Phil Hoskins is from Toledo. The Kentucky defensive lineman did not know the Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers were rivals until he stepped inside Neyland Stadium two years ago. His eyes were opened by the experience.
“I didn’t realize how big this game was until I got down there. This is really like a rivalry game. The energy was electrifying. It was shooting through everybody. I feel like it’s going to be the same this week,” Hoskins said.
Hoskins and Quinton Bohanna were singled out by Mark Stoops as the unsung heroes from Kentucky’s 24-2 win over Mississippi State. The defensive linemen pressured quarterback K.J. Costello into making poor decisions that led to turnovers. Facing a more traditional offense this week, to tee off on Jarrett Guarantano Kentucky must be sound on the early downs to force obvious passing situations.
“We gotta get stops on first and second so we can hunt on third (down),” said outside linebacker Boogie Watson.
Last week Watson recorded a sack and made an impressive interception at the goal line. Today he broke down exactly what happened in that momentum-shifting play and revealed that the team might have given Josh Paschal a hard time for getting caught two yards shy of the end zone.
Hoskins spoke more about the challenge ahead at Tennessee, but I have a feeling you might be more intrigued by his off-topic discussion at the end of the interview that left me asking the question, “What is Naruto?” Apparently it’s a popular cartoon and Phil is a big fan.
Defensive coordinator Brad White was all business. Hear what he’s seen so far from his defense this week in practice.