Wildcats defense gets first SEC Test

The Kentucky Wildcats visit the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday

By Michael Hicks

Rich Brooks knows this weekend’s game against Alabama is a chance to introduce his defense to the rest of the nation. Kentucky (4-0) is first nationally in scoring defense, allowing 5.5 points per game and is atop the conference in both sacks (two) and first downs allowed (45).

The Wildcats have yet to face an SEC opponent though; Louisville is Kentucky ’s most impressive win so far. The others Norfolk State , Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky are not murders row.

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Now it is time do it against an SEC team.

Tackles Corey Peters and Myron Pryor look like one of the best tackle tandems in the SEC. Junior Jeremy Jarmon is a pass-rushing force on the end. Preseason All- SEC corner Trevard Lindley has two interceptions so far this season. The Tide may catch a break if leading tackler Micha Johnson is not able to play with an ankle injury.

Brooks Knows in order to go into Tuscaloosa and get the win the defense will have to create turnovers. The Cat’s have a turnover margin of plus-four so far this season.

15 Comments

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  1. 1
    JW

    MAY be tight in first half but they will tire out in second.bama defense just to fast and big.look for mount cody to have big game.GOD BLESS ROOLLL;;;;TIDEEEE

  2. 2
    OMNIPRESENT

    Yea I look at it this way If Kentucky beats Bama watch out for the UK is all I can say, I think good game at first but then Bama pulls away in 2nd half

    31to17

  3. 4
    Floridan Blogger

    The matchup of Kentucky’s starting DL versus Alabama’s offensive line is probably a push. Both units will win their fair share of matchups. The matchup of Alabama’s DL against Kentucky’s OL, however, is a clear win for the Tide.

    The key matchup of this game, though, will be in special teams. It does Alabama no good to have long field goal drives if it allows Kentucky to run the ensuing kickoffs back for touchdowns. The Wildcats are deadly dangerous in such situations and if Alabama’s focus isn’t where it needs to be, the Crimson Tide can lose the game as a result.

    Provided Alabama keeps Kentucky reasonably contained on returns, however, the Tide will enjoy a clear advantage in most phases of the game. Don’t look for Alabama to blow out the scoreboard Saturday; the Kentucky defense is too strong for that. But Kentucky’s offense stands little chance of doing any consistent damage to Alabama’s defense.

    Look for Alabama to sell out to shut down the run, as it’s unlikely Kentucky’s receivers will be able to consistently attack Alabama’s secondary. Quarterback Mike Hartline will have to grow up before everyone’s eyes Saturday if Kentucky is going to pull the upset.

    Alabama must simply limit mistakes on special teams and play its own game everywhere else. If the Tide does, it will reach the season’s halfway point with an unblemished record.

  4. 5
    Bama Fan in NY

    This guy surely isn’t getting his hopes up.

    I’m expecting a letdown sooner or later, and while I hope it’s not this game, it could possibly be.

    Like you said, our kickoff and punt coverage is just flat out terrible. We’ve allowed two touchdowns in key games against UGA and Clemson, and not to mention UGA recovered an onsides kick, which led to a TD.

    Last year we went from having the one of the best units (as far as coverage goes) to one of the worst. Something HAS to be done because I would HATE to lose all because of special teams (Punt Bama Punt?).

    But who knows, Kentucky may come in and stuff our offense and make our defense look like eleven cream puffs. I hope not, but like I said, I’m not getting my hopes up.

  5. 6
    BamaBrando

    I think Kentucky has seen what Alabama is bringing. The challenge for them is can they stop it? Bama is not using trickery or relying too much on scheming this year, so that is the challenge for Kentucky. I know Kentucky beat a very physical LSU team last year, but the experienced QB for Kentucky is gone now. Bama seems to be in the zone, I think they are out to prove they can be as dominant in the second half, after what happened in the 3rd quarter last week.

    The thing that impresses me the most about the Tide this year is they really make people pay for making a mistake, while the Tide makes very few. I think it makes opposing teams play a little tight, for the fear of a turnover or penalty. In every game Bama has thrived on the oppositions mistakes, and it has directly lead to some of the games getting out of hand early.

  6. 7
    Ballplay Indian.

    If Kentucky can keep it close in the first quarter they could win. Bama is very reminisant of Sabans LSU teams. Coming out of the gate on fire. If you can weather Bamas first two or three possesions, you will have a better chance of winning.

  7. 8
    BamaBrando

    You are right Ballplay. But remember against Ark and GA, they had Bama stopped on their first drive, but stupid penalties kept the drive alive. And Bama scored TDs on both drives. I don’t expect that to happen every week. But even after that the Bama defense has also shut out everyone in the first quarter. I just wonder how Bama will play when they have to play from behind, since that is really the only unknown thing we haven’t seen yet.

  8. 9
    Bamaman

    Ballplay, you better just worry about Vandy not keeping it close since yall are unfamiliar with the goal line

    Vandy 17
    Aub 13

  9. 10
    LCN

    Exactly Brando. We haven’t trailed an opponent this year and I wonder how they will respond to trailing in future games.
    I don’t think there is too much of a difference between this year and last year’s squad except we’ve been able to come out and knock you off your feet. We couldn’t do that last year.
    Plus last year we had big leads on Houston, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Colorado, in the first half, and all of those teams came back to make it a game in the second half.
    About Vandy and Auburn, I think it’ll be close at first, but Auburn’s defense is nothing Vandy’s O has came close to facing this year. Auburn should win by 10 points at the least.

  10. 11
    Christopherson

    I’ll say Kentucky keeps it closer than expected, but Bama finds a way to pull it out in the end 24-21.

  11. 13
    JW

    YOU can stop them on first second or third drive but this team will find a way to win because they are that good.UNDEFEATED I SAY. GOD BLESS ROOLLLL””’TIDEEEEE

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