kentucky football defense
A prime example was the fumble recovered for a touchdown with four minutes left in the game in College Station. After watching the leagues play that started their seasons before the SEC in late September, it was obvious the changes to spring practice, offseason conditioning and preseason camp necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic were contributing to increased sloppiness in early games. There is no easy fix to this issue, but Stoops, White and the other UK coaches are stressing team before individual. But it's also an indication of how strong a program Mark Stoops has built in his eighth year at Kentucky. The challenge of an SEC-only schedule should help UK’s defenders stay focused. Here are the issues that need to be addressed. Email Jon Hale at; Follow him on Twitter at @JonHale_CJ. They were 2-0, ranked No. Kentucky’s defense ranks last in the country in passing efficiency, Jacob Toppin on preparing for first season with Kentucky. Some of Auburn’s success was a result of the defense being put in bad situations, but Ole Miss carved Kentucky to the tune of 320 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air. Our coaches had them in good position. Of the 74 teams currently playing, Kentucky is one of three yet to force a turnover this season. "It was emotional for me all day just thinking about him and seeing that he just got to go home," Davis said. Lofty preseason expectations suddenly felt out of reach as Mississippi State came to Lexington, Kentucky, last week. When you fall to 0-2, you can respond with a reality check of the situation of ‘it is what it is’ and you can fold to the pressure or you can rise above it, man-up and own it and move on.”. The defense that was thought to be a team strength after returning almost every key contributor from a group that ranked second nationally in passing defense and 20th in total defense a year ago has surrendered touchdowns on 6 of 10 second half drives this season. "We tell the players that all the time. On paper, this did not look like a “get right” game for Kentucky’s defense. We’ve got to go back to work. This was an important bounce-back game for a defense with big expectations in 2020. Those comments speak well of the culture Stoops has built within his program, but the reality is Kentucky will not find much success in an SEC-only schedule without a better defensive performance. Every player wants to make a tackle, make a sack, make an interception or make a fumble, be able to make a difference. How does Kentucky avoid its season tanking before even playing an East division opponent? That's when Kentucky started proving that some teams in the SEC do actually still play defense. LEXINGTON – The challenge from Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White was simple in explanation, if not in execution. When the Volunteers (2-2, 2-2 SEC) turned to redshirt sophomore J.T. This defense is too talented and too experienced to be giving up the chunks of yards and points that we’ve seen in the first two games. I said that a week ago, that obviously when you get frustrated and didn't play like we wanted to defensively, part of that is on us. However, there are other things the stat sheet doesn't show. You wouldn’t know by listening to Kentucky … Kentucky football picked a bad year to have a bad offense. These guys keep West and Edwards fresh to make plays down the stretch. Just six quarters later, the Volunteers are in utter disarray with No. Davis and Watson had picks that occurred in the end zone, keeping momentum firmly on Kentucky’s side. "We were obviously in good position and we had the opportunity to make plays today and we did," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. While Kentucky and the rest of the SEC had a couple of extra weeks to prepare, the Wildcats have not been immune from many of the miscues spotted in those early games. And then it got to the point where I was talking to him a bit at the end of the first half like, stay patient, stay with it because it was working. Some of the struggles against Ole Miss have been explained away by the Rebels’ performance the next week against Alabama. “Some of it is play calling,” White said. 2 Alabama up next. After giving up 42 points to Ole Miss, and with Mississippi State visiting Kroger Field on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, what is the mood of Kentucky's defense? Kentucky RB Kavosiey Smoke out for 'a couple weeks' with broken rib, Some Kentucky football fans are unhappy with the offense — and Mike Leach may be to blame, 3 years after flipping from Louisville, Akeem Hayes is making an impact for Kentucky, Once paid in beef jerky, Mike Leach left an impact in short stint at Kentucky football, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. “I’ve got to make sure I put them in position to make plays and dial up a call or two that gives them an opportunity to get a free run on a quarterback or get their hands on a ball. The depth has been on full display as the unit overcame injuries to starters Josh Paschal and Quinton Bohanna in the last two games. It’s on all of us right now.”. Sacking the quarterback 16 times, having seven interceptions, and forcing six fumbles, ranks them 20th in the nation in interceptions, 26th in sacks, and 28th in forced fumbles. Jordan Wright’s pick-six with 6:25 left put Kentucky up 21-2 and sealed the deal for the Wildcats. And, again, I don't want to be beat up over clichés, but it's like when technique and opportunity meet, you're going to have an opportunity to make plays. Individual players have started to round into form. We have to find out who we are. We really do. And you have a good idea of what Mike likes and they like space. “We can’t let them read these things,” he said. Kentucky seeks upset over No. "Brad did a really nice job of keeping them off balance -- and he rushed four, everyone's going to think it was drop eight all night, it wasn't," Stoops said. “I feel like as a whole, the defense, we can always be a lot better when it comes to tackling,” junior linebacker Jamin Davis said. Through the halfway mark, this is the best defense Kentucky football has ever had, and they can make a case for being the best defense in the SEC. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a registered trademark of CBS Interactive Inc. site: media | arena: collegefootball | pageType: stories | Guys executed it very well.". After Ole Miss, the Wildcats were one of just two teams to play multiple games without forcing a turnover. They’ve already given up 7 passing touchdowns in their first two games this year. Currently 0-2 after lackluster defensive efforts in back-to-back games, Kentucky is scrambling to find answers for why its much-hyped defense has looked so bad through two games. Missouri ran 92 … Kentucky went from -4 in the turnover category to +1 after one game. LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky’s defense can’t force a turnover. But we don’t have time to wait until a bye week. Bounce back for defense. “It used to be that good defense beats a good offense. Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial. Bo Nix and Matt Corral have combined for a 195.63 passer rating. Kentucky vs. Georgia game thread and pregame reading, Saturday Quickies: Backs against the wall Edition. © 2005-2020 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. When the stakes are high, the Cats come to play. All rights reserved. “It doesn’t matter what it looks like on paper, every team has its own identity,” White said after his defense surrendered 35 points in regulation in a 42-41 overtime loss to Ole Miss. Kentucky football safety Yusuf Corker talks to the media after the Wildcats' 20-10 loss to the Missouri Tigers in Columbia on Oct. 24, 2020. When a pair of Tennessee linebackers recruited by third-year coach Jeremy Pruitt stacked up Georgia's Zamir White at the goal-line on the final play of the first half just a week ago, the Volunteers appeared to be on the cusp of returning to national prominence. Never miss the latest news from Big Blue Banter! The Cats next game is at Mississippi State, a team that defeated the defending National Champions in their first game only to lose to Arkansas in their next. The Wildcats are tied for last in turnover margin per game. Kirk Herbstreit comments on the state of defensive play across the country, especially in the SEC, and why we're seeing big score lines. “Tackling is of the utmost importance because we have to pin the ball to the ground and give ourselves a chance to make the next play.”, Profile:Once paid in beef jerky, Mike Leach left an impact in short stint at Kentucky football. "It’s all easy when things are going great. We had good technique. That’s not me talking. The performance could be enough to get Kentucky back into the AP Top 25 next week, or at least to the brink of it. I will be breaking down both sides of the football by each recruit. With the Georgia Bulldogs visit to Lexington looming, Kentucky will need to keep this up. Against the Aggies, Allen didn't register a sack, but he made a difference. This is just one example of the great depth along the Kentucky defense. 49: Kentucky ranks 49th in the nation when it comes to the time of possession. So you have to be patient at times and Brad really did a nice job. In total, they forced 10 turnovers in a six-quarter span covering the victory vs, Mississippi State game and the first half of the victory vs. Tennessee. And today we were in good position. ©2020 Big Blue Banter. He gave much of the credit to defensive coordinator Brad White. Freshman players like linebackers Deandre Square and Chris Oats make a difference and are gaining experience every week. “We’re just doing what we’ve got to do to prove everybody wrong.”.


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