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Eddie Gran knows he used Benny Snell too much

Benny Snell ran for 175 yards against Florida. (Vicky Graff Photo)

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.”

3 comments

  1. No coach wants to use a player too much, but had Snell not been used as much as he was in that game, would the streak have been broken? I would say not. Maybe Saturday he can be used a lot less, and still get his yards for the record books

  2. Being afraid to give other players a chance is exactly how you end up with NO experience the following year.
    Use AJ more in the first half, then it is not so bad when you lean on Snell a little more in the second half.
    That excuse is exactly why we don’t experience at qb this year.
    You say you use Snell too much, and that you don’t use CJ enough; there is a very simple solution if you would open your eyes and trust your players.

    1. I agree OF. Rose has proven already this year he can play, over 100 yards against CM. He did at Florida too, but was used sparingly, as I recall, after one good carry. Look at David Bouvier. The guy is a senior, yet who knew he was even on the team. He just goes out there and makes plays. They say he was behind Walker last year, but to never see the field? Makes no sense. Look at his HS career. Great player. Yeah, I’ll say, trust your players.

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