Eddie Gran wants the offense to “make simple better”


Eddie Gran is introduced as UK Football’s new offensive coordinator at Commonwealth Stadium on Monday, January 4, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Joel Repoley | Staff 

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran has an easy solution to fix some of the struggles Kentucky’s offense has gone through earlier this season: making football simpler by eliminating penalties and bad snaps.

“Our whole mindset this week is ‘make simple better,’” Gran said. “If we’ll make simple better, we got a chance this weekend, we have to do that.”

Gran cited bad snaps, bad technique and penalties as the things he wants cleaned up, as well as two offsides penalties that derailed some of the Cats’ offensive drives

Heading on the road to South Carolina, Gran knows his unit can’t have those types of mistakes against a quality South Carolina team. The Gamecocks are known for their high-powered offense, but Gran has been impressed with the Gamecocks’ defense when looking at their tape. 

“It’s a huge challenge for us, it’s the SEC, its on the road, so it doesn’t get any better than that,” Gran said. “They got a really good defense, we’re going to have to do a great job of protecting the football.”

Video: Full press conference from Eddie Gran post-practice Sept. 12

Gran also thinks the road aspect of the game will be a challenge, especially for the freshmen who have yet to play in a big-time road game.

A total of 22,761 fans packed the stands in the Cats’ season-opening road game at Southern Miss, but Williams-Brice Stadium in South Carolina is capable of housing nearly four times that amount. Saturday’s game has already been announced as a blackout since it’s the Gamecocks’ home-opener. 

“They’ll (South Carolina fans) really come out pumped, so we got to be able to match that intensity,” UK quarterback Stephen Johnson said. 

However, Gran isn’t worried out the rowdy crowd or the intimidating defense. He knows that if the offense can make the simpler things better, they will do a good job of combating the other aspects of the game.

Wildcat offense still an option

After the wildcat formation offense struggled against the Cats’ win over EKU, Gran said that he might have to do away the wildcat offense and stick to more traditional offensive formations. 

In preparing for South Carolina, Gran admits that he might not be ready yet to completely abandon the wildcat offense.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Gran said. “It’ll always be in the game plan, it just depends on how people are defending it, but it’s always in the game plan.” 

Benny Snell, who has received most of the wildcat snaps, said the wildcat isn’t working because one thing is always off when they run those plays. Snell and the offensive line have been working to make sure the wildcat offense returns to efficient form like it was last year. 

“For the future, it’s everybody that just doing there job,” Snell said. “I got to be more patient, the line got to get to their blocks, but I’m-a definitely be more patient making sure that I’m doing my part right.”

Sihiem King believes he can do better.

Backing up Snell, Sihiem King has rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries. King has been a valuable backup to Snell, but King believes he can do better. 

“Really just keeping my balance in-between my cuts, like staying up,” King said on things he can improve on. “I think last game I missed a big play because I fell, lost my footing.”

The 5’ 9” speedster is hard to keep up with due to King’s speed, but King has struggled to shake tacklers so far this season. If he can improve his balance, he’ll prove to be an even better backup to Snell, boosting the running game.