LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips held a mock scrimmage Saturday afternoon to try to prepare the Kentucky football team for many different situations. “Today was our mock scrimmage and in the mock scrimmage we just try to create all different types of (game) situations,” Phillips said. “We (also) try to teach the young guys how we take the field and those sorts of things. We teach the little things that matter. We want to be well organized. I thought for the most part we were today. We got a couple more days to get things cleaned up if we need to as far as execution and timing and all those things. The things that I was looking for was organization, getting our scout teams in and lined up and I thought we were pretty good today.”
One thing players get used to hearing from Phillips is how to increase tempo in practice, something Phillips said the Wildcats have done a good job of this season. “We were fast getting out of the huddle, but your (scout team) defense is running off cards because they are giving you Louisville looks so you are in and out of the huddle but then you have to wait a while to get the defense or the offense lined up,” Phillips said. “I really like the way our offense and our defense were getting the calls in and getting up to the line. We want to practice fast so we can get as many reps in as we possibly can every day.”
Phillips said UK went over many situations Saturday. Overall, he was pleased with how his coaching staff and players were organized. “We actually had a lot of different situations, not just a special teams scrimmage,” Phillips said. “We played this thing like a full game where we had different (situations) from kickoff after a safety to onside kick and those things. We did sudden changes like our defense will score and now we have to get our (extra point) team out there. Those are the types of things you must practice. You can’t just wait for those things to happen during the season. I thought we were well organized, which was the biggest thing. We have some good guys in charge of getting some of our special forces out there.”
Kentucky will not practice Sunday as they enter a normal game week schedule. Phillips said with game week here, things will start getting more intense. “Game week is a lot more intense and I think a lot of them saw that today,” Phillips said. “I went in the locker room and sent out each group individually. Why? Because I want to make sure the locker room is right on game day. It was a lot more intense than it has been and it will get even more intense as we go.”
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