Kentucky’s Special Teams have become quite the enigma during the past few seasons. The Florida Gators have certainly become public enemy #1 in that department for Kentucky’s kicking units. While this area has typically been the weakest part of Kentucky’s team over the past few seasons, Joker Phillips is seemingly encouraged by the play and effort so far. After the team’s first scrimmage yesterday Joker was quoted as saying, “I think our scrimmage started really well with our special forces units, which is our kicking units, our punt team and our punt return. Again, I’ve been saying that guys have been asking to be on those teams. It showed today how fast we played in it. It’s probably as clean as we’ve played in our kicking game.”
In the past Special Teams have cost the Wildcats dearly. A specific example would be Louisville’s victory over Kentucky last season. Early in the 2nd Quarter Louisville blocked a punt which led to the Cardinals starting their drive near the 50 yard line instead of starting near their own 25. While the Kentucky defense held it significantly altered our field position on offense after Louisville punted. These kind of snafus have the potential to be absolutely devastating to any team, especially one like Kentucky who will be fighting for a bowl berth. For the Kentucky football squad to have a successful season these units must improve as it could potentially alter the outcome favorably in close games. Nearly every quote that has come out of camp thus far has been encouraging, and positive things coming out about the kick units may be the best news of all.