Football Cats practice to a "split decision"

LEXINGTON, Ky. – If Kentucky’s football practices on Thursday were a boxing match, the judges would have called a split decision, according to Coach Joker Phillips.

“Practice today was a really good practice and the offense probably left here feeling like they dominated, but the thing I will tell you is the defense has a lot of bumps and bruises and guys out,” Phillips said. “They need a day because of the type of camp we have had. It has been a really physical camp, especially on the defensive backs.

“The defense has done a great job, especially this morning. We had a short-yardage scrimmage and it was eight snaps and (the score was four-to-four) and I called them up afterwards and said, ‘Who do you think won?’ And the offense raised their hand. Not true, if you are 50 percent on third-and-one, third-and-twos then you have problems. We have to be around 80-85 percent on third-and-one and third-and-twos. These guys have to understand the nature of the drill and how we are putting the drill together and the statistics that we need in those situations to be able to win football games.”

Meanwhile, Phillips announced that sophomore safety Glenn Faulkner, who played in 11 games last season, mostly on special teams, has sustained an ankle injury that required surgery.

“He is out six-to-eight weeks,” Phillips said. “It could be six weeks, we will just have to see how fast he heals. If he heals and we feel like he is ready to go then we will play him, if not then we still have a redshirt (season available).”

Phillips said that everything went well with the surgery and although Faulkner will be missed, the coach feels good about the team’s situation at safety.

“Again, we still have some depth at the safety position with Dakotah Tyler coming back and some of these young freshmen are starting to make their move because of the reps they are getting with him being out,” Phillips said.

The coach also noted that sophomore tailback Josh Clemons continues to have occasional swelling in his knee as he recovers from a knee injury sustained last season.

Off the field, junior offensive guard Steven Duff became a trending topic Thursday after his antic diving during the team’s pool day Tuesday was shown as one of the top-10 “Plays of the Day” on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

“Nobody is more excited for Duff than me and this whole football team,” We have watched him do these types of flips every year he has been here. It was amazing when he first came on campus. He is a great athlete, don’t let his (lineman’s) physique fool you. They (the players) were in the dining hall when it came on today and it erupted because of the type of teammate he is and the loyalty he has for this football team. The guy is all blue. We are excited for him to get all the attention he is getting.”

Kentucky will practice Friday and have the second major scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday.