When the Wildcats journeyed down to LSU last season, UK's defensive line was nicked up to the point of having to use a second string defensive end, a second string defensive tackle, and a loaner offensive tackle at defensive tackle just to be able to line up with bodies at the position. It takes no mental heavyweight to figure out that this is formula for disaster.
Ventrell Jenkins, Travis Day, and Justin Jeffries were not the "Three Amigos" but more like "The Three Misfits." As in anything in life, you have to bring something to get something. You can't go bear hunting with a switch!
We asked Jenkins, who was the backup defensive tackled that started, what he remembered about that game? "They were a fast physical line," he said. It was a fast physical ball game. "You just have to be physical to compete against LSU. We are two different teams going into the battle this year."
We asked him if that game sticks in his craw and if he wanted to go out and prove he can play better against them? "That's with any and every team you go against. That sticks out like a sore thumb but all you can do is watch films and go out and lay it on the line."
LSU has a bevy of players that can run the ball against UK's defense that needs to stop the run better. The coaches intend to roll a lot of players in and out of the game to be fresh late in the game.
Travis Day, a 255-pound defensive end at the time, started at defensive tackle down at Death Valley last year. Day said he was put in a very uncomfortable position, to say the least but … "It was a great experience," Day hesitantly said. "Coach called me in on Wednesday morning and asked me what I thought about moving down to defensive tackle and I said nah, I was weighing 255 or 260. They explained their big need at defensive tackle because of injuries. They knew that I was one of the most aggressive players on the team. I wasn't much on the idea but I went ahead and did it. And when I got to playing, it really wasn't that bad." Day said they are going to make it a challenge and he can't wait to get back out there against them.
The other misfit of last year's defensive tackles that had to go against the Tigers was Justin Jeffries. Jeffries had his sight set on playing defensive tackle when he came to UK from Louisville St. X. He has reasonably good feet but found out against LSU those feet were made for the offensive line. "Aw man, that was crazy experience," a smiling Jeffries said. Coach Steve Brown said Jeffries went in there on three days of practice at that position.
All the players say they are not the same team that took a 49-0 shellacking and intend to make a differently showing in front of the Commonwealth fans.
DEMAREE: A view of LSU from the trenches
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