By LARRY VAUGHT
If junior guard Nick Haynes is right, Kentucky’s veteran offensive line has learned a lot of lessons.
“I think you can see from the Missouri and EKU games (last year) that we had a lot of continuity with the redshirts. Just the experience. We all knew this should be the year we play together. We are redshirt juniors and have been playing since our freshmen year,” said Haynes
“We should be able to do better things on the field and you can see it out here. We are putting a lot of stress on our defense right now, and they need that.”
Many speculate that new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran — and head coach Mark Stoops — wants to run the ball more this year.
“We have a balanced attack, but coach Gran has a heavy emphasis on running the ball, which is good for offensive linemen,” Haynes said. “We love that. The run game slows the pass rush down. Eddie Gran does love running the ball, so we probably will hand it off a lot. With those running backs, why wouldn’t you.”
Those running backs include Boom Williams and JoJo Kemp who have had some football analysts rank UK’s back as the fourth best in the SEC.
“I really don’t try to pay attention to what media puts out because anything can happen. No disrespect to anybody, but anything can be misconstrued,” tackle Kyle Meadows said. “We might be No. 4 or whatever. We could be No. 1. It just depends on how the team plays and that is how we get our ratings. I don’t believe in best running back or best lineman. It’s about how we come together as a team.
“But I love all our running backs from the old guys to the freshmen because they all put in work.”
So will UK run more this year?
“Right now it is looking like a possibility. We are just keeping an open mind to what coach Gran wants from us. We are just going with that. We are focusing on getting better no matter what the defense can throw at us,” Meadows said.