By LARRY VAUGHT
Anyone surprised that Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday that running back Benny Snell is beat up must not understand football.
Snell has rushed 199 times for 1,033 yards and 10 scores in nine games this year. That’s 22 carries per game — and seven of those games have been against Southeastern Conference defenses.
Stoops refused to say Snell was worn down. Instead, he called it “beat up.”
“Play as many snaps and run the ball as hard as he does and you’re going to get beat up a little bit,” Stoops said Monday. “I’ll see him later on today. His ankle is more of a bruise than it is a sprain, so we’ll see how tender that is.”
He hurt his ankle late in the first half of last week’s loss to Georgia. I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t play at Tennessee Saturday.
Kentucky has struggled to run the ball the last few weeks as defenses have crowded the line of scrimmage to stop Snell and dare quarterback Terry Wilson to throw.
So is it the UK offensive line not opening holes or Snell not finding them?
“It has something to do with the guys on the other side of the line as well,” Stoops said about the defenses UK has faced. “So I think it’s a combination of all that.”
The coach said the offensive line had been “inconsistent” recently like other positions on the team have been.
“I feel like there’s many many groups that you can get better. They’ve had some good moments. They’ve been inconsistent this past week,” Stoops said about the line. “There’s a couple of critical mistakes and again, I think, as I mentioned earlier, a fraction more protection here or there and we have an opportunity for some big plays. Margin for error is small.”