Braxton Kelley is not a Kentucky native. Yet even though he knew little about the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry when he came to UK from LaGrange, Ga., the junior linebacker know considers himself a part of the rivalry.
"I get kind of amused with all the hype not being from here. I am not used to this rivarly. But coming in and being part of the program now for a couple of years, it really is on my mind and I dislike these guys, too, like everyone else from here does," Kelley said.
So he's like a Kentucky native when it comes to his desire to beat Louisville?
"I guess so. You can say that. I am out to try and win every game. That is my goal. But I really want to win this game," Kelley said. "They have a really good offense. They have one of the top offenses in the nation. We have to be on our P's and Q's as a defense if we are going to stop them. Last game we were not as sound as we should have been. We have to really stress that this week and try to play a lot better if we want a chance to beat them."
Kentucky was no match for the Cardinals last year when Louisville scored 31 unanswered points in a 59-28 win.
"Last year they had an offensive performance for the ages. It was like one of the worst feelings I ever had as a defensive player getting beat as bad as we did, giving up 59 points I think. It was terrible. This year hopefully we have improved. Hopefully we come ready to play from the beginning of the game, play good for the entire game and come out with a victory and try to stop their high-powered offense," Kelley said.
And how do you stop quarterback Brian Brohm and that offense?
"Brian Brohm, being one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, if not the top quarterback, you have to pressure that guy into mistakes. You have to get pressure as a defense coming from everywhere," Kelley said. "You have to pressure him up the middle and from the outside, and force him into mistakes that result in turnovers. We need to get as many turnovers as we can.
"With the receivers they have and the speed they have on their team, it is hard to cover those guys for four or five seconds. You have to get some pressure from the line or by blitzing the linebackers or by any way possible to get there. That is the only way you are going to rattle that guy and win."
Kelley now part of the rivalry
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