LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team began its week of practice by moving indoors to the Nutter Training Facility because of steady rain in the Lexington area over the past few days.
Kentucky began its preparation for Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee on Monday without true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith, who has started the past three games. Smith was injured in Kentucky’s game at Georgia and did not practice Tuesday, but is expected to be able to return later in the week.
UK head coach Joker Phillips said that junior quarterback Morgan Newton is probably less banged up than Smith, although he is still ailing from ankle and shoulder injuries.
While the Wildcats try to get their top two quarterback options healthy, Tennessee returned its starting quarterback from injury last week in the form of sophomore Tyler Bray. In his first game back, Bray led Tennessee to a victory over Vanderbilt, completing 16-of-33 passes for 189 yards.
“He looked sharp to me,” Phillips said about Bray. “He made some big-time throws and he has a big time weapon out there in the (Da’Rick) Rogers kid. He caught 10 of them last week and if he (Bray) gets it anywhere near him then that guy can make a play for him. That is confidence for a quarterback.”
Also on the injury side, true freshman defensive tackle Christian Coleman did not practice, while Phillips said sophomore defensive tackle Donte Rumph continues to improve from his injury.
Kentucky will resume practice on Wednesday.
Trevathan Nominated for Defensive Performance of the Year: University of Kentucky senior linebacker Danny Trevathan has been nominated for the Defensive Performance of the Year for his 17-tackle, two forced-fumble performance last Saturday against Georgia, Intersport announced Monday.
The Defensive Performance of the Year is part of a four-month competition that lets fans determine which individual performances reign supreme during the 2011 college football season. The winners will be revealed during the two-hour All-Star Football Challenge special airing at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 3 on ESPN2. In addition to recognizing the season's top performances, the All-Star Football Challenge will feature college football's biggest stars in a live skills challenge. In the 13 year history of the event, 41 first-round NFL draft picks have participated in the All-Star Football Challenge.
From now until the end of bowl season, the two top defensive players of the week will be featured on the All-Star Football Challenge Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AllStarFootball), along with two top individual performers among quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. The top weekly vote-getter will proceed to the finals, which run Jan. 16-22.
Trevathan tied a career high in tackles against Georgia with 17, while forcing two fumbles and earning three tackles for loss. This was his third game of the season with 17 tackles and his eighth with at least 12.
Five Former Wildcats on NFL Pro Bowl Ballot: Five former University of Kentucky football players, including kickoff returner Randall Cobb, fullback John Conner, wide receiver Steve Johnson, punter Tim Masthay and defensive tackle Corey Peters, are on the National Football League Pro Bowl Ballot.
Fans are encouraged to go to www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot to vote for all five Wildcats and help them reach the Pro Bowl. The annual contest of the AFC and NFC's best will take place Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
A total of 12 former Wildcats are currently playing in the NFL.
“Cat Walk” at 10:15 a.m.: Fans wishing to participate in the “Cat Walk,” cheering the players when they enter Commonwealth Stadium, should gather at Gate One of the stadium at 10:15 a.m.
Fans Asked to be Seated by 11:50 a.m.: Saturday’s game is Senior Day and fans are urged to be seated in Commonwealth Stadium by 11:50 a.m. in order to cheer the seniors when they are announced.