LEXINGTON, Ky. – Head coach Joker Phillips said after practice Thursday that Kentucky’s physical preparation for its Southeastern Conference opener with No. 15 Florida on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Commonwealth Stadium is over. Now, Phillips said, the Wildcats have to correct their mistakes in film study over the next couple of days.
The Kentucky head coach also said that the Wildcats have done some good things both offensively and defensively this season, but have yet to put everything together. Phillips pointed out that the Wildcats rushed for an impressive 230 yards against Central Michigan in the second game of the year and last week against Louisville, Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton posted a career high in completions with 27 and passing yards with 255. Now, Phillips wants to see both come together.
“We have thrown the ball fairly well at times and you look at the second game we ran the ball efficient,” Phillips said. “The thing that we have to do is put them all together. We need to throw and catch and block and run the thing right and get positive yards. You can’t have the minus-yard plays that we have had and be successful in any game, but especially in a game like this.”
On the injury front, junior defensive end Collins Ukwu is questionable for the game against Florida with a knee injury. The native of La Vergne, Tenn., has started all three games this season for the Wildcats, earning 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries.
Phillips said senior linebacker Danny Trevathan returned to practice Thursday after sitting out Tuesday and Wednesday to get some rest.
“Danny practiced today,” Phillips said. “He is a guy that is beat up and banged up and he is going to be that way all season. If you make that many tackles (averaging 12.7 per game) and you talk about 70 plays a game and plays special teams and all those things. With his size, you have to protect him. He knows what he is supposed to be doing and he is one of the guys that when we talk about being a pro, he is a pro. When he walks into this building, he is a pro. He is very attentive and knows what he is supposed to do and we have to make sure we get him to the games.”
Trevathan enters Saturday’s game with an impressive streak of 12-consecutive games with 10 or more tackles. The streak began last year on Oct. 2, against Ole Miss when he earned 15 tackles and has continued through such opponents like SEC foes Auburn (17 tackles), South Carolina (11 tackles), Georgia (11 tackles), Mississippi State (16 tackles), Vanderbilt (10 tackles) and Tennessee (10 tackles).
“It is very impressive especially coming out of this league here and against the teams we play against,” Phillips said. “He has 12 consecutive games and that dates back to a lot of really good opponents. For a guy to do that is very impressive. He is definitely doing his part as far as making plays and leading also. That is the thing that I am most proud of. We knew that Danny was going to make tackles but I am more impressed with the way he is leading this football team.”