By LARRY VAUGHT
Before the season started I asked Kentucky coach Mark Stoops how hard it would be not to over use Benny Snell this season.
Snell is durable, dependable and productive. For a team used to having close games, that’s a hard combination to bring to the sideline.
Snell had 175 yards on 27 carries in Saturday’s win over Florida and carried the load in the fourth quarter when UK was protecting the lead and working the clock.
But give offensive coordinator Eddie Gran credit for admitting Tuesday that he kept Snell in the game too much — even though I’m not sure any other offensive coordinator would not have done the same thing.
“It’s a feel thing. Go back to it, give a little bit more of a pitch count for him, if you will, kind of know how many he’s going. It was hard to take him out at that time. As I look back, he had 52 reps (against Florida),” said Gran.
“As I talk to (Stoops) about it, I would’ve liked to have gotten (backup running back) A.J. (Rose) 10 more reps. That would’ve been perfect. So I’ve got somebody know who’s going to whack me on the head and tell me.”
Still, taking Snell out is not easy because even Gran admits the junior is one of the best running backs he’s been around.
“He plays with an edge. He plays like you’re supposed to play this game,” Gran said. “This game, man, you’ve got to have respect for it. You respect everyone but you fear nothing.
“We’ve got respect for this opponent and the next opponent and the next opponent, and you’ve got to go. You’ve got to get ready to go, don’t fear anything and let’s play. He plays like that every day in practice.”