Cats endure heat with good practice

LEXINGTON, KY - After a day of meetings on Sunday, the Kentucky football team returned to the practice field on Monday morning for the first time since Saturday's scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium.

Working on the hottest day of the first two-plus weeks of fall camp, head coach Mark Stoops liked what he saw.

"Good practice today," Stoops said. "We got a lot of good work in today. We were by no means perfect on either side of the ball, but got a lot of work done. Much better enthusiasm. Good, physical practice. Got some good situations worked offensively, defensively, special teams. Just a lot of good work. Long practice."

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown was even more pleased. During the second half of that Saturday scrimmage, the defense dominated. With two days to regroup, the offense reasserted itself.

"I thought we really competed on offense," Brown said. "Did a lot of situation work where we made some mistakes, but good learning points. But I thought our kids really bounced back from not playing well the second half of that scrimmage on Saturday, competed and made lots of plays. We caught the ball today, which we really have all spring with the exception of on Saturday."

After reviewing tape from the scrimmage, one lesson stood out to Brown. To the offense's credit, the Wildcats took it to heart on Monday.

"I think that's the thing that we took away from that on Saturday, the second half of that scrimmage, is that offense, it's team," Brown said. "And 10 guys can do the right thing and one guy can do the wrong thing and it's still not a positive play."

Helping to make sure the message was received were Kevin Mitchell and Darrian Miller, two players Brown has observed stepping up as leaders on the offensive line.

"I think that the two guys up there that are giving us leadership are Kevin Mitchell and Darrian Miller," Brown said. "Kevin because he's a senior, Darrian because he's probably our best guy up there. Those are kind of the people you look for to be leaders. I'm really proud of how Darrian stepped up and assumed that leadership role because that's really not his personality so to speak."

Brown was also asked about leadership among UK's wide receivers, but said the youth of the group is preventing a vocal presence from developing. But because of the leaders surrounding them, that's not a problem.

"There's really not right now and, to be fair, I don't know if there has to be," Brown said. "I don't know if there has to be. I think the guys that--with whoever the quarterback ends up being, I think Ray Sanders, Jonathan George, Miller, Mitchell, I think those guys can kind of spread it out."

On the subject of the quarterback battle, Stoops and Brown confirmed on Monday that the contenders for the starting role have been narrowed to two, though neither named names.

"I think we have to get our reps focused in and we gave two guys the majority of the reps today," Brown said. "We'll continue with that. I think if one of them jumps up and takes it, then that'll be our guy. If not, we'll have to get used to playing with two."

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