Tennessee coaches talked about playing Kentucky Saturday during Monday’s media opportunity.
Here is what some of them had to say:
Butch Jones, head coach: “In terms of Kentucky, we are playing a very talented and physical football team. I have a lot of respect for what (coach] Mark (Stoops) has built there and what he continues to build there. They have won three out of their last four games. They have controlled the football on offense. They are averaging nearly 400 yards on offense, they have 215 yards rushing per game and they have two rushers with over 750 yards.
“They have big-play wide outs who are tall and athletic. They have quick twitch receivers who can make plays in the screen game. They can throw the ball; the quarterback can make plays with his legs and arms so he is talented. Everyone talks about the wildcat offense and they do a great job with that. It is a sense of physicality that they play with.
“Defensively, they have big corners out on the perimeter that can man you up. They have a very strong defensive line that can hold its gaps, but they are blitz oriented. They are going to play what we call a bear front. They are going to cover one and force us to beat them. We are going to have to take tremendous strides in moving forward, but we are also looking forward to Noon at Neyland. It will be a great opportunity for our football team.”
Defensive Coordinator Bob Shoop: “No. 18 (Boom Williams), No. 26 (Benny Snell) and No. 3 (JoJo Kemp) are all very good runners. The coaches are very committed to it and I think that is the strength of their team but they do have receivers who are out on the perimeter who are very good players. Their offensive line works as a unit well, their tight ends block really well. They are a good offensive football team.”
Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator Zach Azzani: “They are really tall (at cornerback). I think one corner is 6’4″ and the other one is 6’3″ and they are very well coached. They are aggressive. They feed on pass game. I think the first game of the season, they had three picks and dropped one. So, they are ball hawks. They are tall and rangy which is their philosophy. They play a lot of them so they present a big challenge, for sure, just because of their length.”