LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following final examinations, the Kentucky football team wrapped up its Lexington portion of preparations for the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl with practices on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday in the Nutter Field House.
“Lot better practice today (Monday),” said Coach Rich Brooks, who had not been pleased with Sunday’s workout. “We’re ready to reconvene in Nashville tomorrow night.”
A major area of concern for the Wildcats will be the strongside linebacker position, where All-Southeastern Conference performer Sam Maxwell will not play after undergoing shoulder surgery. Junior Jacob Dufrene and true freshman Ridge Wilson will occupy that spot.
“Jacob Dufrene knows what he’s doing, now he’s going to have an opportunity to go out and make plays, like a lot of other guys who had to step up and fill in spots this year,” Brooks said. “Ridge has made some progress, but he still a freshman. He’s got real talent but the assignment phase is sometimes problematic.”
Brooks reported that linebacker Ronnie Sneed continued to be out with his injured shin and wide receiver Matt Roark sat out Sunday with a hamstring strain.
Mike Hartline, who began the season as the team’s starting quarterback, is having some swelling in his knee after these recent practices but hopes to be available for backup duty. Brooks said earlier that true freshman QB Morgan Newton is expected to make his eighth-consecutive start.
Kentucky will take on Clemson on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 8:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. CST). The game will be played at Nashville’s LP Field and will be televised by ESPN.