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Video: Phillips details noteworthy football Thursday

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Leading up to Kentucky's home opener against Kent State, Joker Phillips has talked about injuries to a few contributors and mentioned plans to play more freshmen in his team's second game. Putting the pieces together, it seemed clear the Wildcats would be short a couple players against the Golden Flashes. On Thursday, Phillips confirmed who it would be.

Running back CoShik Williams and linebacker/safety Josh Forrest have been ruled out of Saturday's game, while linebacker/safety Miles Simpson will play, but not at 100 percent. Williams, with his reputation as one of the toughest players on the team, can't like the idea of missing time with a back injury sustained against Louisville, but it's for the better of the team.

"The guy's a tough guy, no doubt about that," Phillips said. "The thing we have to have him for: the long haul too. I'm not taking these guys for granted by any means, but we need CoShik full-speed."

Williams' absence will push Raymond Sanders into the starting role. Jonathan George will also get carries, but the player who may see biggest increase in touches is freshman Dyshawn Mobley, whom Phillips terms "the big fella."

On the defensive side, Kory Brown will back up Simpson at the hybrid position. UK is healthy at the other secondary positions, but freshman cornerbacks J.D. Harmon and Fred Tiller and freshman safety Daron Blaylock will see more action as well. The Cats will go with more of a rotation at linebacker, with freshmen Kadeem "Pancho" Thomas and Khalid Henderson getting more snaps.

Thomas is just one example of the kind of player Phillips likes, one that takes on a different persona when the lights come on. Among UK's talented youngsters, there are plenty such players.

"He's a different guy on game day," Phillips said. "I like that. Pancho and (DeMarcus) Sweat and (Daryl) Collins, those guys are different on game day. Sweat's running up and down the sideline screaming and yelling and cheering on the defense. You got to play those kind of guys. Those guys like to play and we'll see all those guys."

In the past, coaches were a little more reticent to turn to youth, wondering what might go wrong, but they have overcome any such nervousness.

"To heck with that," Phillips said. "Let those guys play."

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