Kentucky's offense impresses Kines

As Alabama's defensive coordinator, it's Joe Kines' job to worry the most about stopping Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen. <br><br>"His ability is amazing," Kines said. "He's got a great feel and knack for making things happen on the run."

Listed at 6-4, 260 pounds, the so-called "Hefty Lefty" certainly doesn't look like he'd be quick on his feet. Kines commented, "When you first see him you think he's probably not very mobile, but the longer you study him on tape--he's probably as valuable to his team as any quarterback in the country. He does a great job of throwing the ball down the field."

Like the Tide, Kentucky's players are also adjusting to a new head coach and offensive schemes. But when things break down, Lorenzen's strong left arm often bails the Wildcats out.

Kines talked about Lorenzen's arm strength. "The best measure of how strong a quarterback's arm is comes by asking ‘Can he throw the far out? Can he line up on this hash and throw the ball back across the field to a wide receiver that's running an out on the far side?'

Lorenzen can hurt you either running or passing, but he's most dangerous when the play breaks down and he starts to improvise. (Getty Images)

"Lorenzen throws that pass like a rope."

For wide-open offenses, normally if a quarterback throws more touchdowns than interceptions, his head coach is satisfied. Last season Lorenzen had an amazing 25-to-5 touchdowns to interceptions ratio. Joe Kines points to his experience and football savvy as the answer.

"Lorenzen's a four-year starter, so he's not going to see a coverage or rush that he hasn't seen in the last four years," Kines said. "He's a veteran player with good eyes. He is literally a fighter. He does a great job trying to win the game, which is what football is about. He's a winner. He has a fighter's mentality."

With his size and strength, would-be tacklers often seem to bounce off him. Will Alabama alter its rushing schemes this week?

"I don't see how you can," Kines said. "What you have to realize is that he has a great ability to shake the rush. We'll practice and rush hard on that this week, but as far as changing up our scheme, I wouldn't think so. It doesn't affect our schemes at all. We've just got to do a good job and get him on the ground."

Lorenzen isn't the only big quarterback Bama must deal with Saturday. Shane Boyd (6-2, 220) is no midget himself, and the Wildcats will line up the multi-talented athlete all over the field.

"They've got a great package with (Boyd)," Kines said. "They play him at quarterback and run the option, at tailback and run the toss sweep, at wide receiver and run him deep and on underneath routes... When they put him in the game, they're going to do something with him. He's not a decoy, you can count on that. They're going to try to get the ball in his hands. It's amazing the number of different places he plays in the game."

In contrast to the Hal Mumme years, Kentucky lists the standard two receivers, two running backs and one tight end on its depth chart.

So far, Joe Kines has the Alabama defense playing well.

"Kentucky's receivers are good," Kines said. "The Abney kid (5-10, 175 pound senior Derek Abney) gets all the publicity returning kicks, but he's probably as valuable to them as a wide receiver. He does a nice job running routes.

"The thing that impresses you most about Kentucky's throwing game is the ability of their quarterback to make something happen off of a bad play. Usually those downfield throws have been for huge chunks of yardage."

New Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks is determined to run the football, but his rush game has been inconsistent so far. "They've changed the scheme from last year, so they're going through a little bit of a transition," Kines noted. "They've got a good offensive line. They block the running game very well. They've tried different backs in there."

Like his Alabama counterpart, Brooks spent time in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. "They give you a test alignment-wise as good as anybody," Kines said. "They'll go from two backs and one tight end to three wides. They change formations up. They've got a nice package. They've got a strong inside trap game using the fullback that a lot of teams don't have."

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