Snell, UK offense ‘destroy’ defense in second scrimmage of spring

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Kentucky running back Benny Snell and the Wildcats will compete in the Blue-White scrimmage set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Kroger Field. (UK Athletics Photo)

Benny Snell didn’t mince words when he described Kentucky’s defense following the team’s second scrimmage of spring workouts Friday.

“They did horrible,” Snell said. “We destroyed them. I hope they never play like that again because we scored almost every drive… We drove down on them. The other backs did a great job, the OL did a great job getting to the second level, just getting to the ball. It was a good day.”

The successful performance by the offense was different from the previous week when the defense dominated the offense. Kentucky’s defensive players — namely Adrian Middleton — were vocal about shutting down the offense last week. Snell said the trash talking served as motivation for the Wildcats.

“We definitely heard that,” Snell said. “At the end of the day, it’s a team. It just made us get a little competitive edge about us. We had to handle that. We up now.”

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said the performance produced a variety of mixed emotions for the coaching staff, but was overall pleased with the offensive side of the ball.

“The same issues in the spring with being a head coach,” Stoops said. “You’re very pleased with one side and (not happy) at the other. I’m pleased with the offense. They were physical, made competitive plays, just had an attitude about them. Defense, we did not play very good. Pleased on one side of the ball, need to improve on the other. That’s part of our problem. The minute we think we’ve got it all figured out, we don’t. That mentality has to change defensively. We’ve got to be more consistent, and it was not good enough (Friday).”

Kentucky quarterback Gunnar Hoak, who split time with transfer Terry Wilson with the first-team unit, liked the way the offense persevered under pressure.

“Those guys, they came out and had a good day on Saturday,” Hoak said. “They were out there talking trash. Then we come out and have a good day. That’s what spring ball is for. It’s to go back and forth like that and just for our team to get better in general.”

Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen agreed.

“They had a heck of a day (Friday),” Allen said. “They executed really good. That’s what we expect. That’s nothing less from the offense than we expect from them every day. I just feel like defensively we need leaders to step up and we need to communicate more and execute the plays.”

Jones out: Kentucky senior linebacker Jordan Jones will miss the final week of spring practice after suffering a shoulder injury practice last week. Jones expects to return in August.

“We expect a full recovery,” Stoops said. “It will push right into August. It’s unfortunate. He’s been getting better and having a really good spring.”

The team’s annual Blue-White scrimmage is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Kroger Field.

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Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Michael Watkins...what do all those names have in common? Greatness...Michael Watkins is from a small town in Eastern Kentucky where he grew up dreaming of being a sports broadcaster. At the age of 16 he started working WJSN radio station in his hometown of Jackson Kentucky in his first step toward that dream. Michael has been at Wallingford Broadcasting since November 2012 and took over as Sports Director in 2015. The dream of being a sports broadcaster became a bigger reality when the Wallingford Sports Show was launched in late 2015. He also can be heard throughout the year calling local high school sports in the area across the different Wallingford Media Platforms. Michael and his wife, Morgan, gave birth to their first child in March of 2017 and the city of Richmond is now home to the Wallingford Sports Guy.