LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following Thursday morning’s practice, University of Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips complimented the consistently of sophomore placekicker Craig McIntosh, going so far to say that if the Akron game was Thursday, McIntosh would do the placekicking.
“If we went today I think that we might go with McIntosh (for field goals and extra points) and (Joe) Mansour would be our kickoff guy,” Phillips said. “We have everybody just focusing on one phase.”
Phillips said that the competition for kicker has been open every week and, as of now, McIntosh has been the most consistent this week.
Last year, McIntosh handled the kickoff duties for Kentucky’s last 10 games, posting 11 touchbacks in 51 kickoffs. The native of Lexington, Ky., finished 2009 ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference in total touchbacks. He has no career field goal or extra point attempts for UK.
The Wildcats practiced inside the Nutter Field House on Thursday because of heavy rain in the Lexington area, something that Phillips would prefer not to do.
“No, especially on Thursday,” said Phillips when asked if he liked practice inside. “On Thursdays we try to work all of our kicking phases and we were able to get the coverage by throwing the ball down the field but we weren’t able to get our kickers as much work as we like to on Thursdays.”
Continuing with special teams, Phillips said that he really likes the personnel that the Wildcats have on special teams and getting some players back healthy is also helping that.
“I like our personnel,” Phillips said. “One thing that we did was we tried to focus on getting our best personnel on the field and I like where we are personnel-wise. We still have some guys that are beaten up that we couldn’t put on there but I like what we have available. We are trying to hold (Martavius) Neloms and (Randall) Burden (off special teams) because those guys have been beat up a little bit but we do get a couple guys back like Dakotah Tyler and guys like that.”
Neloms to Wear No. 13 in Honor of McCaskill:
Kentucky sophomore cornerback Martavius Neloms, who usually wears jersey No. 15, has decided to honor injured wide receiver Gene McCaskill by wearing jersey No. 13 in Saturday’s game against Akron.
McCaskill tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee on Aug. 14, has undergone reconstructive surgery, and will miss the entire 2010 season. A junior from Chester, S.C., McCaskill will be able to use this season as a redshirt year.
This is the third-consecutive game that McCaskill is being honored this way. Wide receiver Chris Matthews wore the No. 13 jersey in week one at Louisville and junior linebacker Danny Trevathan wore No. 13 last week against WKU.