Kentucky coach Rich Brooks accused Middle Tennessee State of stealing some of his team’s signals during the Wildcats’ 20-14 win last Saturday.
Chip Cosby of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that this isn’t the first time that Kentucky has felt like they’ve been spied on. Last year during Kentucky’s 54-50 four overtime loss to Tennessee, towels were placed around members of the staff in order to cover up signals.
“They were either getting them from the field or the press box,” Brooks said of MTSU. “They might have gotten some help from Tennessee. Tennessee had them last year.”
The games against MTSU and Tennessee were played at Lexington.
Kentucky (3-0) won’t play again until Western Kentucky visits Commonwealth Stadium on Sept. 27, but there will be more re-evaluation than relaxation the next two weeks.
That was the message Brooks delivered.
Brooks told the Louisville Courier-Journal he’ll use the upcoming practice time to evaluate “all the positions” on his team.
“This is an evaluation time where we can go back not only (to) the past game but the past three and evaluate our play — what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong, who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong,” Brooks said in a teleconference. “If they don’t start getting better at it, there will be switches made.”
Brooks said the evaluations will be across the board, but he indicated that Kentucky will put a particular emphasis on examining its field-goal kicker and wide receivers.
Former Central High School standout Lones Seiber missed four field-goal attempts against Middle Tennessee. One of those was blocked in the game’s final minute, a play that Brooks attributed to an improper protection scheme and miscommunication from the sideline.
But Seiber consistently pulled kicks left, Brooks said, so Kentucky will take a look at redshirt freshman Ryan Tydlacka, who shares punting duties with Tim Masthay and is Seiber’s backup.
Brooks also said he’d like to stop rotating so many players at wide receiver.
The Wildcats’ receivers have been maligned for dropping passes, running improper routes and misunderstanding quarterback Mike Hartline’s play calls at the line of scrimmage.
“We’ve been working eight guys, nine counting (quarterback/receiver) Randall Cobb,” Brooks said. “I would like to get the rotation down to six. … The next two weeks of practice will determine who out of that eight is going to slide into the top six.”
Hartline, who passed for 254 yards and two touchdowns against the Blue Raiders, likely will have plenty of time to work with receivers in the next two weeks.
Cobb, the former Alcoa star, has an apparent high ankle sprain, and Brooks said it’s “doubtful” that he’ll be ready to play against WKU.