DEMAREE: The offensive theme -just make plays

Kentucky's top four receivers look to take the field for Saturday's Homecoming game against Mississippi State for the first time since coming off a slew of injuries. The Cats, as well as the fans, hope the return of Keenan Burton will jumpstart the Cats' offense, bringing them back to the point they were at the first week of the season against Louisville, when they showed how potent the Jocker Phillips offense can be when it is firing on all cylinders.

The last two games, we think it's safe to say the offensive production has been anemic. Early in the year the passing game was clicking and the running game was struggling. Now the running game is clicking and suing the passing game for non-support. What else is new in UK football? Even the defense has taken a step forward! The opponents third-down conversion rate was 60 percent going into the Ole Miss game but in the game UK cut that to 40 percent. Conversely UK's third down completion was 23 percent.

We asked coach Joker Phillips what is the key to picking the offense up? He said: "You can see the confidence in the whole unit. Last week Tommy Cook was still trying to get in condition. He took himself out the game a couple times. He said he might have felt his knee slip again but he realized it was just conditioning. Cook is our vocal guy."

Phillips said they went back to the Louisville game and watched the films and they discovered the only major difference in the offensive production then and now is the fact they made plays.

"The play may sometime be the wrong play for the situation or it may not be blocked that well, but you just have to make plays in this league. There was a play with the ball thrown to Tamme in the U of L game and people were draped all over him but he made the play."

The coach said that with Keenan Burton back the last couple of days the other kids have picked it up. They want to make plays like Keenan, he said. Phillips said you could see Holt starting to pick his game up.

"Keenan came back today and made some unbelievable plays with no soreness after effect," Phillips said. "Arlis' (Beach) role has grown and grown and grown. All he does is make plays. It's not all about stats with him. He knows every position on the field. He reminds me of a guy named Ernest Byner when I was with the Washington Redskins."

Jacob Tamme's role hasn't been as productive as they would like. Phillips admits they haven't done enough to get him involved.

Could the Cats be ready to be a threat offensively again? Perhaps, having the four top receiving guns featuring Keenan Burton on the field again at the same time will treat the home-coming fans to some offense fireworks!

"I feel good," Burton said, "just taking it a day at a time." He said the ankle and bone are good. He said it's just that the Achilles - tendon and the stiffness causes some soreness.

"I just want to focus on catching the ball. I've just got to make plays. You see guys like Chad Johnson (Cincinnati Bengals) make plays every Sunday. That's what good players do, they make plays."


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