Deaderick Preparing For Homestate Team
Alabama, 5-0 and ranked second in the nation, plays its first SEC home game after league games on the road the past two weeks. Kentucky, 4-0, will be playing its first conference game in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. with CBS televising the game.
Alabama will have only one native Kentuckian on its squad when the Crimson Tide hosts the Wildcats. Brandon Deaderick is a 6-4, 287-pound junior defensive end from Elizathetown, "about an hour and a half," he said, from the Kentucky campus in Lexington.
Deaderick was a Louisville fan as youngster. Elizabethtown is only about 30 minutes from Louisville. But as he grew older he became more of a Kentucky fan because he knew men playing for the Wildcats. And Kentucky was among those who recruited him coming out of high school.
"They recruited me pretty heavily, but I thought this was a better place for me for football," Deaderick said. "Kentucky is a great basketball state, and basketball makes you athletic. They love it. Their coliseum is like the Bryant-Denny of basketball. I guess you love what you're good at. We're football, they're basketball, at Maryland they worship lacrosse."
Deaderick said he played basketball in high school and was "pretty good." He added, "everyone plays basketball up there."
And, Deaderick said, Kentucky football is getting better. This year's edition of the Wildcats defeated Western Kentucky by a 41-3 margin last week. A few weeks ago Alabama had a similar outcome against the Hilltoppers, 41-7.
Kentucky leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 5.5 points per game, and ranks third in pass efficiency defense and fourth in total defense, allowing just 227.3 yards per game.
Deaderick said emphasis in practice has been on "fundamentals and tackling. I think we have been focused and determined not to have any let-up. In this conference, you don't get any off weeks, and you have to play hard on every down or you will get beat. Teams that aren't supposed to lose have it happen every week. Just look at USC and Florida.
"Kentucky is a good team and in college football – especially in the SEC – on any given Saturday anybody can win. It is just a couple of plays that can be the difference between winning and losing, so you have to stay focused. Kentucky is undefeated just like us, and we know we are in for a challenge. They have a balanced offense--good, fast backs—and a solid front."
Deaderick said Alabama is going out and "trying to dominate on every play. We're trying to be aggressive, physical, and fly to the ball. We try to get better in our execution every play."
Deaderick, who has seven tackles with a sack for minus 11 yards and a quarterback hurry, said that Alabama is able to play pass defense without much blitzing. "If we can do it without a blitz and put pressure on the quarterback, that helps our defensive backs," he said. "I haven't had a lot of sacks, but sacks will come. Our job is to get a hand in the quarterback's face, hit him, and not let him get in a comfort zone."
Deaderick said that having Terrence Cody at nose tackle is a help to the defensive front, and so is the depth. "I think Terrence, Bobby Greenwood and I have played well, and when the second group comes in—Josh Chapman, Lorenzo Washington, Luther Davis—they are playing great, too. We have a lot of guys contributing."
Deaderick wasn't crying over Alabama's defense giving up its first rushing touchdown of the year last week when Georgia's Knowshone Moreno went in from two yards out while Deaderick was being held. "You get held every play," Deaderick said. "It's frustrating if you have a competitive spirit. But the most important thing is to be able to come back from that."
Deaderick was asked what he would like a coach to say about him. The defender said, "That I was relentless and dominated my man. If every man on the team wins on a play, good things happen. You have to work hard, hit hard, and play fast."
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