We couldn’t get through a Monday without Benny Snell chatter. All it took was an emoji-filled Tweet from Miss. State running back Kylin Hill to get the ball rolling. This afternoon Snell shrugged off the pregame social media back-and-forth.
“I keep the same motivation every game going forward. I take it game-by-game,” Snell said.
“I don’t pay attention to stats. I don’t pay attention to what people gotta say about me or my team. I’m here to play football, I’m focused and confident. I believe in my guys and I’m ready.”
I don’t entirely believe Benny. After all, he did throw out a not-so subtle subtweet later that night. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran sees no difference in Snell, regardless of what’s happening on social media or in the press.
“Benny’s always motivated. He just comes to play. He had a great practice today. He’ll be ready for the game.” Gran added. “He wants to win. He just wants to do whatever he can to help this football team win.”
Against Mississippi State his team will need him to fight for some of the most hard-earned yards he’ll ever get. The Bulldog defense is physical, but Benny is prepared for the challenge.
“They got a good front. They got a good defense. I’m confident in my guys. We’re going to be ready. It’s another big game. It’s another Florida. It’s another crazy environment, a good team, a good opponent and we’re going to take it head on.”
Other notes from practice…
Miss. State has a new coaching staff, but there’s a familiar face calling the Bulldogs’ defense, former Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. In Eddie Gran’s previous two match-ups against Shoop, UK averaged 503 total yards, 366 rushing yards and 32.5 points. The numbers are laughable, but Gran still has great respect for the coaching veteran.
“He has an attacking defense. They do a heck of a job and he does a heck of a job, so we’re going to have to execute and that’s what offense is. You gotta execute and have guys on the same page. It’s going to be a heck of a challenge.”
Statistically speaking, Kentucky is facing the SEC’s best pass-rusher on Saturday. Montez Sweat is the league leader in sacks (3) and tackles for loss (5.5), but he’s not far ahead of UK’s Josh Allen. Allen is just one behind Sweat in each category.
Pass-rushers like Sweat normally strike fear into an offense, but this one is used to it. They’ve had to guard Allen for years.
“He’s long, lengthy and he plays with a really high motor,” C.J. Conrad said of Sweat. “In my opinion, he’s very similar to Josh (Allen). I’ve been going against Josh all fall camp. I’m excited because I felt like I’ve gotten some good reps against Josh, one of the best defensive ends in the country, so we’ll be okay.
All Trust in Terry
Benny Snell has seen his quarterback grow exponentially since he arrived on campus, but one thing has remained the same — their pregame conversation. When Terry Touchdown visited campus in December, Benny told him they could do something special in 2018. Before each game Snell reminds his quarterback that they’re doing exactly what they talked about in December. So far, so good.
“I trust Terry and he’s ready. He’s ready for things like this. He was ready for the Florida game, he’s been ready every game. I’m confident in him.”
Who cut a better promo, Drake Jackson?
There’s something special about playing in a packed Kroger Field for Kentucky native Drake Jackson pic.twitter.com/L7BlrtB4YF
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 18, 2018
Or Kash Daniel?
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) September 18, 2018
See everything Drake said here.
A Steal from Alabama
Eddie Gran got a good one from Pinson, Alabama. Allen Dailey wasn’t recruited by Kentucky until Dailey’s coaches contacted the Cats late in the recruiting process. Gran is happy he picked up the phone.
“They called and said, ‘Listen, we’ve got an SEC receiver here.’ We watched his tape and he set an Alabama state record in terms of touchdown passes. We kept watching him and said, ‘This guy’s the real deal.’ We were able to go in there and we felt like we stole him.”
In his first action at wide receiver, Dailey caught two passes for 38 yards and a hard-fought touchdown. It won’t be the last you see from him in 2018.
“Allen Dailey did a real nice job for a true freshman,” Gran said. “He was getting some special teams looks. He went out there and (used) his physicality, broke some tackles and got the yards after contact. That’s something that later on in the year I think he’s going to help us.”
The Next Benny Snell?
Chris Rodriguez earned plenty of praise after the true freshman carried defenders 43 yards down the field in just two rushes against Murray State. His ability to break tackles drew comparisons to Benny Snell, but it’s a comparison Benny isn’t quite ready to make.
Is Chris Rodriguez the next Benny Snell? pic.twitter.com/RgiYuHqP3v
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 18, 2018