HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Kentucky outside linebackers Josh Allen and Denzil Ware put their arms around each other after beating Southern Miss on Saturday night, and chanted their two-word nickname opposing offenses might come to learn.
“Blitz brothers, blitz brothers, blitz brothers.”
Ware and Allen swarmed Southern Miss’ backfield all night. Their partnership was highlighted late in the first quarter. Allen forced a fumble, and Ware recovered it.
Ware’s second fumble recovery came in the waning seconds of the third quarter when Southern Miss quarterback Kwadra Griggs was hit by Kentucky safety Darius West. The ball squirted loose and Ware picked it up from 20 yards out and rumbled into the end zone. “Just score, just score, just score, just score,” was the only thing going through his mind.
It was a needed defensive touchdown on a night when Kentucky’s offense managed just 17 points.
The Wildcats got their Week 1 revenge against the Golden Eagles in a 24-17 win. The Blitz Brothers were to thank.
“I thought we were just more talented than they were and I thought we could get some pressure,” outside linebackers coach Dean Hood said. “That was what we did. We were able to play coverage and let those guys go hunting.”
Hunt they did. Allen had 5 total tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. Ware added 3 tackles (1.5 for loss), 1 sack, a forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries.
As is common with brothers, the Blitz Brothers have their own rivalry. The only thing at stake? Bragging rights.
“He up one,” Allen admitted after the game. “He got a little touchdown. But I think I had him on quarterback hits.”
Ware had the touchdown, but it was Allen who proved himself unblockable at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
“He stood out to me,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said of Allen.
An ugly win led to a giddy Stoops. The modest amount of points is just what the defensive-minded boss wanted.
“It was a thing of beauty to me,” Stoops said with a grin. “I know a lot of people are gonna have their own opinions, but I loved it.”
He surely loved the quandary the Blitz Brothers put the Southern Miss offense in.
“Me and Denzil off the edge, they’re gonna have to choose one,” Allen said after the game. “And that’s what they did. They chose not right. I’m not trying to say nothing,” he said with a laugh.
Allen said he and Ware are “coming like that every week.”
And as they rested their arms on each other’s shoulders after the game, the confident duo pondered how good they might become weeks from now.
One of the best outside linebacker duos in the SEC? One of the best in the country?
“We ain’t gonna say that we are,” Ware said, “but we’re trying to be.”
Watch: Josh Allen on being one of the Blitz Brothers
Watch: Kentucky coach Mark Stoops after a win at Southern Miss
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