After taking some time to digest what happened last night, Joker Phillips held his weekly teleconference today to talk about the Western game, hand out some injury updates and discuss what needs to happen moving forward. Here are a few of the things he hit on:
–Joker shared in the general disappointment with the offensive line, who he said “did not play well at all. ”
–He said that Morgan Newton played better than his stats indicated, which is good because his stats were pretty atrocious, but he still has to get better.
–And while we’re on the subject of Newton, he headlines the injury news. Newton sprained his thumb in the first quarter last night, and Joker said today that he didn’t think he would play in the second half, praising the QB’s toughness for playing through the injury because they weren’t expecting to have him. He also said that lineman Billy Joe Murphy sprained an MCL last night, and defensive end Collins Ukwu suffered a bruised shoulder and is day-to-day, although Ukwu did draw praise from his head coach for his play before leaving with the injury.
—Josh Clemons got the attention of Phillips, along with everyone else, with him saying today about the freshman running back, “He was a guy that was seeing cuts and seeing things really well. We’ve got to get him there a little bit more because I thought he blocked well, he understands our schemes (and) he can catch the football, so he definitely deserves to play more.” I think it’s fairly safe to say that Mr. Clemons will be stepping up and seeing a little more of the field in the coming weeks.
–And speaking of stepping up, one position that’s just begging for someone to step up is wide receiver. UK’s head man is looking for anyone who can make a play: “We have to find a group of wide receivers that can make plays,” Phillips said. “I think we had the separation we need to make the plays, but guys have to make the plays for us.” Anyone?
Now that that’s finished, we can all forget last night ever happened.