(Photo courtesy of Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
The University of Kentucky football team held another practice today and, by all accounts, the defense won the day. Derek Terry of 247Sports tweeted this:
“Adrian Middleton on the offensive line: “we kicked their ass.” When told the offense will hear that: “we’ll be right back next Saturday.””
It is a great sign that the defense is playing well, because the offensive line is a known commodity and will be solid, if not great, this fall. This means that the defense is improving at a rapid rate and could match the offense’s level of performance.
The quarterback situation is still in flux, with Gunnar Hoak and Terry Wilson splitting reps with the first team. Head Coach Mark Stoops mentioned that Hoak took the first set of reps and that Wilson took the next set of reps. When speaking about the running backs, Stoops mentioned the improved play of A.J. Rose:
“A.J. is a good player. He’s going to get his opportunity this spring. We really need to push him and see what he can do. I have a lot of confidence in him. We’ll see how it goes.”
This is great news, as it means that UK will have three consistent running backs to rotate, regardless of what Kavoisey Smoke and Chris Rodriguez do.
Coach Stoops also mentioned defensive players Josh Paschal and Phil Hoskins as guys that stood out today:
“Josh is a very good football player. He can still play outside backer. He can play inside. He plays hard. That’s what I like about him. I think he gives us some energy and some passion. He’s a playmaker. Moving him inside is good for us. I think Phil Hoskins is a guy that’s jumped out at me. I think Matt (House) had mentioned it the other day as well. Phil plays hard. It’s what you like. He plays very physical. He plays the way you want to see that inside.”
Hoskins improvement is a welcome addition to a talented defensive line, which will add quality depth and overall great play. Stoops also mentioned the play of the defensive backs, the redshirt freshmen in particular. He praised their ability to come in and prevent big plays from the first team offense.
One other note is that the staff held Benny Snell out of practice today, as a staff decision. There was no mention of an injury and Coach Stoops said “Yes. We just held him out.” This seems to indicate that the staff simply wanted to give Snell a rest and allow the other backs to get some reps.
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