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.”