Young Wildcats Play Well in Scrimmage

Nov. 18, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team held a one-hour scrimmage Thursday morning at the Nutter Field House, consisting mainly of redshirt players and others with limited game experience.

Phillips said he was pleased overall with the scrimmage.

“A lot of them just really don’t know what is going on, but I really like the effort,” Phillips said. “There were some hard hits laid out there and we definitely have some athleticism on both sides of the ball. We just need to continue to see development … Overall, I like this young group of players.”

The scrimmage was highlighted by some big hits on defense. Phillips said that he was impressed with the play of the Kentucky defensive line, which consists of several players that are expected to make an impact next season. Phillips was also pleased with true freshmen Malcolm McDuffen and Jewel Ratliff at linebacker, and Miles Simpson’s play at safety, saying all three players did good things.

“Malcolm McDuffen ran around really well at linebacker,” Phillips said. “He is one of those speed linebackers that you have to have in this league that can go and play out in space.

“The first play of the game, I really liked how Miles Simpson came up and delivered a blow. He looks like a guy that has a chance to be a good player for us somewhere, whether it be at safety or if he grows into being a linebacker. He is definitely a physical guy and is playing, basically, on one leg because he pulled his hamstring a couple weeks ago.”

Offensively, the Wildcats had big plays, including a touchdown pass from redshirt freshman Ryan Mossakowski to sophomore E.J. Fields and several impressive runs by true freshmen Tevin McCaden and Brandon Gainer. Phillips said that he liked the play of Gainer but that he needs to become more consistent and know when to lower his pads and make hits.  

Sophomore quarterback Morgan Newton also played well in the scrimmage. However, Newton suffered a slightly turned ankle early in the scrimmage and did not return. Phillips said it was not a high-ankle sprain and did not appear to be serious.

The Wildcats will now take the next two days off before coming together again Sunday to resume preparation for Tennessee.