The Kentucky senior-heavy defense is preparing for one more home game as Wildcats.
A unit that had been so dominant this season has fallen on some hard times after back to back bad performances in losses to Georgia and Tennessee.
Cornerback Derrick Baity said the team needs to use the embarrassing loss to Tennessee as motivation.
“Remember how you felt after we left Knoxville. That was a three-hour silent, so keep that in your head.”
Cornerback Lonnie Johnson felt like Kentucky never should’ve lost to Tennessee in the first place.
“We shouldn’t have lost to them boys. We know for a fact that we have to come out strong against anybody.” Johnson said.
“We train harder, and we gotta be more exact” defensive coordinator Matt House said when talking about what his unit needs to do to improve.
The Cats defense will turn it’s attention to a Blue Raiders offense that ranks in the top half of the nation in points scored per game with 30.4. They’re led by senior quarterback Brent Stockstill who has thrown for 2,298 passing yards with 21 touchdown passes along with 165 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
“He’s got a good arm.” safety Mike Edwards said of Stockstill. “They’ve got a couple fast guys that get the ball into space. They’re going to try to challenge you. They might come out with some trick plays. You never know.”
For many players on the Kentucky defense, Saturday will be their last game at Kroger Field. Edwards and Josh Allen all talked about what they will miss most about Kentucky.
“The fans. They’re great fans, and just being out there with all my brothers,” Edwards answered.
Allen’s answer was a simple one: “Football.”
For Allen, Senior Day gives him another chance to get a sack. With one more, Allen will be the program’s all-time sack leader.
“It would mean a lot,” Allen said of possibly breaking the record. “I’ve worked extremely hard. That was one of my goals in coming back this season, to break the records.”
Despite it being an emotional day, the Wildcats still know there’s a game that has to be won.
“The season ain’t over. We’ve got to keep the same mentality, one game at a time, and win.” said Baity.
The Cats will look for that win on a day that will be much of the defense’s last time taking the field in Lexington.