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Stoops’ D Steps Up With Only a Week Left of Spring Practice

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Coach Stoops wasn’t too pleased with his offense today, but was it because the offense played bad, or the defense played well?  I’ll take the latter.

The defense came ready to play in early down situations.  By getting hands on passes early, they put the offense in a lot of tough situations, “We get behind the chains early and we’re not very efficient.”

Last year the Cats were last in the SEC in interceptions, a rare occurrence for a Stoops and Eliot coached team.  They’ve placed an extra emphasis on getting hands on the ball this Spring and it has paid off.  Today the unit came down with multiple picks, including one by linebacker Josh Forrest.  Forrest has received praise from the coaching staff for his athletic ability, even though it hasn’t been easy learning the 4-3 and 3-4.  Forrest caught one of the three interceptions last year, and takes pride in his hands.

With CB Nate Willis out 3-4 months for hernia surgery, the Cats need guys like Forrest to step up.  Stoops believes the return of JD Harmon at cornerback has given them much needed versatility and depth.  AJ Stamps might be the most versatile playmaker in the group.  He’s received praise all Spring from the staff, but his skills with the ball are another new revelation.  A guy that played both sides of the ball in JUCO, Stamps doesn’t hesitate to make the big play, and he can do something with it once he comes down with an interception.

Willis’ injury is the only major setback, but the amount of guys ‘banged up’ has forced them to adjust their practice plans, and possibly their plans for the Blue/White game.  Today Stoops wanted another full scrimmage, but it was too risky with dwindling numbers on the depth chart.  He’d like to have some fun next week and decide teams with a draft, but they might have too many guys on the sideline.

Even though the Cats are struggling with depth (what’s new), Stoops expects to get a lot out of his team in the final week of Spring practice.  Stoops  wants to see some continuity from his offense, and that could mean deciding a starting quarterback, “if we can figure it out in the last week we will.  If not we’ll continue to work through it.  We have time until our first game.”  Other than quarterback, he wants to determine a solid pecking order at running back, wide receiver and defensive line.

Eight days til the Spring game.  Don’t Geek BBN.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

13 Comments for Stoops’ D Steps Up With Only a Week Left of Spring Practice

  1. Sk54
    1:46 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Totally out of no where, but take a look at UL basketball’s 2014 recruiting class. They have 7’1 dude coming in named ANAS OSAMA…….this may create more jobs than IU’s Peter Jurkin. Hey that Anas is big, Anas is looking tight. Never seen Anas shoot like that……………………..Sorry its Friday and been a long day.

    • Uhh
      2:03 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I think it’s pronounced “Ahh-nos”. Although, with some of these announcers, you can never tell what they will say.

    • Broad
      2:20 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      Well, it’s either make of Louisville or talk about our crappy football team. I’d rather make fun of Louisville.

    • Tom Crean
      7:53 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I recruited Peter Jurkin for the exact reason of his name. I like the name. I wanted to meet the young man. Whowe name is / was….And, well. I had been thinking about him….alot.

  2. Johnson
    2:23 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Whether we win this year depends on our quarterback. If we have a QB who can actually throw it downfield, we can win 6+ games. If we dont, we wont be very good period.

    • UKfan
      2:41 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      If you actually know anything about football, you realize there are more keys to winning than an effective qb. Playcalling, pass protection, downfield blocking, both athletic and nifty receivers, postiion depth, fast and strong running game, et al and that is just on offense. There are just too many factors that caused the season to be disappointing last year; Qb was just one of them.

  3. Steve
    2:26 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    I’m always skeptical when I hear that the defense has stepped up against the offense in practice. I feel like that says more about the offense than the defense at this point.

    • UKfan
      2:46 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      That may be so, but I think our defense will be much improved over last year. We have 2 defense ends in Dupree and Smith that will be as good as any in the country. Don’t be surprised if our front 4 is one of the better ones in the SEC. Our secondary will be better. The only weakness I see might be at the LB position, but I hope not.

      The only thing that concerns me on the offense side of the ball is the line.

    • Steve
      2:57 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I do like that Dupree and Z and the rest now have a year of the new system under their belts. If the offense can get something done this season, that should take some pressure off the defense. I’m cautiously optimistic that will happen.

  4. Henry h
    3:23 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Multiple picks.
    Nice since they just released whitlow.
    Funny! Sounds like a great plan.

  5. amirite
    3:51 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Yay ! we intercepted our own offense!

  6. Jim
    4:22 pm April 18, 2014 Permalink

    We’ll probably win 3 games, 4 is the ceiling. Gonna take time

  7. Occasionally multiple picks in practice is the sign of an elite defense.
    6:11 am April 19, 2014 Permalink

    More commonly, it is a sign of a floundering offense…