UK coach Rich Brooks and offensive coordinator Joker Phillips will spend a lot of time this week trying to get the offense fixed after the Cats gained only 218 yards and converted just 1-of-18 third downs against the Gamecocks.
Lyons’ loss hampers a receiving unit that been struggling even with him in the lineup. Freshman Randall Cobb resumed his quarterback/receiver role after sitting out virtually all of the past two games with a high ankle sprain. Cobb caught eight passes for 52 yards against South Carolina, but Brooks said he could get more snaps at quarterback behind sophomore Mike Hartline.
“We’ll just have to judge that as we go forward,” Brooks said about the quarterback situation. “Obviously he had some conditioning issues. He tweaked his good ankle, but his bad ankle made it through OK. We’ll have to see how its respond. But (his time at QB) could increase a little bit. We just need to find some way to move the football.”
Brooks said the offense is having a difficult time getting all of the positions on the same page.
“It takes 11 guys on offense to execute plays,” Brooks said. “We had eight, nine, sometimes ten people executing sometimes, and then somebody would make a mistake. We just have to go back to fundamentals and get things moving.”
Much like South Carolina last week, UK is catching Arkansas fresh off its biggest win of the season. Junior tailback Michael Smith ran through the Auburn defense for 163 yards, and Arkansas held a 416-193 advantage in total yards.
“That was a huge win for them on the road,” Brooks said. “They moved the football on a very good Auburn defense and ran it extremely well, and they smothered Auburn’s offense. It’s eerie. It looks a little bit like it did against South Carolina. Now we’re catching (Arkansas) when they’re starting to put things together. It’s a huge game for us to get back on track and try and get a SEC win.”
Brooks ruled right tackle Justin Jeffries out of this week’s game. Right guard Stuart Hines (knee) will also be out. Receiver DeMoreo Ford (shoulder), linebacker Mike Schwindel (shoulder), receiver Kyrus Lanxter (shoulder) and tight end Maurice Grinter (ankle) are all questionable.