UK football notes: Heard 'doubtful' for Ohio game

jsmith3@herald-leader.comSeptember 3, 2014 


Kentucky running back Braylon Heard scored Saturday on a 43-yard touchdown in the second quarter at Tennessee-Martin. Heard, who had scored on his first carry, a 73-yard run, injured his ankle on the second run and finished with 116 yards and two touchdowns on only two carries.

PHOTO BY JONATHAN PALMER — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Running back Braylon Heard, who took both of his carries in for touchdowns in Kentucky's opener against Tennessee-Martin, is doubtful for the game against Ohio on Saturday.

On the Southeastern Conference teleconference Wednesday, Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops joked that Heard was sitting out to maintain his 58 yards per carry average, which is best in the nation.

"He made a great move toward the end of his second run to elude the last would-be tackler and came down a little funny on his ankle," Stoops said, adding that the sprain is day-to-day.

Heard did not practice Tuesday, and offensive coordinator Neal Brown said he was optimistic that the junior transfer from Nebraska would be able to play this week, but Stoops said the running back was "tentative" on it Wednesday morning.

"I would list him as doubtful for right now, which is disappointing because he's worked so hard and waited awhile having to sit out last year," Stoops said of Heard, who ran 73 and 43 yards for touchdowns Saturday. "He definitely gives us some explosiveness that we need. I would list him as doubtful, but we certainly have some other depth at running back."

Bone emotional after TD

Blake Bone had it all planned out.

In his mind, Kentucky's freshman wide receiver had a hip swish or a backside shake or something like that ready to go after his first collegiate touchdown.

But sometimes plans change.

"It was overwhelming," he said of that first TD grab, a short pass from Patrick Towles that Bone took 29 yards to the end zone. "I had everything set up to do a little dance or something, but when you first get that touchdown, the first one as a freshman, I guess every emotion hits you and it just felt good to get in the end zone."

Every plan he had was nixed.

"Scrapped it," he said. "Had to celebrate with the team."

When UK coaches recruited him, the initial plan was to give him a year to develop physically. When he signed in February, Bone was listed at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds. UK's current roster lists him at 198 pounds.

"He's really showed he's capable of playing," offensive coordinator Neal Brown said during preseason camp.

After Saturday's game, Bone said he was able to put on the extra weight by "basically cleaning my plate up and to get greens and vegetables and everything and not just meat because everything is important for weight gain."

The extra weight hasn't slowed him down, instead it's made him stronger, Bone said. He was happy to not have to sit out this season.

"I hope I've made some impressions on them that way, especially making plays during camp," he said. "I'm glad things did change and I'm here playing now."

UK to host Heroes' Day

Kentucky will host its annual Heroes' Day on Oct. 11 against Louisiana-Monroe. The event is designed to honor all active, reserve and veteran members of the armed forces along with police, firefighters and first responders.

To register a group (e.g. full police departments, fire departments, national guard units) for participation, contact Nathan Schwake at or (859) 257-5526.

Individual tickets may be obtained on game day with the presentation of a service ID at the ticket booth outside Gate 4, while supplies last.

Miller returns to lineup

Stoops said senior left tackle Darrian Miller will be back in his starting spot after a one-game suspension, but the head coach praised redshirt freshman Kyle Meadows, who started in the opener.

"He played well and he will get in the game again this week, and that'll help us with some depth," Stoops said.

Redshirts on the way?

On the teleconference, Stoops was asked if the freshmen who didn't play last Saturday were headed for redshirt seasons. He said that's not guaranteed. For the near future, those decisions will be made on a week-to-week basis.

"I don't know if we could make that decision yet," Stoops said. "Just felt like if they didn't play in that game on Saturday, they weren't in a position for whatever reason to play last week."

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

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