Eddie Gran plans to reduce Snell’s workload in the future


Sihiem King #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats jukes Nigel Bethel #1 of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels and another defender during the game against EKU on Saturday, September 9, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky defeated EKU 27-16. Photo by Carter Gossett | Staff

Heading into the season, many believed that running back Benny Snell would be the workhouse rusher for the team, and that has played out to be true so far.

Last week against South Carolina, Snell played 70 snaps, carrying the ball 32 times for 105 yards.

Snell should be used to such a massive workload since he made large contributions to the team last season. However, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran is looking to tone back Snell’s workload in future games, and use Sihiem King more often instead. 

“There were a couple of series that I should’ve put him (King) in and I told him that,” Gran said. “I think for the next – remaining of the season 70 snaps a game is too much, so you’ll see Si (King) more.”

Snell has 71 carries on the year compared to King’s 19, but King has a higher yards per carry average. Snell will likely to continue getting the bulk of the carries, even if his role is reduced.

Regardless of what King’s role might be, he’s ready to handle whatever’s thrown at him.

“I feel like I can handle whatever they put on me, whatever pressure they put on me I can handle,” King said.

Another way Gran could look to reduce Snell’s workload is adding another weapon in the backfield. So far it’s only Snell and King who has made an impact in the rushing department, and Gran wants to add another.

Gran said a third running back hasn’t earned a role in games yet, but there are players who could step into a role later in the season.

“We’re still looking for that and still getting better everyday,” Gran said. “ AJ (Rose) had a good practice, Bryant Koback is coming on strong.”

Players aware of losing streak

Usually football players block out the negative storylines the media creates around them, but when it comes to UK’s losing streak to Florida, they’ll listen.

Two players who are only in their second year at UK, Stephen Johnson and Snell, both are aware of the losing streak and have it on their minds as they practice this week.

“You try not to focus in on it, but we definitely know,” Johnson said. “We’re excited to just come out here Saturday, we’re a lot better team then we were last year, we think we could really get it done.”

Beating Florida would be a historic moment for this team, and Snell wants to make it happen.

“I’m all about the new school, I’m all about making change, I’m all about making history, and I’m going to try to make some happen,” Snell said. 

Nick Haynes tells his story of the captains meeting

After the game at South Carolina, Mark Stoops made it known that the South Carolina players refused to shake hands with the UK players in the captains meeting.

Captains Mike Edwards, Courtney Love and Johnson were all asked about the interaction after the game, but the other captain of the four, Nick Haynes, got the chance to recount his experience after today’s practice.

“It was a heated battle between two teams, it was in-between the lines, it was just a heated battle like usually all games are, and that added to the emotion,” Haynes said. “Then going on the road and winning, it’s always a good feeling.”