Tag: Stephen Johnson

Gran plans to “take more shots” in the red zone

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Failing to score touchdowns in the red zone the last two games against Georgia and Tennessee probably cost Kentucky one win (Georgia) and wiped out any chance of a second win.

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran knows that has to change, especially in two weeks when UK ends the regular season at Louisville after hosing winless Austin Peay Saturday.

Gran indicated he’s going to “take more shots” inside the 20-yard lin.

Winning is what Johnson consistently has done

Stephen Johnson (15) has done a lot of celebrating during UK's 4-1 run. (Bill Thirry Photo)

Stephen Johnson (15) has done a lot of celebrating during UK’s 4-1 run. (Bill Thirry Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

His passing and ball security might be inconsistent, but one thing has been consistent about quarterback Stephen Johnson — he wins.

Kentucky is 4-1 in games where Johnson has been the primary quarterback and the only loss came at No. 1 Alabama.

“I think it’s certainly a great quality for a quarterback to have. He really does have good poise and resiliency. You have to at that position,” said UK coach Mark Stoops. “You hear us talking about it at all positions, but certainly at quarterback you have to put it behind you and move on to the next play.

Mark Stoops “very comfortable” with QB Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson (Keith Taylor Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Keith Taylor Photo)

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops had a lot to say about quarterback Stephen Johnson at Monday’s press conference as the Cats prepare to host Mississippi State Saturday night.

Stoops now says Johnson’s wrist injury “not an issue”

Stephen Johnson (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Monday night on his weekly radio show Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said quarterback Stephen Johnson had a “banged up” wrist.

After practice Tuesday, Stoops said that he did not want to talk about the wrist and neither did Johnson.

“It’s not an issue. He’s got a little banged up. Everybody is banged up and bruised. Nobody here is looking for that excuse, and certainly not Stephen. Everybody’s got to play banged up,” Stoops said.

Johnson ran the ball more in last week’s win over Vanderbilt when he was just 10 of 24 passing with one interception.

QB Stephen Johnson has “banged up” wrist

Stephen Johnson (Keith Taylor Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Keith Taylor Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

He completed just 10 of 24 passes against Vanderbilt, but UK won and quarterback Stephen Johnson offered no excuses for his lack of accuracy.

He wouldn’t even use the high winds as a reason for so many incompletions and certainly did not mention the wrist injury that coach Mark Stoops talked about on his weekly radio show Monday night.

Stoops confident Stephen Johnson can take care of football

johnson-4By LARRY VAUGHT

After fumbling three times against Alabama last week, Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson has spent a lot of time in drills this week working to secure the football better against Vanderbilt Saturday.

“We’re trying to strip it every time he has the ball. I’m not gonna beat a dead horse. He knows the deal. He can’t do it anymore. It’s unacceptable. That’s the deal,” said UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.  “So we’re gonna keep coaching it and coaching it hard and he’s gotta handle it. He’s gotta take care of the rock (football).”

Fast start would help QB Johnson, Cats

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Getting quarterback Stephen Johnson off to a quick start at Alabama Saturday night would be “real important” for Kentucky but coach Mark Stoops knows what won’t be easy to.

“We need to understand, with the mindset going into it, how difficult yards are going to be to come by and how you need to compete to get those yards,” Stoops said Thursday. “This is not a team where – some games you play where things come easy or you get big plays. You have to work for every yard you get against them and you have to compete at a high level to get those yards.

Gran says UK must “play our best football” at Alabama

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

“A bunch of war daddies” is what Kentucky coach Mark Stoops says his team will be facing Saturday night when it plays at No. 1 Alabama.

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran sees an exciting challenge waiting for UK.

“The No. 1 team in the country, we get to go on the road. It’s exciting. That’s why these guys came here, to play in this kind of atmosphere. We’re going to have to go out and play our best football,” Gran said Tuesday.

Johnson handled success, now can he handle South Carolina tonight?

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Everything quarterback Stephen Johnson did during last week’s 62-42 win over New Mexico State was impressive.

For me, what he did after the game was even more impressive. For the first time in his UK career, the junior college transfer was the postgame star. He was surrounded by TV cameras and other media members after throwing for over 300 yards and his first three UK touchdowns.

But he acted like it was no big deal. Johnson indicated he expected to play well and did nothing out of the ordinary. He was humble and thankful.

No “scared money” for Stoops with Johnson against South Carolina

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Two things that stood out to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops about the way quarterback Stephen Johnson played in his first big opportunity last week were his poise and his accuracy.

He threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the win over New Mexico State and will make his first start at quarterback against South Carolina Saturday night with Drew Barker out for an unspecified amount of time with a back injury.

Johnson’s threat to run adds a new dimension to the UK offense.