By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips doesn’t mince words when talking about what worried him the most about his 2011 team coming out of spring practice.
“Our ability to put the ball in the end zone. We didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t score the way we have been scoring points around here for a while,” said the second-year Kentucky coach. “We ditched the running game in the spring because we thought it was so important to be efficient in the throw game. That skewed the outlook on offense and our ability to put the ball in the end zone because we did ditch the running game. We will probably run more in the fall.
“I am pleased with how our defense is coming. We have quality players there and SEC speed at positions now because of the (personnel) moves we made. But my biggest concern is can we score enough points like we have been doing. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always been able to score. Now we have a chance to stop people, but the concern is can we get our offense to the same level of our defense.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We also didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t protect the football well in the spring. Our backs put the ball on the ground way too many times. Our receivers were not real consistent in catching the football. Taking care of the football is a concern because we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to put our defense in a short field situation, especially since we did a good job taking away the football for the first time in a long time on defense.Ã¢â‚¬Â