Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Gran on getting better in red zone and seniors’ impact on offense


On message this week: “Again, like I said stat deal, we left so much out there. That was the frustrating part. We do a good, bad and ugly tape every week. We come together as an offense, show the bad first and then good. And if we execute and then what coach talks about, the routine plays, if we execute on that, it was disheartening, first day stuff that we did some things wrong. I’m talking about first day install and at the end of the day, it starts with me, it starts with me, what coach talks about, the detail, the execution of offense. It takes 11 guys to do the right things and we left too much out. The recipe for this week is for us to get better, so we’re just detailing everything we do and we’ve got to continue to get better to get to the next level. They had a great energy; they had great -- they’re working hard. That’s not the problem. The problem is is that you’ve got to do the little things right at all times and that’s detail and that’s discipline.”

On improving in red zone: “Score touchdowns. Take more shots. You know, we’ve had our recipe’s been, we’ve been able to punch it in. We’ve been able to finish and we haven’t done that. So we’ve got to be able to when we maybe throw the ball a little bit more down there and take a shot instead of waiting for third down. And that can definitely help the situation, but when you do that, you have to execute it. We haven’t had to do that. We’ve been very fortunate. We’re looking at a lot of things down there because seven points, we’ve got to get seven. We can’t keep living on three.”

On putting ball in Stephen Johnson’s hands (which they haven’t done a lot since Mississippi State fumble): “No. That’s not. I think it was at that point in the game, yes, we will put him in that situation in the game. But at that point in the game, that was a very poor decision by me. I put him in that position the first play of the Tennessee game. We put him in that position the second play of the Tennessee game. He had an opportunity to pull that ball, too. So but when we ..”

On if “that position” was a red zone position or something else: “It was a situation during Mississippi State. We had a chance to put it away, don’t. We’ve got plays where we don’t have to have him read. And that’s what should’ve been done at that point.”

On the seniors and what they’ve meant to offense: “Really excited for, you start with Ryan Timmons and his attitude’s been phenomenal. Not getting the ball a lot and I hope these next couple games as we finish out that he have some success. Just his attitude has been so good with everybody. He certainly could’ve made it a bad situation. Jojo, you know up and down. He’s been hurt a couple weeks, then came back, had a good game, then hurt again for two to three weeks. Came back and showed that he’s resilient. What Jon Toth brings to the table. All those guys have been outstanding.”

On tough for seniors to have a new coordinator: “Yeah, this is on their third, I think third coordinator maybe, in three years, so that’s a great question. Yeah, I think there is. There is an evolution there as you go. I think they for the most part, I really believe they’ve bought into what we’re doing and I would assume that here in the next three or four weeks if we can continue to get better, I think we’ve got some really great things to look forward to.”

On if he’s been pleased with the tempo: “I think the other day we had 80-something plays. You know, we’ve been in the 80s a couple times. I think the recipe for this year, because of what’s happened, we’ve slowed it down a little bit. I think that was the right thing to do. So, if that changes next year, or this game, or the next game, then we’ll do it. That’s kind of how it’s worked out this year. We’ve still been able to have a lot of plays in some games. I try to get them in really fast where he’s got about 25 seconds to 20 seconds to make his reads and make any checks that he needs to do and so forth. Knock on wood, the penalties, the pre-snap ones where you get a delay of game or something like that, those are frustrating and we haven’t had too many of those. So, you know, we’re trying to play fast enough so those things don’t happen.”

On what he’s been telling Sihiem King this season, assuming he’s looking toward the future with him:“Absolutely. He’s one of those other guys that just hasn’t had, I’ve told him, ‘You’ll get a chance, you’ll get a chance, you’ll get a chance. And when you do you have to be ready.’ And he was ready. I was proud of him. It was neat to see his teammates. It was neat to see the running backs congratulate him. They were the first three up there telling him what a great job. Everybody knows because the guy busts his tail every day at practice. That is something to look forward to in the future.”

On how the duo of Williams and Snell stacks up with other running back duos he’s coached: “I think they’re really talented. You know, I think you got a mixture. You might have Carnell (Williams) and Ronnie (Brown). Ronnie was the bruising kind of back, had a lot of different talents than what Carnell had. But Carnell was that slasher, and I think that’s kinda what Boom and Benny have. And you have Jojo (Kemp) in there with the yards he’s gotten and he’s a little more like Benny. So, and you saw Sihiem is a little more look Boom. But I think that combo has been really good. We stack up pretty good.”