UK football looks to keep rolling against Eastern Kentucky


Kentucky linebackers Jordan Jones and Josh Allen celebrate after a tackle during the game against Georgia on Saturday, November 5, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

AJ Harris

On Saturday, Sept. 9 at noon, the UK football team will look to move to 2-0 on the season against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels who are 0-1 on the season.

The Cats are coming off of a good season opener against Southern Miss where they won 24-17, thanks in large part to their stout defensive effort. The Colonels, an FCS team, weren’t so lucky as they fell to Western Kentucky 17-31.

Both teams are very well rounded. In order for Kentucky to win this game, defense will be the key. The Cats have to get to the quarterback early and often as the Colonels passed for 320 yards in their first game against the Hilltoppers.

Another key to success for the Cats will be to force three-and-outs when the opportunities present themselves, as they were extremely effective on third down in their game against Southern Miss.

The Cats will likely lean on the DE/LB duo of Josh Allen and Denzil Ware, also known as the “Blitz Brothers.” These two make up one of the SEC’s top pass rushing pairs, having totaled 132 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, eight quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles last season.

For the Colonels, they will have to show a well-rounded defensive effort if they hope to pull off the victory. Eastern Kentucky will have to shut down the run as the Cats will try to establish the ground game early on, thanks to having Benny Snell Jr. in the backfield.

The Colonels will look for a big performance from their top defensive end in Aaron Patrick. Last season, Patrick earned first-team All-OVC honors and was named a sophomore All-American after tallying 53 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries.