Week 13 Practice Report: Snell unsure and Daniel apologizes


Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Kash Daniel (56) reaching for a tackle. University of Kentucky football defeated Middle Tennessee State University 34-23 at Kroger Field on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

As the UK football team prepares to redeem last year’s resounding loss against hated in-state rival Louisville, the players have made a concentrated effort to “not build it up to be bigger than it is”, according to linebacker Kash Daniel.

“Obviously, it’s a very important game for both teams,” Daniel said. “Both teams will be very fired up and very focused, and we just have to keep our composure through the week.”

The 2-9 Cardinals will host the Cats in a somewhat bizarre matchup, as the Cats aren’t often doing better than the Cards when the two teams meet. The fact that the Cards are staggering, however, doesn’t make much difference to UK.

“I’m about winning the game,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said. “This thing’s about us, we’ve got to do our job.”

This game may also be the last regular season game for running back Benny Snell Jr., who is only 206 yards away from the UK school record for career rushing yards. He doesn’t know, however, if this is his final stretch in blue and white. The back said he’d meet with “Snell Yeah Enterprises” twice – once after the Louisville game and once after the bowl game, “and we’ll go from there” as far as deciding whether or not to enter the NFL Draft.

He does intend, no matter his NFL Draft decision, to play in whatever bowl game UK lands. “I’m a football player, I want to play football,” Snell said. He also said, however, that he hadn’t thought much about whether he’d play in that game.

Snell is potentially nearing his final game with the Cats, but for seniors like Josh Allen, this game is certainly his last in the regular season, and he couldn’t imagine it being any other way.

“What better way to end the season with a bunch of guys that were all-in four years ago that really wasn’t winning, you know?” Allen said. “Now to be in the position we are today, it would be unbelievable to leave a legacy with nine wins. Nine and three, that sounds perfect.”

Allen is already UK’s single-season and career sack leader, though he said that “Adrian [Middleton] stole my sack, but that’s alright” against Middle Tennessee.

After that last game on Senior Day, Daniel said he was disappointed in the turnout to send off the four-year players, and his comments went viral in the UK football fan circle. Tuesday evening, he got the chance to apologize if he “pissed anybody off”, as he put it.

“I didn’t come after the entire Big Blue Nation,” Daniel said. “First of all, you guys know I’m an emotional player, and I’m not afraid to speak what was on my mind. Everybody, players, people were thinking it, I was just the only one that said it.”

Daniel went on to say that he doesn’t hold animosity for those fans that didn’t come to the game, and that he just has “so much love for the guys that I play with that I just want the best for them.”

UK fans will have one more chance to show up in the regular season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.