LEXINGTON, Ky. – First-year head coach Joker Phillips said Wednesday that leaders of the University of Kentucky football team addressed him about changing practice, specifically, getting the first-team offense to work more against the second-team defense instead of the scout team and vice versa.
Phillips said he respected the leaders for addressing him and made the changes they requested, going against the scout team for only 15 minutes in Wednesday practice. The change appeared to work as Phillips said the team was “upbeat and positive” at practice.
“It was another upbeat and positive practice,” Phillips said. “Again, we are working together even more on Wednesdays, which makes it that way. We only had a 15-minute period where we were with the scouts. A couple of our leaders asked us to do it, which I respect. We went more with ones vs. twos instead of scouts. I think that definitely helped practice, especially if they think it helped practice.”
On the injury front, Phillips spoke confidently about the return of junior offensive guard Stuart Hines, who missed the Florida game because of an injury to his ankle. Phillips said that Hines is moving well and believes he will be ready to go in Oxford on Saturday.
“Stuart is moving around well, I think that he will be fine,” Phillips said. “He played the whole Akron game and hurt his ankle the third play of the game. He just couldn’t go last week but he will be fine. He is a tough kid and knows what to do and will play physical. He is one of our leaders up front and we need him in there.”
Kentucky will hold its final practice Thursday before making the trip south to Oxford to face the Ole Miss Rebels at 12:21 p.m. ET on Saturday.
UK Alumni Tailgate Tour Hits Oxford: The University of Kentucky Alumni Association will be holding a tailgate event this weekend for the UK-Ole Miss game in Oxford. The tailgate, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time, will be located at 1006 Van Buren Ave. Cost is $5 for students, $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers and will include a catered breakfast from Taylor Grocery. For reservations, fans should register online at www.ukalumni.net/tailgate. For additional questions, contact Jill Smith at the UK Alumni Association at 859-257-8906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Cat Walk” at 9 a.m. CT: Fans wishing to participate in the “Cat Walk,” cheering the Wildcats when they enter the stadium Saturday, should be near Gate 24 of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at 9 a.m. Central time. Gate 24 is in the south end zone.
Lumpkin, Matthews Named Game Captains for Ole Miss: Senior defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin and senior wide receiver Chris Matthews have been named game captains for the Ole Miss game this weekend. Lumpkin and Matthews will join permanent captains Randall Cobb and DeQuin Evans at the pregame coin toss.