LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky defense dominated the first extended scrimmage of preseason practice, held Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Stadium.
No touchdowns were recorded in the one-hour, 40-minute scrimmage. The offense did convert five of six field goal attempts. Junior Lones Seiber made four out of five field goal tries, including a 52-yarder which would have been a career long in game action. Redshirt freshman Ryan Tydlacka made his only field goal attempt.
“Well, it was an interesting scrimmage,” Coach Rich Brooks said afterward. “The defense kicked the offense's butt. I expected some of that, but it was a very impressive defensive performance. All we got were field goals.
“(Defensive tackle) Corey Peters showed up repeatedly in our backfield. We couldn't block him very well in pass protection and it's been going that way most of fall camp. He's a much improved player from what he was a year ago.”
Asked to find some offensive positives from the scrimmage, Brooks said, “There were some individual plays, some things that were pretty good, but offensively if you get one or two guys not doing their job, or doing it not as well as they should, then all of a sudden the whole play looks bad. The difference right now is that the defense is playing very fast and the offense is thinking too much. They're not attacking. We have to pick up our offensive tempo.
“Defensively, you have to be excited. The defense is taking the ball away and the offense can't be giving it away. The decision-making process needs to be better. (Sophomore quarterback Mike) Hartline did come in a sore shoulder. He did not throw it as well as he's been throwing it and that probably had some impact. He's just worn out. He's not used to throwing this many balls. We probably need to shut him down for a day or two and let that shoulder get some zip back in it.”
Brooks noted that several players were held out of the scrimmage because of injuries, including offensive linemen James Alexander and Jake Lanefski, running backs Derrick Locke and Moncell Allen, defensive tackle Joe Scott and free safety Marcus McClinton. Brooks announced that redshirt freshman defensive end Greg Meisner will be out indefinitely because of shoulder surgery. Meisner missed most of the 2007 season because of surgery on the opposite shoulder.
The Wildcats return to the practice field on Sunday.