Sports

Cats off to rare unbeaten start

Random notes:

■ The football team isn't the only University of Kentucky athletic endeavor off to a 4-0 start.

The UK volleyball has streaked to a 4-0 start in the Southeastern Conference. Craig Skinner's team is 13-2 overall with a 10-match winning streak, and UK is unbeaten in its first four conference matches for the first time since 1996.

Kentucky beat Georgia 3-1 and swept Louisiana State 3-0 last week heading into Wednesday night's match at Tennessee (8-5, 3-1 SEC).

"I'm excited, not necessarily about statistics, but about the way we're playing the game," Skinner said Monday.

"We were down 17-10 in the third game at LSU playing to 25. The toughness and the commitment to the team was unbelievable to see us come out and pull that one out 29-27. That was pretty special."

The schedule doesn't get any easier after Wednesday night. The Cats come home Sunday to face Auburn (5-10, 0-4 SEC) at 1:30 p.m., then travel to 10th-ranked Florida (10-1, 4-0) and then South Carolina (11-2, 3-1).

"Five out of six on the road is not ideal as a coach," Skinner said. "But the first stage we've handled very well."

■ Here's a staggering stat about Saturday's UK football opponent, Alabama: The Crimson Tide has not trailed in any of its five games this season.

■ How would you like to be an Arkansas fan and watch your former coach, Houston Nutt, lead Mississippi to a win at Florida, just before you watched your current coach, Bobby Petrino, lose 52-10 at Texas?

■ Arkansas has been outscored 101-24 in its last two games.

■ With his team scoring only three touchdowns in three games, Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin says he deserves the boos.

"If I were them, I'd boo, too," the former UK assistant said Sunday, the day after Auburn squeaked out a 14-12 win over Tennessee.

And Tony would, too.

■ Speaking of Tennessee, if Phil Fulmer doesn't find a better quarterback, UT will end up looking for a better coach by year's end.

■ As the media interviewed freshman receiver Aaron Boyd after practice Tuesday, head coach Rich Brooks yelled over, "Maximum effort every time, Aaron. Every time." That's the only thing keeping the former Henry Clay star from seeing more action.

■ You know things are wacky in the SEC when College GameDay is putting its parking its studio in Nashville this Saturday for the Vandy-Auburn game.

■ You know things are wacky in the Atlantic Coast Conference when Duke is 3-1.

■ You know things are wacky in the Big Ten when Northwestern is 5-0.

■ By the way, Vanderbilt hasn't beaten either Alabama or Auburn since 1984, which just happens to be the last year that UK beat Tennessee.

■ Did you realize that Kentucky has allowed opponents in the red zone only three times in four games?

■ People ask whether Marvin Lewis will be fired as coach of the winless Bengals. (Probably.) People don't ask whether Lewis should be fired by the Bengals. (Probably not.)

■ I'm looking forward to Alabama star freshman receiver Julio Jones vs. UK star junior cornerback Trevard Lindley.

■ Mississippi has a much different defense with star end Greg Hardy back from a broken foot.

■ Is it just me, or is there something about Urban Meyer that just sort of rubs you the wrong way?

■ Did you realize that 41 of 58 possessions by UK opponents have started at or inside the 20-yard line? Send your thank-you cards to Tim Masthay.

■ Not only is Georgia the most penalized team in the country, the Bulldogs might have the most injuries. Latest: Knowshon Moreno could miss the Tennessee clash Oct. 11 because of an elbow contusion.

■ Shout out to Michael Bush, the former Louisville star, who has indeed made it back from that horrible broken leg suffered against UK in 2006. Bush rushed for 48 yards on 14 carries and caught seven passes for 80 yards in the Oakland Raiders' 28-18 loss to San Diego on Sunday.

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