LEXINGTON — Sophomore Darrian Miller has played in 17 games, including five starts this season, going into Saturday’s Southeastern Conference game against Mississippi State. His play is one reason Kentucky is averaging 119.6 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per running attempt.
He shared these thoughts after practice Wednesday:
Miller: “We were pretty confident in the line that we had. It was just the preparation in the offseason.
Question: How do you feel you have played?
Miller: “I¿feel like I¿have played fairly well. There is always room for improvement. That is why we come out and practice.”
Question: What has been the biggest difference in your play compared to last year?
Miller: “I¿have gotten a whole lot better in my technique and knowing my assignments and the exceptions to the assignments. I am a little bit more physical. That comes with experience and more time in the weight room. The more comfortable you are with what you are doing, I¿guess the more you can put yourself out there. You are not as cautious when you go to make blocks. The weight room has a lot to do with that.”
Question: How has it been playing with redshirt freshman Zach West starting at guard beside you for the first time?
Miller: “It has been a lot easier than I expected. I guess communication between us comes naturally. I don’t know how that works, but usually it is something you have to work at intently but we haven’t really had to put that much work into it. I guess it just comes with knowing the offense.”
Question: Should that get even better the next few years as you play more together?
Miller: “I hope so. I don’t really know. I can’t see the future, but I¿think that how it works.”
Question: Does going from Maxwell Smith at quarterback to freshmen Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles impact you?
Miller: “No, not really. It changes some of the schemes we do, but it hasn’t changed how the offensive line plays. They both do well. They are both really good passers and can both run what they need to.”
Question: What does Towles do to impress you?
Miller: “He seems really comfortable in the pocket and that helps out the offensive line a little bit.”
Question: Since you talked about how hard it was to play as a true freshman and how you had to fake your way through some things, do Towles and Whitlow have to do the same?
Miller: “I would think so, but I¿am not sure.”
Question: Can you tell them anything to help them based on your experience?
Miller: “Basically just study as much as you can.”
Question: What do you think of the Mississippi State defense?
Miller: “They are really big. They are always in the correct positions. They are very good up front. I hope we can do the things we want to do because to win, we have to run the ball.”
Question: Does playing so many young players keep this team enthusiastic and optimistic?
Miller: “You can’t give up. If you give up, you can’t progress. I think eventually we have the right players here and the more we play, the better we will be.”
Question: What do you think lies ahead in the next seven games?
Miller: “Pretty impressive things. I am really looking forward to these next few weeks.”