Report Card: Secondary much improved in 2014



By Annie Dunbar

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After collapsing in 2013, UK’s secondary showed great improvement throughout the 2014 season with safeties A.J. Stamps, Ashley Lowery and cornerback Cody Quinn leading the pack.

In his first season at UK, Stamps, a JUCO transfer, started every game and led the secondary in tackles with 56 in 2014.

Lowery wasn’t far behind. The senior finished in the top-10 amongst defensive leaders with 48 tackles on the season. He saw action in all 12 games, while starting in seven of them.

Quinn also finished in the top-10 amongst the defensive leaders. The junior started in every game in 2014 and tallied 35 tackles on the season.

Other notable performances came from sophomore safety Marcus McWilson and sophomore cornerback J.D. Harmon. McWilson saw action in all 12 games while starting in two. He notched 31 tackles on the season. Harmon also saw action in every game and tallied 29 tackles.

In comparison to last season, one of the biggest improvement factors for the Cats came down to interceptions.

UK tallied just three interceptions throughout the 2013 season with only one coming from the secondary. In 2014, that statistic jumped to 15 takeaways for 309 returning yards, while four of the interceptions were returned for touchdowns.

Stamps was a significant addition to the secondary as he contributed heavily to the interception statistic. The safety snagged four out of the 15 interceptions for a total of 103 returning yards. Fortunately for UK, Stamps will return in 2015 for his senior season.

Quinn, McWilson and Harmon will also be returning next year, giving UK’s secondary even more of a boost.

The Cats’ secondary took strides in the right direction, but were showed to be inconsistent as the season went on. Opponents tallied a total of 2,589 receiving yards against UK for 22 touchdowns.

Overall, the secondary showed flashes of improvement, especially in comparison to the 2013 season. The self-proclaimed “Bad Boys” of UK receives a B- for 2014.