While you’re out on the lake enjoying the three-day weekend, Joker Phillips is getting Kentucky football ready for the second game of the season. Part of that preparation includes his Monday afternoon press conference with the media.
Don’t worry, we’ve got the notes. You just keep relaxing. Save me a hot dog, though.
— Joker opened the press conference by saying, “We’ve watched the Western Kentucky game several times and we’ve buried it.” I vote for never digging it up. Ever.
— Phillips is very pleased with how the defense and special teams played in the opener. He said some special teams guys will see more reps on offense and defense. He added that there isn’t anything wrong with winnings games with good defense and special teams.
— The offense, however, needs a lot of work. Joker said the defense will have to keep carrying the team until the offense can catch up. The staff didn’t find anything on the offensive side of the ball that excited them. He asked for more time to get the offense in shape and to where they want it. This is a young offense so I think we can give them a break here. As far as “more time” to get it going, I say we give them until the Louisville game. Does that work for you all?
— Joker doesn’t really need to call a press conference to tell us how bad the receivers played, but he still took a few minutes to voice his disappointment in his wideouts. He said the wide receivers were embarrassing. “If you’re going to be a pass catcher, you better catch the damn ball,” he said. We can expect to see changes on the outside in the Central Michigan game. Joker asked the room if there is anyone who thinks there shouldn’t be changes. Look for E.J. Fields and DeMarco Robinson to see more playing time, and Kentucky fans might even get to see the long-awaited debut of Aaron Boyd. On the freshman DeMarco Robinson, Joker said they need to get him out in open space.
— Phillips said Morgan Newton made four or five bonehead plays, but overall he looked okay. Joker said the line needs to do a better job of protecting Newton and those receivers need to help him out by making plays. He added that Maxwell Smith was warming up at halftime and they’re still trying to get him out on the field.
— A few individual player notes:
— Collins Ukwu didn’t practice but should be fine come Saturday. He sat out the second half of the game with a bruised chest.
— Wide receiver Brian Adams suffered a high ankle sprain on a three-yard hitch route. Adams did not practice and he’ll be evaluated throughout the week.
— Center Matt Smith started practice today but couldn’t finish. The offensive line had a disappointing first game and Smith is a vital part of that crew.
— Joker praised Donte Rumph for how he played. Phillips said Rumph played as well anyone they’ve had around here in a long time.
— He also praised freshman Alvin Dupree for getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. All of the young linebackers played well.
— Also, UK announced Saturday will be “Heroes Day” at Commonwealth Stadium. Any military, fire, police, or EMT personnel can pick up two free tickets to the game at Gate 4. If you fall into one of those categories, just make sure you take a valid service ID with you.