Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.
As provided by UK Athletics:
November 13, 2010
An interview with:
COACH JOKER PHILLIPS
COACH PHILLIPS: Injury report. Danny Trevathan was a little light headed, missed a couple snaps, which is the reason he was late getting out at half. La’Rod King has a couple stingers that kept him from going late in the game. Then Brian Adams pulled his hamstring on the kickoff cover team. We should get all those guys back. Brian will be the guy that will be in question, Brian Adams will.
One of the things, I wish we could play the second half in the first half every game. But I’ll tell you one thing that I’m really disappointed in, before we go anywhere else with this thing, is I’m really disappointed in the personal foul. We will not be that team. We will not be that team that has personal fouls. We will not be that team that’s throwing punches, and I’m disappointed in that.
We will get that corrected. It’s really ridiculous for a guy to retaliate after somebody has thrown a punch on him. We will not tolerate that from our players here at Kentucky. It’s not what we’re about. We will not be about those types of things, throwing punches.
But I really liked the effort. We challenged the team at halftime. We challenged them before the game also. But at halftime, we actually put it on the team, put it on those guys, told them, ‘Don’t come out if you’re not ready to play inspired football.’ We talked about ‘juice’. I came in with juice before the game. Coach (Greg) Nord, Coach (Ray) Rock (Oliver), we can have as much juice as we want. If they don’t have juice, don’t matter, it really, really doesn’t matter.
The second half, I thought they came out and played juice. Defensively we knocked them back in the second half. We felt like we were losing the battles up front on both sides of the ball. At halftime they had rushed for 134 yards against us, averaging about 80, 89 yards, and we had only rushed for 43 yards. You look at the stats at the end of the game, they rushed for 60 something yards in the second half and we rushed for almost 300. That’s where we won it, up front, in the second half.
And I think (Randall Cobb) was a big part of that. He did get a minus, one minus on the sloppy throw. Got to get the thing up in the guys’ face. But he didn’t have many minuses today. He made play after play after play, got us a huge win. We got a huge win, giving us a chance of another guaranteed game. We talk about we have 12 guaranteed. Well, we just got another one guaranteed to us.
I’m proud of this senior group. We talked last night. They didn’t want to let this thing go. They want to be a part of this thing as long as they possibly can. Only way they can be any longer is to get ourselves into an extra game, and they went out and did that.
Q. 13-10 at halftime just like last year. Same type of conversation?
COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, we had to win the battles up front. When you go in to win the physical battle up front, the physical battle is determined on who rushes the ball the best. Rushing the ball came down to us getting the ball into (Derrick) Locke’s hands and to Randall (Cobb)’s hands. That’s two guys that rushed over 140 yards, 170, 145. That’s how we won this game last year, getting the ball into those guys’ hands, letting those guys rush for yards.
Q. When you talk about juice, are you thinking about Randall (Cobb) that brought it for your team?
COACH PHILLIPS: I don’t know who did the talking in there. He changed it with the big play he made. The defense also went out and got a stop also. I think that changed the juice on that side of the ball for the whole game really. Then Randall’s big run got the momentum back on our side.
Q. How close to a hundred percent is Derrick (Locke)?
COACH PHILLIPS: I don’t know. It’s hard to tell because on third and 18, we hit the screen. When he came on our side, I just made mention to our offensive guys that he doesn’t look the same. He didn’t look like the same Derrick. Even on the long run, Derrick Locke, I mean, he steps away from those guys, and he didn’t step away from them like he had been earlier in the season. They didn’t tackle him. But he steps away from those guys, and they don’t get a chance to get a hand on him. So he didn’t look the same. But he looked good enough to win today.
Q. On the consequences of the punch .
COACH PHILLIPS: If it’s for fighting, he’s out. If it’s for punching, I think he’ll be able to play next week. We got to get a ruling from the conference office and go from there.
But it’s unacceptable. Unacceptable. It falls on me. I just grabbed him and told him, he’s building a résumé. He is, he’s building a résumé with his play. His résumé up until this point has been pretty good, okay? And now he has that on his résumé. That’s not good.
But he will get it corrected. Hopefully somebody punches him next time, somebody soon, so we can see the correction.
Q. Couple times he was going at it with their guys. Was it building up?
COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, it was. He mentioned, ‘Am I supposed to let the guy punch me?’ Yes, you are. You are supposed to let the guy punch you all day. Then from whistle to whistle, you punch him with your pads, not with your fists.
So, yes, it was building up all day. He cannot get frustrated with that. He’s got to continue to play. He’s one of our better players, one of our better tacklers. We cannot afford to have (Martavius) Neloms on the sidelines with us.
Q. What does it mean in your first year to get this team Bowl eligible?
COACH PHILLIPS: It doesn’t have anything to do with me. It means the world to me to have especially the fifth year seniors that came here, myself and Rich (Brooks) went into their homes, sold them our vision, our dreams. It was only our vision and our dreams. They had nothing to do with it. They hoped that we would get in Bowl games and those things. For us to be able to sell them our vision, our dreams, and they believed in them. Now going out with five straight Bowl games, that means the world to me.
Q. Was it your plan ahead of time to put Mike (Hartline) in for one play and take him out (towards the end)?
COACH PHILLIPS: It just kind of came to me. I mean, we thought Mike deserved that, we really did. The guy is a stand up guy, he is. He has handled everything that’s happened to him like a man. We had 16 seniors today, and Mike’s one of those guys that we talk about being ready to go out in the real world. Those guys are more than ready to handle all the things that come up in this world because of the things they’ve been through here in the last five years, and especially Mike Hartline.
Q. Do you ever overstate Randall’s performance on the football field and all that he does?
COACH PHILLIPS: You tried to describe what it was. I remember seeing your article. Wasn’t even close. I mean, he made a play on that long run. Somebody came by and said, ‘You can’t coach that. You can’t. You can’t coach what he has.’ We just hope to see it again here soon.
Q. Could you tell right away that the offensive line was playing at a different speed or level than the first half?
COACH PHILLIPS: No, I couldn’t. I think the run (Randall Cobb’s 73-yd run) helped. You know, I think the long run helped. It helped them with their confidence. I’m not sure if they blocked anybody on that run. But everybody beats on their chest nowadays when they miss a block. It turns into a long run. I’m sure they got confidence. May not have been any blocks. We got to see. Because he made a lot of people miss, okay? But I think it helped our confidence in understanding that we can beat this team if we just take care of business.
Q. Could you tell Randall had it back in high school when you were recruiting him?
COACH PHILLIPS: No. Well, when he came to camp, you know, Coach (Randy) Sanders, did an unbelievable job in recruiting and selling Randall Cobb. It wasn’t a hard sell. He said we’re going to put him at quarterback. He’s at quarterback. Not sure if he’s a quarterback, got to give him a chance to see if he can be a quarterback. But he probably needs to offer him as a wide receiver to get him offered because we only had X number of quarterback slots, but we had a couple of receiver slots in that year.
So he went outside. He threw the ball. He threw the ball well enough to be a quarterback. But he was only a 5-foot-10, 5-foot-11 guy. Then he comes outside. Never played wide out before. He goes out there and he’s making plays.
So we just thought we had to recruit the guy. And we trusted in Randy Sanders, who trusted in their coaches. We had a relationship with their coaches. Their coaches told Randy about his heart, about his desire, about his ability. So we trusted in that and we got ‘it.’ Let’s not call him Randall anymore, let’s call him ‘it.’
There hasn’t been a day, in my opinion, we are biased, that he has not been one of the best players on the field here, any game we’ve been in. We just hope to see it again.
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