With only a couple of days before the Georgia Bulldogs come to town, head coach Joker Phillips met with the media to discuss a host of new things involving his football team. In today’s press conference, Phillips touched on the team’s injuries (Towles, Benton and Neloms are out vs. UGA), Jalen Whitlow’s progression in the offense, and the strengths of a talented Georgia team. Take a look.
-Kentucky’s defensive coaches continue to praise the performance of true freshman CB Cody Quinn. Quinn began his career after a number of injuries at cornerback forced him to be inserted into the starting lineup against Florida. Obviously, “the Swamp” is a tough place to begin your career, but Quinn responded well, and is now a staple in the Wildcats defense. Quinn was asked if a not-so-great performance at Arkansas would mentally hurt Kentucky’s young secondary going forward and he doesn’t believe so. “You’ve got to have a short memory after a game like that and you have to come together as an unit. We’re practicing harder now, and I think both Blaylocks (Zack and Daron) are starting to pick up the defense a little better.”
-According to OC Randy Sanders, QB Morgan Newton‘s brief relief of Whitlow in the Arkansas game was because Newton gives the offense a little more options because of his knowledge of the playbook. That’s true, but it’s not all it was for, according to Whitlow. “It gave me a chance to sit back and think. I needed to relax and calm down so I was able to go back [on the field] and play calm.”
–C Matt Smith says the offensive line has not lost any faith in Whitlow as their starting QB. He believes that Whitlow is starting to grasp the offense a lot better and will show improvement going forward. “One thing about Jalen is that he has a lot of confidence. That makes us all feel good as an offense. He’s learning a lot from the injured players and he’s doing a lot of one-on-one with coach Sanders.”
-Smith calls Georgia’s defensive line “the biggest bunch we’ll see all year.” The Bulldogs’ defense features two 350-plus pound nose guards in the middle of their defense who specialize in stopping the run. So how do the Wildcats plan to establish the run game with those two guys in the middle? “It’s very important to get the running game going this week. As an offensive line, you always want to be able to establish the run game. We’ve inserted a couple new schemes that we feel good about, and hope to have some success on Saturday.”