Cats Hope That Complementary Football Can Aid Effort Against Vols
In order to beat Tennessee, Kentucky will not only have to play well on defense but also on offense. Playing complementary football, where the offense compliments the defense and vice versa, will be crucial for the Cats on Saturday.
Many are saying that Kentucky needs to control the time of possession in Saturday’s game against the nation’s third-ranked team. On Tuesday, UK offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello said that long drives could be important but that he will judge his unit with another metric.
“I always feel like it’s about points per possession,” Scangarello said. “It’s the turnovers and points off turnovers that affect the game negatively that have to be avoided. We cannot start slow, like has happened at times this year. We need to put drives together, but they need to end in touchdowns, not field goals. If you’re looking to trade touchdowns, in this type of game, you’re going to get run out of the building.”
Numbers, especially time of possession, can be misleading in a game against a team that goes as fast as the Vols do. Again, Scangarello thinks it’s about overall results.
“You’re going to get more possessions because of the way they play,” Scangarello said. “It’s just the way they play is going to lend itself to more possessions. But again, we have to make our possessions count. It’s our job to take care of the rock and make it matter.”
Scangarello knows it’s important for the Cats to play their game and not try to match whatever Tennessee does.
“You’ve got to go out there and be yourself and play your game,” Scangarello said. “We’ve got to play great complementary football, we’ve got to take care of the football, we’ve got to limit the mistakes, the penalties and all that. If we can do that and play our style of game, we’ll see what happens.”
Quarterback Will Levis hopes that the Cats’ offense can put together some long scoring drives on Saturday in Knoxville.
“I think if we are able to string together a couple of 10-plus play drives and take a lot of time off the clock, that doesn’t give them much time on the field,” Levis said. “It makes it easier on our defense, giving them the rest they need. We’ve got to make sure we put long drives together, manage the game, manage the clock if we want to win.”
As far as the Tennessee defense, Scangarello has been impressed with what he has seen from the Vols.
“They do a good job. I like what they do schematically,” Scangarello said. “It’s got some NFL to it, actually. They know what they’re doing. They’ve got a good scheme, they cause havoc, they create negative plays. We’re going to have to be ready for everything.”
Scangarello knows that the Cats and the Vols will go about things in different ways, but he thinks that sets up for an entertaining game.
“It’s two different styles, it’s a tough environment,” he said. “You’ve just got to go play your game and let the chips fall where they fall.”
The Cats hope that by playing complimentary football, they will give themselves a good chance in Saturday’s game.