For three straight days now, coach Mark Stoops and his Kentucky football team have repeatedly said something has to change when it takes the field Saturday. Tennessee is coming to town and it’s imperative that the Wildcats learn from a 42-16 loss to Mississippi State — one where quarterback Dak Prescott torched Kentucky’s defense for six touchdowns.
On Saturday in Lexington, that defense will have another high-octane quarterback, Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs, to deal with.
Through seven games, Dobbs has five rushing touchdowns and nine passing, making him a threat both on the ground and through the air.
“You see him getting better and better with every game, with every rep. I think you see him with great command of the offense and what they’re doing — a guy that’s very comfortable back there,” Stoops said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. “He’s just one of those guys for a defensive guy, he’s very aggravating because he has a great presence back there. He’s strong. He can run it on designed quarterback runs, but he also has a good feel for eluding pressure.”
In addition to Dobbs, the defense will have its hands full with running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara.
Hurd has eight rushing touchdowns and is averaging nearly 95 yards yards per game on the ground. Kamara has three rushing and two receiving touchdowns in addition to a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown this season against Western Carolina.
“I think you’d have to not know a lot about football if you gave any answer other than extremely impressive,” Stoops responded when asked about the duo. “Those are some talented guys — very good, strong runners. Just the whole package. Jalen Hurd is a special football player and so is Alvin. They’re both very good players and they put a lot of pressure on a defense.”