One thing that Joker Phillips has made clear since last week’s lackluster performance is that new personnel will have the opportunity to make some plays on offense when the Cats open their home slate this weekend. While the receiving corps is in need of anyone who can catch a ball, the offense in general is in need of a guy that can kickstart it by making some big plays. To make that difference, the player many people are looking toward is freshman running back Josh Clemons.
Against Western, Clemons was basically the only guy who looked like a playmaker, a fact that was most evident when he, you know, actually made a play on his 14-yard touchdown run. Coach Phillips has since said that Clemons is a player that they have to get more involved, and all signs point to that being the case starting Saturday against Central Michigan. If he continues to improve and can provide the spark UK’s offense needs, the impact on the Cats could be big — maybe big enough to get people to stop complaining for a day or so. In fact, it’s one of the things ESPN will be watching in the SEC this weekend:
8. More touches for Clemons: Watching Kentucky’s listless performance on offense last week was one thing. But listen to coach Joker Phillips, and the disappointment in his voice drives home just how bad the Wildcats were in the opener on the offensive side of the ball. Help might be on the way. Phillips wants to get true freshman running back Josh Clemons more touches after Clemons was one of the few offensive players to show a spark last week. He had a 14-yard touchdown run and had four of Kentucky’s seven runs that were 5 yards or longer. Phillips felt before the season that Clemons had a chance to be special, and the Kentucky coach has seen enough one game into the season to know that the 5-10, 200-pound freshman needs to be a bigger part of the Wildcats’ offense.
It could be asking a lot of a true freshman to jumpstart the offense, and even if he succeeds this weekend it will still remain to be seen whether he can do it against SEC teams, but pretty much anything would be an upgrade from the overall offensive performance against the Hilltoppers. Joker thinks that getting Clemons more involved could get things moving in the right direction. With Louisville just over a week away, I hope he’s right.