– Of all the injuries the fans and media have lamented over the past few weeks, Demarco Robinson‘s ankle has surprisingly been the least talked about. The most experienced WR was the first to catch a touchdown and was leading the nation in return yards after stellar Week 1. After rolling his ankle on another great return against Miami, Marco will be 3 weeks removed from the sprain on game time Saturday. Today he was returning kicks and punts in practice, with Neal Brown saying, “Out here in practice he’s not 100% right now, but I think by Saturday he will. Also the adrenaline on game day helps out with those (types of injuries) too.”
– Jojo Kemp showed his stuff against Louisville, with the staff vowing to insert the playmaker into the lineup more often in the weeks to come. It might be a little untimely, facing the #1 rush defense in the country. “Jojo’s not worried about it, he’s ready to go play,” Stoops said today. The Florida native should be geeked up to play his home-state school. The biggest hindrance to playing time before was the inability to effectively pickup the blitz. With two weeks to watch film and improve his reaction time, Coach Chad Scott believes he’s improved, “I really have. It’s more so the recognition part of it, more than the physical part of it. He’s always been physical picking it up. He’s done a great job last week and a great job this week also.”
– UK’s running game might have had a little help with the news that future NFL DT Dominique Easley tore his ACL this week in practice. There’s no doubt that Easley’s a brute, but their DLine is VERY deep, running players in and out frequently. A lot of the weight bearing on the offensive line’s shoulders will fall on OG Zack West. With a lot of questions at the QB position, West knows developing a run game will be critical Saturday, “Their run defense is one of the best in the country. To be able to run the ball against them opens up a lot of different options for our offense.” The Cats might have to change their approach a little on the offensive line. Categorized by Stoops as a “disruptive” DLine, their focus on penetration is different than most teams, “We have to focus on our technique a little more; you have to take that first step first and hold your ground. They’re a penetrating team not a read team. They try to disrupt you upfront and we have to hold our ground.” Expect to see a lot of cut blocks ‘in the trenches’ to get the running backs to the second level of the defense.
– Stoops has a lot of experience playing against the Florida staff, but Stoops has an even longer history with true freshman Vernon Hargreaves, “I worked with Vernon (Sr.) at Miami, so I’ve known Vernon Jr. since he was a young boy. Tremendous family, and unbelievable person and a great player; he’s the whole package. He’s going to be a great player.” Hargreaves playmaking ability in the secondary has drawn many comparisons to the Honey Badger formerly of LSU, but what sets him apart according to Stoops is that “he’s an unbelievable person.” The QBs will need to keep an eye out for the freshman that already has 2 interceptions through 3 games.
Quote of the Day: “They got a lot of guys that I’d like to have their paychecks one day.” – Neal Brown on the Florida secondary.