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Kentucky defense treating Murray State like an SEC opponent

The Kentucky defense is preparing to play FCS team Murray State as if they were Alabama for Florida.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Many Kentucky fans consider this Saturday’s upcoming matchup with Murray State a cupcake game.

At the end of the day, it may just be, but don’t tell Kentucky’s defense that.

Kentucky’s defensive coaches and players are preparing for Murray State as if they were Florida or Alabama.

Linebacker Kash Daniel, who leads the SEC in total tackles, knows that the team can’t take their foot off the brakes.

“They’re trying into come to beat us it. The mentality is no matter who you’re playing, come out and try to get better each day, and try to punish people. We’re not thinking just because it’s an FCS school they’re gonna roll over for us.”

SEC defensive player of the week Josh Allen is with Daniel.

“Have to push forward. We’re trying to beat them. We’ve played a lot of FCS teams in the past and have had a lot of close games.”

As for what the team has seen from Murray State, defensive coordinator Matt House see’s talent.

“They test you in space. They throw the ball around. Big splits to create creases in the run game. Multiple formations. I think they’re a very good screen team.”

Safety Mike Edwards says despite the talent, the Murray State offense is nothing complicated.

“They do pretty simple schemes. Two by two sets. Get their playmakers the ball. Nothing too special.”

Edwards did add; however, their opponent will be motivated.

“They’ll try to get known for beating an SEC opponent. They’ll come out and be ready to play.”

As for the keys to victory, both Edwards and Allen believe it will be causing turnovers.

The team has a negative-four turnover differential over the first two games, and both players know this needs to improve.

“One of the keys to improvement for our defense is to take away the ball, said Edwards. “We need to help the offense and get them the ball back.”

Allen wasn’t satisfied with only being even in the turnover battle against Florida and wants to be on the right side this week.

“I think we ended up even, but we need to get on the plus side and will go hard to get it this week.”

Overall, House says he’s been pleased with his team’s practices this week.

“We just had a high-energy great practice. That’s the key to having a great season. You don’t ride with the highs and lows. You just keep grinding.”

Kentucky will look to create turnovers and keep the foot on the gas when Murray State comes to Kroger Field Saturday afternoon.