Kentucky Defense Building on Positives Ahead of MSU Game
As Kentucky prepares to travel to Mississippi State on Saturday, UK defensive coordinator Brad White wants his unit to keep things simple. It starts with making a single play.
“It’s about getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, staying confident and playing ball,” White said after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s not just going to happen. You don’t get two wins before you get one. You don’t get two three and outs before you get the first three and out. We just have to get back to playing it drive by drive. And that was a message we talked about at halftime. Did we play as well as we wanted? No. But in each game, what positives can you take. There are positives to build on and that’s what we have to continue to do. Drive by drive, quarter by quarter, half by half, then hopefully it turns into a full game.”
White believes that it’s extremely important for his defense to focus on each particular play. That’s because the margin for error, especially in the difficult Southeastern Conference, is extremely thin.
“In every game, there’s plays that you have to make to win the game. There were some opportunities for us to make them (against Tennessee) and we didn’t,” White said. “What we have to do is try to continue to stay confident in the fact that we can make those plays because we don’t know which one it is. You don’t know which play call it is. But you’ve got to put it behind you and grow from it. We’ve got to continue to stay confident that we can make those plays and we’ve got to make them this week.”
Kentucky has turned its focus to Mississippi State, who the Cats face Saturday night in Starkville. UK is likely to see a familiar face behind center for the Bulldogs. Quarterback Mike Wright, who led Vanderbilt to a victory over UK at Kroger Field is now playing for MSU. White knows Wright very well and continues to be impress with his ability to make plays.
“He can elude the pocket and make plays with his legs. You have to be mindful of him moving the pocket, getting out and making a play down the field,” White said. “But then he can make plays in the pocket. Really good player. Obviously, we have some experience with him. There’s some things you can take away from previous games we’ve played against him.”
White and the Cats hope to take their previous experience against White, while focusing on the play at hand, to create a successful formula against Mississippi State on Saturday night.