Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: House on ‘heightened sense of urgency’ for UK before trip to South Carolina


On if Jordan Jones practiced today: “I’m going to leave that to Coach Stoops to talk about. I don’t want to talk about who practiced, who didn’t.”

On what Eli Brown got out of the EKU game: “I think it was a learning experience. He did a really nice thing on the second play of that series and then not a very smart football play to prolong the drive. I think it was a learning experience.”

On Deebo Samuel: “He’s really good with the ball in his hands. What you said is true, they get him the ball in a lot of different ways. Whether it be through jets, tunnel screens, taking shots. He’s definitely a guy we’ve gotta be aware of where he’s at. He’s a big-time player.”

On Jake Bentley: “Very efficient. The more you watch him the more you appreciate him. He’s kind of a gamer. He does some things that are really, really good.”

On if he’s seen the depth help the defense and if he knows how many players have seen action: “I think it is 24 but I’m not positive. First of all, I think it absolutely helps you. It helps you in a lot of ways. It keeps guys fresh. In particular with the amount of tempo you’re going to see throughout the season. The more snaps you take off the better people play. It also gives us depth. Right now, I’ll be honest with you, there’s not one guy in our two-deep that hasn’t seen live game action when the game’s in balance, when snaps matter. I think that’s huge.”

On what they did at halftime to adjust the pass defense against EKU: “I think more than anything we just regrouped. We executed better in the second half. Some execution things that we weren’t getting done in the first half, and that improved in the second half.”

On the biggest challenge South Carolina presents: “I think they have good football players all the way around. Their tight end is really good. They got two good receivers. They got a quarterback that I think is a guy that’s very, very efficient. And their running backs run hard.”

On going against Deebo Samuel and Hayden Hurst and how that affects how they line up: “They have several different playmakers, so it’s hard to pick one guy to roll. If you just have one guy, you can roll and take out a guy. But that’s hard to do when you got several guys like that.”

On facing a good tight end after first two teams with not much tight end use: “He’s a special tight end, but they do a lot of things with him. He’s not always in a tight end position. I mean he’s flexed out as a receiver. He’s in the core as a fullback. He’s on the line of scrimmage as a tight end. So they do a good job of moving him around.”

On if facing a player like C.J. Conrad helps: “I think absolutely. C.J. is similar in a lot of ways, but I think they’re a little different in certain ways, too. There’s no doubt.”

On if practice is different knowing SEC game is on horizon: “I think there’s a heightened sense of urgency without a doubt. First SEC opponent on the road, a division opponent; it’s a huge game obviously.”

On interaction with Stoops and running defense: “I think it’s healthy. It’s been positive. I think it’s been good for both of us.”

On the biggest surprise: “I don’t know if there is a surprise truthfully. That’s the one thing, I’ll be honest with you, it would be different if I was coming into a new situation this year, but I was on the headsets with him last year. I just wasn’t making the calls. So from an interaction standpoint, it hasn’t changed.”