UK FOOTBALL | Cats ready to finish camp, prep for LA-Lafayette

08/26/2015 05:07 PM

LEXINGTON — School’s in session, and opening-game prep is officially underway for the University of Kentucky football team.

The Wildcats kick off the regular season against the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette one week from Saturday (Sept. 5), and the coaches are reminding the players to remain focused through all the distractions that come at the beginning of a new school year.

“Typically today when school starts, there’s a lot more distractions,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson told the media after Tuesday’s practice. “So, the biggest thing that we were telling them is really to push through: ‘Don’t think it’s over. It’s not. It’s just the beginning of the end, really at the beginning.’

“So, now they have to get going to class. There’s a lot more distractions in college life now, so we have to manage that along with everything. It’s easy when you have them all to yourself, but now when you’re dealing with a lot more social factors then it becomes different.”

With the start of the semester also comes the end of fall camp, and instead of focusing so much on what LA-Lafayette does defensively, Kentucky’s offense is concentrating on executing the things it does well.

“We break down tendencies just like anybody else, but my message to offense in general [is], ‘We’re gonna do what we do good,’” Dawson said. “So, I really don’t get too overwhelmed or detailed with what [Louisiana Lafayette does].”

“We’re going to tell them the blueprint of what they do defensively, but who knows what they’re gonna do. We really don’t know. They have a whole new defensive staff. We can go back and look at games that those guys have coached at, but I don’t know what their meetings were like all summer. And so, we’re going to focus on the things that we do well.”

Despite having along faced their own teammates during spring and fall camp, starting quarterback Patrick Towles says Kentucky’s versatile defense has prepared the offense to succeed against LA-Lafayette and during the rest of the season.

“Luckily for us, our team has a really good pass rush and plays really good pass defense,” the redshirt junior told reporters. “So, going against [each other during fall camp] really does help us.”

Click below to watch our discussion on why Kentucky’s shift from fall camp to real-game preparation will motivate the players to finish the last week of the offseason strong.


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