After five weeks of lethargic offense, Mark Stoops and his staff decided to hold practice under the lights of Kroger Field on Tuesday night. In hopes of reenergizing a team that has looked drained since the bye week, and to bring the game mentality to the practice field. According to the players and coaches, this did cause them to be more energized at practice today. Practice how you play, and this offense needs to play with energy, so I’m not knocking it.
Eddie Gran said the offense looked much better today, but there’s still a lot that needs to be fixed. Check out today’s practice notes and how the offense is looking to minimize their mistakes in these final two weeks.
Getting back to Urgency
The theme from Eddie Gran today was all about five words: Urgency, Mentality, Physicality, Attacking, and Hunger. Backing off of what Benny Snell said in Knoxville on Saturday, Gran also feels like a lack of hunger has been a critical problem in this offense.
“I’m not gonna panic, it’s about urgency,” said Coach Gran. “We’ve been in urgency before. We say urgency, don’t panic just have a sense of urgency about what you have to get done to get things right. Coaches, players, but let’s not panic about it. We got to get better at the little things.”
Gran would continue to say, “There’s been a difference in everybody. Talk about physicality, talk about an edge, we can talk about urgency. It’s from the whole group. I’m not putting it on them it’s on me.”
Offensive Struggles Stem from Inconsistency
It’s clear the offense has seen a significant drop off since the first half against South Carolina, but where exactly does it stem from? Eddie Gran believes most of the mistakes are coming from inconsistency.
“We gotta be more consistent, that’s the biggest thing,” said Gran. “Getting back to that physicality and not talking about it throughout the week. We gotta come with an edge every week. We gotta be more consistent.”
Gran would explain that you might have a guy make a few plays while other players are messing up, but as soon as the players messing up gets their problem corrected, the guy making players earlier will slip up. Gran would own up to the offense being inconsistent, and say it takes a mentality to get back to cohesive consistency.
Execution leads to Explosiveness
Widespread criticism of Kentucky’s offense has been “they’re too conservative,” dating back to every coordinator I can think of post-Hal Mumme and outside of Neal Brown. While some of them deserved that criticism (Shannon Dawson), I believe it’s not necessarily the play calling that leads to less-explosive plays, as much as it is the execution of the plays that are being drawn.
“Plays here and there that we’re missing are really killing us right now,” said CJ Conrad. “Nothing’s changed, in my opinion, with what we’re running. We’re calling the same plays, and we’re calling the right plays. Just plays that we were making at the beginning of the year, right cuts, right blocks, we were making those things. The last three games we haven’t…It’s just small stuff that’s very fixable, but it shows up on Saturday.”
Eddie Gran also says that he has the players to make those explosive plays, it just goes back to detail.
“They’ll be better this week; everybody will.” – Eddie Gran.
Want to Check Out everything else said at today’s practice? Watch Below.