The Defensive line’s pass rush
When defenses have to rely on blitzes from defensive backs and linebackers to influence opposing quarterbacks, vulnerable voids strain pass coverage. UK must somehow manufacture defensive line of scrimmage pass rush. 2015 UK defensive linemen only totaled 5.5 quarterback sacks.
Linebacker unity and communication
Let me make this clear, the linebacker position is not a concern. 2016 will actually be the first season that DJ Eliot and Andy Buh will have quality depth across the board. But, there will be two new starters at inside linebacker as well as open competition outside. UK’s front seven could potentially look different than in prior years. LB talent will be upgraded, but it will take time to collectively mesh.
Consistent quarterback play
The new offensive coordinator can remedy this uneasiness. A diverse and balanced offensive system that maximizes current personnel strength can lessen quarterback strain. A 16 interception to 10 touchdown ratio must improve going into 2016.
There were stretches in 2015 when the Wildcat pass catchers left the BBN awestruck. Down the stretch, not so much. A fresh perspective from a new receiver coach and offensive coordinator may motivate the highly skilled group into maximizing on the field talent. Just a hunch, but I think this pre-spring concern will transition to a fall strength.
Offensive tackle pass protection
Reverting back to quarterback inconsistency, on far too many occasions Wildcat quarterbacks had less than 1.5 seconds to make a read. Matter of fact, UK surrendered 30 quarterback sacks. Take notice of this position during the spring game. There’s no way around it, to enjoy offensive success, OT’s have to play at a much higher level in 2016.