Pash rush needs to better
It seemed like Dak Prescott had time to balance his checkbook and order pizza before our defense got to him on Saturday. Losing Melvin Lewis cannot be an excuse for the defense to not be able to put pressure on the quarterback. Pass rush is not Matt Elam’s strength like Lewis, “but other guys got to step up and be more effective pass rushers,” Eliot said.
Defensive line coach, Jimmy Brumbaugh, says more consistency will lead to better pass rush. A point of emphases this week in practice was releasing off the blocks faster and working on play action.
We will see more of the freshmen in the secondary
Derrick Baity and Mike Edwards are two freshman who’ve expanded their roles on the defense this week. Both are listed as starters along side veteran players. Eliot said that you should expect see more of both of these players. “He’s a very athletic player, he covers very well, very good in small places and he’s fast,” Eliot said about Edwards.
At one point in the Mississippi State game, the entire Kentucky secondary was comprised of all freshmen. Baity described the experience as fun. “Being young we are always going to practice with each other. We just had a chemistry out there.” Baity said. “We are brothers.”
With Baity coming in at 6’3” and Christ Westry at 6’4”, these defensive backs bring a lot of height to the defense on each side. “It’s hard to throw it over us,” Baity said.
“I like playing with everybody but us for four freshman, we got a connection,” Edwards said about the entire freshmen secondary. A game like Saturday in Mississippi State boosted Edwards’s confidence with the extra reps, and is ready to prove himself yet again against Tennessee.
The defense is focused on themselves right now
When asked about defending Joshua Dobbs after struggling to defend Dak Prescott, Eliot said “We’re more focused on us than concerning ourselves about the opponent. We’re really focusing on us getting better and improving from our mistakes.” Eliot knows his defense has to be better, but it is important to keep the focus where it needs to be.
Mississippi State was worst game of the season
Even though Eliot said the MSU game was the defense’s worse game of the season, he is not discouraged. Like Stoops said all week, there is no need to panic. “I’m not discouraged about our progress and I’m not discouraged about the future,” Eliot said.