UK’s defensive line top offseason concern for media members

Matt Elam's play could be just what the UK defense needs next season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matt Elam’s play could be just what the UK defense needs next season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Media members revealed in the first part of this series on Kentucky football that they were a bit more  optimistic about Mark Stoops’ program than many fans are after three straight losing seasons.

Today the same four media  members weigh in on their biggest offseason concern for the football Wildcats.

Question: What remains your biggest concern about the team going into the offseason?

Keith Taylor, Kentucky Forward: “My biggest concern is on defense and if the defensive front can stop the run, a consistent issue last season. The secondary is top-heavy and will give opposing offenses, especially passing teams problems next season. Linebacker play also is a concern going into fall camp.”

Tom Leach, UK Radio Network/Leach Report: “The middle of the front seven on defense.  The inside linebackers showed promise but the front guys on the inside will have to be better.  UK may have one of its best secondaries in years but they have to be able to put opponents into must-pass situations to fully take advantage of that talent on the back on the defense.”

Freddie Maggard, Kentucky Sports Report: “Identifying a third offensive tackle for the offense. Cole Mosier has played well at left tackle with a body type to play on the right side. Defensively, too easy; interior defensive line. The White Team or substitute OL absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage. Some of that was due to simplistic schemes, but one-on-one matchups belonged to the offense. Again, all other position groups are legitimate.”

Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader: “The defensive front seven. UK knew it was going to take a big graduation hit, losing Cory Johnson, Melvin Lewis, Josh Forrest etc. … but Jason Hatcher getting thrown off the team was an unexpected loss. While I don’t think what happens in a spring game typically means much, it was eye-opening — and not in a good way — how effectively the White team (the backups) ran the ball on the Blue team defense (the starters).”

2 comments

  1. The DLine is a cause for concern for sure.

  2. I could join in on this too. These DL boys have got to step up. Standing up and holding your position isn’t enough (unless you are occupying a couple of OL) . Our big guy in the middle (Elam) has just GOT to get a serious face on when he steps on the field. We expected so much more from him and he needs to expect more from himself. His time at UK is running down and the question he needs to ask himself is “How will I be remembered? How will the teams I was on be remembered?” Hey big guy, Follow the play down the field when they get by you because if the ball carrier cuts back you just might be able to make a tackle Matt! I see him with 3-4 steps and he’s done right now.

    On the positive note, just MAYBE our OL is showing some depth. Just MAYBE they are making progress there. I just hope we can let more than 6-7 of them get in a rotation. It’s so encouraging for backups to get some reps during a game. It gives them some film on themselves to watch during the week against an opponent rather than a teammate.

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