Comments from Wednesday’s practice on facing Tennessee from defensive coordinator Nick Holt, senior defensive end Bar’ee Boyd, senior linebacker Chuck Franks and junior safety Jonathan Dowling.
UT offense: “Extremely efficient run game, big, physical offensive line, good skill at running back and receivers. Big, strong, tall quarterbacks that can run the ball and check it.
“Watching film of them this last week, they looked really good. Real solid and physical, big and experienced – we got our work cut out for us.”
WKU D-line vs. UK: “There was some good things, but there are a lot of things that are correctable and I think we’ll get better. I think we can make a huge improvement from the first game to the second game. I think a lot of them got a lot of plays that they had not gotten in the past.
“They got experience now. Two freshmen played and had some snaps. Some of the other guys that had not played much in the past got a lot of snaps. It’s something we can build on and coach off of.”
Focused for UT? “I think they are. I think once they watched the film of Tennessee on Sunday and Monday, they know what they’re in for. It’s very evident on film, you see a real good football team. We need to rise up and bring our best game and play hard. We need to get some turnovers, we need to tackle really well. They have some excellent running backs and, like I said, they have an offensive line that’s very experienced and very good, so we got our work cut out for us.”
Turnovers: “We have to absolutely capitalize on all those opportunities. We really had three legitimate interceptions in our hands and then another one that could’ve been great play. Then we had a sack, caused fumble and we need to get on those plays – they ended up getting the ball back on that.
“There’s four turnovers, four or five turnovers right there that we need to get those to beat teams like the team we’re playing right now: Tennessee. That’s the gonna be the difference – and we gotta do that every week to help out our offense. We need to get the offense the ball, as you well know, they can do some good things once they get the ball in their hands.”
UT tackles vs. WKU ends: “Their two offensive tackles are excellent, huge-type kids. Our defensive ends are not the biggest guys, so we need to be smart and make sure that they’re playing with really good technique and good pad level and we gotta keep ‘em fresh, rotate some guys.
“Those guys on the end, at our end position, need to do a real good job with attacking their key and playing with good pad level. That’s all you can do. They are what they are. They’re quick and Tennessee plays a lot of two-tights and three tight end-type formations and do a nice job of zone blocking and our guys are gonna have to hold up and stay in their gaps.
“We gotta change some things up. It is what it is. We can’t find any new huge defensive ends, we don’t have really any. We like our defensive ends, they’re quick and they’ll be just find, hopefully.”
UT’s offense: “My coach gonna have me prepared for ‘em, gonna have the whole D-line prepared for ‘em, so I’m saying we should be alright.”
Play vs. UK: “I think we needed more of a better rush, but I think we’re gonna get it done this week.”
Spin move: “I gotta couple that I ain’t pull out yet, you’ll see.”
UT’s run game: “They got some pretty good backs, but like I said, we’re gonna be prepared.”
SEC win No. 2: “We believe we can do it. We got a good gameplan in, we gotta do down there and play physical, play fast, stop the run.”
Program’s progress: “Definitely come a long way since 2009 when we played ‘em. That was actually my first college game. A lot better players in here now, we’ve had great coaches along the way that helped build the program to where it is now.
“Now all we gotta do is we just gotta go down there and play ball. We know we can play with these guys – we just gotta go down there and just leave it all out on the field.”
UT run game: “It’s really no different than anybody else. Most teams use one, two, three backs just to give a good pound against the defense. We know we gotta go down there and stop the run, like I said. We just gotta go down there and play ball, be physical.”
UT game in 2009: “The biggest thing about playing down there is it’s gonna be loud. It’s gonna be loud. The thing for our team is we gotta lock into the calls and focus – focus into our assignment and read our keys. That’s gonna be the biggest thing, it’s gonna be a real, real loud game.”
Team’s focus: “Big win last week, we enjoyed it for 24 hours, moved on to Tennessee for this week and we’re all focused in and we’re ready to play Saturday.”
Underdog role: “We don’t feel like that. Those guys put their pads on just the way we do. We feel like we can go in and we can play against anybody. As long as we lock in and focus, we step on the field just like they step on the field. Just come to play.”
UT O-line: “They have a talented offensive line. Of course we’ve watched a lot of film on them this week and of course in preseason. We’re just gonna go out and play fast and play physical, try to beat them to the punch.”
WKU wide receiver injury: “Nah, it don’t (change the gameplan). I’m gonna take the same respect I take towards anybody. Just ready to play the game, focus on what we gotta do, take care of our gameplan and it’ll be alright.”
Dropped INTs vs. UK: “We was mad at ourselves for the drops that we had, but we just gotta keep working and concentrate a lot more. That’s all it is, concentrate a lot more and just try to make the plays that they give us.”
Being an underdog: “I don’t look at is an upset. We go to work everyday just like they go to work. I feel like coach Petrino and coach Holt they’re gonna have a great gameplan for us. I feel like we done put in the work – we’ll see Saturday.”
Being an underdog: “We don’t look at it as being the underdog. We ain’t the underdogs.”