Do not count tight end coach Vince Marrow as intimidated of his new duty as the offensive play-caller against NC State. Last week, UK Head Coach Mark Stoops and offensive lineman Luke Fortner acknowledged the passion in which Marrow has been bringing to practice, and the temporary OC told the media yesterday he plans to bring a “big dog mentality” on that side of the ball.
“We’re going to be physical,” he said. “We’re going to throw the ball but we’re still going to run the ball, try to eliminate penalties and sound, efficient football.”
In having one of the most dominant offensive lines in the country, including All-American OT Darian Kinnard, UK cannot break away from their most crucial identity of the last few seasons. With that said, Marrow plans to bring more to the passing attack, specifically at his tight end position which Kentucky fans have longed for the staff to utilize.
“I think when you look at, not just my offense but what we are at Kentucky, we’re always going to be physical. That’s never going to be something that people will question. But we will add more to the passing game to get guys like Josh Ali, Keaton Upshaw, Justin (Rigg); I can go down the line with them guys,” he said. “We got some pretty good skill guys and we’re going to utilize their talents in this game.”
Similar to SEC-foe Mississippi State, the Wolfpack play an infamous 3-3-5 defense that is as tricky as that side of the ball gets in college. Luckily for the Cats, they are loaded with experience on the offensive line, and the ability to recognize formations could be enormous in this matchup.
“It really helps when you have experienced guys like Drake and Landon (Young) and Luke (Fortner) and those guys, Darian (Kinnard), Justin Rigg, guys who have played a lot of football up front,” Marrow said. “Hopefully, it makes my job easier. But I definitely do not like a 3-3-5. It reminded me of when I was in high school and I was a head coach and we would play the Wing-T. I hated seeing that and preparing for that stuff. But hey, that’s why they pay us money. We’ll go out and execute and try to do what we need to do.”
After years of a stagnant offense that only really had success running the ball, Marrow’s spark could prove dividends in this bowl game.