Kentucky is a banged up team following the loss in Starkville. Today, Mark Stoops told reporters that both quarterback Sawyer Smith and kicker Chance Poore are nursing injuries that puts their status for South Carolina in question.
Sawyer took a hit in the shoulder at the end of the second quarter vs. Mississippi State and after getting an X-Ray in the locker room, played through the pain in the second half. Stoops said that Sawyer is definitely sore, but hopefully will heal up as the week goes on.
“Hopefully he’ll be good today,” Stoops said of Sawyer. “We’ll see. He was definitely sore yesterday. He wouldn’t have been able to throw any passes yesterday at all. Need to see how recovery goes the next couple of days.”
If Sawyer can’t go, Stoops said the staff is confident in Walker Wood, but didn’t close the door on other options.
“Walker is an extremely hard worker, knows what to do with the football. He has worked hard coming back off his surgeries to compete and play at the highest level he can. We’re confident in Walker. We’d also have to look at some other options with some other guys as well.”
“[Amani Gilmore] has a ways to go. Just coming in and learning everything and executing the offense and all that. He’s got a little work to do. Nik [Scalzo] was a guy that was running a lot, doing some really good things in preseason camp and we lost him early so he’s out of the picture obviously as well.”
Poore was hit in the leg after a missed field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. He’s still listed first on the depth chart, but Stoops said that Matt Ruffolo, who came in and made a 29-yard field goal later in the game, will start the week running with the first team.
“We’ll go with Ruffolo here to start the week. Chance’s leg is hurt after he got hit Saturday in the game. His leg is injured a little bit right now. He’s a little dinged up. Ruffolo will start at least right now. We don’t kick today. They rest today. The kickers will kick tomorrow and Ruffolo will go with the ones.”
Other injuries notes:
- Safety Jordan Griffin didn’t play much on Saturday due to a minor injury he suffered in the Florida game. “He was banged up,” Stoops said.
- Stoops said wide receiver Isaiah Epps will likely return after the bye week from a foot injury he suffered in fall camp. “He’s running on the treadmill. They gave me no indication he’ll be back this week, but it’s close. Probably after the bye.”