clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UK Football: News and notes from Friday practice

A big scrimmage is coming Saturday for UK Football.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

One day before a scrimmage and the official move in day for the football team, quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw spoke with the media about what he expects from his quarterbacks, backup Stephen Johnson, and how the QB’s are handling the pass rush.

What He is Looking for on Saturday

The Wildcats have another scrimmage on Saturday and Coach Hinshaw isn’t looking for spectacular performances from his quarterbacks, just consistency and quality decision making.

"I just want to take one play at a time and execute that play. I know that sounds so ‘Oh, that’s coach talk, blah, blah, blah,’ but the bottom line is that’s the truth. We don’t focus on -- I don’t tell them they have to throw for so many yards or they have to do -- we’re going to take what the defense gives us. I want to see the quarterbacks make great decisions and great targets."

Hinshaw also added that he wants Drew Barker and company to control the game and take care of the football.

"That’s what’s going to help us win on Saturday", Hinshaw said.

Stephen Johnson Helping the Defense

Earlier this week defensive coordinator DJ Eliot said that practicing against backup QB Stephen Johnson is beneficial for his unit, which struggled mightily against mobile quarterbacks last season.

Quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw said that the call is usually up to Mark Stoops on whether to use Johnson as fodder. Hinshaw also offered some insights into why dual-threat quarterbacks are such a problem for opposing defenses.

"You have to account for them. Some guys are faster than others in different way. As a defense, if you can throw as a quarterback and be able to run some, it creates problems for ‘em. But if you cannot throw and you become one-sided – and it’s the same thing if all you do is throw. It’s the same situation. Defenses can really hunker down and figure out ways to beat you" he said.

Hinshaw added that a quarterback does not "have to run great" but do it well enough to move the chains, which is a requirement in the offense that Eddie Gran brought to Lexington from Cincinnati.

The QB’s and Pass Rush

Hinshaw was quite complimentary of how the defensive line is getting after the QB’s in practice.

"I’m not gonna name names, but the whole defensive line has been doing a great job. They’ve been doing a great job of putting pressure on us, making Drew move in the pocket. Really game-like situations in practice, and that’s what we continue to focus on and then get into the scrimmages and all those things", he said.

Even without his guys taking hits, Hinshaw spares them no quarter when they don’t get rid of the ball in time and uses the situation as a teaching tool.

"If you don’t throw the ball away, you’re costing the team 10 yards, seven yards, eight yards a sack fumble, all those things."

Other Notes

- Drew Barker is making the appropriate pass protection calls at the line of scrimmage, according to Hinshaw, even when the defense disguises their blitz well.

- Hinshaw noted that so far during camp that Kentucky’s deep stable of running backs have been a boon as pass catching options, something he thinks is essential for the Wildcats to keep developing if they want to win on Saturdays.

- There is no word on if junior running back Boom Williams will sit or participate in the scrimmage on Saturday morning.