After a big performance in the Swamp on Saturday, holding Florida to just 16 points and no points after halftime, Kentucky’s defense needs to step up. But, they’re not, which tells the UK coaches one thing about this team – that they have experience. And, according to UK defensive coordinator Brad White, that’s a big part of the success.
“Experience is half the battle. Before anything else, if you know where the ball is going, if you understand what kind of offense he’s trying to run, you can counter that,” White said. “If you’re reacting back then that puts you in bad spots sometimes. But if you can imagine certain shapes and certain shapes, it allows you to play quickly. Experience is a big piece and I think we’ve gained it at different levels, which has proved beneficial.
The Cats have only won 12.ThThey outscored the Gators 26-16 at home and shut down dynamic quarterback Anthony Richardson, forcing him into a pair of game-changing interceptions.
However, the Cats handled their business this week with the maturity they know the UK staff possess.
“The guys know last week is over,” White said. “As soon as we came out of that locker room, we were excited on the plane. But we know we have a big challenge ahead of Sunday’s game. They are locked into it. It was good, it was strong, it was a typical game week.”
This week, Kentucky faces a different challenge. Last week, it was all about handling a tough road environment, an SEC opponent and a very talented quarterback, this week’s challenges are different.
Kentucky will host FCS Youngstown State at noon Saturday at Kroger Field. The White Penguins know they have the tools to light up the scoreboard.
“I see an offense that can score, run the ball really well,” White said. “That running back (Jal McLaughlin) is a great running back. As good a running back as we’ll see, arguably, all year. He is a little small in height, but he can fly. He is patient in the backfield and waits for blocks to develop. It will be a big challenge for us in the running game.
The White Cats will be hoping to handle this game just like they did last week’s contest in Florida. For this to happen, he is waiting for the maturity of the team.