Lynn Bowden

Getty Images

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy headlines 2019 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

4 Comments

Media Day season is also Watch List season and the latest to surface for the 2019 campaign comes out of Tallahassee in the form of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver, includes the defending winner in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and fellow semifinalist Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State, as well as a number of other talented pass-catchers from around the country.

Here’s the full list, which is a good general overview of the best wide receivers and tight ends for the upcoming season even if a few names can gripe about being left off:

Lynn Bowden, Jr. (Kentucky)

Rico Bussey, Jr. (North Texas)

Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma)

Damonte Coxie (Memphis)

Gabriel Davis (UCF)

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan)

Aaron Fuller (Washington)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

KJ Hamler (Penn State)

Adrian Hardy (Louisiana Tech)

Damon Hazelton (Virginia Tech)

Tee Higgins (Clemson)

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State)

Justin Jefferson (LSU)

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Ty Lee (Middle Tennessee State)

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt)

McLane Mannix (Texas Tech)

Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State)

Riley Miller (Ball State)

Denzel Mims (Baylor)

Darnell Mooney (Tulane)

Rondale Moore (Purdue)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

K.J. Osborn (Miami)

Dezmon Patmon (Washington State)

Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

Michael Pittman, Jr. (USC)

James Proche (SMU)

Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Jared Rice (Fresno State)

Sean Riley (Syracuse)

Reggie Roberson, Jr. (SMU)

Justyn Ross (Clemson)

Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Colorado)

JD Spielman (Nebraska)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)

Marquez Stevenson (Houston)

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State)

Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)

JoJo Ward (Hawaii)

Quez Watkins (Southern Miss)

More than half of schools in SEC are sending QB to Media Days

Getty Images
Leave a comment

For those who complain about quarterback attendance, or lack thereof, during the summer football talkin’ season, you won’t be able to include the SEC in your argument.

Next week, the 2019 SEC Football Kickoff Media Days (presented by Regions Bank!!!) will kick off in Hoover, Ala., at the Birmingham-Winfrey Hotel. Wednesday morning, the conference released the full list of football players who will be in attendance at the three-day event.

Of the 14 teams in the conference, nine of them will send a quarterback among its three representatives.  Those schools are Alabama (Tua Tagovailoa), Florida (Feleipe Franks), Georgia (Jake Fromm), LSU (Joe Burrow), Ole Miss (Matt Corral), Missouri (Kelly Bryant), South Carolina (Jake Bentley), Tennessee (Jarrett Guarantano) and Texas A&M (Kellen Mond).

Below is the complete list of players who will be attending the league’s Media Days:

Alabama
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Jr.
Dylan Moses, LB, Jr.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Jr.

Arkansas
McTelvin Agim, DL, Sr.
De’Jon Harris, LB, Sr.
Devwah Whaley, RB, Sr.

Auburn
Derrick Brown, DT, Sr.
Marlon Davidson, DE, Sr.
Prince Tega Wanogho, OL, Sr.

Florida
Feleipe Franks, QB, Jr.
Lamical Perine, RB, Sr.
Jabari Zuniga, DL, Sr.

Georgia
Jake Fromm, QB, Jr.
J.R. Reed, DB, Sr.
Andrew Thomas, OL, Jr.

Kentucky
Lynn Bowden Jr., ATH, Jr.
Kash Daniel, LB, Sr.
Logan Stenberg, OL, Sr.

LSU
Joe Burrow, QB, Sr
Grant Delpit, DB, Jr.
Lloyd Cushenberry, C, Jr.

Ole Miss
Matt Corral, QB, Fr.
Alex Givens, OL, Sr.
MoMo Sanogo, LB, Jr.

Mississippi State
Farrod Green, TE, Sr.
Erroll Thompson, LB, Jr.
Darryl Williams, C, Sr.

Missouri
Kelly Bryant, QB, Sr.
Cale Garrett, LB, Sr.
DeMarkus Acy, CB, Sr.

South Carolina
Jake Bentley, QB, Sr.
T.J. Brunson, LB, Sr.
Bryan Edwards, WR, Sr.

Tennessee
Daniel Bituli, LB, Sr.
Jarrett Guarantano, QB, Jr.
Darrell Taylor, LB, Sr.

Texas A&M
Kellen Mond, QB, Jr.
Justin Madubuike, DL, Jr.
Braden Mann, P, Sr.

Vanderbilt
Kalija Lipscomb, WR, Sr.
Jared Pinkney, TE, Sr.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Sr.

No. 14 Kentucky holds off rally by No. 12 Penn State for Citrus Bowl victory

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
5 Comments

Despite a furious effort by Trace McSorley on a broken foot, No. 12 Penn State (9-4) was unable to dig out of a big hole in the second half as No. 14 Kentucky (10-3) celebrated a rare 10-win season with a 27-24 victory in the VRBO Citrus Bowl. A record-setting day by running back Benny Snell and a dominating performance by linebacker Josh Allen were key in the victory for the Wildcats.

Snell rushed for a game-high 140 yards and two touchdowns to lead the charge. Kentucky’s offense was not a threat at all until the second half when Snell provided a much-needed charge after a tough first half. Kentucky bewildered Penn State to build a 27-7 lead late in the third quarter.

In that third quarter, Trace McSorley was reportedly being taken out of the game with a broken foot. But just moments after that information was relayed by Penn State beat reporters following an update from a Penn State spokesperson, McSorley appeared to talk his way right back onto the field with Penn State down 20-7. That drive did not last long and it did not end well for McSorley as he tossed up an interception to Lonnie Johnson, who returned the football to the Kentucky 34-yard line. After a quick 54-yard pass from Terry Wilson to Lynn Bowden Jr., Snell rushed up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown run to push Kentucky’s lead to 27-7.

The touchdown run by Snell also set the new Kentucky career rushing record. Snell passed the previous school record held by Sonny Collins, who held the record of 3,835 career rushing yards for 44 years in Lexington.

But after going down 27-7, McSorley and Penn State somehow came to life. Penn State scored on a short McSorley run early in the fourth quarter and McSorley completed a touchdown pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth with nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter to cut the Kentucky lead to 27-20. Nearly five minutes later, Penn State settled for a field goal by Jake Pinegar to trim the lead to three points for Kentucky rather than take a chance on a fourth down play. Kentucky would drain the clock on the ensuing possession with Snell handling things on the ground and forcing Penn State to use their three timeouts. The Wildcats did have to give the ball back to the Nittany Lions, with one second left on the clock after a punt.

This was Kentucky’s first time winning 10 games in a single season since 1977. The goal of hitting the 10-win mark was not one taken lightly by Kentucky either, as the Wildcats were extremely motivated to do something rarely done in this program’s history. It was part of the reason why a player like linebacker Josh Allen, with all the hardware to show off and nothing more to prove, decided to play in the bowl game when the trend is for potential first-round draft prospects to sit out of what many consider to be a meaningless bowl game. But this wasn’t a meaningless bowl for the Wildcats. This was a bar the team wanted to clear, and now they have.

What does it mean moving forward? For Mark Stoops, the bar has been set and now he must continue to work recruiting and player development to ensure there isn’t a dropoff in 2019. Doing so may prove to be difficult, but the Kentucky football program has been taking small steps forward every season under Stoops and it reached new heights this season. In a division that is already pretty challenging and could potentially get tougher, Kentucky does not look like it might be ready to start taking backseats in the division mix just yet.

Penn State falls shy of winning 10 or more games in three straight seasons for the first time since 1980-1982.

Penn State special teams a disaster as Kentucky leads Nittany Lions in Citrus Bowl

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
3 Comments

The VRBO Citrus Bowl between No. 12 Penn State and No. 14 Kentucky has been dictated by the defenses by both teams and a handful of special teams miscues by the Nittany Lions. At the half, Kentucky leads Penn State 10-7 in Orlando, with Kentucky prepping to get the ball to start the second half.

It was a first half of special teams blunders for Penn State, but none were more costly than Lynn Bowden Jr. returned a punt out of the Penn State end zone 58 yards to the house for a touchdown late in the first quarter. Paired with a field goal on Kentucky’s first offensive series of the game, Kentucky had a 10-0 lead in the first quarter despite not getting much on offense against a stingy Penn State defense.

Penn State started the game with two straight three-and-outs and then capped their third possession of the game with a missed field goal try in the first quarter. Penn State picked up some momentum at the beginning of the second quarter with a screen pass to speedy KJ Hamler, which setup Trace McSorley for a short touchdown pass to tight end Nick Bowers to bring the score to 10-7 in favor of Kentucky.

Penn State has had a few special teams miscues in addition to giving up the punt return touchdown. The Nittany Lions were stuffed on a fake punt run on the opening possession of the game, missed two field goals, and cost themselves some field position by not calling for a fair catch in their own end. It hasn’t been all bad, however, as Blake Gillikin did get off a 71-yard punt that pinned Kentucky deep on their side of the field.

If Kentucky was able to get anything going on offense, Penn State would be in serious danger. But because the Nittany Lions defense is keeping things within reach, this is still anybody’s game in the second half.

Neither team has a third-down conversion at halftime, with Penn State 0-for-8 and Kentucky 0-for-7.

No. 12 Kentucky upsets unranked Missouri on TD with no time left

Getty Images
4 Comments

Yes, you read that first half of that headline correctly.  And the last half was even more unbelievable.

Despite Kentucky entering Saturday at 6-1 and ranked 12th in the country, 4-3 Missouri, winless in SEC play, was a touchdown-ish favorite at home in Memorial Stadium. In the end, UK showed that the wise guys aren’t right all the time.

Very literally snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, an improbable 81-yard drive culminated in a touchdown with no time left on the clock to give the Wildcats a walk-off 15-14 win over the Tigers in Columbia.  The game-winning points came on a two-yard touchdown pass from Terry Wilson to C.J. Conrad on an untimed down; on the previous play, Mizzou was called for pass interference in the end zone to give the Wildcats one final shot.

Missouri actually took a 14-3 lead into halftime, but could do nothing in the second half.  Literally.

The Tigers had eight offensive possessions over the last two quarters.  On all eight possessions, they went three-and-out.   That’s right, Mizzou failed to record a single first down the entire second half.  It was all part and parcel of an abysmal offensive performance that saw the Tigers muster just 249 yards of offense and average just 2.4 yards per carry.

The Wildcats weren’t much better on the ground as they were at 2.6 ypc, although they did get 294 yards through the air from Wilson.

Despite their host’s offensive ineptness, Kentucky still trailed 14-3 until deep into the fourth quarter when Lynn Bowden‘s 67-yard punt return for a touchdown with just over five minutes remaining breathed some much-needed life into the Wildcats.  A Wilson interception on UK’s next offensive possession a minute later could have iced the game for Mizzou, but, you guessed it, another three-and-out handed the ball back to the Wildcats with 1:24 remaining.

From there, Wilson and his 87 yards passing on the 81-yard game-winning drive (he was sacked twice) set the stage for the late-game heroics.

With the win, Kentucky and Georgia remain tied atop the SEC East at 5-1.  It also sets the stage for a huge Week 10 matchup as the Wildcats will play host to the Bulldogs next Saturday.

So huge, in fact, that, as both teams have beaten 4-2 Florida, and the next-closest team in the division is 2-3 South Carolina, the winner of the UGA-UK game will win the division and represent the East in the SEC championship game in early December.

Alabama-Kentucky in Atlanta, anyone?