The first round of two-a-days started Wednesday morning at Kentucky. Here are some quick takes:
JUICING: It’s become almost a daily occurrence for a coach to mention wide receiver Garrett Johnson by name. On Wednesday, head coach Mark Stoops was asked about the sophomore demanding his teammates do pushups each time there’s a dropped pass. “We did the same thing back when I was a DB coach at Miami,” Stoops said of the pushups for errors. “You might notice they started dropping and doing pushups on the field during games. We had to stop that.” Stoops went o tto say that Johnson made some big plays in practice. “Made a couple of really nice plays over the middle, made some difficult catches. He stood out again today.”
The UK head coach also mentioned that Dorian Baker is looking better. Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot was asked which wideouts have been causing his defense the most problems and he noted Johnson and Jeff Badet. “Garrett Johnson’s tough,” Eliot said. “Jeff Badet can be tough to cover. But I think that overall, we have a lot harder guys to cover than we’ve had in the past. So it’s good and bad.”
OLD HABITS: Seems like false starts are still a problem for the offensive line. “We’ve still got a little ways to go there,” Stoops said. “So we’ve had officials out there (calling) some pre-snap penalties and things as we get into all the different blitzes and pressures and all the things that are going on.” Stoops did say that the problems didn’t carry over into the blitz protection segments of practice, which seemed to make him less upset about it.
INJURY UPDATES: Not a lot of talk about injuries Wednesday. The one that did come out was linebacker Ryan Flannigan. “He did get dinged up yesterday,” Stoops said. “Again, nothing major. We had some tests yesterday. Nothing major. Should be out — he’s day-to-day. He took a good shot in a team setting period.”
DEPTH CHART: Josh Forrest, starting middle linebacker, said Dorian Hendrix, Nico Firios and Courtney Love are playing behind him right now and he’s trying to help bring them along. Subbing in behind Flannigan at that the other linebacker spot are Khalid Henderson and Jordan Jones (Firios has helped at the other linebacker spot, too). Jones, a true freshman, drew praise from his coaches again Wednesday. “I’ve been impressed with Jordan Jones,” Eliot said. “I’ve been impressed with the progress of Nico Firios. I’ve been impressed with their progress and their ability and play making, too.”
DAILY LINK: Kentucky is going without a traditional special teams coordinator and more coaches are involved with that group this season. Here’s a look at how the Cats plan to handle special teams this season.
SEC PREVIEW: Herald-Leader sports columnist John Clay continues his series of stories previewing every Southeastern Conference football team. Click here to read John's preview of South Carolina and catch up on his previous stories.