Notes: UK's Jonathan George unable to savor 3-TD night

jsmith3@herald-leader.comSeptember 16, 2012 

  • Tennessee at Kentucky

    When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30


    Records: Kentucky 2-9 (0-7 SEC); Tennessee 4-7 (1-6)

It was a career night for Jonathan George, but the Kentucky running back could only stare at the floor.

"Sorry, I'm just really disappointed with the loss," he told a reporter whose question he forgot.

Sitting under the bright lights of the television cameras, the junior was a bright spot for the Kentucky offense, which turned the ball over four times against Western Kentucky's 12th-ranked defense in Saturday's 32-31 overtime loss.

George scored three touchdowns, giving UK its first and only lead of the game on his 11-yard run.

"It was a great feeling just to be able to put some points on the board, give our team the lead," he said.

He also had a scoring run of 8 yards and a 15-yard touchdown catch from Maxwell Smith, the first TD reception of his career.

Starter CoShik Williams was ineffective in the run game, hampered by a hip injury that kept him out large portions of the game. Junior Raymond Sanders was suspended for a violation of team rules.

George filled in capably with 105 all-purpose yards.

"He's a guy who's been around here a long time, continues to battle," Coach Joker Phillips said. "He's got some really good players in front of him and again, a guy that does everything right, does what he's supposed to do.

"It was good to see him get an opportunity, not only get an opportunity but take advantage of the opportunity."

Dupree confused by call

Western Kentucky's game-winning drive in overtime was kept alive by a personal foul called on Alvin "Bud" Dupree, who was flagged for roughing the passer. It was a third-and-7 situation and gave WKU the ball at the UK 2-yard line.

Neither Phillips nor defensive coordinator Rick Minter saw what happened.

"I guess they said I ran into him late, but I didn't think I did," Dupree said. "It is what it is."

When asked whether he led with his head or anything else, he shook his head.

"I thought I'd pushed off with my hands, but they said it wasn't."

Dupree had a solid game, setting a career high for tackles with 12. Avery Williamson led all defenders with 14 tackles and had the team's first interception of the season. Martavius Neloms added 11 tackles.

Sanders, Cobbins suspended

Junior running back Raymond Sanders and redshirt freshman wide receiver Bookie Cobbins were both suspended for Saturday night's game against Western Kentucky.

Sanders, who struggled with injury much of last season, had a career game against Kent State last week. He had 13 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown. The highlight included a 67-yard scoring run, the longest of his career.

"He's like a kid to me," Phillips said of Sanders. "Kids sometimes don't do little things that they're supposed to do and we hold our kids accountable. ... We hold our guys accountable here."

Cobbins, who arrived at UK as a quarterback and then made the move to wide receiver in the spring, sat out this spring with academic difficulties. He was listed in the Kentucky game notes for having played in a game this season, but he has not caught a pass.

Injury report

Running back CoShik Williams suffered a hip strain early in the game but was able to return ... Cartier Rice had a quad contusion, the same injury he missed much of this summer with.

Quarterback Maxwell Smith bruised his shoulder and had it iced in the post-game news conference, but the sophomore said he was fine, that it was similar to his season-ending injury at Georgia last season, but not nearly as serious. That was a separated shoulder.

"I kept playing and was able to throw," Smith said. "Hopefully I won't be too sore in the morning."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog:

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