UK offense responds to another Benny Snell criticism


Kentucky Wildcats running back Benny Snell Jr. (26) tries to maneuvers around defenders during the game against Murray State on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky defeated Murray 48-10. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

When it comes to Benny Snell, there seems to be a common air of criticism from opposing players directed towards him.

First, it was Central Michigan running back Jonathan Ward. Before the Chippewas traveled to Lexington for an eventual 20-35 loss, Ward said that he didn’t know Snell, and that he didn’t “think there’s anything too special.”

In response to that, Snell only said that he was a back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher, and moved on. Ward ended up running for 36 yards against the Cats.

Then, it was Florida defender Vosean Joseph, who, before facing Kentucky, said that Snell was “nothing we haven’t seen before. We’ve done played against Sony Michel and everybody. If you’re better than Sony Michel, you’ve got to tell me that.”

Joseph would end that game with eight total tackles in the 16-27 loss. Snell rushed for 175 yards against the Gator defense.

UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran believes that Snell’s success is the reason for opposing players to go after him. He said that Snell came into games with “a target on his back” because of the reputation he’s built.

Now, it’s Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, who retweeted a video of Snell saying that he believed his offense could run over anybody, while commenting with several laughing emojis. Hill’s tweet has since been deleted, but not before it turned some heads.

It also may have turned Snell’s head, who tweeted later that day:

Snell didn’t tag Hill in the tweet, but fans drew the implication: Snell is tired of being counted out.

At Tuesday’s media availability, Snell said that he pays no attention to outside noise, but that competitiveness and drive he comes with every game is “installed in my heart”.

Snell isn’t the only player that is involved in the rushing game. Sophomore center Drake Jackson said that trash talk against Benny would also be a challenge to the offensive line, should the players ever look at it. He said, however, that the player’s “don’t really focus on anyone else, as cliché as that sounds.”

When asked who Kylin Hill was, Jackson replied with: “I don’t know who that is. Does he play for Mississippi State? Oh, okay.”

UK will kick off against Mississippi State Saturday night, at 7:30 p.m. ET