DEMAREE: Jimmy Heggins to smooth out O-line

The perceived trip to the upper echelon of the SEC was aborted after the seven game mark of the season. Fans and the UK team's delusions of grandeur was brought back down to earth. Admittedly, it was fun while it lasted but water eventually seeks its own level. Make no mistake, there was every reason to believe the Cats should have and could have won the Tennessee game but they didn't.

For the most part, this was a better offensive line and in the first half of the season, they performed proficiently. But then starting with the sacks they gave up in the Florida game, the o-line hit bumps in the road that caused the offensive production to wane. Offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins has the responsibility to smooth out those bumps and his offensive line to be the catalyst for the offensive production that was exhibited in the first seven game of the season. What happened?

"I think we got nicked up and bruised and I think we lost our focus," Heggins lamented. "The people we were playing were pretty doggone good, too. When you play Georgia, LSU, Florida, Mississippi State, you are going back to back, to back, to back is going to catch up with you."

"Talent-wise caught with us, too. You've got to be ready every week and when you've gotten to that point where you've got to be big and strong enough to compete each week, your body wears down." The coach is right. By comparison, look at LSU offensive left guard Herman Johnson, 6-foot-7, 356-pounds and UK's Jason Leger, 6-foot-1 (generously), 285-pounds. "Guys body that big doesn't wear down as much."

Leger believed the Cats reading their press clippings contributed to their problem."It was the idea we played some good teams, we beat LSU, we played Florida close and I think a lot of people around us were saying we had arrived and doing what we are supposed to do. Some of the players got our heads in the clouds more than what they should've been. It took us a few games to get back down to figure out, we're not as good as we thought we were," Leger admitted.

The mindset was a problem for the Cats according to left tackle Garry Williams, as well. Williams, who was voted post season second team All-SEC lineman explained, "I think we lost focus and thought we had arrived after we beat LSU. Now we are back in to thinking and going back in the season to where we were at, fighting every day and struggling. Being a team we know we were instead of thinking we were already there." Williams, who is a junior said he doesn't want to throw it all away and they will be focused in the bowl regardless of who they line up against across the line.

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