Tag: Matt Elam

Stoops: “Matt Elam cares”

Matt Elam (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During the Governor’s Cup luncheon in June, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said senior defensive lineman Matt Elam was doing all he was supposed to do when he was with the football staff but had to have more discipline away from the field.

Then at SEC Media Days, Elam was called an “embarrassment” by SEC Network TV analyst Greg McElroy for his play on the field last year since he was a five-star recruit that turned down Alabama.

On Tuesday during the UK alumni luncheon at Kroger Field, Stoops defended his senior as UK gets set to start preseason workouts Sunday.

Expect Matt Elam to play more at Alabama

happy-elam

Matt Elam (69) may have earned more playing time against Alabama. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky  nose guard Matt Elam has taken a lot of criticism from fans over his play this season. Yet defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said Wednesday that he thought Elam “played hard” in last week’s win over South Carolina.

“I thought he came off the ball harder and struck blockers. I thought he even rushed the passer decent. We got some good push.”

Kentucky plays at Alabama Saturday night. Alabama is the school that Elam turned down to play at UK. Alabama is also a power team that could result in Elam playing more.

Give Lee Corso a game ball for comment that inspired Kentucky defense

By LARRY VAUGHT

Maybe Kentucky should give the game ball from Saturday’s 17-10 Southeastern Conference victory over South Carolina to ESPN analyst Lee Corso.

During ESPN College GameDay before the Tennessee-Florida game, Corso proclaimed that “Kentucky might have the worst defense in the history of college football.”

Of course, Kentucky did rank near the bottom of 10 national defensive categories doing into the game with South Carolina and had blown a 25-point lead to Southern Mississippi and allowed New Mexico State to score 42 points and gain 500 yards.

How has Matt Elam been playing?

Matt Elam (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matt Elam (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Going into the season, Matt Elam was supposed to be perhaps the biggest key to Kentucky’s defense.

He had lost weight and had experience from last year to build on. Coach Mark Stoops was counting on him to anchor the defense line.

He played almost 80 plays the first game, but his playing time has dropped significantly the last two games.

Elam’s hand in cast and mouth closed to media this week

Matt Elam's play could be just what the UK defense needs next season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matt Elam’s play could be just what the UK defense needs this season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s open football practice for media members today produced two surprises for me involving junior defensive lineman Matt Elam.

First, he had a cast on his hand.

“Nothing major. Just preventative. Just something with his thumb,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said after practice.

Second, Elam turned down an interview request. He’s always been a go-to guy for the media and I was a bit shocked he turned down a chance to talk (so did Denzil Ware). I wondered if he not liked something I wrote or said.

What players have to make big jump for Stoops’ Cats?

Matt Elam's play could be just what the UK defense needs next season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matt Elam’s play could be just what the UK defense needs next season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What player or players do selected Kentucky media members think have to make a big jump in August for Kentucky to be successful next season?

Tom Leach, UK Radio Network/Leach Report: “We’ve seen players make transformations over the summer in the past and this would be a great time for Matt Elam to take it to another level in preparing himself to be a force in the middle of the defensive line come August.  And other interior defensive linemen making that big jump would also be a big plus because the Cats.”