Wildcats Begin Preparation for SEC Opener vs. Florida

Sept. 21, 2010

Cat Scratches: Florida to test UK's stingy pass defense

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team begin preparation for the ninth-ranked Florida Gators on Tuesday, with what first-year head coach Joker Phillips called a “good” but not a “great” practice.  

“Good, not great,” Phillips said about practice Tuesday. “This is the day that we install (new schemes) and we had a few new things that we were installing, especially in the special teams area.”

Phillips said most of the practice was focused on installing some new schemes and going over things that Florida will do that the UK team has not seen yet. Phillips said the team did not have “total focus” in the meeting room during preparation and that it showed on the practice fields Tuesday.

Kickoff coverage is a concern for Phillips, considering that Florida is first in the Southeastern Conference and fifth in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 32.7 yards per return. UF junior running back Jeff Demps is the main reason for Florida’s success on kickoff returns, sitting first in the SEC and sixth in the country with 36.8 yards per return.

“It is a concern, there is no question about that,” Phillips said. “The thing that we have to do is kick the ball in the right place so we only have to cover a third of the field. When we kick the ball in the right direction we have covered it (well) and cut the field into a third and get people around the ball and on the ground. I like to see him (Joe Mansour) kick it in the end zone so we don’t have to cover it but if he doesn’t he at least needs to kick it in the right direction.”

Phillips also told reporters that nothing has changed on the status of starting fullback Moncell Allen (hamstring) and starting offensive lineman Stuart Hines (ankle). Both are still listed as doubtful for the Florida game Saturday.