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Kentucky Must Prepare for "Monsters" at Georgia

Nick Roush11/17/17


Article written by:On3 imageNick Roush


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] John Paul Van Wert[/caption] Halloween is long gone, but the Kentucky Wildcats will come face-to-face with monsters this weekend at Georgia. "Their speed and their size, they're just freaks of nature out there," quarterback Stephen Johnson said this week.  "Those guys are phenomenal." The Georgia defense is second to only Alabama in the SEC in every defensive statistical category except pass defense, thanks to an excellent front seven. "Georgia is as good as there is in the country on defense," offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said.  "Their front seven is really good.  I tell ya, they are coached well.  You can see it when they play; their hands and technique is really good.  The secondary is really good too, but that front seven, they're the real deal." If you look at last week's scoreboard, the 40 points Auburn put up appear to contradict that statement.  Gran found a few things on film he can use to his advantage, but it doesn't take away from the pedigree of the Bulldogs' defense. "I think Auburn, they got 'em on a couple of things that were misdirection, but I think every week you have something that you feel like you can exploit.  Just like they've got stuff on us that they know they can exploit.  You just try to dial it up at the right time." Defensively, Kentucky's only option to combat their three-headed running back monster is with brute force. “Chubb and Sony Michel, they’re both just monster backs. Those guys are just really quality players," Mark Stoops said.  "You’ve got to respect them and the physicality of their team.  That’s what they want to do: they want to pound the football." Kentucky's first priority is to stop the run, but they can't overreach and leave the secondary vulnerable to big plays. "If you think just off the run, they’re going to hurt you outside as well," Stoops said. "Those are always teams that are very difficult to defend. When it starts with a physicality of an unbelievably talented running backs and physical offensive linemen.  And then you load up and they can hurt you outside." Georgia's rushing attack will put pressure on UK's defensive line.  Arguably the Cats' toughest challenge to date, if the D-line is stout, it takes pressure off the rest of the defense. "This is going to be a big-time test as far as physicality," defensive coordinator Matt House said.  "With these backs, if you give them a crack, they take it.  So we gotta do a great job of being in our primary gap, being physical in that gap and then tearing off and controlling it."   Kentucky knows who they are up against.  They can't worry too much about the other side of the football.  Kentucky is focused on Kentucky first. "Our main thing is that we're going to have to be really good at first down efficiency and our third down efficiency," Johnson said.  "If we can do those things very well, we've got a really good chance of coming out of this thing happy." [mobile_ad]

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