The Kentucky football team held its second major preseason scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium, going 20 minutes with a kicking period, followed by almost one and one half hours of full-contact scrimmage. Here are some thoughts from Coach Rich Brooks following the workout:
General comments on the scrimmage …
“I think there were a lot of good things on both sides of the ball and a few things in the kicking game. There was some good hitting and some good plays on both sides. It’s either our offense is reading our press clippings or defense has clearly closed the gap. One of those two things has happened.”
On special teams …
“(Tim) Masthay punted the ball well. We got some return work today on the kickoff and punt return and that went OK. We’re much better (at placekicker) than we were last fall; still not where I want to be, but we’re better. ”
On the tailbacks …
“The young backs, (Derrick) Locke and (Brandon) Jackson, did some very good things today. We held Rafael Little with his groin strain and Tony Dixon is dealing with some personal issues at home so he wasn’t here. We gave those two guys extensive action today and they both did some very, very good things, so that depth looks much better. Alfonso (Smith) took most of the reps with the first group and did some good things, too.”
On the quarterbacks …
“They did some good things, some not so good. André (starting quarterback André Woodson) did a few good things. (Free safety) Marcus McClinton got one pick (interception) on him. The first unit only gave up one sack, so André did a better job of getting the ball out of his hands. (Mike) Hartline has a slight lead (for the backup quarterback), we’ll look at it some more on film, based on going into today he had a slight lead. We need to play much better in the second and third spot than what we’re playing right now.”
On the playing rotation at cornerback …
“We’re still looking at that. David Jones got a lot of work today. E. J. Adams made some good plays. Robbie McAtee has been doing some good things. His name is in the mix as well, along with (Paul) Warford, Trevard Lindley and (Ahmad) Grigsby. We have by far the most choices at that position that we’ve had (since Brooks has been at Kentucky) and best competition at that position that we’ve had. In this league that’s pretty important with the speed you see at receiver.”
On the offensive line …
“(Freshman) Stuart Hines looks like he’s in consideration for playing time in the offensive line. Jess Beets and Josh Winchell are both in the mix but need to step it up if they want to secure a starting spot. (James) Alexander is still out as he still has some stiffness and soreness in his back. I’m hopeful by the end of this week that he’ll get back on the field and give us another component to the line.
“Marcus Davis has been very impressive at center as well as Eric Scott is doing some good things. Jorge Gonzalez is looking better but still not back where he was before the surgery. We just need him to keep (improving).
“Justin Jeffries did some good things. Garry Williams went pretty much the whole distance today, and that was nice, but he’s still playing with a cast. Hopefully in two weeks that cast will come off and that will enhance his ability. It’s better to have your hands if you’re an offensive lineman.”
On playing freshmen …
“Even with 85 scholarships, there’s always going to be a few freshmen coming in who can play and help you, particularly when maybe every position is not stacked with a senior, to a junior, to a sophomore. In the O-line we had a few holes. We knew we had to have a big year recruiting. That’s one area that’s going to play into that rotation with freshmen. At the running back position, you need to have at least four (ready to play). We may go into the season with at least five, we’ll just see how that comes along.”
The Wildcats return to practice Sunday afternoon. There is another major scrimmage slated for Tuesday night.
Burton, Woodson Featured on “Aaron’s Football Saturdays in the South”: Senior wide receiver Keenan Burton and senior quarterback Andre’ Woodson will be featured in an upcoming episode of “Aaron’s Football Saturdays in the South.” The show is produced by Lincoln Financial Sports and syndicated around the South.
The show will air in the following stations that serve Kentucky markets. For a full list of stations, go to lfsports.com. Viewers should check their local listings to confirm airtimes.
Bowling Green, Ky. WBKO Sun. Aug. 19, 1 p.m. CDT
Charleston, W.Va. WSAZ Sun. Aug. 19, 12:30 p.m. EDT
Evansville, Ind. WTVW Sun. Aug. 19, 5 p.m. CDT
Paducah, Ky. WPSD Sun. Aug. 19, noon CDT
Kentucky Football on FSN South, SportSouth: A 30-minute show on the Kentucky football team will be aired on FSN South and SportSouth. Shot on location at UK, the show provides an in-depth review of the 2006 season, a look ahead to the 2007 schedule, and exclusive interviews with Coach Rich Brooks and select key players. The show host is Natalie Taylor and also features commentary from veteran SEC analysts Tony Barnhart and Dave Neal.
Here is the schedule, all times Eastern Daylight:
Mon. Aug. 20 1 p.m. FSN South
Thurs. Aug. 23 7 p.m. FSN South