Stoops proud of way secondary performed

Derrick Baity, right, had one of UK’s four interceptions Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

For a coach who prides himself on having solid players in the secondary, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has gone through a rough season.

His pass defense has been torched — and his team has not been able to force turnovers.

At Vanderbilt Saturday, UK still gave up just over 300 yards through the air. But this time UK had four interceptions — including three in the first half when it built a nice lead in what turned out to be a 44-21 win.

“It was real important to get turnovers. We were frustrated because we hadn’t gotten many in the past two and a half games or whatever it was. So, we stressed it, but I really like the way they played the football,” Stoops said.

“We were competitive all night. I also think it was important the way our offense was running the ball and scoring, and we were playing good run defense kind of making them one dimensional and that helped us as well.”

Stoops felt his secondary responded to the challenge against Vanderbilt. Next will be a game at Georgia, which got trounced by Auburn on Saturday.

“Nobody’s gonna be running around beating their chest. We have seven days to prove it again against a very good team,” Stoops said. “I’m proud of them, I told them that.

“I love the way they’re competing, the way they’re practicing. They have great pride in what they do and don’t want to let the team down. They want to play well and they did that.”

2 comments

  1. UK looked good on both sides of the ball. Nice to see them win by a large margin. This is what the fans expected to see against the weaker teams on their schedule, instead of barely winning.

    The defense put pressure on the QB and made big plays. Snell was a beast and Stephen Johnson was not limping and was careful to not take big hits when he scrambled.

    Even though I disagreed with Stoops suspending the punter, at least he played the third string guy, instead of burning a red shirt season for the other kid.

  2. It is easier to make an interception when you are actually looking at the ball, rather than face-guarding the receiver. UK’s secondary has had that problem most of the season and finally started looking for the ball yesterday. Good to see that change and I hope it continues.

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