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  • Coach Brad White pre-Mississippi State interview.

    * It is always more than one person or one group (when there's a bad play). Everything ties together. A lot of people just see the back end and the mistakes, but they do not see the front end mistakes, pop gap, a missed pass rush. It is a little bit of the business in that regard. Secondary tends to take the brunt of it, but it was a complete team failure to execute throughout the entire game.

    * It only takes one (missed play by player). Sometimes you can get away with that, if it is on the backside of a play or something. But in games like the one against Ole Miss and against good teams like the SEC teams, those mistakes tend to get magnified and cost us.

    * Kylin Hill is a great running back for Mississippi State. Returning player that gave them problems last year. He is a tough guy to bring down. Will be a big part of the game. Mississippi State uses all of their backs as receivers and that makes them even more dangerous.

    * Brad does not subscribe to the theory that there is a blueprint to defeat Mississippi State. "No. If there was a blueprint, he would not be one of the most successful offensive minds in college football the last 20 years." We need to provide different things and different looks against him. We study a lot of different film to see what gives us the best chance to succeed.

    * It is the age old problem in motivating players to play at a high standard, but having them understand they need to do their job (and not overplay). It is a fine line because you want them to do their job, really, really, well. But we still want guys to be able to win in their primary and then be able to tear off in their secondary. We want them to be able to play with depth in their zone. It is a balancing act, but you have to do your primary job first. (Note--This seems to be a theme Kentucky stressed this week. I heard three coaches/players mention things about people not being superstars, but doing their job or similar words).

    * (On players trying to do too much): It is not malicious, and it is not selfish. They just feel like they need to do something to help the team win. They do not realize that they are doing that by just doing their primary job. You are helping the team win, even if it does not show up on a stat sheet.

    * Absolutely, we need to make more plays (on defense). We have gone two games and we have not created a forced turnover. That is unacceptable. It is not giving the offense any chance to have a short field. We need to find ways to make plays. Some of it is natural ability. Some of it is structure. Some of it is play-calling. I need to make sure I put them in position to make these plays. We are still grinding and trying to find our identity as a team this year. It does not matter what it looks like on paper. Every team has its own identity. We have to find our identity. It is all easy, when things are going great. We need to do like we did last year when we hit that skid. The guys said enough is enough, and then they galvanized and played well down the stretch..

    We do not have time to wait for a bye week. We have to get this fixed, and we have to get it fixed in a hurry.

    * A lot of people say football is a game of inches. They focus on where the football is. But it is not just that. That first pass coming out the second half (last week), if we are a touch deeper we get a hand on that ball. Makes it linebacker level, and we probably intercept. Instead, it is 2 inches over his fingertips because he came downhill a step too fast, and all of a sudden it is a big play. We have to continue to emphasize the little things because they are making all the difference.

    * They are doing a little more movement on the defensive line this year to create indecision on the offensive line. They have always had that in the system, but are using it a little more because of the experienced veterans they have. It has not only caused a couple of false starts, but also has allowed our guys to get some leverages, win some gaps on the edges.

    * We have to win early so that we can win late. We have done reasonably well on third and long. This year, better than last year. But we have to get to those down and distances.

    * Facing tempo teams, as they have done in the first two weeks creates stress on the defense. It puts an emphasis on communication. They know it occasionally creates a mistake somewhere, because that is what it is designed to do. But ultimately, it is as much technique as anything else. Communication is a technique.

    Obviously, we would like more ball production from the guys in the back end. Everybody likes man-to-man coverage, but it is harder to make plays when your eyes are focused on a man specifically. You can make PBs, you can cover-up, maybe make a QB hold it and get a sack, but the teams that get their hands on a lot of balls tend to be a lot of zone. We have to do better. We have only had three interceptions in the last two years. We did better last year on forced fumbles, but we have not had any this year.

    * It is the hidden yards that really kill you. There guy gets hit after 4 yards, rolls over and gets to you more. Now all of a sudden, instead of second and six its second and four. Or instead of third and four, it is third and one. Tackling is of the utmost importance, because we have to pin the ball to the ground (and not allow those extra yards).

    * About the mood in the locker room right now: Monday was arguably our best Monday practice this year. They are a prideful team. There is a little bit of embarrassment, but they understand we have a chance to right this ship. There is a lot of time left. We are close, and they see that on film. There are things that we can control. It is not a talent issue. It is not an "we are overmatched issue." If we can give more time in the film room, better effort on the practice field, dialing it in, just that much more, we've got a chance to be a really good football team.

    * They came out with a lot of energy and they have practiced hard thus far this week. This has to be a daily grind. But nobody's head is down. This group is resilient. And that is what you like about this group. Nobody is backing down from anything. We are going to accept our mistakes and our shortcomings, and go fix them.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Catfan73's Avatar
      Catfan73 -
      The way to beat an air raid offense is to make them pay for throwing the ball so much with interceptions and with long drives on offense to wear down their defense. Costello had 5 td’s vs 2 interceptions against LSU but only 1 td vs 3 int’s against Arkansas. If we lose the turnover battle again I don’t think there’s much chance of winning this game.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Catfan73 View Post
      The way to beat an air raid offense is to make them pay for throwing the ball so much with interceptions and with long drives on offense to wear down their defense. Costello had 5 tdís vs 2 interceptions against LSU but only 1 td vs 3 intís against Arkansas. If we lose the turnover battle again I donít think thereís much chance of winning this game.
      We really need the interception drought to end tomorrow. No question about it.