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Senior trio returning to UK has helped Cats develop big-time defense

Josh Allen with UK coach Mark Stoops after the win over Mississippi State. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky seniors Josh Allen, Mike Edwards and Jordan Jones all could have left Kentucky after their junior seasons to try and play in the NFL. Instead, all three came back for a senior season and all three have had a huge impact on Kentucky’s suddenly physical, stingy defense this year.

I think it definitely affects the team in a positive way because those guys came back with a mission. Their leadership is paying off and it sets a great example for our young players as well to see what they’re doing and what they’re doing,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said.

“Those guys have vested. You see them on the sideline and I mean, I love them, they’re just a good group, but there’s some things in there that I even had to chuckle at. I love it. It takes me back a little bit. I don’t really want to get into it.”

Come on Coach. Give us a little bit.

“Darius West is over there, he’s just like, he’s a maniac. I love it. I mean he’s just like, he wanted to rip people’s faces off on the sideline and I’m like, ‘Easy here, big dog.’ But like I love that. And it’s not in a bad way, it’s like, it’s like getting everybody to play at a high level. They’re all like that,” Stoops said after Saturday’s 28-7 win over Mississippi State.

Stoops was a highly respected defensive coordinator at Florida State before taking the head job at Kentucky. Now he has a big-time defense at UK thanks in large part to the return of Allen, Jones and Edwards.

“”It’s very gratifying to have the team be able to play physical like that and get tough yards,” Stoops said. “When everybody in the stadium knows you’re going to run and you still run it for yards, that’s a good thing. And the defense coming up with big stops all day. Is this right? Did they have 201 yards of total offense? Is that true? Is that the total?”

Yes it was the total and that’s a big reason UK is 4-0 this season and now ranked 17th in the country.

14 comments

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  1. Great UK “D” this trio is big time. Also, what a head hunter in Zach Johnson on special team.

  2. Strange group of couch coaches here @ Vaught’s Views.
    Yesterday this coaching staff couldn’t develop a turnip .
    Today this is a “great UK D this trio is big time.”

    1. What did you do PK at Augusta, carry your CEO’s bags? Can I have you auto graph big shot? I have not heard much out of you lately, now that Stoops has seemingly righted the ship you have to pop off. Some of us here on Vaught’s Views just call it like we see it. UK football deserves a ton of credit now, but it is about time. I was a UK football fan when you were pooping yellow hot shot. Opinions are like noses, everybody has one.

  3. Pup…..agree with you that PK needed to be roughed up a little bit. He has always had trouble accepting the facts and the truth. We couldn’t tackle or pass defend last year and this year we can. Congrats to the Stoops, staff, and the team. We now have a defense we cal all be proud of. I just wish Westry would play up to his abilities and not sure we will see that.

  4. Look there are always two sides to every coin. Some here show the negative side and assume that just because others choose to be positive that we are some how not seeing what they see and need it explained to us. What a laugh. We just choose to look at the positive. Changing the culture of a team and it’s fan base is a hard thing to do ask any BB coach in the SEC. But when you attack players as some (MIke) chooses to do it is beyond just being a frustrated fan. IMO . Heck if you are a UK FB fan you know frustration very well but still that is no reason to attack players and coaches. It’s like some think that the coaches don’t care. They do the best they can and that best is starting to bare fruit. You can sign a 4 star guy who doesn’t live up to the stars and you can have a two star guy (Josh Allen) who causes more false starts than I have ever seen in a game before. In short those whose chose to be negative rarely flip the coin over and look at the other side until forced to (4-0) so that they can keep up their narrative (dooped by Stoops). But hey that’s ok with me I lust choose to be positive. Be who you are. GO BLUE OR STAY HOME!!

  5. UKFAM…..IT’s ok with you but you will vent anyway. I don’t believe I am the on;y one on this site that calls them as I see them….and will continue to do so..enjoy the ride.

  6. Mike I expect nothing less from you. LOL I always enjoy the ride win or lose because I choose to.

  7. Last year our defense was TERRIBLE…this year it has been VERY GOOD…Stoops got credit THEN and he gets credit NOW.

    1. Totally agree Mike

  8. UKFMLY, just because some fans criticize a program does not mean they don’t support the program. Let people express a view point here without preaching to them. It has taken me years watching losing football at UK to realize th is. I drank theUK football cool aid for years, ever hoping for UK to be a real contender, never criticizing. I just got tired of sorry football at UK year after year, and ticket prices getting higher and higher. So far this year has been a real thrill to those of us who have watched UK football struggle for years, never getting any respect in a football driven conference. UK 2-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1977 is absolutely hard to say, but good to see.

    Let Calipari start losing basketball games and watch what happens at UK with many in their fan base. Let’s be honest here, they wouldn’t put up with it, and you know it! Would UK basketball fans put up with losing basketball year after year like UK football fans have? Let Saban start losing football games at Alabama and see what is said by some of their fans.

    Coach Stoops is righting the ship this year it appears, and it is good to see. Most of us “die hards” are giving him a ton of credit that he surely deserves, but he still has not won an East Championship or an SEC Championship yet. I know it takes time, and Stoops has earned more time as far as I am concerned. Fans want to win, and complain is what many fans do. Don’t take it so personal. Mike, myself, you, PK, and everyone who posts here on VV’s have the opportunity to express their feelings. We are all pulling for the same team, that is a good thing, is it not?. These coaches are getting paid big money to produce. Criticism comes with the job. Peace my friend.

  9. Good point Larry Pup, Go cats!

    1. Thanks Cats79.

  10. Look my post are consistent. All I have said and all i am saying is I choose to be positive in my post while other can be negative in in the face of a historic start. Nothing more nothing less. I just try to offer a brighter side than most. It’s funny you say I preach. At least my preaching is positive. You have some of the longest negative sermons on the site. Like I said the coin has two sides

    1. Whatever. You don’t have too read my post if you are that offended at what I say. We are not talking about coins on VV’s, we are talking about sports. I am going to be closely watching your posts from now on to see if there is ever any trace of negativity concerning UK teams, basketball, football, or whatever, or their coaches. I will be looking for consistency.

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