Monday’s UK football news & notes



Injury report

Senior running back CoShik Williams is probable to play in Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky, according to head coach Joker Phillips. Williams sat out the Kent State game last week with a back injury, but is back atop this week’s depth chart at the running back position ahead of juniors Raymond Sanders and Jonathan George.

Freshman safety Josh Forrest, who sat out last week’s game with a hip flexor, is also probable to play against WKU according to Phillips. The head coach said both Clemons and Forrest will be considered day to day as the week progresses.

Sophomore running back Josh Clemons will not see action again this week while he nurses a knee injury in the same knee he tore his MCL last year, ending his season. Clemons has yet to play for UK this fall.

Fellow sophomore safety Glenn Faulkner will also sit out this week’s game as he continues to nurse a high ankle sprain. No timetable has been announced for a return by either player.

Weekly awards

Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith was an honorable mention for the nation’s Quarterback of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. Smith was 30-39 passing for 354 yards and four touchdowns against Kent State.

Freshman punter Landon Foster was also recognized by the College Football Performance Awards with an honorable mention for the nation’s punter of the week. Foster punted three times last Saturday with a net average of 49.0 yards per punt. For the season, Foster is averaging 48.0 yards per punt on five punts, landing two inside the 20 yard line with no touchbacks. His net average is good enough for second in the SEC, and would rank sixth nationally if the true freshman had enough punts through two games to qualify for the statistic.

Updated depth chart

Phillips and his staff released their depth chart for the game against Western Kentucky, and while many of the starters remain in place there was some fluctuation following last Saturday’s game.

Phillips and defensive coordinator Rick Minter have cited their attempts to allow younger defensive players more playing time, and they stayed true to their word against Kent State. Freshmen Pancho Thomas, Khalid Henderson, Fred Tiller, J.D. Harmon and Daron Blaylock all saw significant playing time against the Golden Flashes.

This week, more of those names show up on the two-deep depth chart. Senior defensive end Taylor Wyndham replaces sophomore Bud Dupree as UK’s fourth down linemen when the formation calls for it. Dupree has moved back to become the starter at the weakside linebacker spot, a spot formerly held by sophomore Tyler Brause. Brause has seemingly been benched, for this week at least, as he is now listed as the third-string middle linebacker behind sophomore Avery Williamson (the team’s starter since the spring) and Thomas. Listed behind Dupree at weakside linebacker are Henderson and sophomore Malcolm McDuffen.

Tiller and Harmon remain the team’s nickel and dime package cornerbacks, and will continue to see time in the secondary. Blaylock is also likely to rotate in at safety along with senior Mikie Benton, junior Dakotah Tyler and sophomore Ashley Lowery.

On the offensive side of the ball little has changed. Freshman running back Dyshawn Mobley is now listed on the depth chart, but remains the team’s fourth running back behind Williams, Sanders and George. However, this is the first time he has appeared on a game-week depth chart this season.

The same can be said for freshman wide receiver Demarcus Sweat, who is listed as the seventh and final receiver on the depth chart. The other six (senior La’Rod King, senior E.J. Fields, senior Aaron Boyd, senior Gene McCaskill, sophomore Demarco Robinson and redshirt freshman Daryl Collins) have not moved from their spots atop the depth chart during this young season, but Sweat is now included in their collection.

Boyd, who led UK with 11 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Golden Flashes, will make his second career start Saturday against Western Kentucky. Joining Boyd on the outside will be fellow seniors King and McCaskill.

Senior quarterback Morgan Newton is still listed as the team’s backup, and Phillips said he will be the guy should Smith go down with an injury. But Newton may also line up as an H-back in certain packages, much like he did on Sweat’s 56-yard catch and run last week. Newton had the block on the outside that helped spring Sweat loose into the open field, and the athletic freshman did the rest.

While Newton is not formally listed as anything but a quarterback on the depth chart, expect to see him lined up outside or in the Wildcat formation a few times a game in the coming weeks.

There are still no quarterbacks listed behind Newton on the depth chart, but it appears with freshman Jalen Whitlow taking snaps in garbage time after the Cats’ victory over Kent State that he will be the third quarterback on the team. This means it is likely that fellow freshman Patrick Towles will receive a redshirt this year and will not see action until next spring.

That being said, nothing has been officially announced in regards to Whitlow or Towles at this point, and should UK’s signal callers suffer a slew of injuries Towles is likely the emergency quarterback and would lose his opportunity to redshirt.