Phillips, Wildcats Ready for Scrimmage No. 1

Aug. 10, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After eight practices full of healthy competition and detailed installation, head coach Joker Phillips and the University of Kentucky football team are excited and anxious to hold the first true scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. The scrimmage is not open to the public or media.
“I am looking forward to the scrimmage tomorrow and I know the troops are too,” Phillips said. “We did fly around today but weren’t really smart in the way we practiced … We are trying to get those things corrected today, not tomorrow, today.”

Although Phillips emphasized the need to clean some things up for tomorrow he said he is really looking forward to watching the team play. The head coach said the hard part will be assessing which side performed better.
“I am looking forward to watching them play tomorrow,” Phillips said. “We have to be a smart football team. A team that takes care of the ball and a team that causes turnovers also. Tomorrow is one of those days where we have to decide after the scrimmage if we didn’t turn the ball over then the defense didn’t do a good job and if we turn the ball over then the offense didn’t do a good job. All I want to do is see guys going full speed, playing smart and playing aggressive and playing together. That is what we have to be tomorrow.”
Phillips said although both sides of the ball would benefit from a good scrimmage to increase their confidence, he does not feel that one side needs a confidence boosting day over the other. Overall, he just wants to see maximum effort.
“I am cheering for everybody to compete as hard as they can so Kentucky gets better,” Phillips said. “We have to make some decisions and hopefully a lot of those decisions are made tomorrow. But I would like to see everybody give 100 percent. I am not cheering for either side of the ball.”
One of the most talked about decisions the coaching staff has to make is who will be the starting quarterback come Sept. 2 against Louisville. Although Phillips said earlier in the week that decision could be weeks away, the head coach said Friday “in a perfect world” he would like to make a decision after the first scrimmage.
“Tomorrow is very important for them,” Phillips said when asked how important Saturday’s scrimmage will be to those battling for the starting quarterback spot. “In a perfect world, I would like for it to be over with after tomorrow. I am not for sure that will happen, but I would love to see that happen where a guy separates himself enough. The thing is that if you don’t separate yourself enough where we feel comfortable with you, then we have to give it another week. I would love to see one guy come in here and take charge and take control and separate himself from the pack enough that we say, ‘Hey this is our starter.’”
After the scrimmage, Kentucky will go back into meetings Saturday night before taking a day off from practice Sunday to continue meetings. The team will then have its second two-a-day practice schedule Monday.  
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