Junior safety Winston Guy has 37 solo tackles and 36 assists and his 73 total tackles are second on Kentucky’s defense behind only linebacker Danny Trevathan, who leads the Southeastern Conference with 110 stops. Guy also has a team-high two interceptions.
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips says Guy has “gotten better” this season.
“The thing we've asked our safeties is to show up a little faster. What I mean by show up, when they're running to the ball, we are only showing up close to the line of scrimmage. Earlier we thought they were kind of passive in getting downhill in making plays. We need those guys to continue to make plays closer to the line of scrimmage like he has done,” Phillips said.
Here’s what Guy had to say about his play:
Question: How do you feel you have played this year — good, bad, average? How would you rate yourself?
Guy: “I feel like I have played very well, especially coming off starting my sophomore year for the first time. I have lived up to my expectations as far as my position on this team. I am a headhunter. I like tackling and making tackles. I am just doing my job. I play as hard and well as everybody else. The plays just come to me. Those two interceptions I had, it just came to me. I am not just out there thinking more like I used to. I am just playing and things are coming naturally to me.”
Question: Is it good or bad to have a safety as the team’s second leading tackler?
Guy: “I don’t really know. That is something for you all to think about. I don’t really feel it is a good or bad thing. I am just doing my job. I just like making tackles.”
Question: So you definitely are a better player than a year ago?
Guy: “I am a lot better. I am more mature. I am more physically and mentally prepared to play in the games. I am not thinking a lot like I used to. Things are so much easier for me now. I can just go play.”
Question: Are teams trying to take advantage of your aggressiveness and then running receivers behind you?
Guy: “Sometimes things get me a little off track. I make sure to stay focused during the game no matter what happens. Other teams are going to make plays and I am going to make mistakes as well because nobody is perfect. You just have to let that play be over because the next play is the most important play to worry about.”
Question: What was it like against Charleston Southern when the offense threw a lot of trick plays at you?
Guy: “We weren’t really prepared for it. I mean, we were prepared for what they were doing based on what they had ran. We were not expecting the guy to play quarterback who did. We had to adapt to what they did. We had to adjust on the run. They got some momentum, but we eventually were able to catch on to what they were doing.”
Question: Why has this defense not forced a turnover the last three games?
Guy: “That is one of the things we need to be most focused on. We have to create some turnovers. As far as stripping the ball, interception or knocking the ball loose on a sack. Something like that we have to do. It is strange. It just happens. You can’t really think about trying to force any turnovers. We just have to play.”
Question: What do you think of the Vanderbilt offense you will face Saturday?
Guy: “I know they have a dual-threat quarterback and he can pass and run as well. That is one of their key players. We have to watch and see what they do and learn what they do and whatever the coaches decide for the game plan, we have to do. We have to go with it and just play better.”
Question: Since this is senior day, will it be an emotional game?
Guy: “We have to play with more emotion for the seniors. This is their last game at home. It will be very emotional for everybody and we are playing for our senior teammates more than anything. It’s a game we have to win for them.”