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Kentucky defense better make more competitive plays against Alabama

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Kentucky gave up 408 yards and 35 points Saturday to Vanderbilt, a team not exactly known for its offensive prowess this season.

So even though UK won 38-35, those numbers are certainly worrisome knowing Kentucky’s next two games are against No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Florida. 

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, a defensive-minded coach, was not happy with his team’s defense and didn’t mince words after the game.

“It just seemed like to me that it was one of those games where they want everybody else to make the play, not them,” said Stoops. “That’s just how I felt. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Part of the yards and points came against Kentucky backup defenders after the Cats built a 17-point lead in the second half. Linebacker Jamin Davis had 15 tackles, his third straight game with 10 or more tackles. 

“I’m sure there are some guys that played very hard, but to me we were just out there oozing, just lining up, expecting somebody to make a call, stop somebody instead of making plays and trying to stop people,” Stoops said.

“It was evident. We made very few competitive plays.”

Davis, UK’s most consistent defensive player this year, knows the Cats have things to “clean up” defensively but cannot overreact because Alabama and Florida, two high powered offensive teams, are next on the schedule.

“We don’t worry about anything. Like I said before we don’t pay attention to outside noise and what-not. We just prepare the same way we would prepare for anyone else and do what we got to do to come out the right way,” Davis said.

Larry Vaught
Larry Vaught is a seven-time winner of the Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year award and has covered University of Kentucky sports since 1975. Larry now has a syndicated UK sports column appearing in 34 newspapers across the state as well as, and Larry also joins Mark Buerger and Anthony White on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports each week in Lexington as well as appearing each Tuesday with Tom Leach on The Leach Report.

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