Kentucky Wildcats Football: Mid-week Football update


Monday press conference notes

– Coach Joker Phillips spoke on Monday about the Louisville team Kentucky will face this weekend. He pointed out that the Louisville offense is moving the ball effectively on the ground and through the air. He noted that the Cardinal defense is also stopping the run well and are only allowing 2.5 yards per rush.
– Phillips spoke about Josh Clemons ability, work ethic and understanding of the offense. He said that they knew Clemons was going to be a good back for them in training camp.
– He said that the team will prepare for Louisville just like anyone else, but said that the team will be looking to turn the tempo up every week. Phillips said that they don’t talk about the rivalry much, that the players understand it. The Kentucky kids express the importance of this game to the out-of-state players. He said Louisville stacks the box and dares you to throw the football. He said that the offense will have to throw the ball well to back them out of the box so they can run it. Phillips spoke about the importance of winning the Louisville game has played in the eventual success for both teams.
– Joker noted that they plan on running Morgan Newton out of the shotgun formation more because of his ability to break tackles in the secondary. He said that Newton gives the offense the ability to do things that Woodson and Hartline couldn’t. Joker said that Morgan Newton can be a force when he runs the ball. He needs to check his options to see if they’re open, and if they’re not, take off with it. He runs as good as or better than some of the tight ends at 235 pounds. Joker did acknowledge that they have to be careful running him though because of the lack of depth at QB.
– Phillips talked about the receivers dropping a lot of passes and that Newton is actually throwing the deep ball well and that they will continue to stretch the field. The team will use the shorter passes and the running game to bring the defenses up, and then throw it over their heads when the safeties are closer to the line of scrimmage. He said Newton has got to relax and give the receivers a chance to catch the ball and make a play on shorter passes.
– He mentioned the tight ends being used in pass protection and how it has limited their ability to catch the ball.
– He downplayed Charlie Strong’s comments about Kentucky being the better team and pointed out that with no common opponents, it’s hard to judge the two teams against each other. He said that we’ll know who the better team is on Saturday.
– Phillips spoke highly of Darrian Miller and pointed out that when you don’t call their name out much, it typically means they’re doing a good job. He said he showed up bigger than they thought and is still very lean and athletic despite being 295 pounds. He said that Miller is also a really intelligent guy.
– Joker said that they offered Louisville quarterback Will Stein a walk-on spot, but that the situation was better for him at Louisville. He played with Stein’s father Matt at UK and they know Will would be good despite his height. Joker also noted that he runs the ball well.

– Josh Clemons was named co-freshman of the week by the SEC. He shared the award with Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell.
– Danny Trevathan was named honorable mention linebacker this week by the College Football Performance Awards in addition to being listed under “Other notable performances” by the SEC.
– Ryan Tydlacka was named honorable mention punter this week by the College Football Performance Awards.
– Joe Mansour was named honorable mention kickoff specialist this week by the College Football Performance Awards.

– Danny Trevathan currently leads the SEC in total tackles and is fourth nationally in total tackles per game.
– Winston Guy is currently second in the SEC in total tackles and is ranked thirteenth nationally.
– Ryan Tydlacka is currently tenth in the country at 47.8 yards per punt.
– The Kentucky defense is currently ranked tenth in the country in turnovers forced, tenth in the country in pass efficiency defense, and ninth in the country for scoring defense.

-Center Matt Smith will not practice today after sitting out the CMU game. Joker Phillips said that when he tried to go last week, he wasn’t as close to being able to play as the staff had anticipated. He also had his grandfather pass away to deal with in addition to his injuries. It sounds like he’s doubtful for Saturday.
– Tackle Billy Joe Murphy also sat out the CMU game with a sprained MCL and will not practice today either. He sounds
– Safety Taiedo Smith will not practice today after sitting out the first two games of the season. He is not expected to play against Louisville.
– Receiver Gene McCaskill will practice this week in a limited capacity, but is expected to play on Saturday against Louisville. He is continuing to recover from his knee injury he suffered last season.
– Receiver Brian Adams sat out the CMU game, but will be available for Louisville. He has moved to a starting position on the depth chart for this week as well.
-Linebacker Winston Guy will practice in a limited capacity this week, but is expected to play against Louisville. Guy tweaked his hamstring against CMU.

– Senior defensive tackle Mark Crawford was held out of the Western Kentucky and Central Michigan games and there has been no indication that he will be active for the Louisville game. He has battled disciplinary issues throughout his tenure in Lexington.

Depth chart
– Freshman Darrian Miller has been moved to the starting right tackle position with redshirt-freshman Teven Eatmon-Nared listed as the backup. Sophomore Trevino Woods has been moved to the backup left tackle as well as his role as the backup right guard. Senior Billy Joe Murphy (who started at RT for the WKU game) is not listed.
– Senior Jake Lanefski has been bumped up to the starting center position, where he has started the past two weeks. He is filling in for the injured Matt Smith. Sophomore Sam Simpson is listed as his primary backup.
– Sophomore Tyler Robinson has been moved into the starting tight end position, with senior Nick Melillo and sophomore Jordan Aumiller (who stared the first two games of the season) listed as his backups.
– Sophomore Brian Adams has surpassed senior Matt Roark for one of the starting wide receiver positions.
– Sophomore Jonathan George has moved ahead of Junior CoShik Williams as the third-string running back. Raymond Sanders is still the starter, with Josh Clemons listed as the number two back.
– Freshman Eric Dixon has been added to the depth chart as the third-string safety behind starter Martavius Neloms and backup Ashely Lowery.
– Senior Mychal Bailey has moved to the backup free safety position behind starter Mikie Benton. He supplants the injured Taiedo Smith.


Garrett Tucker of NationofBlue reported on Sunday that Glasgow tight end Hunter Bowles has received a scholarship offer from Kentucky. Coach Joker Phillips reportedly told Bowles that the staff would likely redshirt or greyshirt him t
o create some separation between him and the other tight ends on the roster.

Keep following www. for the best in Kentucky basketball and football news, rumors, and opinions. By Kentucky fans for Kentucky fans