Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders will be the first to admit that newly named starter Maxwell Smith has come a long way from last season. Smith is no longer the deer-in-the-headlights freshman forced to the wolves of the SEC after a Morgan Newton injury. With a ton of hard-work, dedication, and hours in the film room, Smith is now ready to be the unquestioned leader of the team. Does that mean he has complete control of Kentucky’s offense and will be able to play without hesitation?
“Not yet,” Sanders said. “I used the analogy last year that we have him on the algebra one level [of the offense], and now he’s close to the trigonometry part of it.”
After a spring and summer of installation and practice Sanders’ said that the offense has stop installing new plays and shifted the focus to the showdown against Louisville. The Cardinals defense, who held Kentucky’s offense to 17 points in last year’s matchup, brings back nine starters from last year’s team, including safety Hakeem Smith, who was named to the Thorpe and Nagurski Award preseason watch lists. Kentucky coaches know how important the Louisville game is to their season and are now completely turning their focus to coming home with a win. Naming a starter was the first step, but there needs to be a lot more done before September 2nd.