Most Recent Posts
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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops says No. 1 Alabama’s defense has no real weaknesses. For offensive coordinator Neal Brown, it continues a patter he seems to have faced against Louisville, Florida and South Carolina in the last three games.
“ I think this is three defenses in a row that are in the top six (nationally). They’re really good. I think they do a great job of preparation,” said Brown. “I think that one of the key things that — and I watched them a lot this summer and then through their games the early part of this season — is anything that’s successful, it’s only successful once, you know what I mean? It’s not repeated.
“They do a great job not only in their game planning, but also during the game, of correcting things. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys from a schematic standpoint. They play the game the right way. There’s not much that sticks out when you watch them as far as weaknesses go.”
Brown says Alabama has about “11 of them” on defense when asked which players grabbed his attention.
He noted that defensive back Vinnie Sunseri is “playing well” and “gets around the ball” a lot.
“He’s got a lot of tackles, and he’s created some turnovers. I think he looks to me like their leader back there. He’s got a lot of energy” Brown said. “I think their linebacker tandem, especially (C.J.) Mosley, is as good as anybody’s in the country. They’re just deep. They’re really big up front. I think they’ve done a good job with their front four recruiting big, physical guys. And they play gap control. They do as good a job as anybody in the country of getting their hands on the O-line and really controlling the line of scrimmage.”
Brown said getting off to a good start is “key” against Alabama.
“We have to get off to good starts. As far as from a drive starter, and then on first down, we have to give ourselves a chance. Because when we’ve really struggled this year, it’s because we haven’t gotten off as a drive starter or on first down. We’re looking at second and long, and we have a hard time ever recovering from that,” Brown said.
Quarterback Jalen Whitlow earned the No. 1 spot and played the entire game in last week’s loss to South Carolina. He’s an Alabama native — and his sister goes to Alabama. He won a state championship on Alabama’s home field.
“I didn’t even mention it. He swears, which I don’t know because I lived in Alabama for four years, so most people are either Alabama people or Auburn people and he says he was neither, so I don’t know,” Brown laughed and said.
However, Brown knows it is important to get Whitlow settled into the flow of the game early.
“It’s what we’ve tried to do the last two games. He’s really started pretty well against Florida and against South Carolina and we did call some designed runs for him,” Brown said. “Really he had a pretty good first drive going there until we got a ball batted down. I think what he’s done is he’s calmed down, first of all and he’s got more confidence going into games because of his preparation. Preparation gives you confidence. The more prepared you are, the more confidence you’re going to have in certain situations.”