When you're the backup, you have a couple of options.
"You can sit and moan," Kentucky offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said.
Or you can do what UK's true freshman running back Sihiem King did on Saturday.
"He went out there and gave us a reason to play him," Dawson said of King, who gained some meaningful carries for the first time this season in the loss at Mississippi State.
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In the fourth quarter of a game that was well out of hand, King had three carries for 31 yards with a career-long of 16 yards. He also caught a pass for 4 yards late.
"I was just trying to get in the zone," the 5-foot-9, 172-pound freshman from Colquitt, Ga., said.
"It felt great. It was a great experience for me; I really needed it," King continued. "It helped me out a lot building some confidence in myself."
It also gave the Cats' coaches some confidence in what King could do beyond special teams, where he's excelled as a kick returner this season for Kentucky, which will play Tennessee on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
"When you get that opportunity, do something with it," said Dawson, who added that he expected King to get more reps after what he showed last week.
"And then it'll give us trust in you and it'll give us a reason. I always tell kids, give me a reason to play you. You're either going to give me a reason to play you more or give me a reason to play you less."
King still sits at No. 4 on the depth chart in a running back room brimming with guys hoping to get more carries. He's behind top back Boom Williams, who is averaging 91.8 yards a game this season with three touchdowns.
The freshman also is behind junior Jojo Kemp, who has 58 carries for 251 yards and two scores as well as sophomore Mikel Horton and his 38 carries for 105 yards and three TDs.
King is waiting his turn, but he also hopes that he showed the coaches some things in his skill set that they might find useful in times other than fourth-quarter mop-up.
"Got in there Saturday a little bit and had some explosive plays," Williams said about his fellow running back. "That's going to be able to open up the offense a little bit more to have him in there and be able to have that explosiveness and that quickness in the offense."
Coaches already had become aware of King's quickness on kickoff returns.
King has 12 for 264 yards, averaging 22 yards a return, which is the most for any freshman in the Southeastern Conference this season, including former Madison Southern standout Damien Harris, who is averaging 18 yards a return on his eight kickoff returns for Alabama.
The Cats have been consistent on kickoff returns this season. King, coupled with J.D. Harmon, is averaging 23 yards a return, fourth best in the league.
But they're still waiting for that elusive kickoff return for a touchdown, something Kentucky hasn't done since 2009.
It's on King's to-do list.
"Me and my team work really hard at it and we take a lot of pride in it, so we just have to stay focused, stay down, stay humble and it will come," he said.
Some updates on Kentucky's backup quarterbacks have come in the past few days, with Dawson confirming that Drew Barker has been limited in practice this week by a bruised shoulder.
"If he feels good he'll go," Dawson said of the redshirt freshman, who saw his first game action at Mississippi State last weekend. "If he doesn't he won't. That's all I can really tell you about him."
On the SEC coaches teleconference, Mark Stoops was asked about the potential availability of third-string quarterback Reese Phillips, who missed all of spring practice and preseason camp after surgery on his Achilles tendon. UK's head coach said Phillips has made a full recovery and is available to play if needed.
"He's back practicing full-go, and he's recovered from his injury," Stoops said of Phillips, who played in part of the game last season at Tennessee as injured Patrick Towles' backup. "He's feeling good and practicing well."
It hasn't been noted on the depth chart, but Phillips has been in the game a lot recently for UK serving as the Cats' primary holder.