By LARRY VAUGHT
Going into the season, Matt Elam was supposed to be perhaps the biggest key to Kentucky’s defense.
He had lost weight and had experience from last year to build on. Coach Mark Stoops was counting on him to anchor the defense line.
He played almost 80 plays the first game, but his playing time has dropped significantly the last two games.
“His development, he can do some good things when we’re in the odd front and they’re in big sets. So when he’s a zero nose and they’re in big sets. You know, so when we’re playing people, and they do play some 12 this week. They’ll be in a lot of 12 personnel so they’ll be in some big sets. So when we move forward in this league, he’s good at that,” Stoops said.
“When you’re asking him to do some other things in spread games and all that, it’s harder for him. And he’s not rushing the passer very good, but again, that’s not his strength.”
Translation, I think: Elam is doing okay stopping the run in power sets but has been ineffective when teams spread the field to run or pass — and most teams do that.
Junior college transfer Naquez Pringle got significant playing time last week against New Mexico State.
“A little more active. A little more activity,” Stoops said when asked about Pringle Monday.