LEXINGTON — Consider Winston Guy a big fan of Kentucky’s new defensive scheme.
“I’ve just bought into it,” he said Monday during the team’s weekly press conference at Wildcat Den. “I’m comfortable where I am at, I’m happy and I want to make of the best of what I’ve got. I’m happy with what I am doing. Everybody (has) just got to buy in and keep progressing every week.”
Although skeptical of his role in a 3-4 alignment installed by University of Kentucky co-defensive coordinator Rick Minter when the former University of Cincinnati coach arrived on campus, the senior safety accepted the call from the Wildcats’ defensive boss. It showed in his season-opening performance.
Guy had two of Kentucky’s four interceptions in a 14-3 triumph over Western Kentucky last week at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The senior safety also collected 10 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss of eight yards and added one kickoff return for 19 yards against the Hilltoppers. Guy ranks tied for first nationally with two picks and is first in the Southeastern Conference.
Guy and the defense prevented a possible loss in the opener and picked up the slack from a dismal outing by the team’s offensive unit.
“We did a lot of things that a lot of people probably didn’t expect us to do,” he said Monday. “We could have had a shut out, but we (held) them to three points.”
The breakthrough performance was his best outing in a Kentucky uniform and reminiscent of performances Guy produced consistently during his prep career at Lexington Catholic High School.
“It’s similar and the same,” Guy said. “The only thing different is that I will go back (in the secondary) and cover, depending on what type of play or scheme (the opponent) is in." Guy added that he also hovers around “a lot of big, defensive linemen.”
“It’s pretty tough, but I can make it through it,” he said. “I’ve just got to use my athletic ability and do whatever I can to make plays. I try to as hard as I can to make as many plays as I can within the scheme.”
Kentucky’s depth chart has guy listed as a safety, but his position as between a linebacker and safety. Against the Hilltoppers, Guy played close to the trenches and wasn’t “out in pass coverage that much.”
“I do a lot of covering and in the box,” he said. “I’m not playing just one position, it’s a different role, depending on which team you’re playing. Depending on what we’re going to run depends on (the other team’s) offense. I’m more like a nickel stopper.”
Guy added that that Minter’s package includes plenty of blitzes.
“A lot of stuff that comes out of our playbook is a lot of blitzing,” Guy said. “We try to put as much pressure as we can (on the opposing offense).”
Now that he’s found his proper place in the team’s defensive scheme, Guy is confident the Cats’ defense will improve as the season progresses.
“Our defense is going to get better and better,” he said. “If we listen to coach Minter and our position coaches, they’re not going to steer us wrong.
“They put us in the best position to make plays. I’m hoping to progress and make myself better as an individual and help lead the team to a (Southeastern Conference) championship.”