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Kentucky offense needs to make improvement against big-time Florida defense

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

You’ve heard the coaching cliche many, many times. A football team will make more improvement from week one to week two than it will any other time of the year.

But is that really true?

“I think there’s a lot of truth. There’s a lot of truth when you have new quarterbacks, I think when you have young guys,” Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said. “The speed of the game on Saturday when you’re going through camp, it just changes.

“Partly there’s a little cliché to that, but I do think you do. You start to, hopefully, you’re getting better every week when you get into those situations. I think we’ll definitely — we have to, we have to improve.”

That’s because Kentucky, coming off a four-turnover win over Central Michigan, plays at Florida. Kentucky has lost 31 straight times to the Gators.

Kentucky quarterbacks Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak both made their collegiate debuts last week. Both had good moments and some moments not quite as good.

Florida’s defense has often dominated Kentucky. What makes the Gator defense so good?

“All of their d-front is big-time SEC defensive front. Their linebackers are fast. Secondary, their two corners are long, fast. They’ve had a lot of experience. They’ll press you, physical. They’re really good.

 “They all click. It’s a great defense. It’s a great challenge for us. Great challenge.”

New Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham faced Kentucky in 2016 when he was at Louisville and last year when he was at Mississippi State before coming to Florida with new coach Dan Mullen.

“Great guy, great coach. A lot of respect for him,” Gran said. “Shoot you go all the way back to the Louisville game too how he attacked us and how we attacked them. They’ve done some same things from that Louisville game they did at Mississippi State and they did at Florida. It’s all the same.

“He’s gonna have wrinkles. There’s gonna be stuff that we have not seen. There will be stuff he has not seen. It’s a chess match. It’s awesome. It’s what it’s all about.”

2 comments

  1. A great front D line? They gave up 225 yards rushing. They may rise to the occasion against us. The operative word there is “may.”

  2. The UK offense needs to have a legitimate vertical pass threat, and must get turnovers under control.

    4 in one half, none in the other half? Two seasons ago, turnovers nagged at the team all season, and last year, UK was one of the best in the SEC protecting its possessions from turnovers. I believe there is enough history to have reasonable hope that turnovers will be brought under control by this team.

    The passing threat remains a question for this team in week 2. It would not surprise me to see UK try to go deep very quickly Saturday night against the Gators.

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