6’2″ 204 pounds
We said on the opening slide how crucial the cornerbacks were for Kentucky. Well, Carrington Valentine may have the best stats of everybody playing for them. However, the No. 1 cornerback on the other side, Keidron Smith, is definitely the best player in the secondary of Kentucky’s elite pass defense.
There’s a reason Kentucky is top 15 in fewest passing yards per attempt and fewest passing yards per game, and it all starts with Smith. He is a shutdown cornerback on one side of the field who has the size to contain even the most dangerous wideouts, which gives Mark Stoops lots of flexibility elsewhere in the secondary.
This complicates things for Tennessee football, which relies on big plays from its receivers in the passing game to win. Josh Heupel will have to account for what Smith can do, and if Cedric Tillman is able to go, it may become an interesting one-on-one battle between the two.
For the year, Smith has a pick-six, four pass deflections, a fumble recovery and 19 tackles, 14 of which were solo. He transferred from Ole Miss and was relatively quiet against Tennessee football last year, but the Vols can’t take him lightly this year. If they are going to run their offense, they’ll have to beat him sometimes.