Kentucky’s pass defense is the best in the SEC. Fact. One might argue it’s the best in the nation.
No defense in America has allowed fewer touchdown passes than Kentucky. Opponents have thrown for just seven touchdowns all season and averaged 172.7 passing yards per game, ranked fourth in the FBS.
How did they get so good? Virginia Tech’s quarterback, Hendon Hooker, provided some insight from film study.
“Their D-line is very aggressive,” said Hooker. “They get to it, pretty big up front and they fly around on the back end in the secondary.”
It’s not just what they do in the pass rush. Head coach Justin Fuente credits their run defense for forcing teams into obvious passing situations.
“They’re really good on the defensive line. I would say the biggest thing is they have not had to always introducer the extra hat in the run game because they’re so good up front,” said Fuente.
“You can really be in a nightmare scenario if teams can play two-high (safeties), drop people into coverage and you can’t run the football. They have done that to people. They’re so good and big and physical up front, it’s very difficult to run the ball. You get behind the chains and they know you’re throwing it, it can lead to a really tough situation.”
Today UK’s defense will be tasked to limit a Virginia Tech offense that makes its money on explosive pass plays. Can they pass the final test? We’ll find out in just a few hours.