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Sep 30

Joker’s Keys to Ole Miss

Posted by: Ryan | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Football

Every week Joker exclusively sits down with Eric Lindsey over at CatScratches.com blog and gives his keys to Saturday’s game. Here are his keys to this week’s contest verse Ole Miss:

Offensive keys to Ole Miss Game: “We’ve got to continue to execute when we’ve got a chance to make big plays. We can’t have any near misses. We can’t have any foul balls. We’ve got to make plays when we have chances to make big plays, and there will be opportunities. In every game there are opportunities to make plays, and we’ve got to have our playmakers make them and a couple of guys who haven’t made plays make them. … We’ve got guys on the perimeter making plays for us. But when it gets down to it and you’re on the road, the team that runs the ball the best is usually the team that wins. Do we have to throw the ball? There is no question about that, but we’ve got to start with our running game, which then gives us a chance to throw the ball down the field. We can’t just drop back and throw the ball down the field. It becomes really hard if you’re a straight drop-back passing team. We’ve got to do some play action, and to do some play action you’ve got to start with the run.”

Defensive keys to Ole Miss Game: “We’ve got to tackle. We’ve got to play fast, play physical and we can’t miss tackles. We’ve got to rally to the ball. If a guy does miss a tackle, there’s got to be somebody there to clean it up for us. …  You’ve got to get people to the ground where they’re just not running through tacklers, through defenders. In tackling you’ve got to try to come out the back end of somebody. You can’t think that I’m going to make a tackle from me to you and leave my feet. It just doesn’t happen that way. You’ve got to step on people’s toes. We’re not stepping on people’s toes and running through tackles. … We didn’t work them as much full speed tackling (in practice as we would have liked this week), but we did work on putting our face and feet on people, which I think will help us.”

On Containing Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli: “You’d like to keep him in the pocket. You’ve got to put an edge on your defense. If this guy circles your defense and gets outside of you, he creates problems. In open space, he’s tough to tackle. He’s probably a little harder to tackle than (Tim) Tebow because Tebow is not a guy that has great moves. He bounces off tackles, but Masoli is a guy that makes you miss clean, which gives him a chance to get to the next guy quicker. With Tebow, he’s a guy that tries to run over you. You can at least slow him down until somebody can rally to him. This Masoli kid in space is real shifty.”

Ole Miss Player to Key In On Linebacker Jonathan Cornell: “Their staring linebacker is leading the league in tackles. He’s a player that we have to be concerned with. He’ll be a force that we’ll have to know where he’s at all the time.”

UK Player Most Likely to Break Out: “La’Rod King is close. He’s a guy that is starting to make plays for us. He’s got to be more consistent in his playmaking ability. He had a couple of drops last week that would have been big first downs. He’s just got to play consistent. If he can put it all together, he’s definitely a guy that could be a big-play guy for us.”

Who Has to Step Their Game Up Linebacker Danny Trevathan: “The thing we’ve got to talk to Danny about is he’s got to be in there for four quarters. He’s the leader of the bunch. He was in there for three quarters last week. He’s got to do the right things if he’s going to be the leader and be the guy, the spokesperson for the linebackers. He’s got to do the right things. Having him in there for quarters definitely helps.”

Kentucky’s Strengths Through Practice – O-line continues to impress: “Our offensive line has been protecting our quarterback well. They’ve only given up one sack, which was late in the game last week, and our back gave away the other sack. So, we only have allowed two (total) sacks on the season. I feel good about our guys being able to protect the passer, and a lot of that has to do with the quarterback, too, understanding the protections and where his problems are. Mike (Hartline) has done a good job of that.”

Kentucky’s Biggest Concern – Consistency: “If we play like we practiced today, it will be ugly (against Ole Miss). When we go against scouts for 50 minutes on Thursday, everything should be clean. Assignments should be cleaned up. … When we go against the scouts, we can’t bring our level of play down to the scouts. We didn’t execute a lot of little things. Little things are what gets you beat on the road. I’m worried about it, but we’ve got to press ahead. The good thing is we’ve got time. We’ve got the rest of today for guys to get in the film room. Tomorrow we’ve got walkthrough. Starting Thursday, it’s mental. You’re not trying to get them physically ready. It’s all mental with assignments, first steps and those types of things.”

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