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By LARRY VAUGHT
Senior offensive guard Warford feels the offensive line has played well at times, but knows tougher times are ahead starting with the physical defensive front UK will face against South Carolina Saturday.
“There will be tougher D-lines out there in SEC play starting with South Carolina. We are just trying to steadily progress and I feel like we are doing that,” he said. “It is hard to tell how you play until you get some games under your belt like we have. We played against our defense for a couple of months and you don’t really know how far you have come because you get used to knowing their calls and exactly what they do. To get tested against other SEC teams is when we will really figure out where we are.
“There are freak athletes out there in the SEC. D-linemen running as fast as running backs sometimes. You just have to be ready for that. There are going to be really strong guys, really fast guys out there. You have to actually play against those type of guys to get an understanding of what it is like.”
Warford has been particularly proud of the way junior tackle Kevin Mitchell has played lining up beside him this year as a starter for the first time.
“He has picked up a lot since he has been here. We came in together. He started off a little slow when we first got here. These last couple of months he has dedicated himself to doing everything perfectly that the coaches tell us to and that’s why he is much improved. He has got so much better,” Warford said.
However, Warford credits center Matt Smith for being the line’s leader.
“He lets us by savvy. Once he makes his calls the rest of the line can base our calls off that. That helps our line so much with him knowing what everybody should do,” Warford said.
Warford’s play against Kent State earned him SEC Lineman of the Week honors, one of few times any lineman earns accolades.
“That was nice, but it was only for that week. I couldn’t rest my head on that,” Warford said. “I just have to keep going back to work and keep a level head. Don’t get big-headed. I have a lot more to work on and to think I am a complete lineman would be a killer for me. I can’t think like that. No lineman can.”