By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s been a year since Kentucky lost 45-7 at Mississippi State but UK coach Mark Stoops still remembers a fourth down-and-one play where the Cats had a great chance to stop the Bulldogs only to have quarterback Nick Fitzgerald get away for a first down.
“We actually had it completely stopped front side for a lost yardage play. One guy got out of his gap because of the way we were playing. He got up field and got weeded out. The other guys were over pursuing because it was fourth and one and it just creased us. But it was actually well defended at the point of attack,” Stoops said.
‘It’s just a perfect example of everybody doing what they’re supposed to do and not trying to do too much. It’s things like that, because if you get out of place he’ll expose you. That’s one example, but again, he’s going to get some yards. You’ve just gotta make sure you limit it as best you possibly can. The majority of the offense is going to go through him.”
Fitzgerald can make plays passing, but he can destroy defenses with his running ability — and has done that to Kentucky.
Stoops says his team must not face third and long against a physical, aggressive Mississippi State defense.
“Situational football is always important. It’ll be very important this week. Any two minute, any four minute offense or defense and third downs, red zone plays are very critical,” Stoops said.
“Third downs are very important. They always are. They do a good job trying not to get in third and long. We have to do a good job against their defense as well to try not to be in third and long.”