Does Stoops trust defensive backups?

Linebacker Jordan Jones had 19 tackles, but also played over 80 plays last week. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Linebacker Jordan Jones had 19 tackles, but also played over 80 plays last week. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky  had to play 95 defensive snaps last week in its 44-35 loss to Southern Mississippi. That included linebacker Courtney Love playing every snap, linebacker Jordan Jones — who had 19 tackles — playing over 80 and nose guard Matt Elam almost 80 plays.

“We played our starters too many snaps,” Stoops said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. “We’re going down in The Swamp, different talents, probably very hot and humid. Hopefully we won’t have 95 snaps again but you never know”

So will he trust backups more this week to play against Florida, a top 25 team?

“We’ll get them ready and that just comes from hard work in practice and the trust to get them in there and get them some game reps,” Stoops said. “We’ll run some guys along this week, play some different guys up front, try to get our backup nose in there a little bit, Naquez Pringle. We’ll get him some reps.

“We feel like we have another pass rusher in De’Niro Laster that we can get in the game some out on the edges to play. Tymere Dubose is coming off a knee injury, played some for us a year ago. He’s been coming off a knee surgery that was some time ago but he’s getting closer and closer to game ready so we hope to bring him along as well.

“We have a freshman in T.J. Carter who we feel like is going to be a very good player but we’ve got to get him settled in and be able to execute.”

So not exactly a vote of confidence for the backups. Or at least that is the way I take it, especially combined with what he had to say after Saturday’s game when he was asked if he thought the depth would improve.

“Depth is about bringing guys along to where you trust them to put them in a game. That game there was a lot on the line, as you know, and as the momentum got going against us, you sometimes are a little hesitant to put in some guys that haven’t had a lot of experience,” Stoops said after the loss. “So that, we have to get more confident in the guys that we have before them to develop that depth in game situations.”

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  1. Never heard such a thing. Hell you can lose with the No. 1’s in there and UK does all the time. Put some backups in and build some depth and give your best a breather, and backups playing time. Playing the same people 80 and 90 snaps is crazy in all this humidity and heat. Don’t see how they do it at the swamp. I thought Stoops commented before this game that UK had more depth If not, what have they been doing all this fall camp? I know they released a two deep chart. Play em!!!! This guy instills no confidence in his players at all. He made that clear this week when he commented on Jordan Jones’s play at practice. He apparently didn’t know who would start against USM, Eli or Jordan until damn near game time. Look at the game Jones had!

  2. The more Stoops speaks the deeper he buries himself and his credibility. Difficult to believe that we are 4 years in and no positive changes from a reputed defensive guru. I have said it before and will say it again….I can’t imagine having a worse coach than Stoops. I would even take Derek Mason over him because he knows more and has shown more defensive results than Stoops. I disagree with some of Mason’s decisions but disagree a lot more with Stoops’s ineptness. How can we be so good in BB year after year and so bad in FB year after year? This one is on you again Barney.

  3. Makes me scratch my head sometimes…………. Nick Saben said it best in an article I read this afternoon. “When a big guy is out of gas, he’s done until the next day. A little guy can get recharged in a few plays and go back in but your big guys are done period when they are out of gas.” That being said by a coach that knows a little about managing a team like Alabama why would not Eliot put in a sub to rest his big guys. A fresh sub is at least equal to an out of gas starter even if the sub can’t rub two matches together to make fire.

  4. Decries the claims throughout August about having depth

  5. Couldn’t have been any worse. Might as well have subbed them in.

  6. It’s a good thing Stoops isn’t running for political office. To be a good politician you have to be a good liar. To be a good liar, you have to be able to remember the lies you previously told!

  7. I may be wrong, but I have always felt a complete lack of depth is on the coaches; especially, after 4 years for working with them. If the first guys aren’t getting it done, as is usually the case in the second half, play some backups in the second quarter to give your #1s some rest.

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