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Ready or Not, It’s Matt Elam’s Time to Shine

Kentucky’s Senior leader on the defensive line, Melvin Lewis, suffered a broken fibula last night, leaving the nose guard duties for the foreseeable future to Matt Elam.

There is no doubt that Melvin will be missed.  Luckily of all the bones to break, the fibula injury heals the fastest.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Melvin play before the seasons over.

Nonetheless, Matt Elam will become a critical part of D.J. Eliot’s defense.  Even though Kentucky hasn’t employed as nose guard as frequently over the past few games for schematic reasons, a stout run defense starts at the nose.  After giving up 332 yards on the ground over the last two games, it MUST improve during the second half of the season.

Last night was probably the most Matt has played all season, and he wasn’t too bad at all.  He played some early, before replacing Lewis in the second half, finishing with a career-high with 6 tackles.

Entering the season there were two things Elam needed to improve: staying low off the line of scrimmage and his conditioning.  The staff has worked diligently to get the massive man to come off the ball lower.  It’s tough for a guy who’s 6’7″ but he’s done a pretty good job.  Jimmy Brumbaugh has put him in a four-point stance (two hands on the ground instead of just one), which has worked…until he gets tired.  Matt’s conditioning has improved, but it showed its ugly face when Auburn entered the red zone.  They attacked the middle of the defense.  Matt stuffed them a few times, before he was driven off the ball near the goal line, leading to an Auburn touchdown.  Simply put, when he gets tired, he stands taller.

Elam’s conditioning cannot improve in a week.  It will be interesting to see how much he will play in the weeks to come.  I’m excited to see how the young fella responds to the demands.  It will not only test his physical capabilities, but his mental fortitude.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

31 Comments for Ready or Not, It’s Matt Elam’s Time to Shine

  1. COME ON
    4:08 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Come on, another boring, no one cares football post. This isn’t news, everyone knows this already. I’ve pulled up the website twice today ready to read up on some BBM news and getting excited, and I see this, along with the high school football preview, which is a complete waste of everybody’s time. I’m getting better BBM coverage from the national media than on the local front that I expect.

    • UK
      4:20 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      It’ll be ok dude.

    • Roger
      4:28 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Hmmm, Games are selling out and the football post are some of the post with the most comments. Someone must care.

      Some fans have evolved and are able to support more than 1 sport.

      I do agree that on the day of our biggest recruiting event, one would expect a little more madness news.

    • chimichanga
      4:28 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      I came on here to read comments, and I see this, ignorant whining and moaning that is a complete waste of everyone’s time.

    • j4
      6:40 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Roger, the games are selling out now. They won’t be after they lose the next 3 games. The Charlestown game will be 3/4 full. the crowd will leave very early during the last home game unfortunately. Thank goodness for basketball.

    • Mike
      7:44 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      j4, don’t you have a sex scandal, crap football team, and unranked basketball team to worry about?

    • j4
      7:29 am October 17, 2015 Permalink

      no mike, I’m sure I’ve been around UK athletics longer than you and have seen what a poor football program this university has and will continue to have. unfortunately, the older fans like me have to be convinced by performance on the field and not hype. hopefully when you grow up you won’t be as cynical and I will be proved wrong but until then, don’t criticize when you haven’t had the same experience for as long.

  2. SC
    4:09 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Tough news, but looking for great things from Elam. It is his time.

  3. [email protected]
    4:14 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Did BB Madness get cancelled?

    • sc2
      4:19 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Ummmm … it hasn’t started yet. Wait.

  4. CatsFan
    4:25 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Go get em’ big Matt

  5. kac
    4:25 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Elam is a 3 star athlete in a 5 star body. He can not play more than 6 straight plays at a time.His feet are of lead with no movement.Sorry, NAIA athlete!

    • Cat man
      4:30 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink


    • bag of nuts
      4:37 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      And your a 5 star d-bag with a no star body

    • CatsBy80
      4:38 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      the coming offseason will be a huge make or break for Elam. he needs to shed another 30 pounds or so and seriously work on is conditioning. With that body, there is no excuse for him not to be an NFL caliber player.

    • Tony
      4:51 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Bama my azz’… One more pizza away from bed ridden.

    • Leuther
      5:53 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Agree. Elam is one of the most overrated and disappointing Ky Football recruits ever. He’s 100 pounds overweight. I’ve seen more agility in an elephant…

  6. dab_
    4:41 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    he was getting blown off the line all night but luckily it was because he commands two blockers and those Auburn boys are pretty huge. I can remember maybe three of his tackles were about 5 yards past the line and he was kind of just falling down and grasping along with the help of a linebacker or another d linemen. If he is the answer then he needs major improvement. Im thinking he won’t truly be a force until yrs 3 and 4 but this season will undoubtedly be tremendous experience and motivation. The guy is just so huge, tall and wide amongst the other giants on the line, but he has got to learn how to use it or he will continue to suck

  7. Rich
    5:02 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Isn’t Matt part of UK’s high tech, run sub 4.3 40’s conditioning program brought to Lexington my Stoop’s & Co.?

    He looks more like J. Lorenzon II

  8. Blue
    5:07 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Maybe I was watching a different game…But what I saw was Elam commanding a double-team virtually every play that allowed us to finally put some semblance of pressure on the Auburn quarterback. Something that was totally lacking in the first half.

    Everybody has been pining for Elam to play more, and now that he has, everybody’s down on the kid. He’s already got a huge advantage because he’s enormous. That can’t be coached. The other stuff…Conditioning, technique, etc…Can be. He’s young, just like the majority of the squad. Don’t expect a flawless football team to magically appear. We’re on our way.

    • Jimbob Bautista
      8:01 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      You are 100% correct…there are a bunch of trolls and idiot fans commenting.

      He played well, and when he got his hands on the RB, the RB went down.

  9. Disgruntled
    5:09 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    The vocal majority of Kentucky fans are just the worst.

  10. kac
    5:10 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Bag-of-nuts, not surprising you carry your brain around in a scrotum!

    • bag of nuts
      5:22 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      You should know alot about my scrotum as it spends most of it time rested firmly on your chin

    • whatwasthat
      7:52 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Bag of nuts as a football fan first we as the majority just have to keep punching back at these loserville trolls / ignorant football fans. People like Kac are just plain stupid, who live to put kids down to feel better about themselves. As I stated in a earlier in another post Elam should have got the redshirt, yes he needs to lose more weight and be better conditioned but he didn’t play that poorly, as a matter of FACT the defense played much better in second half than it did in first half and he was part of that defense in second half. To call him a bust is just showing your ignorance, the SEC is a league of men not high school kids, all o-lineman and d-lineman should get the redshirt unless they are truly special, Elam was not ready, just because you are big doesn’t mean you are ready for the trenches in the SEC.

  11. Larry Clapp
    5:17 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    His bowel mevements are getting closer to twenty pounds which is elite

  12. The Seer
    5:49 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    One thing I noticed is that he seems to be more concerned about his appearance than giving the effort needed. Twice I saw him running to attempt to make a tackle on a screen play and while he is running (the play is still going on, mind you), he is busy pulling his jersey back down over his enormous gut. While he’s running. To make a tackle.

    • Leuther
      5:54 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      You’re making my point…

  13. The I in the sky
    6:44 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I watched Elam when he was in the game. When the ball is snapped he is straight up vertical by the time he with the o lineman. And when he gets gassed, after about 3 plays, he gets pushed straight back. Needs major work on conditioning and technique, which I’m sure he never had to use in HS.

  14. George
    7:18 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    He looks somewhat ready to play.

  15. jr
    1:07 pm October 17, 2015 Permalink

    Look you would think his conditioning would be better by now. I mean he has been here over 1.5 yrs now.