Darin Hinshaw has perfected his Alex Trebek impression during the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Kentucky football team has remained quarantined over the last six weeks, coaches have gotten creative to keep players engaged. UK’s quarterbacks coach has developed a weekly game of Jeopardy from the Wildcats’ playbook to keep the competitive juices flowing in his players.
“It keeps them interactive,” Hinshaw told KSR. “They’re literally answering and we can go through it if they get it wrong. The one thing with scoring is that if they get it wrong, they get minus (points), just like Jeopardy. If they get it right, they get plus. We’ve had it down where we’ve had Terry Wilson and Sawyer Smith literally down to the last question and it was a 100-point difference. It’s a lot of fun.”
Each Monday and Friday Hinshaw meets with the entire position room on Zoom, primarily using the opportunity to visually learn by watching film. Small groups of two meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the weekly Jeopardy challenge. Zoom Jeopardy tests a player’s ability to verbally communicate without a visual aid.
“Every time they come off the field in a game, they’re on the phone with me and we have to be able to communicate. Literally, this is exactly how we communicate. When I say, ‘Listen, they scalp wrapped us. What protection call did you make?’ They gotta know what that means. This game helps us with the verbal communication that we use during a game.”
The game is broken down into five categories: Route Progressions, Protections, Formations, Coverages and Blitz. Players must be able to identify the question once Hinshaw describes the answer. For example, they will be given the play, then must describe the order in which they must read each specific route.
“On Tuesday’s we’ll watch the actual plays. We’ll ask them what the actual progression is, then we’ll watch the plays,” said Hinshaw, “but here they have to be able to tell me what is in the game, which is pretty awesome.”
What’s even more awesome? Hinshaw hosted KSR for a Zoom meeting and put my football knowledge to the test. This might be the closest you ever get to sitting inside a UK football meeting room. For football junkies, there’s no better way to get your fix than by diving head-first into Kentucky’s terminology.
If I never write another blog, I can die happy knowing that I answered at least one UK Football Jeopardy question correctly.