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November 4, 2013

WR corps takes a hit with Montgomery, Timmons hurt

Kentucky's win over Alabama State was bittersweet.

The sweetness came directly after the win, a jovial locker room after UK clinched just its fourth win in two seasons.

The bitterness took longer to set in, and it will leave a lasting impact.

Head coach Mark Stoops said Monday that freshman wide receiver Alex Montgomery will be out the remainder of the year after suffering an ACL injury in the second quarter against the Hornets.

"It's not good news with Alex," Stoops said. "He'll be out for the remainder of the year."

Montgomery's injury came moments after scoring his second collegiate touchdown against the Hornets.

While celebrating, Montgomery leaped to bump with fellow teammates, but on his way down landed awkwardly, causing the injury.

UK likely will be without freshman Ryan Timmons against Missouri. Late in UK's blowout win Timmons suffered an ankle injury.

"Probably not good news for Ryan Timmons for this game," Stoops said. "So we're getting pretty thin."

Timmons ranks second on UK in receptions and receiving yards. If Timmons can't go, along with Montgomery being out, the Cats will have lost two of their top three receivers.

Stoops said he will try to make Montgomery's injury a learning experience for his other players.

Freak accidents happen, but given how physical football is already, Stoops doesn't want any of his players getting hurt celebrating.

"You know, we have to address that today as well…," Stoops said. "We've got a couple of those guys that can do backflips and sometimes they'll do that before practice and get guys sparked up. I'm a little leery of that as well. We might have to get our feet on the ground for our celebrations right now.

"We can't afford to lose anybody else."

On a positive note, UK will have leading receiver Javess Blue back against the Tigers.

The junior missed the Alabama State game after his eye swelled shut from being hit in the face with a football in pregame warmups.

Blue has caught 28 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns, playing in seven games.

"Javess will be fine," Stoops said.

UK, which has been thin at receiver the majority of the season, will have to keep moving down the depth chart.

Luckily for Stoops, other guys have shown they can produce.

Freshman Jeff Badet has shown flashes throughout the season, and against Alabama State caught a career-high four passes against the Hornets.

"It was nice to see some guys last week step up," Stoops said. "I thought Jeff Badet played his best game. That was good to see."

UK also will rely more on junior receiver Demarco Robinson. Robinson finished with four catches against Alabama State for 44 yards.

Robinson was sidelined earlier in the year with an ankle injury, but the Cats are slowly but surely asking more of him as he gets healthier.

"Demarco, we need to continue to get him healthy and get him back in the fold, doing some good things," Stoops said.

Stoops said with the lack of depth at wide receiver the Cats will call on more tight ends to get involved in the passing game.

The Cats have a plethora of tight ends who have seen minutes this season, including junior Steven Borden, who caught his first career touchdown pass against the Hornets.

UK will also look for other receivers to step up. Joey Herrick caught two of his three collegiate passes last Saturday. The Cats will also look for A.J. Legree and Daryl Collins to get involved.

"We've got to continue to work, continue to improve…," Stoops said. "A.J. is doing some better things as well, so that's a good sign."


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