White knows Britain’s defense still has room to improve – UK Athletics


From the outside, it looks like Kentucky’s defense is at the top of its game. Cats seem to do many, if not all, of the right things.

Kentucky shut out Youngstown State 31-0 on Saturday, the first time Britain has shut out an opponent since 2009 (Miami University). It was the Cats’ first home shutout since Vanderbilt’s 1996 shutout.

Going back to the game against Florida, Kentucky hasn’t allowed a run in more than six quarters. In fact, it’s been 95 minutes and 49 seconds since anyone scored on the British defence.

The cats are currently 12 years olde in the nation by scoring defense through three games, allowing just 9.67 points per game. UK turns 14e in the country on total defense, giving up just 253.7 yards per game.

That’s all fantastic, but Britain’s defensive coordinator Brad White knows it’s still early days and there’s still a lot his unit can do better.

“We have a lot to fix. We’re far from great,” White said when asked if he coaches a great defense. “We’ve had a few solid games at this stage, but it’s a quarter of the season. And this season is no different than a game. You can play a good quarter, you have three quarters left.

White is encouraged by much of what his unit has done but knows he can play even better.

“We have to correct the mistakes we made in those first three games, point out what we did well,” White said. “Try to keep making more of these games so we can play better football.”

The experience they bring to the pitch every Saturday is one of the things that makes this defense effective. White knows that experience is one of the most important characteristics a unit can have.

“There is nothing more important to me than experience. And not just games, but quality, experience, understanding and knowledge,” said White. “And that’s what we’re blessed with right now. We’re lucky to have a group of veterans who not only played a lot of shots, but they understand football, they understand the scheme, they understand the adjustments. It allows us to go to half-time and change things. When you have that kind of guy in the locker room, it makes a huge difference.

The Cats will face another quality opponent, Northern Illinois, on Saturday. White knows the Huskies are the type of team that can get anyone in trouble.

“I think their identity is rooted in who they are. They are a tough and uncompromising football team. I think their O-line, they play really well together, they do a good job of getting people off the ball,” White said. “Their running backs do a good job setting up blocks, they run hard. Their receivers, they make the necessary plays in the pass game and when they have the chance to break free, they can score a big one. They’re physical, they’re strong, they play with a tough mentality. These teams are always very tough.

Kentucky hopes to continue using its experience to build an elite defense. The next challenge for White’s squad is Saturday against Northern Illinois.

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