UK Football

UK football notes: Clemons co-Freshman of the Week in SEC

Kentucky's Josh Clemons scored a touchdown during the third quarter against Central Michigan at Commonwealth Stadium Sept. 9, 2011. Photo by Amy Wallot
Kentucky's Josh Clemons scored a touchdown during the third quarter against Central Michigan at Commonwealth Stadium Sept. 9, 2011. Photo by Amy Wallot

That the Southeastern Conference named him a co-Freshman of the Week thrilled Kentucky running back Josh Clemons. But not overly so.

"I was very excited," he said Monday of the news. "There's a lot of good running backs out there."

One of those backs, Isaiah Crowell of Georgia, shared the Freshman of the Week award. Clemons rushed for 126 yards on 14 carries against Central Michigan. Crowell gained 118 yards on 16 carries against South Carolina.

Hitting the ground running, so to speak, with 165 yards rushing in two games has not surprised Clemons. "You work hard in practice and get the schemes down, it's kind of easy to perform on game day knowing what you've been taught," he said.

Clemons said he needed to improve his footwork and recognizing defenses, the latter to better block blitzers.

UK Coach Joker Phillips lauded Clemons' work ethic, which tipped off the football staff that the freshman from Fayetteville, Ga., might be productive his first season.

"You hear the buzz around the facility in the summer," Phillips said. "How he works in the weight room. ... We didn't know he was as fast as he was the other day."

Clemons' 87-yard touchdown run against Central Michigan was the longest ever by a Kentucky freshman and the fourth-longest by any UK player.

"Then he started getting reps in training camp," Phillips said of Clemons' progression. "He was the back who showed up every day, didn't miss a day. So he was really durable.

"He really understands our offense. Then in our first scrimmage, some of the cuts he made (were impressive)."

Tight end contrast

Tight end Josh Chichester leads Louisville with eight receptions. UK's tight ends — Tyler Robinson, Nick Melillo and Jordan Aumiller — have combined for zero receptions.

When asked if the lack of tight end catches was a concern, Phillips said, "It's not. We had to use those guys in (pass) protection. See how many times we've been sacked?"

Hines 3, U of L 0

Left guard Stuart Hines is 3-0 against Louisville.

"It definitely means something to me," he said. "To win four in a row would definitely be a big deal."

UK has actually won the past four games in the series. Neither team has won five straight since the series was renewed in 1994.

UK-Florida kickoff at 7

UK announced that its Sept. 24 game against Florida has been assigned a 7 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised by either ESPN or ESPNU.

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