A week after a disappointing scrimmage, Mark Stoops was pleased to share good news about his offense.
“We had a really good mentality about us today and really mixed it up well — ran the ball, threw it, play-action. They did a lot of things good and had great urgency,” said Kentucky’s head coach.
In the first scrimmage, the offense did not bring enough energy and failed to make competitive plays. That was not the case today.
“The offense as a whole brought the energy. They were very consistent. That doesn’t mean they were perfect, but they had a really good mentality. When they had bad plays, they overcame it at times. If not, they overcame it the next series.” Stoops added, “They really had a solid week, and it showed today. We gotta continue to build. It’s a long season.
Stoops was pleased to spread some positive news about the offense. Kash Daniel was not. “Everybody gave us trouble,” he said begrudgingly.
Kentucky’s middle linebacker had a “I want to punch somebody in the face” look to him when he met with the media. Dealing with minor injuries, the defense took a step back. There were a few good moments, including an interception from Derrick Baity, but the unit’s performance did not meet Daniel’s standards.
“If you’re reading my body language and stuff right now, we must’ve had a terrible scrimmage, but that’s not the case. I beat myself up more than anything…Just because I look pissed off at the world doesn’t mean we had a terrible scrimmage. We made some plays. We made some mistakes. But Benny ran the ball good. Gunnar and Terry looked good. The offensive line looked good. Receivers caught the ball, did some great stuff and they made plays.”
The receiver who made the biggest play of the day was Tavin Richardson. The junior from Byrnes, South Carolina brought down a pass that Stoops thought was going to be an interception.
“We had really good coverage on him. I thought we were going to intercept it, and Tavin came down with it and scored,” Stoops said. “It was one of those situations where I was mad at the defense, but I was glad to see the offense get the ball downfield and make some plays.”
Benny Snell almost made a highlight-worthy catch too, but he took his eye off the ball as it sailed over his shoulder on a wheel-route down the sideline.
“I had to guess and I dropped it,” Snell said. “It would’ve been a touchdown. It was going to be like a 40-yard touchdown. I dropped it. I made up for it though. I always make up for my mistakes.”
Proof that Benny Snell is Human pic.twitter.com/P1rNdOWVF6
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) August 18, 2018
One player who doesn’t drop passes is Akeem Hayes. The little freshman (who’s maybe 5’8″) has been sneaky in the slot.
“Little Akeem, he’s doing a great job catching the ball,” Snell said. “He’s very fast. A lot of guys can’t cover him. He just outruns them. He’s got hands. He catches it. He’s very hard to tackle because he’s so small and so quick. He’s going to be good.”
Kentucky’s offense is beginning to click at the right time. Even though Daniel was disappointed in his defense, he doesn’t envy Kentucky’s opponents. When asked is he’s encouraged by the offense’s progression, Daniel responded: “Hell yeah.”
“If we get Benny back there running like he was today, I’m straight with the offense.”