Sports Page Live Replay - All the latest on UK, U of L, WKU and - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Sports Page Live Replay - All the latest on UK, U of L, WKU and IU football

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It was another great edition of Sports Page Live here at WDRB! Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich answer several of the questions they were not able to get to during this week's live chat.

FROM WILL: Stoops' defense still hasn't given up a 1st half touchdown with all those young players. Stoops can coach.

RICK: I like Stoops and think that all the trend lines are heading in the right direction. But you have to put things in context. Kentucky still only ranks ninth in the league in total defense. So there's work to do if you want to start overtaking teams in the SEC.

ERIC: Yes, Stoops can coach, but I think we have to take a look at the offenses he's faced. Florida is a good team, but its three TDs against Alabama came on a fumble recovery return for a touchdown, a score after taking over at the Tide 31, and another after getting a turnover at the Alabama 16. In other words, they didn't sustain a single scoring drive against Alabama in the entire game. Otherwise, UK has played an Ohio team that ranks ahead of only seven teams in the nation in scoring, and a Football Championship Subdivision team. So I'm going to wait for a couple more tests before I hang my hat on that first-half stat.But there's no question, this UK defense is improved, is more athletic, and has a better top-to-bottom grasp of the system than in past years.And good news for UK -- Vanderbilt ranks No. 121 nationally (out of 128 teams) in total offense. I expect the Wildcat D to look good again this weekend.

FROM MILTON: UK should win if Vandy quarterback Robinette isn't playing. He looked good against South Carolina until he was injured.

RICK: Vandy likes both quarterbacks, but if Robinette is out with a concussion, the Commodores will be playing a true freshman -- Wade Freebeck -- who has thrown 22 passes in his career -- and had two intercepted.

ERIC: Right, more bad offensive news for Vandy, which had finally appeared to stabilize itself against South Carolina. They're showing all the signs of a first-year coach with 31 freshmen players trying to acclimate. UK's SEC losing streak should end Saturday.

FROM TODD J: SEC Network says Towles is either the No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback in the East. What say you guys?

RICK: Well, he's first in the East in passing yards per game, ahead of Maty Mauk (Missouri) and Dylan Thompson (South Carolina) so you can defend that position. But Towles needs to bump his completion percentage above 58.1 percent.

ERIC: I'll go ahead and say it, he is the best quarterback in the East. I don't know that there are a lot of NFL household names there, but as Towles' receiving corps gets more seasoned and starts to make more plays for him -- and it should -- he's only going to look better.I thought he looked pretty comfortable, let's say 80 percent of the time, against a good Florida defense. He had one stretch in the game where you knew an interception was coming, and Florida defenders dropped a couple of passes that could have been. Then again, UK receivers dropped several that had they caught, we'd be talking about an unbeaten UK team heading into this game against Vanderbilt. Towles is good, and this offense will let him pick up big numbers if he can keep from turning the ball over.

FROM LT: Since when did Petrino go to the "look to the sideline" style of play calling and audibles once at the line? Seems like it is not allowing our offense to get into any flow. Maybe it is because of the young QB's but he never called plays that way before.

RICK: More and more teams are doing that. He must have a reason.

ERIC: It has to do with no-huddle, and coaches wanting to limit subs for the defense by rushing right to the line themselves. But it does accentuate that you're only as good offensively as your quarterback. The game has sped up. Bobby didn't really like the no-huddle except in special situations in his prior Louisville stint. Since then, that has come into vogue as a way to run more plays and catch defenses getting tired or in bad personnel situations. I think his use of it this season has just been to try to get something going. He said before the season he had a QB who was bad in the huddle, so they went no-huddle all year. I think it's just a function of him looking for something to spark his offense.

Thanks, everybody, for the questions. We'll take more of them next Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on Sports Page Live. Be sure to watch at WDRB.com.

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