Better tackling, more depth helping UK defense do better job stopping run

UK's defense has improved its tackling the second half of the season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

UK’s defense has improved its tackling the second half of the season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

The first three games this season, Kentucky had trouble stopping the run and gave up 42 or more points in each game. The last six games UK’s run defense has been much better.

“I think that we’re tackling better in the run game. I think that some of the long runs we’ve had the one time were a couple missed tackles and then it led to a long run. So I think we’re tackling better in the run game,” UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said.

“And then in the pass game, we just, at times, we don’t execute, we don’t play technique sometimes or maybe we don’t get enough pressure. You can’t always blame the back end because if you get to the quarterback then he doesn’t get the thing off. So, those are things we have to make sure we limit, you know, and prevent from happening.”

Additional depth has been a key to  UK’s improved play in the defensive front.

“You’ve seen more action from T.J. Carter. T.J. Carter is a freshman defensive lineman who’s played more for us. You’ve see Tymere Dubose coming back from the knee surgery on the field more often,” Eliot said.

“You’ve seen Eli Brown be able to play in that front seven and spell Jordan Jones. You’ve see the development of Naquez Pringle, so now Naquez and Matt Elam are playing at the nose guard position. We’ve been able to use Alvonte Bell and Adrian Middleton at times. So our defensive line and our front seven, we’ve been able to get more guys on the field and they’re able to keep us more fresh.”

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