By LARRY VAUGHT
Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurt might be a different type quarterback than Alabama has had in recent years but Kentucky coach Mark Stoops says the Cats will see a typical Lane Kiffin offense in a lot of ways tonight.
“They are different in their approach, but the same in a lot of ways. The same in a lot of ways in that it starts with being extremely physical. Big backs, big line. The quarterback is different and they’re doing it different ways out of the gun. He adds a different dimension with pulling the ball and running it with another big guy. That sets up big plays off it,” Stoops said.
“They love the waves, play actions, over routes, boosts, getting the ball down the field. They can certainly do it and he can deliver the football. So, that puts a lot of stress on you. And that’s, that just goes back to a different way of running it. They put a lot of pressure on you and have talented guys. Extremely physical. That’s the big thing. Their wideouts outside can go. It’s stress across the board.”
Stoops says while Kentucky has faced dual-threat quarterbacks this season, it has not gone against one like Hurt because of Alabama’s physicality.
Hurt does not play like a freshman, either.
“The first thing that jumps out at you, he’s extremely talented but he looks very poised back there. He’s got a big, big, big time arm and looks good with what they do and how they keep you off-balance. It’s a challenge. But he does not look like a freshman, no,” Stoops said.
Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot agrees.
“He’s extremely talented, very athletic, a strong arm, for a freshman he’s really got a grasp for that offense. It’s very impressive. He’s tough to bring down in the run game,” Eliot said. “He’s also an accurate passer that makes good decisions. He’s a very good player.”