We all know that the primary question mark of Kentucky’s defense this year will be the inexperienced secondary. There will be growing pains along the way, but after watching Florida last night their passing attack shouldn’t scare any of our back line defenders. Last night, Junior Feleipe Franks completed 17 of 27 passing attempts for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns. At first glance that doesn’t seem bad at all. However, nearly half of those yards came on two long completions to Josh Hammond & Kadarius Toney (66-yard TD on his lone reception). By no means can you take away those big plays because that very easily could happen to the ‘Cats, but it is encouraging to think about the fact that the Gators didn’t exactly pick Miami apart through the air.
The other encouraging aspect is that Kentucky will almost assuredly put more pressure on Franks than the Hurricanes front 7 was able to provide. Miami only was able to get 1 sack and 3 QB hurries in last night’s season opener. If the Wildcats secondary is the position group of question, our front 7 is expected to make plays. Assuming that UK is able to put more pressure on Franks than The U did last night, it should help alleviate some stress on the young secondary and cut down on big plays.
With Kentucky’s offense expecting to make more big plays of their own this season and a talented D-Line and Linebacker corps, the secondary just needs to have a bend, but don’t break mentality. Even if Florida is able to connect on a couple of big plays, their lack of ball security last night will make up for just a of couple miscues. September 14th is expected to be one of the most challenging games on the schedule this season, and the Gators certainly still have plenty of talent. Undoubtedly they will correct some early season mistakes before they make the trip to Lexington. Still though, if the ‘Cats secondary can just be adequate there should be opportunities to disrupt Feleipe Franks and the Gators offense.