Kentucky Wildcats defensive coordinator Matt House stuck around after today’s practice to answer some questions about his defense. The Cats wrapped up training camp and are installing their game plan for the team’s opener against Central Michigan.
“You’re always excited to get to game prep,” House said. “But I’ll be honest with you, I love training camp. I really do. I look forward to spending the time with the kids. It’s the one time in college football when they don’t have class, and you just get them. So that’s kind of fun.”
When asked about how much game tape the team has watched in preparation for Kentucky’s opening night clash with Central Michigan, coach House was quick to respond.
“Quite a bit. We’ve been looking at them, as they have probably us, since the end of the spring,” House said.
A lot of House’s time during the press conference was spent discussing his linebacking corp, especially with the return of senior inside linebacker Jordan Jones.
Jones had been sidelined earlier during training camp with an ankle injury. When asked what Jones brings to the team, House emphasized his experience.
“Certainly, number one, fresh legs. We all know Jordan can run around. You get more depth and another older guy.”
House sees five guys who could play significant time at inside linebacker this season. That’s a good thing, since the Cats lost Denzil Ware, Eli Brown, and last year’s senior leader Courtney Love.
“I feel like there’s five guys that can play game snaps at inside backer right now,” said UK’s defensive coordinator. “You got Jordan (Jones) obviously, and Kash (Daniel), Jamin (Davis), DeAndre (Square), and Chris (Oats).”
Jamin Davis is an interesting prospect. He was a redshirt last season after playing his high school ball at Long County High School in Ludowici, Georgia.
“Yeah, he’s gotten better,” House said when asked about Davis’ improvement from his redshirt season. “He’s gotten better and I’m excited to see where he goes.”
House said that he’s ready for the upcoming week of practice.
“When you line up to play the offense and they line up to play us, they know every call and we know every call, so that’s the one thing about getting into a game week. You get to do something new.”
If there’s one thing the Wildcats’ defense will focus on heading into next week, it’ll be attention to detail and taking care of the little things.
“I think you always got to continue to work your situations. We’ll do another two-minute (drill) tomorrow with Coach (Stoops),” said House when asked about what his defense needs to ratchet up. “You’re just continuing to hammer those situations and then putting the ball down and getting used to some different run fits and things that you might not necessarily see from your offense.”
Kentucky’s defensive coordinator, much like the UK fan base, sounds like he’s ready for the Wildcats to kickoff the season. The Cats open the season next Saturday at Kroger Field against Central Michigan.