UK Football Notebook

"Morgan threw the ball a lot better than his numbers read, but he has to get btter. He missed some easy throws, but I am proud of the way he performed in the second half," Phillips said.

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips knows what his team must do to play better than it did in Thursday's narrow 14-3 win over Western Kentucky.

"We have to get some things we have been seeing in practice translated to the game. We have been seeing us play a lot cleaner than we played last night," Phillips said Friday. "We have seen guys go up and make plays down the field that we did not make. We ran the ball efficiently in practice against our defense (and didn't in the game)."

He also didn't downplay the fact that his offensive line, considered a team strength, did not play well against the Hilltoppers, one reason UK?had just 190 yards of total offense.

"They did not play well at all. They will be the first to tell you that. We have to get better up front," the coach said.

He noted that every starter — and center Matt Smith did not play — had been injured during traning camp except tackle Billy Joe Murphy and he sprained his MCL against Western but continued to play.

"We have to get those guys playing together as a unit. They did not perofrm the way we expected," Phillips said. "They have all been banged up. I never thought it would have affected us, and I am not one to say it did. I don't know. I just know we did not play well as a unit and we have to get them better this week."

What about quarterback Morgan Newton, who was 7-for-18 passing for 97 yards with one score and three interceptions?

"Morgan threw the ball a lot better than his numbers read, but he has to get btter. He missed some easy throws, but I am proud of the way he performed in the second half," Phillips said after Newton's 58-yard run and 31-yard scoring pass in the second half. "We were not expecting to have him in the second half. He sprained his (left) thumb (in the first quarter) and we thought he was out for the game. An X-ray showed it was not broken, but he could not move it. I?am proud of the way he sucked it up and played and won the game for us."

Phillips expects Newton to have treatment leading to the Sept. 10 game with Central Michigan and be fine to go since the injury his on his non-throwing hand.

Defensive end Collins Ukwu is also expected to play against Central Michigan.

"He is day to day. He has a bruised shoulder," Phillips said. "It will be a day to day thing. We have to get him treated. He was playing at a really high level. He made a few plays for us and played like that all training camp. We need him for our defense."


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