Coming in to this season, linebacker Courtney Love was billed as the leader of the defense; however, through three games, he’s only fourth on the team in tackles with 18, and sometimes — like the rest of the defense — looks a little lost. Mark Stoops was asked about Love on today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, and admitted that the junior is still trying to catch up to the game after having to sit out last season.
“I think you can see the game is moving very fast for him at times, and he’s not making some routine plays,” Stoops said. “And when that happens, you wonder what he’s looking at or what’s going on or maybe we’re doing too much and all those things that we need to continue to refine defensively, because he’s a good kid and he means so well. He’s a great leader and he wants to be great and wants to help our defense, so his intentions are very good. We just gotta put our players in a position where they can make routine plays look routine. Sometimes we’re not doing that and that puts us in a real bad situation. So, I think, overall to sum it up, I think Courtney’s doing some good things and needs to play better as the rest of our defense does.”
So, are Love’s struggles this season just rust from not playing a snap since 2014?
“I don’t know, I think probably some of it. I think he’ll get better because he’s a very conscientious young man. He wants to do well, so I think any mistake that he makes he will continue to work hard at it. But that could be some of it because there’s just so many different things that can happen on a football field. You’ve just got to apply your rules and some of it is not triggering quite fast enough for him yet.”
Keep your head up, Courtney. You got this.