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+++INJURY UPDATE: Out: RB CoShik Williams; Doubtful: S Ashely Lowery, LB/S Josh Forrest, TE Jordan Aumiller, TE Gabe Correll; Limited: DT Mister Cobble
+++Joker Phillips said QB Maxwell Smith looked fine on Thursday and will play Saturday vs. South Carolina. His quotes are below. The second part of the quote is where both Kyle Tucker and me followed up asking if anything could happen between now and game time like last week that could cause him not to play:
“Max threw the ball well today and should play,” Phillips said.
“The reason why I said that was last week I didn't know what the effects would be if he got hit again and injured again. That's not the case this week. He's a lot healthier than he was last week and therefore he'll play. 100 (percent) unless something happens to him. He's going to be the starter. I wasn't trying to mislead you guys last week. When I hear from (trainer) Jim Madaleno how he could be out five or six weeks or even more it's not worth chancing.
+++Joker said he's seeing weekly progress from the young defensive players, especially freshmen corners Cody Quinn, Fred Tiller and J.D. Harmon:
“You saw a lot of young guys on back end challenging receivers,” Phillips said. “That's the thing that stood out to me last week, guys like Tiller, Cody Quinn, J.D. (Harmon) were challenging guys. That's what you've got to do. You're going to get beat, it's just a matter of when, where and what time, the thing you have to do is win your share and I saw those guys win more than their share. Let's see how much we improve each week.”
+++With Ashely Lowery's concussion-like symptoms, etc. making him unlikely to play this week, Phillips said they've shifted senior Martavius Neloms back to safety, his more natural position:
“We worked Tay Neloms at safety more this week, the reason being because of Ashely Lowery (being injured),” Phillips said. “The reason why we're able to do that is because of how we feel about those young corners. That allows us this week to have Tay Neloms play more safety. He can go back and forth between safety and corner.”
+++Phillips has been very high on South Carolina QB Connor Shaw all week: ”He's just really accurate,” Phillips said. “He's similar to our guy. A better runner, which gives you more problems. He ran for 80 yards against Missouri. He's a 'Wildcat' type guy. The thing he does is makes you simplify things because of his ability to run the football.”
+++When asked about the breakdown between offensive plays where UK has been under center or shotgun, Phillips said it's pretty clear how they want to run the offense when Maxwell Smith is in the game:
“It's probably 95 percent of the time or more because when you've got a guy like Max and that's what he's comfortable doing and throwing the ball you have to let him get back there away from the center,” Phillips said. “It helps with protection too. He gets it out of his hand quick and that lets you run your quick game from the shotgun. Max is a guy that can catch the ball, find the laces really quick and get it out of your hand.”
+++This is not new news, but freshman RB Justin Taylor is going to redshirt:
“Definitely. We've talked to Justin about that,” Phillips said. “We'll still take him on the trips and have him travel with us. He's fine (physically). You want to get some separation between those guys. You can't find enough reps for a fourth or fifth guy. As talented as he is it's just tough as well as (the older guys) are playing.”
+++Same will probably go for sophomore S Glenn Faulkner. I saw Faulkner yesterday and he's walking without a limp on his high ankle sprain but he hasn't been practicing and it's basically October, so probably the right thing to do:
“It's getting late in the game,” Phillips said. “We'll probably make a decision in the next couple of weeks. I think he's supposed to be running next week but if I had to guess today he'll be redshirting. It wouldn't be right on his part of the program's part to play him.”
This post was edited by Matt May on 9/27/2012 at 11:49 AM
It sounds like the coaching staff is starting to get more and more comfortable with where to play people and who can do what at a given position... I really think you're going to start seeing a much improved football team the rest of the season, barring unforseen injuries to key people, like Smith...
I think they'll struggle some with SCarolina's defensive front this week, but, I could see the UK D keeping them in the game and the Cat O moving the ball just enough to put up a few points and keep the SC O off the field to keep the score respectable. I don't think the Cats win, but, I do think they'll be in the game throughout. I can see a 24-17 type score..
I like the move for Neloms. He's been struggling at corner, and I'm of the mindset, if we are going to struggle at a position, let the young guys struggle and learn along the way. Hopefully Neloms takes this opportunity to try and make some big time plays (TURNOVERS) at the "Centerfield" position.
Thank you, M2, for the notes.
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