Kentucky football open practice

Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. (1) at open practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Just three days from taking the game field for the first time in October, the Cats spent their bye week doing several things: getting healthy and back to the basics.

The biggest health question seems to lie on the shoulder of quarterback Sawyer Smith, who did his best to quell any concerns.

“I’ve been practicing all week, I’m ready for the game,” Smith told reporters right as he got to the podium. “… I’m out here playing football, and having fun with it.”

Outside of the opening statement, nothing was revealed about the injury and how it potentially affected him.

“I’m just playing the game, and trying to get through it,” he replied when asked about the impact it played in his last two games.

Another player to use the extra week to work his way back from injury is senior safety Jordan Griffin, who played limited snaps the past two contests with a lower body injury.

“I’m feeling much better, and I’m ready to get after it,” he said.

Defensive coordinator Brad White felt the bye provided an opportunity to get another wind and juice back into the unit, as well as reassess the fundamentals of what they are trying to accomplish.

“It was good to sort of, go back to ground zero,” he said. “And just reenergize, refresh, get back to what defense is all about: playing hard, playing physical.”

Griffin echoed that sentiment when asked about what the defense did during the extra week.

“Honing in on the little things, you know,” he told reporters. “Reflecting on our film, reflecting on ourselves, just challenging ourselves to get better in every aspect we possibly can.”

The team is trying to put a better foot forward on Saturday night as their nearly month-long hiatus from Kroger Field will end when they face the Arkansas Razorbacks.