(A KYForward Photo)
We sent KSR Student Intern Rashawn Franklin, my brother from another mother, to Thursday’s football practice. He came back with all kinds of football goodies – presented in bullet form, of course.
Thursday Practice Report
Rashawn Franklin, KSR Student Intern
Head football coach Joker Phillips held a brief press conference after Thursday’s practice; he discussed preparation for the upcoming Central Michigan game.
-Coach Phillips said that today was the final physical preparation for Saturday’s game. He said the rest of the preparation would be getting his football team mentally ready for the home opener against the Chippewas.
-The offensive line’s health has been a concern. Center, Matt Smith, did not practice today and his status for Saturday is in question. Joker stressed that “we will go with who we have” and that the next guy has to step up and perform well. On the defensive injury front, defensive ends Collins Ukwu and Taylor Wyndham practiced today and both are expected to play.
– Joker was very pleased with the defensive intensity from the Western Kentucky game citing the hybrid position of Winston Guy as one of the successes and “exactly how he envisioned the position.” He said he expected a good game out of Guy but not the turnovers he generated and stated he was quite pleased with that. When asked about future recruiting for that hybrid position he said, he hopes that not only that position, but the new defensive scheme as a whole helps recruiting.
-A lot of true freshmen are going to have to step up for this team to have success and Phillips knows it. He said that a lot of freshmen that didn’t get opportunities last week will get some this week and the freshmen that played last week will play again. He specifically mentioned Demarco Robinson, and said that Robinson has had “a good week” and will be worked into the return game. When asked about true freshmen and four-star recruit, Glenn Faulkner, Joker believes that he is still far behind of the players that have been practicing all summer. Joker said that Faulkner is a smart guy, and can pick up the system quickly, but will most likely be playing special teams until then.
– Offensively, Joker said, “We just gotta play better,” and that starts with, Quarterback Morgan Newton. When asked how Newton looked this week in practice Joker said, “Better. Morgan knows how important his presence and body language is to this team.” Coach Phillips talked about how players differ from their performance after bad games but said that Newton understands what he needs to do and he expects him to play well on Saturday.
-Also, when asked about wide receivers E.J. Fields and Aaron Boyd, Phillips said that they both have had good weeks of practice and are both expected to get some reps against Central Michigan. He said that what’s kept them out of the lineup until this point has been consistency.
Joker sounded pretty confident going into Saturday’s game. He expects his team to play a lot better against Central Michigan, and make somewhat of a statement heading into the Battle for the Governor’s Cup against rival, Louisville.