Cats put finishing touches on preparation

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips and the UK football team are putting the finishing touches on their preparation for the season-opening tilt at in-state foe Louisville on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Counting a short practice Sunday and a day off Monday, Kentucky had their fourth practice of the week Thursday at the Nutter Training Facility. Phillips said afterwards that the Wildcats will go through more of a traditional Thursday practice Friday morning to wrap up the on-field preparation.

“Today was really a Thursday practice,” Phillips said. “We did some more individuals and got fundamental work in. Tomorrow, we will do a typical Thursday practice which will be all special teams having all different types of groups going in and out in different types of situations on special teams and then about 40 minutes of team work before we pack our bags and get ready to go.”

Phillips continues to be pleased with the overall health of his team going into the season opener against the Cardinals.

“This is as healthy as we have been in 25 years of coaching,” Phillips said. “A lot of that has to do with us being a little bit more athletic, a little bit stronger and we aren’t all over the ground and we understand how to practice. A lot of that has to do with our older guys teaching the younger guys how to practice.”

The head coach said Wednesday that he feels his team is ready for the game Sunday and although he also claims to be ready, Phillips said the team will take advantage of the days left to prepare.

“I am anxious to see what we think we have but I also want to take advantage of the time we have,” Phillips said. “We have another day of preparation and I want to make sure we take full advantage of it.”

Phillips also said the battle at Will linebacker between sophomores Tyler Brause and Malcolm McDuffen is still ongoing and a decision on a starter will not be made until game day. Phillips did not name any other possible depth chart changes.