KSR student intern Rashawn Franklin was at Joker’s Monday football press conference today. This is what he found…
Coach Joker Phillips held a press conference today; he discussed the victory over Central Michigan, as well as the upcoming Battle for the Governor’s cup against rival, Louisville. The student athletes available for interview were: Inside linebacker Ronnie Sneed, Left guard Stuart Hines, and Running back and local Matt Jones man-crush, Josh Clemons.
-The injury report was as follows: Gene McCaskill, Billy Joe Murphy, Matt Smith, Taiedo Smith will not practice on Tuesday. Also, Murphy and Smith are both questionable for the Louisville game.
-The offensive line has been pretty banged up and shuffled this year having all five starters ailing at some point. Center Matt Smith has not registered a snap on offense at all this season and despite practicing once last week was not healthy enough to play against Central Michigan. Coach Phillips said that Smith has had some personal problems off the field, which has delayed some of his treatment, but said that they are “hoping to get him back sometime soon.”
-Freshmen offensive tackle and Lexington-native (Bryan Station), Darrian Miller, filled in for Murphy on Saturday against the Chippewas. Joker, as well as Stuart Hines, praised Miller’s ability to come in as a true freshman at this level and have success. Coach Phillips described Miller as a “hard-worker” and “unbelievably smart guy.” He thinks that having Miller come into the game as a freshmen can do nothing but increase depth on the offensive line and help his football team win.
-When asked about the upcoming Louisville game linebacker Ronnie Sneed said that practice leading up to a rivalry game or an SEC game is “a lot more exciting.” He talked about setting the stage for conference play by having a good showing against Louisville and elevating the level of play from here on out.
-Hines also talked about being a senior and possibly going undefeated against Louisville. “Being able to say I never lost against them is kind of a big deal. Not a lot of people can say that.”
– Quarterback Morgan Newton had a much better showing against Central Michigan then his three interception game against Western Kentucky. Phillips expressed how excited he was to see Newton get a little more comfortable in the second half of the game. He hopes to get Newton in more “shotgun” formations against Louisville so that he can use his legs when need be. Joker also cited that Morgan is “faster than he looks,” and is a lot more athletic than Andre Woodson and Mike Hartline.
-The big story from the weekend was the emergence of true freshmen Josh Clemons (14 rushes, 126 yards and a TD). He and Raymond Sanders have formed quite a duo in the backfield and both will be needed in SEC play to help take pressure off of Newton. Clemons, a Georgia native, was asked about his recruiting process and how he ended up with the ‘Cats instead of staying closer to home. “It’s all about going to place where you think you can flourish and where they are confident in your abilities.” As far as an outlook on future success Clemons said, “I plan to keep working hard and keep learning and if that means getting better then I’ll get better.”