LEXINGTON, Ky. – After its normal day off on Monday, the Kentucky football team had its first practice in preparation for the Alabama game Tuesday morning at the Nutter Training Center.
“It was a good practice,” Coach Rich Brooks said after the two-hour workout. “It was a good day. I think you can tell there’s a little more focus about what they tried to do.”
Brooks said that the three players who incurred high-ankle sprains during the Middle Tennessee game, quarterback/wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebacker Micah Johnson and defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, were evaluated on Tuesday.
“They worked out,” Brooks said. “We’ll see how they respond tomorrow, see if it gets real sore or not. None of them are close to 100 percent. It’s not even in that ballpark. Whether they can be functional or not is the question.”
Brooks continued to talk about how impressed he is with Alabama.
“All you have to do is look at the film, the way they play, who they’ve played and how they’ve handled those games,” Brooks said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams in the last two or three years. This one is a little different style, more of the bloody-your-nose (style). This will be a different challenge.
“They’re not making a lot of mistakes, they’re not getting a lot of penalties. They’re a physical football team. This will be quite a different look than what we had the last three weeks. Louisville was a team that tried to line up and run it at us. The other teams were spread-it-all-over-the-field, basketball-on-grass kind of stuff. This will be an adjustment for our defense, for sure. We haven’t seen a defense like this, although I think Louisville’s defense was still very good.”
Brooks also was asked about the success of the Crimson Tide offensive line.
“They’re very big and they work well together,” Brooks said. “They get onto the double team and then one of them will come off and pick up the linebacker. It’s very impressive, the technique, and the movement they get at the point of attack. They create the creases and the impressive thing is that even when the crease isn’t very big, the back is going like a locomotive, straight downhill. There isn’t any of this (Brooks made wiggle motion) in the backfield, it’s just ‘voop’ – gone.”
Kentucky (4-0, 0-0 SEC) takes on Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in a game that will be televised by CBS.
Smith, Locke are Game Captains: Tailbacks Alfonso Smith and Derrick Locke will be the game captains for this week’s contest at Alabama, Coach Rich Brooks has announced.
Game captains are normally selected on the basis of performance in the previous game. In UK’s 41-3 win over Western Kentucky University, Smith (Louisville, Ky.) was the team’s leading rusher with six carries for 67 yards, including a career-long 35-yard touchdown run. He also made two tackles in kick coverage. Locke (Hugo, Okla.) had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and also contributed 34 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards.
Smith and Locke will join permanent captains Tony Dixon and Braxton Kelley at the pregame coin toss.
Scout Team Players of the Week: Offensive guard Sean Stackhouse, safety Clay Cecil and defensive end Collins Ukwu were named the Scout Team Players of the Week for their work in preparing the Wildcats for last week’s 41-3 win over Western Kentucky.
Stackhouse, a freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., and Cecil, a freshman from Ft. Thomas, Ky., were named for offense and defense, respectively. Ukwu, a freshman from La Vergne, Tenn., was chosen for his performance on special teams.