Kentucky has listed four true freshmen wideouts on its depth chart since the start of the season, and a different freshman has stepped up in a big way in each of UK’s first three games. In last week’s triple-overtime loss to Florida it was Garrett Johnson, who pulled in six catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns, earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors.

Last week against Ohio it was Dorian Baker who stepped up big by catching two early passes for 41 yards, scoring one touchdown and setting up another in a 20-3 win. In Week 1 against UT Martin freshman Blake Bone took a screen pass 29 yards to the house in his own coming out party.

Behind No. 1 wideout Javess Blue, dynamic sophomore Ryan Timmons and the savvy veteran Demarco Robinson, Kentucky’s four freshmen wideouts (we’ve yet to mention T.V. Williams) have made a greater impact than expected through three games. As all four players continue to rapidly develop, the offense will only grow more explosive and unpredictable under offensive coordinator Neal Brown.


Towles threw his first interception of the season in the loss to Florida, and then threw two more by game’s end. But he also threw for more than 350 yards and three touchdowns against a rowdy Gators defense in the Swamp, and never appeared fazed by the daunting circumstances.

The redshirt sophomore faced his greatest challenge as a starting quarterback head-on, and almost accomplished something that guys like Tim Couch, Jared Lorenzen and Andre Woodson never could by beating Florida. His mistakes came within the flow of the game, and, ultimately, none of his three interceptions cost UK a chance to win the game at the end. If Towles maintains this level of composure through the rest of the Wildcats’ SEC schedule, they could play spoiler in the wide-open SEC East.


After taking his first two carries as a Wildcats a total of 116 yards for a couple of touchdowns, Heard waited almost two weeks to touch the ball again in a live game. His triumphant return to the field in Gainesville did not go as well as his UK debut against UT Martin, as Heard managed just 39 yards on 12 carries against the Gators.

The transfer from Nebraska is still working his way back from ankle injury, and the bye week should do him some good in UK’s next stretch of games. It is not likely Heard will be subdued to the same degree he was against Florida for the rest of the season, but in sharing time with the likes of Jojo Kemp and Boom Williams, he may not get the chance to show the same explosiveness he showed against UTM for two fleeting runs.

Heard will be a major contributor on offense this season, but he’ll have to show fans he is back to his old, explosive self when UK returns to the field on Sept. 27 against Vanderbilt.


Kentucky did not let Florida throw the ball all over its defense, but the secondary still left plenty of room for improvement. It seemed as though the Cats’ defensive backs looked more comfortable blitzing off the edge than they did in pass coverage, as a number of edge blitzes ruined Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel’s night.

When Driskel was able to get throws away, he completed 25 passes for 295 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception. Of those numbers, 15 completions, 216 yards and two touchdowns went to wideout Demarcus Robinson, who Kentucky failed to cover all night. Seriously, Robinson caught 60 percent of Driskel’s completions and amounted for 73 percent of his yards and 67 percent of his touchdowns. You’d think head coach Mark Stoops and the UK secondary would have taken the hint by overtime.

The Wildcats have plenty of experience in the secondary, but not a ton of tremendous athleticism outside of safety A.J. Stamps. This makes the secondary vulnerable against athletic freaks like Robinson, and will mean bad news for UK when it faces players like LSU’s Travin Dural or Mizzou’s Bud Sasser.