By LARRY VAUGHT
Sophomore running back A.J. Rose had been waiting for his chance to play a major role for Kentucky’s offense and when he got it against Central Michigan, he took advantage.
He had his first 100-yard rushing game and scored twice but coach Mark Stoops said that did not surprise him.
“I’d been seeing that. He’s been more consistent, he’s been playing that way, he has the talent,” Rose said. “We, once again, have to clean up a few issues. He gave up a pressure that we believe was going to lead to a very, very big play. Those are things this past week, this last game we felt like there were five opportunities for big plays and we gave up a bit of pressure here, different guy every time.
“It wasn’t like just the offensive line or just the running backs. Overall they did some very good things. When we have an opportunity to have some big plays we need just a fraction more protection and we have some opportunity for big plays. A.J. was one of them.”
Starter Benny Snell told Rose before the game he was sick and Rose needed to be ready for additional playing time. Stoops said that also didn’t surprise him because the two roommates are close friends.
“That’s a lot like our team right now. I think that was evident with those two and Benny certainly helping him and as I mentioned about A.J., is him looking himself in the mirror and improving on any of his weaknesses,” Stoops said. “He has the talent and is playing very good football. He’s playing better and better.
“The protection things will come with some playing time. I think the team is a lot like that. There was zero panic on the sideline Saturday. There was no finger pointing. Everybody’s just going to move on to the next play and that’s what the team did, so I was very pleased with that.”