Virginia Tech Faces Formidable Kentucky Defense

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Virginia Tech
Hendon Hooker, Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech will face a very good Kentucky defense. (Ivan Morozov)

Last year Kentucky went 10-3 and capped off the season by beating #12 Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. Helmed by defensive guru Mark Stoops (Bob’s brother), this year’s team was one passing game away from challenging Georgia for the SEC East. Now, not being able to throw isn’t exactly a minor handicap, but in nearly every other aspect, this is a good football team. Now that it’s found a self-sustaining running game that don’t need no stinking forward pass, Kentucky is fielding a competitive squad. Whether that competitive squad is the one that lost to Tennessee despite blocking a punt and seeing a Volunteer score called back due to penalty, or the one that trounced in-state rival Louisville, remains to be seen.

Before we get into their spread-option game, let’s look at defense. Like most defensive coordinators, Stoops is a big believer in scheming to take away an offense’s best plays, and they achieve this with a complicated defensive scheme. The Stoops 4-3 has been a flexible defense, equally as comfortable with Under fronts (where the sam linebacker and four DLs are all on the LOS) and the Over front (where the linebackers all stay in the second level.) Historically,