Chris Low of ESPN’s SEC Blog wrote a piece on Rick Minter’s efforts to shore up a defense that was, at most times, pitiful last season. The Cats gave up 48 points to Florida, 35 points to LSU, 54 points to South Carolina, 28 points to Mississippi State and 38 points to Vanderbilt in last year’s atrocious campaign. That’s not to say there weren’t a few bright spots. In the Cats’ last two games against Georgia and Tennessee, the defense gave up a combined 26 points and forced seven turnovers. That’s production that Rick Minter hopes carries over into this year. He said to Chris Low,
“We really proved to ourselves at the end of the season, one that we could compete with anybody in the conference, and two, our scheme works if we go out and play and execute it and play with emotion,” Minter said. “I think we at least set a tone, got some foundations laid. Now, it’s all about what we do this year.”
He hopes that the team will be able to do a lot this year, especially with the number of true freshmen who saw significant minutes last season. He cited guys like Bud Dupree, Eric Dixon, Ashely Lowery and Christian Coleman as some of the experienced sophomores returning for the defense. Minter has certainly brought a new energy with his coaching style. His is a defense full of players much less heralded than their SEC counterparts. If there’s any hope for them competing, then it will have to come from the coaches.
Expectations aren’t high for this year’s Football Cats, but with now that Minter has that first year under his belt, could this be the season that our defense plays the way we expected it to play with him at the helm? Either the defense or the offense is going to have to step up in a huge way this season. otherwise, we could be in for another long, long year.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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