— The offense heard it from Eddie Gran. Last Wednesday the defense got their ass chewed; today it was the offense’s turn. Read into the tea leaves as you please, but if I do remember correctly, the defense responded pretty well after their “talking to” a week ago.
— What was the difference in the defense last week? There were two significant improvements and D.J. Eliot said it wasn’t anything too crazy.
1. They made “tremendously” fewer mental mistakes, allowing them to play with confidence.
2. They executed much better.
It sounds boring, but whatever works, works.
— A homecoming for Ware. Even though most of his bio info will tell you he’s from Florida’s panhandle where he played high school football, the pass rusher actually grew down the road from Tuscaloosa near Enterprise, Alabama. He was the only member of his family that wasn’t either an Alabama or Auburn fan, instead cheering for Florida State. His family will pack the stands on Saturday.
— Ware was named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week, but none of that matters to him. “It’s great that I won it, but it’s not a team award. It’s not something that I’m going to be proud about until me and my team make it to a bowl game and get a ring to put on our finger.”
— Defending a rushing QB. Even though it’s been the Kentucky football Kryptonite since forever, Ware is not worried about true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. After all, he’s seen better. “I played against Lamar Jackson, who’s considered to be the next Michael Vick.” He’s more concerned about how the Cats play instead of how they’re playing.
Dorian Baker left practice in full pads. The wide receiver has been limited since training camp with a hamstring injury. Hopefully the day-to-day injury is beginning to fade.
Kengera Daniel will return to the lineup this week, running with the second string at defensive end. D.J. Eliot said Kobie Walker is “day-to-day” but in his case I’d expect the worst and hope for the best.
— “Honestly I feel more calm out there than at practice.” Even though he hasn’t seen much playing time, he’s more comfortable letting loose and making plays than having his coaches’ look over his shoulder during practice.
— What he has to improve. His own toughest critic, Kash said he must improve his eye control when reading his keys against the offensive line.
— Kash’s epiphany. I asked Kash if playing the defending National Champs on the road is intimidating, he replied, “I don’t know, it ain’t Saturday yet. I’m still here in Lexington so I couldn’t tell ya.”
He hasn’t made the trip yet, but the venue is much different than what he’s used to. Some friends from home asked him, “Do you realize where you’re playing this week?”
He answered affirmatively but it didn’t really set in until they said: “You know two years ago we were playing at Jenkins High School, right? And now you’re playing at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Hall of Famers went through there and you get a chance to play there.”
“Unreal” is the only way he could describe it.
View Periscopes from Kash Daniel and Denzil Ware, after the jump.