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Record: 6210 (3/13/2012)

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Reasons why Cats Defense will be better in 2012.

  • Call me crazy, or a ssp, whatever, but I think the Cats defense will be even better this year than last year.
    First..the Cats talented young players will be more experienced...Dupree, Lowery, Dixon, Douglass, Williamson, they all were making plays late last season...now everyone has a full grasp on Minters schemes...this alone bodes well for the Cats.
    Next..we have quite possibly the best DT tandem in the SEC in Cobble and Rumph. Rumph had trimmed down and has been lights out in the spring. Cobble is a 2 gap run stuffer with a massive, low centered frame and brute strength..he will demand two blockers against all but the best Centers in the league. Christian Coleman will provide quailty depth at both dt and ssde. We may get to see Thomas Chapman as a frosh...6'4 300lbs, very explosive and strong. Pat Graffree will also help out at both DT and DE.

    Then theres the rest of the D-Line..Collins Ukwu and Taylor Wyndam are seniors now..Wyndham can help at OLB in the 3-4..he provides a cat quick edge rusher. Ukwu has put on some good weight..and will be the man at wsde in 3-4. Mike Douglass played well as a frosh last year and seemed to have a knack for ripping the ball from held up runners.

    LB's will be better than you think. Bud Dupree is a stud and was taking half the snaps from Wilson late last year anyway...Avery Williamson was doing the same to Ronnie Sneed..and AW is just a solid..headsy player that gives it his all every snap. McDuffen has sub 4.5 speed at Will...and our backups will be Demarius Rancifer..a kid I'm eager to see. T. Paschal will backup Dupree and from what I've been hearing...TP is gonna wind up a very good player. I see Josh Forrest playing a lot..and this kid is gonna be special..6'3 230..fast...has a real nose for the ball. JF can play LB, Saftery, and the hybrid LB/S spot vactaed buy Winston Guy I call the "Cat" LB. Miles Simpson is set to see some action...the former high school star running back haqs good overall athletic skills for his hybrid lb/s spot. Has good size and quickness.I see Kadeem Thomas playing some ILB for us..with Jabari Johnson,Tyler Brause,and others adding depth.

    Db will be where the questions are answered after play starts. Marcus Caffey gives the Cats an elite athlete with good size and toughness at one corner. Cartier Rice get his chance at the other corner. Behind them are a gaggle of inexperienced but athletic players like Eric Simmons 6'0 180 4.3, Eric Dixon 5'11 185 4.4, then the frosh in Fred Tiller, Jon Reed, and Cody Quinn.Saftey is pretty much set with Neloms and Benton coming back for thier final go-round as Cats. Ashley Lowery and Glen Faulkner will provide excellent depth..and the return of Dakotah Tyler only helps..Tyler has the speed to play corner...Id love to see him get a chance there..he hits a ton..would provide a physical presence at corner. Also look for ultra-talented true frosh Zach Blaylock to see some action. If things get hairy at corner..remember both Neloms and Benton began thier careers at CB...
    Overall, I see us being very strong up front with loads of speed behind them...A 3-4 front of Cobble at NT, demanding 2 blockers, Rumph at SSDE, and UKwu at WSDE...with Dupree, Willamson, Forrest/McDuffen, and mabye Kadeem Thomas at the other ILB spot. Id like to see Farrenton Huguenin gets some reps at OLB in the 3-4...hes 6'5 270 and cat quick..tallied 17 sacks in his lone year of prep school, a record for that school. Taylor Wyndam can easily play OLB in the 3-4..
    Let me know what you guys think!!! Vote 4 me!!

  • Love that optimism. I agree mostly with you, but I think Lowry beats Benton out @ one safety spot, and I don't think Wyndam is going to play as big a role as it seems you are thinking. I also don't think we will have the BEST DL in the league, but I think by the end of the year we have potential to be very good up front. Excited to see the battle between Simpson and Forrest at the Sam Spot. +1 for the write up. Keep em comin!!

  • Actually..Dupree plays Sam..which is football slang for strong side lb...Forrest and Simpson play the hybrid LB/S role known as the Cat Lb..and I agree..Wyndham wont be a major factor...but who knows...hes fast...has experience...and I think he could be even better at a OLB spot in the 3-4..giving him more room to get around the OT's...I think he will be a situational pass rusher as hes been his entire career..I just think he'll get more snaps due to his exp and its his senior year. He'll always be best known for the most replayed sack in college football history..the one that knocked out Tim Tebow...the only time Timmy T was knocked out of a game!!! Thanks for the vote and I will keep em coming..already dropped an offensive post similar to this one..be sure to check it out Moss!!!

    This post was edited by BigBlueDawg12 21 months ago

  • I think the D has a shot to be solid. Will have to replace 250ish tackles between two players, that is a lot of production, but the D can be good. I just really worry about the CBs vs the rest of the SEC WRs.

    Neloms likely is the nickle CB imo which allows two of Benton, Lowery or Faulkner on the field instead of a third CB but UK desperately needs two CBs to step up. The rest of the D I'm excited about and think it will be the whole unit replacing Guy and Trevathan's production.

    Williamson is my breakout guy. Thought he was better than Sneed last season. He has added some weight which should help him in the trenches and at impact with the ball carrier, also will be the best MLB in coverage UK has had in a long time.

  • You make some good points..especially about the corners..yes..thats the one potential trouble spot..but as I said..If the corners dont play up to par...Neloms and Benton both began thier Uk careers at corner..and Dakotah Tyler has the speed to play corner...But I tink Caffey, Rice, Simmons, Dixon..plus the frosh in Tiller, Reed, Quinn, Shawn Blaylock will be ok..the defensive front will make the db's life much easier...and with two former cb's at saftey in Neloms and Benton..the young corners have a built-in failsafe behind them(allows them to play agressive and get up in press man...if the wr does get behind them..Neloms or Benton can pick them up.
    About Avery Williamson..I agree..he will be solid...better than solid..but his one handicap is his speed...so I dont think he'll be a better coverage Lb than Sneed..who ran a low 4.5...Williamson is a better tackler..stronger..he's a heart/desire guy with a huge motor..he was taking about half the snaps in games at the end of the season. I think Kadeem Thomas will be the better coverage ILB...and Malcolm McDuffen with his 4.4 speed...and certainly Josh Forrest at 6'3 230 4.5 and Miles Simpson at 6'2 225 4.5 will play the hybrid LB/S role and both can cover and rush the passer and track down rb's in space!!
    Nice points and thanks for the feedback and vote!!!

  • I think that they have potential to be better, but the lack of depth at CB (not to mention the youth) and the loss of the 2 biggest playmakers could very well mean that we could less effective as a defense as a whole.

    But......even if they are a little less effective they could actually prove to be statistically better than last yrs group based solely on the offensive production. If our offense can give our defense a break, our defense may yield better stats than last yrs group.....despite having some areas of concern.

    We return darn near everyone on defense for 2013 though.......and the majority of the offense.

  • Too long and no paragraphs.

    And no, MossCat15 was correct about Simpson/Forrest playing the SAM. In our D, the LB/S hybrid is referred to ad the SAM backer and the jumbo LB/DE hybrid is referred to as the Rushbacker, similar to the Jack in a lot of other versions of the 3-4 (see Bama). It really doesn't matter what they are called, but I'm just sayin'.

  • In a 3/4 or a hybrid 3/4 there is no sam.

  • Short and simple.
    Our offence will be better, thus giving our D time on the sideline to catch thier breath unlike last yr. They will be better as a unit than last yr I agree.

  • Agreed in that our O will keep the ball more, score more and take some pressure off the D.

    While we have a couple of good D-tackles they are not near the best in the SEC. We don't really have much elite talent on D but I'm betting the whole will be greater than the sum of it's parts.

  • Thought I was right but didn't care enough to look it up. Thanks for the clarification. +1.

  • "Cobble is a 2 gap run stuffer with a massive, low centered frame and brute strength."

    Agreed

    "Christian Coleman will provide quailty depth at both dt and ssde."

    If he's recovered sufficiently from shoulder surgery but he doesn't play SSDE.

    "We may get to see Thomas Chapman as a frosh...6'4 300lbs, very explosive and strong."

    Hopefully not because ...

    "Pat Graffree will also help out at both DT and DE."

    Pat is likely to play

    "Wyndham can help at OLB in the 3-4."

    Wyndham isn't a LB - he plays DT

    "Ukwu has put on some good weight..and will be the man at wsde in 3-4."

    No - he plays SSDE

    "Mike Douglass played well as a frosh last year and seemed to have a knack for ripping the ball from held up runners.

    (Josh Forrest) can play LB, Saftery, and the hybrid LB/S spot vactaed buy Winston Guy I call the "Cat" LB."

    Yes he is presently backup to Miles Simpson but it is the Sambacker that Winston played.

    "Ashley Lowery and Glen Faulkner will provide excellent depth..and the return of Dakotah Tyler only helps..Tyler has the speed to play corner...Id love to see him get a chance there..he hits a ton..would provide a physical presence at corner."

    This spot is more of a hybrid corner/safety anyway as they man up on the slot in our base defense.

    DEFENSIVE END
    96 Collins Ukwu 6-5, 275, RSSr.
    91 Farrington Huguenin 6-4, 265, RSFr.
    50 Mike Douglas 6-4, 269, RSSo.
    95 Langston Newton 6-4, 258, Fr.

    NOSE TACKLE
    97 Mister Cobble 6-0, 328, RSJr.
    92 Christian Coleman 6-3, 298, So.
    98 Thomas Chapman 6-4, 297, Fr.
    51 Tristian Johnson 6-1, 280, RSJr.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE
    99 Donte Rumph 6-3, 301, Jr.
    94 Taylor Wyndham 6-4, 255, RSSr.
    60 Alvin Davis 6-4, 264, RSSo.
    52 Patrick Graffree 6-4, 280, Fr.

    RUSHBACKER
    2 Alvin ‘Bud’ Dupree 6-4, 249, So.
    41 Tra Vaughn Paschal 6-4, 245, RSSo.
    26 Tre’ Dunn 6-2, 230, RSSo. walkon

    MIKEBACKER
    40 Avery Williamson 6-1, 245, Jr.
    47 Jabari Johnson 6-1, 245, RSFr.
    10 Tyler Brause 6-4, 239, RSSo.
    45 Pancho Thomas 6-0, 225, Fr.

    WILLBACKER
    54 Malcolm McDuffen 6-3, 220, RSSo.
    49 Demarius Rancifer 6-2, 221, RSFr.
    22 Khalid Henderson 6-1, 220, Fr.

    SAMBACKER
    32 Miles Simpson 6-2, 223, RSSo.
    8 Josh Forrest 6-4, 230, RSFr.
    34 Kory Brown 6-0, 207, RSSo. Juco
    7 Daron Blaylock 6-1, 215, Fr.

    BOUNDARY CORNER
    15 Marcus Caffey 5-11, 192, RSFr.
    38 Eric Simmons 6-0, 197, RSSo.
    3 Fred Tiller 6-0, 180, Fr.
    16 Cody Quinn 5-10, 163, Fr.
    36 Jerry Williams 6-0, 166, RSFr. walkon
    33 Kirk Smith 5-11, 166, RSFr. walkon

    FIELD CORNER
    35 Cartier Rice 5-10, 183, RSSr.
    28 Eric Dixon 5-11, 187, So.
    27 Shawn Blaylock 5-10, 166, Fr.
    24 Jonathan Reed 5-9, 185, Fr.
    36 Kristofer O’Bryant 5-7, 175, RSSr. walkon

    STRONG SAFETY
    1 Martavius Neloms 6-1, 186, Sr.
    18 Glenn Faulkner 6-2, 185, So.
    20 Josh Harris 6-0, 195, Fr.
    43 Sterling Wright 5-11, 201, Fr.

    FREE SAFETY
    5 Ashley Lowery 6-1, 212, So.
    31 Mikie Benton 5-11, 195, RSSr. walkon
    37 Dakotah Tyler 5-11, 207, RSJr.
    17 Zack Blaylock 6-0, 188, Fr.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by IamRV 21 months ago

  • I think guys adjusting to the schemes will help, especially those who will be in their 2nd year under Minter. Minter did a fairly good job last season of putting his guys in a position to be successful as they could be (given our lack of offensive production) and given our personnel I think there's a good chance he can optimize what we have on the roster despite the lack of elite talent.

    This could be a very, very solid group the season after next provided staffing doesn't change.

  • In our last 2 games of the year, (against Georgia and UT) we allowed an average of 296 total yards of offense. That would put us #8 in the country in total defense (we were #58 for the year). I'm not saying we now have a top 10 defense, but for our defense to end the season that well, against teams that have consistent 4 and 5 star players all over their rosters, is a great indicator of how this year could play out. I'm most concerned about our Corners, but I'm hopeful the young players will step up.

  • 2013. I've been saying awhile if the fans can hold onto their pants and let Joker withstand the "storm" (last year and this year most likely), 2013 and beyond should be pretty solid by uk football standards.

    I think we'll actually see improvement this year in the D - Minter's year 2 and we have some talent. Even though there's some inexperience, I think that's thrown out the door 4-5 games into the season.

    And I definitely agree with your comments in regards to our offense. Our O will be improved, and I believe our TOP will be vastly improved - which keeps our D on the sidelines. A key fact many seem to overlook when talking about last year's defensive statistics - our D was on the field way too much last year b/c of the utter ineptitude of our O.

  • RV, I thought Lowery was a SS and Faulkner was a FS.

  • No question that if we can bring it like we did late last year the whole season we'll be going to a bowl. Hands down and probably a pretty good bowl.

  • I know everyone talks about how the corners are going to be young,but being a senior and not very good doesnt do much for you anyhow.

    Who would you take:
    Williamson or Sneed
    Dupree or Wilson
    Caffey or Burden
    Rice or Mosley

    talent for talent who would you take...... because having experience doesnt mean much if it doesnt make plays.

  • A secondaries best friend is a good pass rush. With what we have up front and Minter's aggressiveness I believe we will have a solid pass rush. If we get our offense and special teams playing better that'll help the d out a ton.

  • Easy.

    Williamson
    Dupree
    Caffey
    Rice.

    I never liked Burden or Mosely either one. I want fast physical corners.

  • I agree completely, I really hope we can have a good conistent pass rush this year. I like our chances as long as everyone stays healthy, especially off the end with Ukwu. Pass rush=hurried or blind throws=INT's and/or fumbles. I love seeing offense go for 400-500 yards but nothing makes me happier than a D that gets after you all game and causes TOs, which I think we can have. Maybe not this year, but I like Minter's scheme.

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  • Tell us your thoughts about the deffence.

  • Good point...I would argue Burden is far superior to Rice w/o a doubt. Caffey..we don't know, but on paper appears to be a better athlete. I never was really down with Mosley at CB...great kid but not a very good CB.

  • I would maybe take Burden over Rice but not by much. The other three I take Williamson, Dupree and Caffey.

    The only positions that I see much of a drop off on defense are the LB positions played by Trevathan and Guy.

    The safety positions should be even stronger with all of the players returning and the addition of Tyler.

    The DL returns intact and came on strong at the end of the year. I know some have shown concern about the DEs but IMO Ukwu, Douglas,and Huguenin who have all bulked up to the mid 260 to 270 range and Dupree and Paschal at the Hybrid DE/LB position will get the job done this year. This doesn't even take into account senior Wyndham and True Freshman Newton.

    Williamson and Dupree IMO are as good or better than the players they replaced and both were getting about equal playing time as the starters at the end of the year.

    It remains to be seen whether Trevathan and Guys replacements can step up and get the job done.. The good thing however is there is a plethora of good young athletes at both positions.

    Quality depth at some positions could be a problem unless some of the young incoming Freshmen can step up and be up for the task.

    I see the defense being at least equal to last years defense and maybe better.

    This post was edited by Cll80 21 months ago

  • Williamson
    Dupree
    Caffey
    Mosley

  • Like most teams at UK, the defense will only be as good as the offense allows them to be. UK's offense last year was awful. As a result UK's defense last year was awful. The Cats, since the Claiborne and early Curry years, have not had a defense that could be relied upon to consistently shut down SEC-caliber opponents because there simply wasn't enough talent to equal the caliber of athlete on the other side of the ball. And even during the Claiborne/early Curry years, the Cats couldn't shut those teams down enough to compensate for bad offenses.

    I see no difference in this defensive unit and past recent units, in the sense that I don't think you can send them on the field and ask them to consistently shut an opponent down when the UK offense is having a bad day. The defense lost the best 2 players/athletes on the team (DT and WG) to the NFL. It returns most of the DL, replaces all the LBs, and replaces most of the secondary. I don't remember a single season where the DL stayed intact for an entire season. Injuries always hit that group and cause problems because the quality (or experienced) depth usually isn't there. And while some of the replacements in the LB and secondary groups have played, this will be their first season taking a leading role.

    Bottom line, UK is going to struggle on defense if the offense doesn't get better than last year. If the offense can move the ball this year and score some points, the defense numbers should improve from last year.