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  • Ability to Avoid Sacks Key to Game vs Vanderbilt

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    In last year’s win over Vanderbilt, Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson completed 10 of 24 passes for 49 yards. He threw one interception, but was not sacked.

    Not getting sacked Saturday afternoon in Nashville when the Cats try to get a seventh win could be key to UK winning. Vanderbilt linebacker Charles Wright, who had two sacks last week against Western Kentucky, leads the Southeastern Conference in sacks with nine and Vanderbilt is fifth in the conference in sacks with 23.

    "We're going to face a real good Kentucky and I think their most improved player is Johnson," Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said Monday.

    "When you look at him, he's managing the game and he's taking care of the football. And he's got a receiving corps that can make plays for him."

    Johnson has completed 137 of 222 passes for 1,605 yards with 10 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He’s rushed 70 times for 304 yards and three scores.

    Wright said the Commodores had indicators against Western Kentucky about whether the play would be a run or pass.

    "This week we can't really tell whether it's a pass or run. Whether we can tell or whether we can't, we're still going to get back there,” Wright said.

    Kentucky has allowed 22 sacks this season, including four in last week’s loss to Ole Miss. and ranks eighth in the SEC.

    "Johnson is a running quarterback and can extend plays," Mason said. "You have to know where he is at all times. But you also have to make him uncomfortable. We want to hit him. It's not like we're going to sit back and play coverage; we're going to come after him."

    Johnson blamed himself for UK blowing a 27-17 lead against Ole Miss. He finished the game completing 19 of 24 passes for 204 yards and one score. But he was just 3-for-7 to end the game and had trouble finding receivers when UK had four straight three-and-out series after building the 10-point lead.

    Yet Johnson did guide a 95-yard touchdown drive that gave UK the lead with just over 2 minutes to play.

    “There is never any panic and I think there is great confidence and I think across the board offensively we are going to find the right plays. I think it’s a combination of certainly Stephen and his calmness and his ability to make plays under pressure is a big piece of that confidence,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Ability to Avoid Sacks Key to Game vs Vanderbilt started by Darrell KSR View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Doc's Avatar
      Doc -
      the 3 of 7 at the end of the game was the difference in the game but I sure don't blame him. He was 16-17 prior to that.
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