Kentucky tailback Derrick Locke crosses the goal line in front of Georgia defender Marcus Washington (44) during the first half Saturday nigh in Athens.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team will be without senior tailback Derrick Locke when it faces Georgia at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday. However, the Wildcats expect defensive end DeQuin Evans to play, head coach Joker Phillips announced Thursday.
“Locke will not play this week,” Phillips told reporters after practice Thursday. “Hopefully, we will get him back next week. He should start back (at practice) on Sunday, just running around with it, and then we will go from there.”
As occurred last Saturday vs. South Carolina, sophomore Donald Russell and freshman Raymond Sanders will be called upon at tailback in Locke’s absence. Earlier in the week, Phillips announced that backup middle linebacker Qua Huzzie also will miss the Georgia game. Freshman Avery Williamson moves into the backup middle linebacker role in Huzzie’s place.
In addition to updating the injury situation on Thursday, Phillips discussed the challenges of playing Georgia’s 3-4 defense, an alignment the Wildcats have seen little of this season. Phillips said the 3-4 defense presents significant adjustments on passing downs because of the blitz options the Bulldogs use.
“They have some variations of it,” Phillips said. “The thing that gets difficult is in the throwing downs when they get in their true 3-4 look where their blitzes are coming from everywhere. That is where it gets difficult.”
Phillips says that he hopes his players understand that not only is the game this weekend a big game, but every game is big. The first-year head coach expressed that every game being a big game is expected when you play in the Southeastern Conference.
“I hope so,” Phillips said. “Every game is big. We can start off the press conferences on Mondays by saying, ‘This is another big game.’ I went home the other night and told my wife, ‘This is a big game.’ And she said, ‘I wish you would come home one day and say it is a small game.’ It is not going to happen when you are playing in this league.”
Fans Invited to Homecoming Pep Rally Friday Night at Stoll Field: The University of Kentucky Student Activities Board and the UK Alumni Association are hosting a pep rally Friday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Stoll Field in expectation of the upcoming football game with Georgia.
Football head coach Joker Phillips and men’s basketball head coach John Calipari will address the crowd. Current UK radio analyst Jeff Piecoro will be the master of ceremonies.
The event also will include giant inflatable games for children, autograph sessions with current Wildcat teams, and performances from the UK marching band, cheerleaders and dance team. Former Wildcat Antoine Huffman will introduce the 2010 Homecoming Court. In coordination with this year’s theme, “Wildcats Roaring Through the Decades,” former Wildcat football players will be introduced by decade.
Admission to the event is free. Dinner, courtesy of UK Catering, will be available for purchase for $5 per person.
For a complete list of Homecoming details, visit www.ukhomecoming.com.
Georgia Game Sold Out: The Georgia game reached sellout status Thursday.