VAUGHT: Tamme, UK to give Gators their best shot

Jacob Tamme was being touted as the best tight end in the Southeastern Conference, a player who could change UK's offensive fortunes with his ability. Or at least that was the talk in Big Blue Land after his impressive two-touchdown performance at Tennessee last year in his first game as a tight end.

This season Tamme has been effective, but not the dominant player many expected. Going into Saturday's game with Florida, he's second on the team with eight receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown.

"People have taken notice of Jacob Tamme," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "They are trying to bury him at the line and take him away from us. They are making it difficult to throw the ball to him. It's not like we are the only ones who know he's a special talent."

Tamme says he's noticed safeties paying more attention to him and that he's often been covered by a smaller, quicker safety instead of a bigger, slower linebacker. "But it's not that much different," Tamme said. "We have had guys open. It's just been bad timing. Sometimes I've been open and the protection breaks down. Sometimes we protect well and then something happens in my route. Teams really aren't doing anything special to stop me, it's just been more bad timing than anything."

He said he got behind the Indiana defense on a play-action pass last week only to have the ball come up short when Andre Woodson was hit as he threw. "We had a good shot at a touchdown there if Andre had not got hit. It's just been that kind of year," Tamme said.

He's adapted well to the more physical play at tight end after spending his first two years at Kentucky as a wide receiver.

"I'm sure more teams will try to get even more physical, but our defense has done a good job of getting me ready for that. Once I get to a game, it's not that bad," he said. "I'm not wearing down because we have not been on the field enough offensively. We are conditioned really well. After games my legs feel great because we have not been on the field long enough. We have to work at staying on the field more and getting the defense off."

He said words like disappointed, shocked and frustrated all described how he felt after the loss at Indiana. But he's also eager to face No. 5 Florida Saturday.

"The Indiana game is over. We didn't do what we wanted to do, but the great thing is this Saturday we can reprove everything on national TV against the Gators in our SEC opener," Tamme said. "We have to bring our best shot at them, but I think we will."

He turned off his radio this week because he knew what he would hear about his team would not be flattering. But he says not to give up on the Cats just yet.

"I knew after the Indiana game that there would not be any positive vibes to hear," Tamme said. "There was some real soul searching and thinking that our team needed to do. I think now we have a fresh attitude, but that's got to get even better. We aren't going to win Saturday unless we are ready, so I am getting ready because I don't want to experience anything like last Saturday again."

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