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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops did his best today to explain why freshman running back JoJo Kemp got only three carries — and none after his 11-yard gain on UK’s second play until the fourth quarter — during Saturday’s loss to Florida.
“The bottom line was we had 10 runs from the running back position. Part of that was schemed to get some runs on the perimeter, which I actually thought we had some good success, they’re well designed plays and we were getting the ball to the perimeter and getting some yards on that. I think when you go back and look at the film we certainly could have run the ball more with the running backs inside, because we actually had some decent success. When you have four yards and five yards against that defense that’s a successful running play,” Stoops said.
“And Jojo with the 10, 11‑yard run and so on, but we only had 50 snaps — or 47 snaps. So with Jojo, some specialty plays, Raymond’s (Sanders) better. Some plays doesn’t matter which back is in, it could be a fake and then 10 running plays with the running backs, Jojo got three, Ray got five and Dyshawn (Mobley) got two. So I think we could all look at the film and wish we had 70 snaps but we didn’t. So I think that goes to a lot of things we need to do better, we need to coach better, we need to give ‘em the ball a little bit more.
“But I think for a variety of reasons it worked out that way.”
Stoops said Sanders’ “experience” helps him in certain situations.
“Whether sometimes we’re reading things with that guy on who to block on the perimeter, things like that,” he said about Sanders’ edge.
How can Kemp get better?
“Just experience, just experience,” Stoops said. “They’re both good players, Raymond played very good, played a very good game. He ran the ball pretty well, he caught it, he had some key blocks that people underestimate that we had some good success with some of those things we were doing. Both guys need to play, again, in a perfect world we have more snaps and give Jojo the ball more and run it more successfully. That’s pretty easy to say.”