LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips said after practice Thursday that the UK football team went through a physical week of practice in preparation for Western Kentucky University on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
Phillips, who has preached practicing smart to avoid injuries since the beginning of his tenure, said he likes the physical practices along as the team is practicing smart.
“We hit a little bit more on Tuesday than we did on Wednesday, Thursday,” Phillips said. “But we definitely have to do something. We’ve tried to do that every week. I’ve always heard, and I’ve seen it, too, some places, you get a little softer when you’re in the gun (shotgun) a lot of times. So we wanted to make sure that doesn’t happen here. We’ll stage some drills that are a downhill run game. We want to be physical just to make sure we’re getting that part of the game also.”
Along those lines, Phillips said this offensive style allows for many different players to get involved. That has proved true the first two games as quarterback Maxwell Smith hit 11 different players for completions against Louisville and 10 different players last week against Kent State. Phillips said spreading the offensive touches helps keep guys motivated an on task.
“The thing is that you try to tell the guys: ‘Have your niche that gets you on the field,’” Phillips said. “Aaron Boyd’s niche was blocking better. There’s enough balls to go around in this offense, so get yourself on the field, have your niche, whatever you do well, whether it’s the deep ball, if you’re a guy that can really do a good job of adjusting to the deep ball and that’s how you get on the field, then there’s going to be some more passes coming to you other than that. There’s going to be some more opportunities other than blocking the perimeter. Now Aaron Boyd, because he’s in the offense, he gets an opportunity to catch 11 balls.”
Phillips, who will put his team through a walk-through practice Friday to complete preparation for Western Kentucky University, said he knows both teams think they can win and are ready to play.
“There’s no doubt they think that,” Phillips said. “They showed that last week by the way they played (at Alabama). The score is not even close to the way those guys played. So we’ve got to get ourselves prepared. It’s going to be a physical game, a game that they and we think we can win. When you have that type of attitude on both sides, you’re in for a really good game.”
Phillips said that tight end Gabe Correll and offensive lineman Trevino Woods would not play Saturday, however, CoShik Williams and Josh Forrest are good to go.