Coach's Corner is a weeky KentuckyScout feature with one of the Wildcat staff members discussing their unit. In this edition, UK offensive coordinator Randy Sanders reflects on last week's performance against Louisville and preparation for Saturday's game against Kent State.
KentuckyScout: For starters, what color is that visor?
Randy Sanders: (Taking off dirt- and sweat-stained UK visor that is trending more toward beige than its original white.) I'm going to have to start bringing out my good visor for these. It's my second one in seven years. My other one got so bad that it finally got retired.
KentuckyScout: After watching tape from the Louisville game, what were some of your thoughts?
Randy Sanders: It was very much like I said after the game. There were some good things. Games like that, when you're playing a good opponent, there's probably five or six plays that make a huge difference. And that's exactly what it was. You're never going to execute every one perfectly, but we had opportunities for about three big plays in there that we didn't take advantage of. And there were probably two or three negative (plays) that we'd like to correct. Guys played hard, they played with a ton of effort. We threw and caught it well. I thought we blocked well. We just didn't score enough points. We've got to correct those four or five or six plays where we score more points.
KentuckyScout: How did you go about deciding to go with the no-huddle, hurry-up style of offese?
Randy Sanders: I talked to everyone we knew who had experience with it, talked to a lot of different places. Not going to go listing all the names, but we did a lot of research on it. It wasn't something that was a fly-by-night decision. We made the decision pretty early after last season and committed to it. The guys have done a great job accepting it and making it work.
KentuckyScout: Will this signal a change in the overall style you've had the last six or seven years?
Randy Sanders: We've practiced so much of it at the line of scrimmage, the no-huddle, that our guys haven't forgotten how to get in the huddle, but it is strange to them. It really is. We're never going to lose the ability to get in the huddle or get under center and take the snap, but we're trying to do whatever we can to score points and move the ball.
KentuckyScout: What is it about Maxwell Smith that allows this style to be successful?
Randy Sanders: The thing he has that lends itself to it is he sees things well, he has the ability to get the ball out fast, and he's phenomenally accurate. A few of the little screens we through Sunday, it was amazing how fast he was able to take the snap, get a hold of the ball, and throw it to a receiver across the field. Some quarterbacks have that ability, some don't. He obviously does.
KentuckyScout: Did you speak with Peyton Manning about the no-huddle?
Randy Sanders: No. Peyton and what they do is completely different.
KentuckyScout: Is there any concern about the shotgun and the number of running plays available to you?
Randy Sanders: No. You still have the same number of run plays. The first half last week, we were 50/50 run-pass on first down. We had six passes, six runs on first down. We were pretty efficient. The plays you call is not affected as much by whether you're in shotgun or not, but moreso by formation and personnel grouping on the field. I thought we ran the ball very efficiently last week. I wish we had been able to run it more, but the game kind of got away from us and we weren't able to run it as much as I would have liked to.
KentuckyScout: What about Coshik Williams and how he's emerged as the top guy on your tailback depth chart coming from a background as a walk-on and competing against a lot of more high-profile signees?
Randy Sanders: Once he got his opportunity last year, he made the most of it, and he's worked hard to keep it. When he got the opportunity, he did well and earned our confidence and trust. He earned the team's respect and the team's confidence. Once you know the people around you believe in you, a lot of times it does wonders for your self-esteem. He's playing with a lot of confidence right now.
(Editor's note: Williams, who had 10 carries for 62 yards and three catches for 21 yards against Louisville, will miss Saturday's game due to an injury.)
KentuckyScout: Now that you've seen Daryl Collins in an actual game, what kind of weapon can he be in your receiver corps?
Randy Sanders: I was really excited about what Daryl did Sunday other than about one play or two plays. Again, I keep saying that a lot about everybody. But other than that, he played really, really good. We've got to clean up those one or two plays, but I've never been anywhere that there wasn't one or two plays guys needed to clean up. You just hope it's not one or two plays that hurts you, and that's kind of what got us the other day. We didn't have many mistakes, but the few that we had really hurt us… I think Daryl's a good runner with the ball. We have three or four guys who are pretty dynamic runners. I don't know if we've got anybody like Randall (Cobb) who it doesn't have to be one-on-one – it can be one-on-two or more and he still could do something with it – but we do have some guys who can win one-on-one battles and make something happen.
Coach's Corner with Randy Sanders
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