Joker Phillips didn't mince words or try to hide his disappointment Saturday after the University of Kentucky completed its final football scrimmage of the pre-season.
Phillips' first fall camp has been extremely physical, and with the Louisville game a week away, Phillips put his team through a "dress rehearsal" situational-type scrimmage that called for limited contact.
The results, according to Phillips, were not good.
"We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "If we were to play today, it would have been an embarrassment. We weren't into this thing mentally, which is baffling. We've got to be better next week and get our guys prepared for different situations. The good thing is we've got seven days; the bad thing is we've got seven days.
"This team has got to decide what they want out of this football season, whether we want to be a good team, a great team, or an average team. Today we were not into this thing."
Phillips said the scaled-down scrimmage might have put the players in relax mode.
"We're trying to ease up a bit because we've got some dead legs, so we tried to make this scrimmage one where we worked on situations," Phillips said. "The thing that usually happens when you go that route, and I've seen it numerous times, you do see people try and ease up and try and get themselves to the game. Our guys have to understand that we're not trying to just get ourselves to the game, we're trying to get better, and we didn't get better today."
The players backed up Phillips' assessment of their performance.
"It was just one of those days where things weren't clicking on both sides of the ball," senior quarterback Mike Hartline said. "It was just a bad day. I think technique-wise and knowing all of our plays we're all there. It was just a real bad mental day. A lot of guys, it seemed like they weren't into it. It was on all ends, too. You can't point a finger at any one person or any of the coaches."
"We were just going through the motions today," senior defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin said. "We all have those days, but it's a little too late in camp to be having them now."
Both Phillips and the players believe Saturday's showing was just a minor blip and don't think there are any serious problems heading into the U of L game.
"There'll be no question that we'll be ready to go," Hartline said.
"There's nothing to worry about," senior Derrick Locke said. "We'll get it together, and when it's time to play, we'll be in tune, we'll be amped up and we'll play to win. I don't think it's going to be an issue."
"I think we'll be all right," Phillips said. "It's just depressing to see how we came out here today."
Joker hosts first call-in show
Phillips will host his first radio call-in show as UK's head coach at 6 p.m. Monday. The show will take place at Aspen Creek Restaurant in Louisville, located at 8000 Bardstown Road. The show will be carried across the state on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network.
UK senior defensive end DeQuin Evans was asked by a reporter if he remembered Louisville running back Victor Anderson from last year's game.
"Yeah, I remember him," Evans said. When Evans was asked what he remembered about Anderson, Evans said, "I remember I tackled him for a loss."
Cats' 2011 classjumps into ESPN Top 25
The commitment of Lexington Christian offensive lineman Zach West last week propelled Kentucky's 2011 class into the No. 25 spot of ESPN's early list of top football recruiting classes.
West and Eastern's Jon Davis are both four-star prospects on Scouts Inc. UK's class currently ranks eighth in the Southeastern Conference behind Alabama (No. 2 overall), Louisiana State (No. 5), Florida (No. 7), Georgia (No. 8), Auburn (No. 10), Arkansas (No. 17) and Mississippi (No. 24).
How UK commitments fared
Speaking of the 2011 class, here's a look at how the Wildcats commitments performed in their respective prep games this weekend:
Antonio Cannon, WR, Central, S.C., Daniel: Did not play for undisclosed reasons in Daniel's 6-0 loss to Easley.
Theltus Cobbins, QB, New Orleans McDonogh 35: Opens season Thursday at Thibodaux.
Nile Daniel, WR, Griffin, Ga.: Caught a 42-yard touchdown pass in a 40-0 win over Spalding.
Glen Faulkner, DB, East St. Louis, Ill.: Played against Indianapolis Cathedral on Saturday.
Jon Davis, TE, Louisville Eastern: Gained 84 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown and caught two passes for 32 yards in a 35-28 loss to Male.
Josh Forrest, WR, Paducah Tilghman: Caught a 26-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds for a 20-16 win over St. Louis Gateway Tech.
Daylen Hall, DB, St. Xavier: Had a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown and also blocked a punt in a 35-34 win over Ballard.
Riyahd Jones, DB, Columbus, Ga., Carver: Didn't score in his team's easy 63-0 win over Spencer.
Ashely Lowery, DB, White County (Ga.): Scored a game-winning 4-yard touchdown run with two minutes remaining in a 21-14 win over East Jackson.
Nick Martin, OL, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard: Helped pave the way for Nolan Miller's 101-yard rushing night in a 30-0 win over Whiteland.
Darrian Miller, OL, Bryan Station: His Defenders were beaten 21-13 by Butler.
Max Smith, QB, Van Nuys, Calif., Birmingham: Opens the season Friday at West Adams Prep
Blake Terry, LB, Denton, Texas, Guyer: Opened the season Saturday against Waxahachie.
Clint Tucker, DT, East St. Louis (Ill.): Opened the season Saturday against Indianapolis Cathedral.
Zach West, OL, Lexington Christian: West's Eagles couldn't overcome turnovers and a 13-point halftime deficit in a 20-12 loss to Nashville's Christ Presbyterian.