John Clay: Former Cats immune to UK's passing woes

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistOctober 16, 2012 

A UK football-free — we could all use the break — edition of random notes:

■ An early disclaimer. We'll start with a UK football note involving past Kentucky football players.

If you look at the NCAA football passing stats, there is a distinct Kentucky (not UK flavor).

As former UK wide-out Derek Abney pointed out to me in an email, Marshall is No. 2 in the nation in passing yards per game at 396. Texas Tech is fourth at 369. Louisiana Tech is 14th at 317.7.

In passing touchdowns, Texas Tech is No. 2 at 23. Marshall is tied for fourth at 19. Louisiana Tech is seventh at 18.

The Kentucky connection: Former UK wideout Gerad Parker is wide receivers coach at Marshall. Former UK wideout Neal Brown is the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech. Former UK offensive coordinator Tony Franklin is the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech.

■ Have no problem with the Reds signing Manager Dusty Baker to a new two-year contract. Don't always agree with Baker's in-game moves. Don't always agree with Baker's lineups. But the man did manage a team that won 97 games last year. He knows how to run a clubhouse. He has the respect of his players. Trust Walt Jocketty's judgment.

■ Three Reds moves I'd make for 2013: No. 1, deal Drew Stubbs and find a leadoff hitter. No. 2, put Aroldis Chapman in the rotation. No. 3, announce that Todd Frazier is the everyday third baseman for 2013.

■ I'm sure the laser light show for Big Blue Madness was great, but the $250,000-$300,000 price tag only serves as more proof that spending on college athletics is completely out of control.

■ Don't laugh, but Vanderbilt could run the table. The Commodores are a seven-point favorite at home this Saturday against Auburn. After that, James Franklin's club has home games with UMass and Tennessee, plus road games at Kentucky, Ole Miss and Wake Forest. It's doable.

■ By the way, Auburn Coach Gene Chizik was 8-0 in the SEC with Cam Newton as his quarterback. He is 7-13 without him.

■ Did you see that Steve Spurrier said he didn't know if quarterback Connor Shaw "got hit in the head" Saturday at LSU, because Shaw made what Spurrier thought were poor decisions?

■ My prediction: LSU will have trouble Saturday at Texas A&M.

■ Through six games, I doubt Cincinnati's defense is good enough to get the Bengals back to the playoffs.

■ As Super Bowl halftime entertainment, Beyonce is OK by me.

■ Louisville is one of 12 FBS teams still undefeated. Three of those are in the SEC. Alabama, Mississippi State and Florida are each 6-0. Three are in the Big East. U of L, Cincinnati and Rutgers are all undefeated.

■ Oregon State remained undefeated after losing its starting quarterback, Sean Mannion, for the year to knee surgery. Junior Cody Vaz stepped in and threw for three touchdowns Saturday in the Beavers' 42-24 win at BYU.

■ Nick Saban made a redshirt freshman lineman write a letter of apology to Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel — Saban's old college teammate at Kent State — for body-slamming a Mizzou ball carrier on Saturday. After all, you always want to be friendly with the new neighbors, especially one you just beat 42-10.

■ While you were watching the NFL on Sunday, 12.4 million people were watching Felix Baumgartner jump out of a space capsule.

■ If Bobby Knight really wants to make money to finance his grandchildren's education, he should auction off the chair he threw in Bloomington.

■ RIP, Beano Cook, known for college football but whose most memorable quote was about the sport he hated most. When MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced that the freed Iranian hostages would have free admission for life into any baseball game, Cook remarked, "Haven't they suffered enough?"

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com

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