WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Joker says Friday practice best yet

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips was all smiles as he came off the Nutter Training Center practice fields Friday morning after what he called the best practice session of the spring season for the Wildcats.

Phillips said he was extremely pleased with the energy level of practice and thinks having a large crowd observe practice – UK football hosted part of its yearly coaching clinic at practice this morning – helped get the players more “amped” and focused.

“This was probably one of the best practices that we have had this spring and it probably had a lot to do with us having a lot of people here,” Phillips said. “It was a really good, upbeat practice.”

Phillips said as the head coach you sometimes have mixed feeling about practice because it’s rare both sides of the ball play up to expectations. Although that proved true again Friday, Phillips was pleased all around because both sides did good things.

“As a head coach you kind of get mixed emotions about practice because one side is playing well and the other side will take over, so it’s back and forth,” Phillips said. “Today was the same way, the defense was causing a couple turnovers and then there were some big plays made on offense.”

Phillips and the UK coaching staff hope the enthusiasm and focus continues into Saturday’s scrimmage. The UK head coach said this scrimmage will go a long way in determining some of the position battles.

“What I want us to do is have one of the most competitive scrimmages we have had since we have been here,” Phillips said. “That is what we told the guys. Hopefully, we will have a good day tomorrow.”

Phillips said overall he is pleased with his team’s improvement this spring, but he still sees room for improvement.

“We are not as close as we need to be,” Phillips said. “But we are better today than we were in practice one (March 21). We still have a lot of work to do. But we will battle. We will fight. We will scratch. We will claw.”

After Saturday’s scrimmage, UK will practice again Wednesday and Friday of next week before concluding the spring season with the annual Blue/White Game on Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m. ET.

Spring Practice Schedule and Notes: Kentucky spring football practice started Wednesday, March 21 and will continue for 14 practices before the Blue/White Game on Saturday, April 21.

- The individual periods at the beginning of practices will be open to the media, including photography and videography. We will notify the media when each practice’s individual periods are determined.

- Interviews are available after practice, media should gather in the lobby of the Nutter Training Center; media should arrive no later than 10 minutes before the end of practice in order to register interview requests

- Practices are not open to the public except for the Blue/White Game.

- Practices will be held at the Nutter Training Center unless noted otherwise.

- Practices can be moved indoors to the Nutter Field House in case of bad weather.

Sat. April 14 Practice 9 – 11:30 a.m. at Commonwealth Stadium (open media period TBA)

Wed. April 18 Practice 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Fri. April 20 Practice 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Sat. April 21 Blue/White Spring Game, 6 p.m., Commonwealth Stadium


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