By LARRY VAUGHT
Immediately after Kentucky beat South Carolina 24-10 Saturday night coach Mark Stoops thought linebacker Josh Allen had a “quiet” game due in part to having to drop into pass coverage so much because of South Carolina’s formation.
Then Stoops found out Allen still had eight tackles, four tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks and a forced fumble.
He was dominant in the second half when Kentucky’s offense that shredded South Carolina the first half suddenly had trouble making a first down.
He has a tendency to do that. You get him in predictable pass and he’s very hard to block,” Stoops said. “And they were chipping him and as they should. They were putting a back on him and trying to … they would take some shots to try to hit him in the ribs. Nothing illegal, but I mean we do the same.
“But just good strong chip blocks and he’s going to get that. He’s going to command a double-team because he’s, you single him and they did a few times tonight, but the ball was coming out or he’s going to get there.”
Stoops coached at Florida State and has seen several big-time pass rushers that went to the NFL. Has he seen one play better than Allen is now?
“I can’t say that I have. I really can’t. He’s really a dominant player and he’s exceptional on his feet as well,” Stoops said. “Half the time I do want to look at … wonder why in the world I’m dropping him sometimes because he’s not blockable.
“But he’s dang good in coverage as well. He really disrupts things. He’s so good and comfortable on his feet and that’s where our length is helping us. Our defensive line length and our backers are getting bigger and our secondary’s long. So we like that.”