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Eliot: Cats “harping” on fundamentals, bye week helped injured players, including Dupree

By LARRY VAUGHT

Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot says the Wildcats are “harping on fundamentals” as they come off a bye week preparing to play at Mississippi State Thursday night.”You think a bye week is a chance to get better fundamentally. You’ve got to become efficient tacklers coming off blocks, playing balls in the air. Just harping on fundamentals,” Eliot said Sunday. “I think the attitude’s been good throughout the bye week. We’ve just got to keep pushing them to be the best they can be, and part of that is that attitude.”Eliot said the defense is “significantly healthier” thanks to the bye week.He says Jason Hatcher, Avery Williamson and Blake McClain, who are all playing with some type cast on one hand, are coping better.

“I think they’re getting used to carrying around that extra weight on their hands. It’s getting better. The cast doesn’t change, it’s not going away. But I think they’re getting used to using it,” he said.He also said end Bud Dupree, who missed the Alabama game, has been “practicing every day” and gives the defense a boost.

“Bud’s one of our best players, if not our best player. I think Bud has a huge impact in everything we do on defense,” Eliot said. He also praised McClain, a true freshman defensive back who has played some at linebacker.

“He’s done extremely well for a freshman. He’s very mature, so that helped him. Sometimes you just get a freshman like that, that can handle it. Doesn’t get stressed and is able to perform at a high level early, and he’s been able to do that for us,” Eliot said.He said Mississippi State likes to play fast and “they start fast” most games.”They have an option-type offense from the spread look. Sometimes, the speed of the game is hard to adjust to. You’ve got to come out ready to go knowing that they’re going to have tempo, and we have to be able to adjust,” Eliot said while noting some things are similar to UK’s offense. “They’ve got an up-tempo offense like we do. Some of the Q-run may be a little different than ours. Their quarterback is very athletic, makes a lot of plays on his feet. He makes good decisions, got a strong arm. I think that he makes the thing run. He’s the key to that thing.”

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18 comments

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  1. Mike

    Don’t seem to hear much on Cobble…has he been injured and missing games??.haven’t heard his name mentioned much lately and thought he was supposed to be a stud.

    1. larryvaught

      He is fine. Just not making plays

      1. JCC

        I had the glasses on Cobble during the Bama game(quite a few plays) and I don’t know why but he kept standing straight up then look for the ball, by that time he had got lost or got blown out of the play. Seems to me the whole UK “D” was intimidated.

  2. Anonymous

    Blake McClain is not your average freshman…been a real pleasant surprise!

  3. Little Baron

    So the BBN is finally going to get to see the fast paced offense in action!
    oooops…
    Miss State has a fast paced offense…
    Wow… I was excited there for a minute and thought we were actually going to witness UK’s new offense!

    1. John

      T eams are built over time.
      R espect this board
      O r one of
      L arry’s
      L unitic fans will call you a …….

  4. John

    We won’t be seeing a fast paced offense as long as Max ‘3 and out’ Smith is QB.

  5. Little Baron

    Quite frankly, I never thought this would be he case, but Joker was much more impressive his first 6 games than this staff has been. Yes, he inherited everything he had, but he also did a few things to improve on the status quo – such as receiving the ball to start the game since we had a powerful offense. Unfortunately he did not continue to capitalize on what he had, and went downhill starting at mid-season of his 1st year.

    I know this staff did not inherit an already effective offense, but this staff has remained stuck in the same doldrums on most series, as we were last year.

    Here’s hoping something inspires them to get out of their slow offense rut and open it up the last 6 games. We need a NEW football CULTURE and it is not yet visible on the horizon in this offense which is ineffective and forces the D on the field too quickly!

  6. Larry Pup

    Joker never played the schedule this team has faced early this year either. LB have about giving them a break. All we hear out of you is complaining, and second guessing. We all knew going in this was not going to be easy this year. How about giving this staff time. Geez!!!!

  7. Mike

    LB….right on the money with those comments. I think this staff showed their hand on our very first game and not a lot of improvement since. They all keep talking in the same generalities, and I think Brownie came in with exaggerated credentials because he has not shown yet that he is capable of putting an exciting brand of offense. Of course, our Achilles heel is that we still don’t have a SEC quarterback. This tandem is no better than adequate backups. What in the world do we have to lose by taking the red shirt off of Towles. This should have been done 3-4 games ago.

    1. RJ

      I’m glad it’s not just me. Your’s and LB’s comments are in real danger of being, if not correct, relivent. I would disagree about pulling the redshirt off of Towles. Let him develop this year. He got thrown into a tough situation last year when he really needed the redshirt. Besides, if he was head and shoulders ahead of Smith and Whitlow, he would be playing already. Brown maybe suffering the “first season flu” but he is not an idiot. If either of the redshirts were ready to play at that level, he would have them in there.
      Secondly, our receiver corps is much better than last year but not ready for prime time yet as eveidenced by all the dropped balls. It doesn’t anyone any good to pull a redshirt if there is not a demonstrated ability to catch balls on a consistant basis.

    2. JCC

      I think what may end up happening is we loose a couple of those guys. I may be dead wrong but I can’t see Drew Barker riding the pines at UK for 2 years and with the other 4 capable qb’s we have someone is going to end up leaving. We just don’t have depth to be loosing players right now. Jo Jo needs more carries and if they do not do something with Mobley, he might be bye-bye!

      1. Ira

        JCC,

        I’ve been wondering about Mobley myself. To many backs next year, not enough carries this year. Wouldn’t be surprised at all he transfers out next year. Same with a QB or QB’s. Let Barker get the start, bet we see one of them gone as well.

        Brown can call a good offense, but until our QB and our WR’s get in high gear, not much he can do. We may still have a long season ahead of us till they do.

        1. larryvaught

          Ira, why UK has five receivers already in 2014 class. And tend to agree with you on Mobley. With Kemp already here and Williams and others coming, going to be tough on him to get in the game very much

  8. Kokamo Joe

    Some have been critical of this coaching staff, including some who post here. I remain optimistic about the future. Please remember that Phillips left the cupboard bare.

    For years we have used the supposed strength of the SEC as an excuse why the Cats have not been able to compete in this conference. We have latched on to losing SEC records, cup cake wins and low level bowl games under Brooks as success.

    UK can compete. The SEC may be the strongest conference at the TOP, but there have been bottom feeders along with UK, and there always will be. Mid level teams are beatable and there is no reason why Stoops cannot get to a point where he can go toe to toe with mid level teams and challenge the top dogs occasionally.

    Florida recently was the big SEC dog. They are beatable now. Ditto LSU. Ditto Auburn.
    At present the only SEC team ranked in the top ten beside Alabama is new comer Missouri. The ACC has more top ten teams than the SEC.

    Let us stop beating the drum for the SEC and thinking that little ole UK just can’t compete. We can. Give Stoops time.

  9. Mike

    I believe that Towles came in as a 4*. Is it possible that this staff and Brownie have not been able to coach Towles up? Or is it possible that he got out of favor with them the first part of the year for something that hasn’t been made public? I, for the life of me, cannot figure why both Towles and Phillips are not getting a shot. I remember that during early fall work that Phillips was showing as much, if not more, than all of them.

    1. RJ

      I agree Mike. Philips looked very good.

  10. Little Baron

    Thanks, Mike!!!
    And I also appreciate all the comments/views, though I may not agree or you may not agree with me.

    I back this staff and want them to get loosened up and not be afraid to open up the offense. I believe they thought Whitlow was better than he actually he is, because our defense is not SEC caliber to practice against, and that is not a knock against Whitlow – he is talented, but just not an Air Raid QB… we need a passing attack installed so the team can adapt. Surely, if we had utilized all 6 games to go with the Air Raid, and slipped in some Whitlow WildCats as well as some dual QB situations, with both in the game (Whitlow and a passer), we would be more flexible than we are right now.

    And, I sure agree about the running backs – JoJo and Mobley – needing more touches. The passing game will open up the running game.

    If this staff continues to let Whitlow get the bulk of the plays – running instead of the running backs, and passing short passes instead of airing it out – we are going to have some running backs wondering why they are watching and blocking instead of running.

    I am trying to look at the big picture, and we need Towles to at least get a shot – give him a ful game. Smith is NOT 100% and we do not need any QB playing with sub-par health when we have 2 standing in the stables ready and willing to lead this team. Even Whitlow is still not cleared for this week, just a few days away, and he should not be in the game (and I want him somewhere besides QB) until he is 100%.

    Well, at least my position has not wavered… we need a passing QB. And, really, some of you guys would not have anything to disagree with if it wasn’t for a few of us continuing to plead for “un-redshirting” Towles.

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