D.J. Eliot (Vicky Graff Photo)
By UK ATHLETICS
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Another two-a-day practice Wednesday for the University of Kentucky football team as the Wildcats now have just one week remaining in camp before breaking for school to begin next Wednesday.
The first practice of the day occurred mostly inside Commonwealth Stadium, even with rain covering most of the Lexington area, to put the players through “some rain elements,” according to defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot.
“Got to practice in the rain again, which is good to get in those elements,” Eliot said. “We also got to be in the stadium again, which is good to be in that environment as much as possible. We are in the grind here, which is a good test for our players to push them through the grind. We have already had a good number of two-a-days and we have had some good physical practices and we will have to continue to tell our players to fight through the grind because the SEC season is a grind. So we still have some things to clean up and still have a lot of time to do that. We will have another practice today and another chance to get better and we look forward to that.”
One question around the defense heading into fall camp was the depth on the defensive line, which took a hit when head coach Mark Stoops announced last week that Regie Meant was out indefinitely due to personal reasons. On Wednesday, Eliot said the pass rush was coming along nicely with several players performing well so far in camp.
“I think that Kobie Walker is doing an excellent job as a pass rusher for us as are Josh Allen and Denzil Ware. They are doing some good things and on the inside Courtney Miggins is doing some good things,” Eliot said.
Tuesday, starting quarterback Drew Barker praised the defense for throwing a lot of different blitz options at him. Eliot said those blitz options are made to confuse a quarterback and is about the guys not only making sure they do their assigments, but make the blitz look a certain way.
“Anytime you start running a lot of different blitzes that comes with a lot of assignment and the look has to look right,” Eliot said. “I tell our defensive players all the time, I am not trying to beat their offensive coordinator, I am trying to beat the quarterback. I am not trying to confuse their offensive coordinator, I am trying to confuse their quarterback. When they run a blitz, if they don’t make it look a certain way, then that is not going to confuse the quarterback. It is executing the assignments and making that blitz look a certain way.