UK Hosts "Heroes' Day" on Season Opener vs. Kent State
Kentucky looks to get back on the winning track Saturday when it opens up the 40th season of football at Commonwealth Stadium against Kent State. The game will be "Heroes' Day" as UK Athletics invites all active, reserve and veteran members of the armed forces along with police, firefighters and first responders to attend the game.
Among the tentative plans for the day are a football-field sized American flag, which will be presented by the UK Air Force ROTC and UK Army ROTC, a pregame flyover, and recognition of personnel throughout the game and military VIPs in attendance.
Kentucky has won six-consecutive home lid-lifters since the 2006 season, adding to its all-time record of 92-23-6 in home openers.
The Wildcats are coming off a loss to in-state foe Louisville on Sunday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Sophomore Maxwell Smith had a strong showing in the game, completing 35-of-50 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Senior tailback Coshik Williams also played well, leading all players in all-purpose yards with 168, while wide receiver La'Rod King and tight end Tyler Robinson each caught touchdown passes. Linebacker Avery Williamson led the defense with a career-high 12 tackles.
Kent State won its season opener last week against Towson, forcing six turnovers, while scoring three rushing touchdowns on top of a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Cat Scratches: Defense eager to erase sting of Louisville loss
In the mind of Rick Minter, it was a Murphy's Law situation. The defensive coordinator watched as basically everything he envisioned could potentially go wrong did just that in Kentucky's season-opening loss to Louisville.
Running backs ran through open holes for big gains. And when the Wildcats were in good defensive position, the Cardinals broke tackles. Wide receivers ran wide open in the secondary. And when they were well-covered, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threaded the needle.
"Nobody should feel very good about how we played, ourselves or our players or our fans shouldn't feel good about how we played," Minter said. "There's got to be a brighter day than that."... read the full preview
Scouting Kent State
Kent State enters Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday after a convincing 41-21 victory over Towson in its season opener. The story for the Golden Flashes in the win was junior running back Dri Archer, who had three touchdowns, and the Kent State defense that caused six turnovers.
Offensively, Kent State posted 267 yards of total offense with 101 rushing yards and 166 passing yards against Towson. Archer led the way with eight carries for 54 yards, while Trayion Durham had 20 rushes for 54 yards. Spencer Keith had a successful start at quarterback, completing 10-of-19 passes for 82 yards, while Josh Boyle led the receiving corps with three receptions for 95 yards.
The biggest play of the game came from Archer, who returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, which tied for the second-longest kickoff return in school history.
The Golden Flashes defense also played well causing six turnovers, four fumbles and two interceptions. The +6 turnover margin ranks Kent State first in the nation in that category. Luke Wollet led Kent State in tackles with nine, including one interception and two pass breakups, while four Kent State players recorded sacks.
Kent State returned 18 starters from the team that won four of its last five games last season.