What separates Kentucky from your goal of an SEC title?
JP: We're not that far away. We beat the team that won the East [South Carolina]. We took Auburn to the wire. We played Tennessee tough. We played Ole Miss tough. The thing we need to be able to do is play with confidence and finish games.
SI: CAN YOU CAPITALIZE ON A DOWN SEC EAST AS SOUTH CAROLINA DID LAST YEAR?
JP: THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL SEC EAST TEAMS, BECAUSE THERE ISN'T A DOMINANT TEAM RIGHT NOW.
Why was it important to bring in Rick Minter and his 3--4 defensive scheme?
JP: I just don't think we can stand toe-to-toe and play base defense with the people we have. So we have to move, we have to pressure, we have to be aggressive and give our kids a chance to create minus-yards plays and create turnovers.
With everything receiver Randall Cobb did, can one person replace him?
JP: No one guy can. There's not three people. It's got to be the whole offense. The defense has got to help us replace Randall and give us some short fields.
How valuable will your O-line be to give the young playmakers a chance to succeed?
JP: That will be the strength of our football team. And that's what you want, especially when you have a young quarterback going in for his first significant play. We're happy to have those guys in front of him.