Sidelines with John Clay

Notes: UK and U of L scrimmages; Georgia loses back; Travis Ford’s son to Missouri

Notes and links for Sunday:

Two weeks before the opener against Central Michigan, Kentucky football held its second scrimmage of fall camp. After being displeased with the first scrimmage, UK head coach Mark Stoops was happier with the second. Or at least he was happier with the offense. The defense, said Stoops, has been hurt by nagging injuries that thinned the ranks.

It was the opposite at Louisville, where the Cardinals held their second scrimmage of the fall. The defense got the better of the offense for Bobby Petrino’s club, which opens Sept. 1 against defending national champion Alabama in Orlando.

Kentucky football has to replace its all-time leading scorer in Austin MacGinnis. Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader looks at the kicking battle, which will be vitally important in close games this season.

Mark Story received some feedback concerning his column about whether or not UK football has a defining, game-day symbol similar to other college football schools. He shared some of what he received from his readers.

Does Kentucky basketball have what it takes to win the national title in 2018-19? Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader talked to ESPN analysts Dan Dakich and Fran Fraschilla to get their thoughts on that subject. “I think they have all the pieces,” Dakich said.

Travis Ford’s son is joining Missouri as a basketball walk-on. A former star at Kentucky, Travis Ford is now head coach at Saint Louis University. The St. Louis-Post Dispatch reports his son Brooks, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 8.9 points per game his senior season in high school.

How did Keeneland get the Breeders’ Cup again? By proving the skeptics wrong back in 2015, says my column. Plenty argued that Lexington and its racetrack were not big enough to hold the event. President and CEO Bill Thomason proved them wrong. Now the Breeders’ Cup is returning in 2020.

Jonathan Brown kicked a 55-yard field goal for the Bengals’ in their 21-13 exhibition win at Dallas on Saturday night. Brown played soccer at first UK and then U of L before walking on the Cards’ football team. He did not attempt a field goal in college, yet was signed by the Bengals after a tryout.

Matt Harvey threw five no-hit innings on the way to the Reds’ 7-1 win over the Giants on Saturday at Great American Ball Park. The Reds won the series opener 2-1 in 11 innings thanks to Philip Ervin’s walk-off homer. The third and final game of the series is set for Sunday.

WDRB anchor/reporter Katie George is headed to the NBA. The former Miss Kentucky and U of L volleyball star will be a sideline reporter for the Milwaukee Bucks. George has been at WDRB in Louisville since January 2016.

Georgia has lost five-star freshman running back Zamir White to another ACL tear. One of the best prep backs in the nation, White was injured in a scrimmage on Saturday. White tore his ACL his senior season in high school before enrolling at Georgia.

It’s a mess at LSU where wide receiver Drake Davis has been suspended after being charged with assault and battery. Now Davis’ girlfriend has retracted the allegations.

Alabama has lost backup linebacker Chris Allen for the season to a knee injury. The sophomore is a former four-star recruit. The Tide has already lost outside linebacker Terrell Lewis to a torn ACL and offensive lineman Matt Womack to a broken bone in his foot. Womack is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Ex-Alabama and ex-Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron suffered a hairline fracture of his collarbone during the Buffalo Bills’ exhibition game against Cleveland on Friday night. After backing up Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, McCarron signed a two-year, $10 million contract with Buffalo.

More troubling reports out of Ohio State concerning the behavior of now former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports asks why Urban Meyer risked it all to protect his assistant coach. The school is expected to hand over its investigative report to its board of trustees this week as Meyer remains on a paid leave of absence.

D.J. Durkin remains on leave at Maryland, but many think his fate is sealed. Durkin was placed on leave after reports concerning freshman Jordan McNair’s death from heat exhaustion. McNair’s parents have called for Durkin’s firing.

Given the controversy surrounding Kansas and Adidas and the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, Kansas says it is still processing an unsigned deal for an extension with the shoe company. Kansas recently hired Jeff Long as its AD. Long was previously at Eastern Kentucky and Arkansas.

Josh Gordon is returning to the Browns’ training camp. The troubled wide receiver missed the start of camp while attending a treatment program at the University of Florida. He has been suspended for 56 of a possible 96 games in his pro career.

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