Nov. 1, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team returned to the practice fields at the Nutter Training Facility on Tuesday, with the Wildcats turning wary eyes to the speed of this week’s opponent, the Ole Miss Rebels.
Defensively, Kentucky is expecting to see a similar offense to what it has seen the past two weeks in Jacksonville State and Mississippi State. Coach Joker Phillips said the Ole Miss attack will use multiple looks, including the Wildcat formation, and there is outstanding speed in the Rebel backfield.
“Similar to the two we have seen the past two weeks,” Phillips said when asked what he expects for the Ole Miss offense on Saturday. “More shotgun, zone read, triple option. They have a really athletic quarterback and a good jet-sweep guy and a good running back and quality receivers. This bunch probably has more speed in the backfield than we have seen the last couple of weeks. We will see more Wildcat type stuff along with the zone read and triple option mixed in.”
The Wildcats are looking to mend bumps and bruises in order to have some key players at full speed in time for UK’s matchup on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Phillips said after practice on Tuesday that starting tailback CoShik Williams and starting defensive lineman Donte Rumph did not practice because of injuries, but are hopeful to return to practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver La’Rod King practiced but was held out of contact. Phillips said quarterback Morgan Newton was “very limited” and is still nursing the ankle he injured in last Saturday’s game vs. Mississippi State.
With Newton being limited on Tuesday, Phillips said the first-team snaps went to true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith.
“Max got all the No. 1 reps today and I think that he did a good job,” Phillips said. “One of the things that we have had issues with is getting signals and getting up to the line and I thought he did that a lot better today.”
Kentucky will return to the practice fields on Wednesday to continue its preparation for the game on Saturday.
Last Week to Vote for Lewellen: This is the final week for Kentucky fans to vote for Wildcat defensive end Jacob Lewellen for captain of the 2011 Good Works Team selected by the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association.
Fans can vote through Nov. 4. Fans may vote for Jacob at this website.
The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a special volunteer project leading up to the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Lewellen, a native of Louisville, Ky., has been very involved in community service projects during his Kentucky career, leading the team in volunteer hours with over 90 hours (and counting) in giving back to the community.
He is the most active in “Athletes in Action,” an international Christian sports ministry organization where he serves as a Leadership Team Member. With AIA he leads two weekly Bible studies on campus - one for freshman football team members and one for all upperclassmen on campus. He also mentors freshman football players on a weekly basis and has spent his last two spring breaks in mission work, traveling to Nicaragua in the spring of 2010 and speaking to a youth detention center in Dayton Beach, Fla., in 2011.
During the summer, Lewellen spearheaded a group of UK athletes and staff members to pack bags on the back patio at the Nutter Training Center to take to Joplin, Mo., after the town was devastated by a tornado in July. Lewellen also got his football teammates to donate money to the cause, and together, he, his dad and teammate Max Godby drove to Joplin to help.
The three men went to a church in Joplin where they delivered 100 bags filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, folders, pens, pencils, paper and bibles.
Lewellen's work to organize the donations and drive personally, to the town is just one example of his off-field resume. Lewellen has also been a guest speaker at local elementary schools, met with local veterans and befriended a three-year-old cancer patient at Lexington's Hope Lodge.