Jen Smith on UK Football

UK football: A look at some position switches on defense

Defensive match game: Kentucky is still trying to get the right pieces in place to replace starting defensive lineman Regie Meant, who is out indefinitely with a personal issue. That has meant a lot of mixing and matching of personnel to try and find the best fit and get the best 11 players on the field, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said. He broke down some current lineups, which include Matt Elam at the nose guard, Courtney Miggins at defensive end and Adrian Middleton getting reps at first-team tackle. “Then I’ve also seen some good things from our freshman defensive tackles,” Eliot continued. “T.J. Carter, Kordell Looney, Ja’Quize (Cross), they’ve done an excellent job. They’ve got a bright future here.” Miggins also has been seeing time at tackle, too.

Also on the move: Eliot also said there’s been some shifting at other positions on the field, like safeties rotating and the nickel backs seeing time at safety and corner. Blake McClain said on Wednesday that he’s seen extended time at both safety and nickel. “We’ve been getting guys reps in different groups at corner as well,” Eliot added.

On the outside: A regular question for one of the nation’s worst team at getting to the quarterback last season is about play at the outside linebacker spot. Eliot seems pleased with the evolution of Denzil Ware and Josh Allen. “Both of those guys are playing well,” he said.

What Brown can do for them: After being moved over Jordan Jones to the No. 1 linebacker spot early in camp, redshirt freshman Eli Brown has stayed put at that spot. Brown benefited greatly from that year off, Eliot said. “It enabled him to kind of take his time to learning the defense and concentrate on the little things instead of being force fed it for Saturday, so I think he's picked up the defense better this fall than he did last.”

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