The Kentucky coaching staff does not shy away from the daunting task of replacing elite pass rusher Josh Allen, who left for the NFL after a monster 2018 season.

Allen delivered 17 sacks, and led the team with 88 tackles.

Defensive coordinator Brad White even goes as far as to say that you can’t replace Allen.

“Everybody knows that Josh was a real special talent, one of those generational type players,” White said, according to Kentucky Sports Radio. “What we’ve got to do now is find the next one. Find the next guy that’s going to elevate his game.”

White, who saw a similar situation earlier in his career with the Indianapolis Colts, said that team replaced the production lost from the absence of Robert Mathis by having several players contribute more sacks. It actually led to higher overall numbers.

“The thing that made Josh (Allen) so good was he went from seven sacks to seven sacks to 17. We’ve got a guy like Jamar Watson, Boogie, he had three his freshman year, five last year, and hopefully we can continue to push that number,” White said. “That’s a guy we’re going to lean heavily on. Getting Josh Paschal back, that will be huge.”

The Wildcats return two starters along the defensive line, but White expects contributions from across the front seven.

“And I’m really looking forward to seeing our interior pass rush really push their sack numbers and their hurries and their pressures. We’re going to try to affect a lot with those guys because when you have TJ Carter and Calvin Taylor and (Marquez Bembry) and then you bring in a (Kordell) Looney and a Phil Hoskins, we should be able to have some success interiorly. And then, when I look out there and I see guys like Kash (Daniel) and (DeAndre) Square, (Chris) Oats, and Jamin (Davis), inside linebackers that can blitz and cause all kinds of issues.”

The defense’s battle cry is “wear the hat,” which means that at least one player must step up on every play.

“They’re going to have the tough down,” White said. “What you want to do is put the tough down more often than not on the guys that are experienced or that can wear that hat. But there are going to be times within a game that everybody, no matter how young you are, how experienced you are, you’re going to have to wear the hat on that down and you’re going to have to rise to the occasion.”