Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: House on shaking off Florida, Eastern Michigan prep and a backup who’s surprised him


On his view of two uncovered touchdowns: “We were looking at the formation coming out. It’s inexcusable, it won’t happen again. We’ve addressed it as a staff. We’ll have guys from up top and down low looking at our position on the football.”

On how they address those plays with team: “I think we all take ownership from the players to the coaches. You win as a team, you lose as a team. You just address it, correct it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

On if losing Baity affected them in second half: “I thought we had guys step up. I mean, Derrick is a good player, but we’ve got other guys that stepped up too.”

On Jordan Griffin: “He’s progressing, and I think he’s had to play a bunch of different positions. So, he’s done some good things. He’s got to keep growing.”

On DBs in general this season: “You know, at times we’ve looked good and at times we want to play better. I think just like any group we’re striving for a little more consistency there and better plays on the ball.”

On Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback: “He’s a really, really talented kid. He gets the ball out fast. He throws those back-shoulder fades really well, makes their offense run.”

On keeping last week’s loss from beating you this week, too: “That’s a great question and coach addressed it Monday. Basically he said, you can’t let anybody beat you twice and I think we have to learn and press on. Quite honestly, the best thing to do is to get back out on the practice field after something like that. And then the next best thing is can’t wait until Saturday so we can get back on the field and correct it.”

On film review positives and negatives: “Well coming out of the half, I thought we responded out of the half in the third quarter. We had two three-and-outs and then an interception on the next series. And then in the fourth quarter, we missed some critical stops on third downs and we missed tackles in the fourth quarter and we gave up two scoring drives at the end. That’s not acceptable how we finished.”

On if mistakes at end were them being tired: “I think there’s a lot of factors, but in any SEC football game fatigue’s — at the end, you’ve got to make plays when both teams are tired in the fourth quarter and we just didn’t make enough.”

On tackling: “Yeah, and I think that’s a reoccurring — that’s something you’ve just gotta keep practicing, keep working, keep growing. I thought the South Carolina game it was good. Florida game at times it was good. Then at the end I didn’t think it was real good, real clean.”

On a backup who’s surprised him: “I’ll tell you what, Boogie (Watson) has done some good things in small samples. He’s had to move all over the place. He made a play on a third down that was pretty dang good. He’s done some things. You look inside and I think as a whole those guys are getting a lot of good things done as a group. Kinda by committee. I think the depth in general we’ve been able to play on the D-line has been positive.”

On if he thought Darius West would come back so quick to lead them in tackles: “I’ll tell you what, he’s played well. Yeah, I had that conversation with him the other day that it’s time for him to vocally step up a little bit because he is making plays. He’s knocked off the cobwebs awful fast and has made some big plays.”

On if Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback reminds him of anyone they’ve seen: “The kid from South Carolina got the ball out fast, but he was a different style of quarterback. This kid, he throws back-shoulder fades as good as anybody. We worked it all week. He really gets the ball out fast. That part reminds me of (Jake) Bentley a little bit, but Bentley didn’t throw the back-shoulder fades like this kid.”

On how they’re preparing for Roback: “Whether you’re in zone or man, a lot of times on back-shoulder fades it’s a one-on-one battle. Really the only coverage on a back-shoulder fade that you do have a true bracket on him is in cover two and then he hits the hole shot, so it’s a mixture of those things.”