LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Since Kentucky ended its 2011 season with a historic win over Tennessee, a lot about the defense responsible for that victory has changed.
Kentucky had to replace six defensive starters, but the new-look defense was impressive in the Blue-White spring game Saturday, allowing just two touchdowns in 40 minutes.
The format of the game put the starters against the backups, and the reserves were spotted 14 points. The starters won 35-28.
The defense looks very different from one that helped lead Kentucky to a 10-7 win over the Volunteers - the first time the Wildcats beat their rival since 1984. The win broke the nation's longest losing streak to a single opponent.
On Saturday, linebacker Avery Williamson led the way with eight tackles and two tackles for loss. He is trying to fill the void left by Danny Trevathan, who led the Southeastern Conference in tackles in 2010 and 2011.
Quarterback Maxwell Smith, who started three games as a true freshman in 2011, finished with 353 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He's expected to compete with senior Morgan Newton and incoming freshman Patrick Towles for the Wildcats' starting job.
Newton did not practice during the spring because he is recovering from shoulder surgery.