GAMEDAY: Focus on Kentucky Special Teams

Kentucky return man Keenan Burton had injured his wrist a few weeks ago, and tried to go this season, but the wrist failed to show signs of strengthening through rehab. Surgery was required to repair the damage. Burton was the 'Cats leading return man thus far returning three kicks for 88 yards.

He is expected to be replaced on kickoffs by Glenn Holt and Scott Mitchell, who have yet to return a kick this season. Junior reserve running back Draak Davis and freshman receiver John Logan have returned the 'Cats other three kickoffs this season, averaging 21.5 yards per return between them. It would appear that Kentucky will use Holt and Mitchell, both juniors, in hopes of securing additional yardage for quarterback Shane Boyd and the Kentucky offense. Opposing coaches know all too well about trying to work out of the hole after being pinned up at either end of "The Swamp". The noise level makes it very difficult.

It is not clear whether Holt or Mitchell might also take over the punt return duties. The Wildcats have been using true freshman wide receiver Dickey Lyons, who has averaged just 1.6 yards per return in eight attempts. With a poor average like that, don't be surprised to see Holt or Mitchell filling there.

Taylor Begley begins his third season as the placekicker for the Wildcats. Begley received All-SEC Freshman Team acclaim for his work. He hit 15 of 24 last season, but only hit 2 of 6 from beyond 40 yards out. He has a 44 yard field goal to his credit this season.

Punter Anthony Thornton is averaging 38.8 yards per punt this season. The senior from Louisville Male High School is in his second year as the team's starter. Thornton averaged 41.8 yards per kick last season.

Handling the long snap duties is sophomore Jason Dickerson. The 6'1 245 took over midway through the 2003 season. He played tight end and defensive end at Elizabethtown High School.

Kickoff specialist Clint Ruth has forced touchbacks on 50% of his kickoffs this season. The senior had 56.4 of his kickoffs go for touchbacks last season.

Florida should prepare for a 'Cat Attack when the Gators try to kick. Kentucky's Lonnell DeWalt blocked a field goal in Louisville, while Ray Fontaine blocked a PAT versus Indiana.

Wildcat special teams coordinator Steve Ortmayer played for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders in the NFL.

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