After watching film and crunching the numbers, it’s pretty evident that the Kentucky offense steamrolled the defense in the first scrimmage of 2019 training camp. The stats offensive coordinator Eddie Gran shared after Tuesday’s practice were better than “just okay.”
“We had a long run, but you take that away and we were still only 4.8 yards per carry. We need to be better at that,” said Gran. “What we did do well is we were explosive and that was good. Terry was 16-of-20. I thought he managed the game really well, but out of those four (incompletions), he had two where he got himself in a bad situation instead of checking the ball down; don’t take a sack. If we can eliminate those, he would’ve been pretty stellar in his first scrimmage out.”
Since when is 4.8 yards per carry a bad thing? That will keep the chains moving. And as Gran said, it does not include the long touchdown run by A.J. Rose. If the Cats are getting five yards every run and Terry Wilson is completing 80% of his passes, this year is going to be fun.
“We went out there and we got after em.” I think Landon Young’s description is putting it lightly. He admitted that it can be a double-edged sword when playing for a defensive-minded head coach.
“We always say, ‘Danged if you do, danged if you don’t,’…He just gets so mad when we run it down their throat.”
More of what we learned from Kentucky tenth practice:
MJ Devonshire Rolls with the Ones
It was an offensive day, but arguably the most intriguing piece of information from the post-practice interview session revolved around the defense. Ten practices into training camp, M.J. Devonshire is getting reps with the first team. Vince Marrow said the freshman cornerback has earned a spot near the top of the totem pole. “It ain’t by default.”
As Brandin Echols’ status remains unchanged, it’s good to hear one newcomer in the secondary has risen his level of play. He’s not the only new name making waves in training camp.
Quintin Wilson Taking on Multiple Positions
“I think Quintin Wilson’s had a really good camp,” said offensive line coach John Schlarman. “We’re starting to work him more at guard too. He’s played a lot of center. I’m working him at all three interior spots now to try and develop an eighth guy.”
Only a redshirt freshman, the goal is for Wilson to be the eighth man in Kentucky’s offensive line rotation. Schlarman believes the Cincinnati native can bring exactly what Bunchy Stallings brought to the Cats’ offensive line early in his career.
“Quintin in high school reminded me a lot of Bunchy in high school,” he said. “He’s very athletic, smart. He’s got a high football IQ. I think there are some similarities between those two.”
Akeem Hayes’ Improvement
We saw some of the small, shifty redshirt freshman wide receiver from Florida’s skills in the highlight video created by KyWildcatsTV. Gran has seen growth from Hayes on more than one occasion.
“I tell you what he’s done that’s different is he’s playing faster because he knows the system. He’s getting lined up a lot better and really eliminating our mental assignments and it’s been really good for him.”
More Vince Marrow Hyperbole?
The Big Dog believes the Cats have one of the top three defensive lines in the SEC. (Yes, that same defensive line that we thought was UK’s weak link this time a year ago.) “It’s going to be pretty what you’re going to see this season,” said Marrow.
A big part of that can be attributed to T.J. Carter’s significant improvement. You’ll hear more about the breakout star of fall camp later.