Game Prep Begins on Thursday

Video Interviews: D.J. Eliot | Courtney Love

With the start of classes, Kentucky took a day away from the practice field on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Wildcats were back. It was time to begin preparations for Southern Miss in earnest.

“It was good to get back to work after the day off yesterday, start preparing for our first opponent,” Eliot said. “The players were fired up, excited to get going. They were into it. They were attentive.”

Thursday might have been the first day players shifted their focus to Southern Miss, but the coaching staff has been scouting the Golden Eagles all summer. Eliot is in a unique position because he’ll coach against Shannon Dawson, the offensive coordinator who was at Kentucky a season ago. For that reason, Eliot has split his time watching tape.

“We watch our own offense from last year for some of the scheme and then we watch the Southern Miss film from last year for some of the personnel,” Eliot said.

Eliot might know Dawson’s tendencies well, but he doesn’t see that as an advantage. After all, the familiarity goes both ways.

“I think our advantage is the same as their advantage,” Eliot said. “I think I know him, but he knows me, so I don’t think it’s one way or another.”

In part, that’s why UK is going to keep a good portion of its focus internal over the coming nine days.

“Still have some things to clean up, but I’m pleased with the progress,” Eliot said. “And I’m pleased with the attitude and the attention to detail. We had a full-padded practice, so the emphasis was being physical and hitting. And we’ll have plenty of those throughout the season, and we’ll move on from there.”