Dawson pleased with progress in fall camp

Kentucky running back Stanley Boom Wiliams runs for the end zone during the second half of the Kentucky vs. University of Louisiana at Monroe football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, October 11, 2014. UK won 48-14 over ULM. Photo by Jonathan Krueger

By Derek Terry

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With game plans for the season opener against Louisiana Lafayette set to begin on Wednesday, the UK football team had to make it through one more monotonous practice on Tuesday. It was an offensive day for the media, meaning head coach Mark Stoops did not meet with the media. Here are the notes from offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.

Jon Toth excelling in fall camp

Toth, who is among the top centers in the SEC, has been playing at a high level throughout fall camp according to Dawson.

“You talked about (Toth) the other day, I think that guy is extremely consistent,” Dawson said. “His level of work has been consistent since day one. He’s definitely a guy that goes out and performs.”

Toth, majoring in mechanical engineering, has been praised throughout fall camp for getting the offensive line set correctly to effectively run the offense.

“He holds it together up front,” Dawson said. “We demand a lot from him. Protection wise and everything, he does a lot.”

“As far as what we look for in a center, because we do dump a lot of communication on him with the other offensive linemen and everybody else, he’s spectacular at all that.”

Dawson pleased with run game success

With an offensive line returning over 90 starts and a stable full of productive running backs, Dawson said that the team placed a big emphasis on being able to find tough yards through the ground game.

“One emphasis was being able to run the ball,” Dawson said. “We wanted to be able to be physical. I think that throughout camp, the structure of the way we practice, and everything, I think we’ve accomplished that. I feel comfortable in the fact that if we have to grind out some wins, and grind out some tough yards, we can do it. I think we have the mentality up front, I think we have the talent up front and we definitely have the running backs to be able to do it.”

Three Cats named to Preseason Coaches All-SEC Football Teams

UK sophomore kicker Austin MacGinnis was named to the All-SEC second team, while offensive tackle Jordan Swindle and safety A.J Stamps were added to the All-SEC third team.

The Associated Press named MacGinnis to the All-SEC first team last season after setting numerous records during his freshman season with the Cats. MacGinnis set school records for field goals made in a season, most points in a season and longest field goal at (54 yards.)

Stamps was the playmaker on defense last season after leading the team in interceptions with four. Swindle, who is moving from right tackle to left tackle this season, has made 24 starts in his career. He is among the top returning offensive linemen in the conference.