"We played three and a half good quarters, but didn't get the job done in the fourth quarter and overtime," he said following Wednesday's practice. "We have to finish a game and we didn't do that."
While the unit's play during the first half of the Cardinals game in Morgantown showed signs of improvement, it was their play during the final moments that has coaches searching for more from a group that has it's share of youth - a redshirt freshman, a first-year sophomore and a true freshman - among it's rotation.
"We did a lot of good things in the first half," Whitt explained. "The thing that we want to see these guys do, especially with young guys, is being able to finish. When you get tired you have to be able to finish and we need to see that get done."
The inability to finish games strongly, especially when on the road, has created a change in the expected lineup for Saturday's noon kickoff against the rival Bearcats. Bobby Buchanan and Travis Norton, both of who have seen limited action through the Cardinals first six games, will see a larger role this weekend as the coaching staff continues it's philosophy of putting those that are playing the best at the moment on the field.
True freshman Travis Norton has seen
action in three games this season
"Those two and Rod Council are going to be the three that really go out there and do it this week," he continued. "This is their chance to go out there and do it."
Usual starter and former Conference All-Freshman selection, junior William Gay will have more of a limited role when U of L visits UC's Nippert Stadium.
"We need to get more production from the corners and decisions had to be made," Whitt said. "William is still going to play. We have packages for when he'll be in, but there are no favorites out there and we are going to see if we can get the best out there."
The best may just be needed against a UC offense that, despite having a redshirt freshman in Dustin Grutza at quarterback, will throw the ball around to a number of gifted receivers, including one-time U of L commit Antwuan Giddens.
"The quarterback might be young, but they throw the ball a lot," said Whitt. "He has very good receivers too. I think Earnest Jackson and Giddens are real good players. We are going to have our work cut out for us because they throw it and have receivers that have the ability to make the play."
No matter which team walks away with the Keg of Nails, Whitt said that he wants to see his cornerbacks complete the game with the same intensity that they started with.
"You have to play a complete game," he explained. "I don't want to see us play three quarters and not finish it off. You have to play the whole game hard, win or lose."