to be, the group should be fine. If not, it could be a long transition.
The main man: While there is a wealth of talent at this position, it's impossible to overlook All-American Danny Trevathan, who led the Southeastern Conference in tackles last season with 144.
The supporting cast: The most vocal leader in this group seems to be senior Ronnie Sneed, the player referred to as "the old man" by his teammates. Other veterans expected to contribute include Winston Guy and Ridge Wilson from the defensive hybrid position. There are plenty of young newcomers that coaches believe will see playing time early and often.
Newcomer to watch: Coaches are calling Malcolm McDuffen, a 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman from Hopkinsville, the future Trevathan, but with the added bonus of an extra season to improve his speed and strength.
Outlook: The point of this defense is to confuse and disrupt offenses with varying schemes and formations. A lot of the success of that will revolve around the linebackers, who are a fast, athletic group. With established stars like Trevathan, Guy, Wilson and Sneed helping to bring the less experienced players along, this could be an impressive unit this season. The concern has been and will continue to be building some quality depth at these spots.
The main man: Junior Collins Ukwu, a defensive end, started every game last season and had 26 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss and one sack. Coaches love this weight-room wonder who has gone from a slim 200 to a muscular 255 in his time at UK.
The supporting cast: The Cats' defensive line, which lost starters Ricky Lumpkin (Cardinals) and DeQuin Evans (Bengals), returns several players with game experience, including starters and part-time starters such as Luke McDermott (6-1, 265), Mark Crawford (6-1, 324) and Taylor Wyndham (6-4, 250). Several others have shown promise: Donte Rumph (6-3, 300), Mister Cobble (6-0, 338) and Antwane Glen (6-3, 273).
Newcomer to watch: Mister Cobble, a 6-foot, 332-pound sophomore, seems to have his academic house in order and could be a contender at defensive tackle. The former Central star's combination of quickness and power will make him an asset in the new defensive scheme.
Outlook: Two NFL-caliber players in Lumpkin and Evans will be difficult to replace, but UK seems to have enough coming back to be disruptive for opposing offenses this season. The Cats' returnees are fast off the line. Developing depth and versatility at these positions will be key in the new scheme.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
SugarHill Communications of Kentucky
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