There's a bit of cruel coincidence for Coach Mark Stoops in this week's college football statistics.
The Florida State defense, which he coached and assembled the past few seasons, leads the nation in interceptions with 18 through nine games.
The Kentucky defense, which he currently helps coach, is worst in the nation with just one single, solitary pick in the same number of games.
"Yeah, it's tough," said UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot of the Cats' lack of quarterback picks. "You'd like to see these guys finish more plays and make more interceptions."
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Of course, interceptions aren't all about defensive backs making plays on the ball, Stoops and his staff point out.
It's an overall team thing, too.
"Obviously, we haven't even gotten our hands on many lately," Stoops said. "So it's not even been a matter of catching them or anything like that, just constantly mixing up what we're doing (on defense) and trying to get some turnovers, get some interceptions."
Kentucky hasn't been as good at stopping the run as it would like — 101st in the nation out of 125 teams — thus not forcing many opponents into heaving the ball up and hoping it comes down in the right hands.
The main difference in the stats between Florida State and Kentucky this season is that the Seminoles jump out to huge leads on opponents, requiring them to rely on the passing game to score points quickly.
And the more chances you give a defense, the better the odds of an interception.
"At Florida State, they have great players and a great scheme and there are a lot of playmakers out there with great pressure up front, so it's the whole package," Stoops said this week.
It's not like Stoops, a defensive backs coach at every stop since he started coaching at the college level, is doing anything differently with this team than previous teams.
Are there more drills the defense can do to create more interceptions, the UK defensive coordinator was asked last week.
"I wish there was," Eliot said. "We do everything we've always ever done, so I think that being in the right place is critical, having them covered. Not only that, it's finishing the play. We've had our opportunities to catch the ball and we just haven't done it."
Kentucky has had 156 passes thrown against it since Josh Forrest hauled in the one interception this season, thrown by Florida backup Tyler Murphy.
"We've been working hard at it," UK cornerback Nate Willis said recently when asked about the lack of picks. "We've been working hard to get it, but it never showed up. We gotta get that interception. We gotta get multiple interceptions."
They need multiple interceptions — four in their final three games — to even match the five UK's defense grabbed last season, and even that number was the Cats' fewest since 2005.
Since 1946, the fewest number of Kentucky picks in a season was four in 1990.
It's not as if Kentucky isn't forcing turnovers. The Cats' 10 recovered fumbles (on 16 forced) is tied for 12th best in the nation.
That makes Stoops optimistic that he hasn't lost his touch.
"We're having a hard time getting interceptions," Stoops said last week. "We've got to do a better job getting some interceptions, but it's nice to see us creating some fumbles and getting some turnovers there."
If Kentucky doesn't manage to grab at least one more interception this season, it will be the first team in the nation to have less than two in the past 15 seasons.
Cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley, whose group has been limited some this week by injuries, said UK is doing what it can to create opportunities.
Now his players — and UK's entire team, as Stoops pointed out — need to do their part.
"We do things to emphasize it daily, we just haven't had a chance to get more than one," Ansley said. "We've dropped three or four that could've been critical at the time. So we've just got to do a better job of forcing them and the kids have to do a better job of making them."