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August 31st, 2015

All Hands on Deck to Make New CWS Game Ready


We are #ALLIN for @ukfootball! The entire team and staff helping get The New CWS ready for Saturday! #BBN

A photo posted by Kentucky Women's Basketball (@ukhoopcats) on

We’ve been worrying for the last few months that Commonwealth Stadium would not be ready for the 2015 season-opener on September 5th.  Mitch Barnhart has been hesitant to say it won’t be finished.  He’s stated that every massive project he’s ever been on has gone down to the wire, and that “all hands are on deck” to get the project completed in time.

Tonight, the proof is in the pudding.  Not only did other athletes get involved with cleanup, the staffers brought out their families to pitch in. Football media relations extraordinaire, Evan Crane, brought his wife, who could not have made a better hardhat selection.

A photo posted by Evan Crane (@wec50) on

Anatomy of an Upset: How The Cats Can Avoid A Cajun Trap

Earlier this summer Bleacher Report listed their potential trap games for every team in the SEC. Kentucky was listed as a team capable of upsetting three different teams in Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina. As for the Cats themselves their trap team is this Saturday’s home opener against the Ragin’ Cajuns. Every year in college football some team loses a game that they would win nine times out of ten. How does that happen and how can the boys in blue avoid it? This is the anatomy of an upset:

Execute the Gameplan

Last year the Ohio State Buckeyes nearly missed out on the college football playoff and an eventual national championship due to a week 2 loss to the unranked Virginia Tech Hokies. How does that happen? Well first OSU fell into an early 21-7 hole that forced them behind the eight ball early. Superstar Ezekiel Elliott got just 8 carries for 32 yards as the Buckeyes played from behind and went to the air. The shift to a pass first offensive philosophy resulted in a 4-16 conversion rate on third down which is awful compared to the Hokies who went 9-17. Then after clawing all the way back to tie the game, two late interceptions doomed any hope of salvaging a win. Virginia Tech controlled the way the game was going to be played and that almost cost OSU a title.

This Saturday the Cats will be the more talented team on both sides of the ball and if they play their game they should cover the spread. But if they let ULL control the game clock with their ground attack and keep the ball out of Patrick Towles’ hands things could be trouble. Execute Coach Stoops’ gameplan and they will be fine.

Limit Early Season Mistakes

Another insane upset from last year was Indiana going into Columbia, Missouri and shocking the Tigers on their home field. Indiana finished the year 4-8. Missouri went 11-3 and played for the SEC championship. How does that happen? Well Mizzou’s line rolled over, giving up 11 tackles for loss. Then on the final drive they had IU pinned on their own 29 yard line on 4th and 6. A pass interference call gave the Hoosiers a fresh set of downs. The very next play a 44 yard bomb followed by a facemask had IU in the red zone. The rest, they say, is history.

For the Cats the key to early season wins will be to avoid mistakes of their own while taking advantage of our opponents’. Against Louisville last season the Cats were penalized for running on the field after Fred Tiller took an interception to the house. The Cards to started their drive at the UK 47 and scored before halftime to take a 21-20 lead. You can’t commit major mental errors and expect to win  games against quality opponents. All four teams UK faces in September have major questions to answer on both sides of the ball, take advantage of our own returning experience and the team could end the first month with a winning record.

Don’t Disrespect Your Opponent

Maybe I too am disrespecting the four time defending FCS champs, the North Dakota State Bisons, by listing their recent FBS wins as upsets. Still you wouldn’t expect that in four of the last five seasons the Bisons have went to a power conference team’s home field, gotten handsomely paid, and left with a W. In 2014 it was at Iowa State where they won 34-14, in 2013: @Kansas St 24-21, 2012: @Colorado State 22-7, 2011: @Minnesota 37-24,  2010: @Kansas 6-3. Those teams aren’t exactly a murderer’s row as only one finished bowl eligible and the rest combined for a record of 12-36. But you have to assume that each of those ‘power’ teams probably felt they had the superior crowd, talent, and facilities but ended up humbled.

In Louisana-Lafayette you have a team that has won 4 straight bowl games and won 9 games in each of those seasons. They have a star in Elijah Mcguire that could one day be playing on Sundays. If the Cats don’t respect their opponent this Saturday night in Commonwealth they could be in for one long game. Give the opponent their due, limit mental mistakes, and execute the gameplan is a winning formula for a lot of football games.




A Louisville fan thought he was being funny…



…if only he knew that tape could be removed.

The Movie That Could Change Football Forever

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the real-life protagonist of Concussion. (ESPN)

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the real-life protagonist in Concussion. (ESPN)

Today the trailer for the new Will Smith movie was released. He’s not fighting robots in 2035, nor is he fighting aliens on the 4th of July, but the fight depicted in Concussion is one that continues today.

Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known more commonly as CTE.  CTE is the disease that is caused due to repeated blows to the head.  Once only visible during autopsies, the disease has been discovered in many former NFL players, including Heisman Trophy winning Dallas Cowboy legend, Tony Dorsett, and recent Hall of Fame inductee, linebacker Junior Seau.  CTE can be attributed with causing Seau’s suicide.

Concussions are the greatest threat to football as we know it.  Most football players have received a concussion at some point, including myself, and the NFL’s fight to hide the worst of the worst is well documented, but this will be the most graphic and dangerous depiction the world has seen.

The movie is based on a GQ article, Brain Game, and could do to the NFL what The Insider did to the tobacco industry.

If that doesn’t send chills up your spine, this Frontline interview with Dr. Omalu tells his story.

What is a Louisiana-Lafayette?

Kentucky will open its 2015 season and its new Commonwealth Stadium this coming Saturday when Louisiana-Lafayette comes to town. Before that games kicks off, you’re probably asking yourself one very important question: The hell is a Louisiana-Lafayette?

Allow me to educate you, if you will…


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Formerly the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute, the Southwestern Louisiana Institute of Liberal and Technical Learning, and then the University of Southwestern Louisiana, UL-Lafayette is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review’s college rankings. The school has achieved several milestones over the years, including becoming the first all-white southern public college to desegregate, the first to offer a masters in computer science in America, and the first of many to lose to Kentucky in the 2015 college football season.

The university’s motto is “Fortiter, Feliciter, Fideliter,” which is French for “Forts, Felicias, Fidelity.” (I think.)


Location: Lafayette, Louisiana

Just west of Baton Rouge and about a two-hour drive from the 2-for-1 Hand Grenades and Hurricanes in New Orleans, you’ll find Lafayette, the fourth-largest city in the Bayou State.

Nicknamed “Hub City” for reasons I don’t care enough about to Google, Lafayette was founded in 1821 and renamed in 1884 for General Lafayette, a member of George Washington’s clique. Lafayette and Washington were, like, BFFs back in the day. Serious man crush going on there. Lafayette even named his son Georges Washington to honor his good friend.

Anyway, the city of Lafayette now boasts a population of about 120,000ish, give or take a few folks. It’s also home to one of the world’s largest Cajun and Creole museums, the actor who played Walter White Jr., and the last remaining Borden’s Ice Cream Parlor in the United States.

USA Today named Lafayette No. 1 on its list of Best College Town Weekends.


Notable Alumni

Frank Ocean: Singer, songwriter and rapper; former ghostwriter for John Legend and Justin Bieber

Ali Landry: Smokeshow, best known as the Doritos girl in the 1998 Super Bowl commercial

Peanut Tillman: Cornerback for the Chicago Bears from 2003 to 2014, now with the Carolina Panthers

Richard Simmons:


Cheerleader Scouting Report

Oh hey there. What did your parents name you?


Mascot: “The Ragin’ Cajuns”

UL-Lafayette adopted the Ragin’ Cajuns nickname in 1963, when then head coach Russ Faulkinberry changed the nickname of the football team from the “Bulldogs.” It took about a decade for the entire athletic department to catch up and make the “Ragin’ Cajuns” name official.

It has a better ring to it than the “Angry Acadian-Creoles.”


Ragin’ Cajun Cheers

“Give ’em Hell!  UL!  Give ’em Hell!”

“G-E-A-U-X  Geaux Cajuns Geaux!”

“Ragin’ Cajuns!  Geaux!  Geaux!”

… Those are stupid.


Head Coach: Mark Hudspeth

Coach Hudspeth is entering his fifth season with the Ragin’ Cajuns with four nine-win seasons under his belt. He led his team to New Orleans Bowl wins in each of those four years, after zero postseason appearances in school history prior to his arrival.

Though he’s loved around Lafayette, Hudspeth will likely make the jump to a Power 5 football program next year. His name was tossed around as a potential replacement for Will Muschamp at Florida last winter, as well as other attractive openings around college football.

Fun fact: Hudspeth was Ole Miss head basketball coach Andy Kennedy’s backup quarterback in high school. The third-string QB on that team? Our own Matthew Mitchell.


Players To Watch

Elijah McGuire, Running Back: McGuire was the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore, having rushed for 1,264 yards and 14 touchdowns, ranking fourth in school history for most yards in a season and tied for fourth in touchdowns. He is the 2015 Preseason Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year heading into this season. He is really, really good.

Dominique Tovell, Linebacker: The team’s leading returning tackler is a Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team selection and a member of the Lombardi Award Watch List. The Ragin’ Cajuns defense will look to him for leadership in his senior season.

Gunner Hudspeth, Daddy’s Boy: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Gunner’s athleticism didn’t land him a spot on the team. Being the son of the head coach probably did that.


Here’s a welcoming video if you need to know more…

Now let’s play football.

Jaleel Hytchye is Heading to Georgia State

Jaleel's lone star was his freshman year at Georgia. (David C. Bristow |

Jaleel’s lone start was his freshman year at Georgia. (David C. Bristow |

Former Wildcat cornerback is heading South to the land of Ryan Harrow, Georgia State.  Hytchye was one of Mark Stoops’ first commitments, but had fallen far on the depth chart.  He is one of five former Wildcats to leave Lexington for Atlanta, joining Alex Smith, Donald Russell, Nermin Delic and Marcus Caffey.

Even though Leel didn’t fill up too many stat sheets, he managed to bust out beats on a regular basis.  This one with Bud is definitely his best. 

Position Previews: A Preachy, Inside Look at the Quarterbacks

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Simply put, in order for Kentucky to go bowling, its quarterback play has to excel at the “3 C’s”, Consistency, Captain, and Confidence.


In 2015, for Patrick Towles to take a step forward, he has to run less and raise his completion ratio to above 62%. One manner to do so is to complete the easy throws, or high percentage passes. These plays move the chains and increase the likelihood of extending drives that could turn into points. 2014 saw Towles struggle with the simpler passing tasks, but excelling while running the football. His runs were both planned draws and impromptu scrambles. Enter Shannon Dawson. While watching an open practice, Patrick tucked the ball and ran instead of attempting to check down in his progression for a sure completion. Coach Dawson wasn’t happy. I’ll use much kinder and G rated vernacular. Dawson loudly asked Pat if he wanted to play running back. That small interaction describes UK’s 2015 offensive intent.


The quarterback we saw throughout Kentucky’s red hot 5-1 start appeared much different than the one seen in the 0-6 finish. National and local talking heads were proclaiming Patrick to be next in line in the UK historical hierarchy. Down the stretch, the young Cats hit the proverbial wall. Let me make this perfectly clear, the six game losing streak was on the shoulders of 85 players, not just one. However, during the season’s rough patch, Patrick Towles’ mojo seemed to disappear at times. Not uncommon. Twelve games make up a long season, especially for an offensive player that carried the majority of the load by himself. Pat’s eyes and body language didn’t look right. He appeared overly frustrated, which is not uncommon for an intense competitor when things aren’t going right. There are many reasons as to why: inconsistent running back play in blitz pickup, receivers’ inability to release from the line of scrimmage into their route, tight ends all but invisible, and a young offensive line all helped create an offensive rut. Previously listed Wildcat limitations are 2015’s expected strengths. But even with the losing streak, Towles’ statistics were solid and in the upper SEC echelon. NFL scouts rave about Towles’ ability. He can make virtually every throw in the passing tree. 2015 can possibly see Patrick Towles catapult into the national conversation. Regardless, a confident quarterback can shape a team’s personality. Towles made the Atlanta claim on the SEC Network. I like that version of Pat Towles.


This “C” isn’t referring to being elected to a leadership position based upon a popular vote. Going back to the Clown vs. Captain Debate, Patrick Towles doesn’t have a choice other than to be a consistent, living definition of a Captain. So far, that’s exactly what he’s done. The starting quarterback is the first in the Nutter Center and last out. He must hold offensive mates accountable, not so much by verbal confrontation, however, at times that becomes necessary. Leading by example in non-football activities are as important as his pass attempt during a 3rd and goal to go in the 4th quarter.

I used all of those words to say, Patrick Towles has to be the undeniable leader and accountability enforcer of the offense. From all accounts, he has been and will continue to be. He’s impressed in this category.

Being a starting quarterback is a colossal responsibility. With that obligation comes scrutiny and accountability. There is no time to waste effort in trying to be the “cool kid”, or everyone’s favorite teammate. There is a mammoth difference in being a leader and being popular. That dynamic is learned through experience but is also an innate trait. Drew Barker has learned this lesson the hard way. Mark Stoops is trusting that Drew’s advanced past that phase of his life and moved onto focusing on the art of playing team athletics’ most difficult position. Every player on the team wants to be the quarterback- except on game day. The weight the position carries on Towles’ shoulders during the Cat Walk is indescribable. Conversely, the gratification following a win is inexpressible.

Towles has proved to be an exceptional teammate, sprinting from the sideline in Spring Practice to celebrate a touchdown. (Jon Hale | The Cats Pause)

Towles has proved to be an exceptional teammate, sprinting from the sideline in Spring Practice to celebrate a touchdown. (Jon Hale | The Cats Pause)

Key Reserves

Drew Barker is the backup quarterback. Many times, this depth chart spot is the most popular with Monday Morning Quarterbacks. Drew experienced a rough start to his college football career. No need in reviewing or rehashing. Barker’s throwing motion is now more fluid. His confidence has never lacked. If called upon, Drew Barker can lead the team and play at a starter’s level. The QB competition was real. Both he and Towles practiced at a high level. Going into the season with two capable quarterbacks is a luxury. From my limited time observing Drew at open practices, he seems as if a weight has been lifted off his shoulders. He seems to “get” it, and is taking his team role seriously. All positive indications for the redshirt freshman.

Reese Phillips is recovering from an Achilles tear, a tough injury for a thrower to overcome. If healthy, Reese is a capable, extremely accurate quarterback. Reese and Drew will be Patrick’s extra set of eyes on the sideline. The trio’s sideline communication is critical.


As the Kentucky quarterback goes, so will the 2015 Wildcats. That may seem like an unnecessary amount of pressure to be placed on a college student, but,that’s part of playing the position. Much like Calipari’s point guard, if things go bad QB’s receive the blunt of the blame. If the Cats light up the scoreboard, QB’s get all of the glory. Both in unrealistic surplus.

The truth of the matter: UK will have to average 35-37 points per game to win six. There’s no way around it. September is the most critical month of the season. There are several factors that support this claim, but the most obvious is on the other side of the football and in particular, the linebacker position. Jason Hatcher’s suspension and Ryan Flannigan’s ailing shoulder puts a tremendous strain on the offense to not only score points, but sustain drives and keep opposing offenses off the field. The cold hard truth is that Patrick Towles will need to play the best month of football in his career in order for Kentucky to at least break even at 2-2. A sub-.500 September hampers postseason likelihood. Full disclaimer, on the KSR podcast I picked the Cats to start the season 3-1.

QB Dictionary

On a rope-Describes a pass that is thrown to a pass catcher in a straight line, non-arching trajectory and with high velocity.

Pull the string-Opposite of above, a pass that has touch or loft in order for the football to avoid underlining defenders. “Taking a little off” is another term that can be used.

Happy feet-Was a great kid’s movie, seen it a hundred times. However, when dealing with QB’s, this phrase is used when their feet are choppy in the pocket and usually leads to a fundamentally-flawed throws. Old timers (like me) use this description while describing a scared or unsure QB in the pocket.

Step up in the pocket-Blocking schemes are designed to create an umbrella effect around the quarterback. Outside blockers or offensive tackles are trained to push or force pass rushers outside the pocket. At times, the QB has to slightly shuffle forward to avoid the rush to attempt a pass. This QB pocket fundamental comes through experience and is difficult to teach.

On a dime-When a QB throws a pass that is highly accurate, normally in a location that the pass’s intended receiver is the only player that has a chance to make the catch.

Mark Hudspeth and his wife can probably bench press more than you

I’ll be honest, I don’t know a ton about Mark Hudspeth, but after a day of research, I do know he terrifies me. Louisiana Lafayette’s head coach is INTENSE, and he has the Google Image search results to prove it. Hudspeth is considered a rising star in the game, his name even being mentioned during UK’s coaching search back in 2012. In four years at Louisiana Lafayette, he has a ‎36–16 record, including four straight New Orleans Bowl wins.

That’s all fine and good, but did you know he can bench press almost 400 lbs.? After hearing Freddie Maggard mention something about it, I decided to look it up, and wow, the videos are enough to make my CrossFit class look like child’s play.

Here’s Hudspeth, now 46, bench pressing 370 lbs. last year:

And here he is in 2013, bench pressing 225 lbs. 25 times, a common test at the NFL Combine:

His wife, Tyla, is also a fitness junkie who runs marathons and competes in body building competitions. Don’t believe me?

Holy moly. I didn’t know there were that many muscles in the back.

Chuck Hayes will sign a one-year deal with the Clippers

It looks like Chuck Hayes has still got it. According to Yahoo’s Marc Spears, the Los Angeles Clippers will sign Hayes to a one-year deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed.

Last week, Hayes parted ways with the Houston Rockets after the two sides couldn’t agree on a deal because of salary cap concerns. Hayes, now 32, was offered a coaching position with the Rockets, but after training to prepare for this season, he wanted to continue his playing career instead.

In ten years in the league, Hayes has played in 642 games, averaging 3.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game. Not bad for a kid who went undrafted in 2005.

The first Mark Stoops Radio Show of the season starts in 30 minutes

We are officially back in game mode, which means Monday press conferences and Monday evening call-in shows with Mark Stoops.

Stoops’ first call-in show of the season starts at 6 p.m. ET and this year, will have a new feature. In addition to airing on all of the UK Radio Network affiliates, video of the show will stream on If you’ve got a question for coach, ask via Twitter at @UKRadioNetwork or by calling 1-800-606-GAME (4263) or 859-280-2287.

Click here to listen on WLAP or here to watch on

Former Kentucky Greats Listed by SI as Top 100 NBA Players

Nerlens-Noel-3 is starting to rank the top 100 players in the NBA and to the surprise of no one, names of Kentucky players are popping up on the list. Today they unveiled players No. 51-100 with Nerlens Noel (No. 97), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (No. 85), and Brandon Knight (No. 79) all making the first cut. 

For Noel, he cracks the top 100 because of his offensive improvement. The writers talk about how few rookies can help their team defensively, but Noel was an exception and the shift in his offensive game has moved him into the top 100 list. Expect Noel to be a constant climber with this annual preview, as his offense should improve each year.

Perhaps though it was MKG who got the kindest words about him. The article calls him the best perimeter defender in the NBA, despite the fact he’s not even 22 years old yet. 



Steelers waive Braylon Heard


And now, for some unfortunate news. The Pittsburgh Steelers announced today that they have waived former UK running back Braylon Heard. The news isn’t terribly surprising, since Heard only had 5 carries for -2 yards and 1 catch for 4 yards in the Steelers’ three preseason games.

A former Nebraska transfer, Heard started 10 games during the 2014 season for the Cats, putting up 366 yards and 4 touchdowns. He decided to forgo his senior season to test the NFL waters.

Best of luck to Braylon in his next move.

Malik Monk will announce his visit schedule tomorrow night

How crazy has basketball recruiting gotten lately? Five-star guard Malik Monk is going on a radio show tomorrow night just to announce his visiting schedule. To be fair, the radio show is his brother Marcus’, but still. This is like players “cutting” their lists from 15 to 12. A bit much if you ask me.

Regardless, according to Eric Bossi, Monk has his visits set and at 7:05 p.m. CT tomorrow night, will unveil the list on the Raw Report on 99.5 fm in Fayetteville. I’m not going to say Bossi accidentally tweeted-then-deleted Monk’s list of visits, but if I were you, I’d pencil Monk in for Big Blue Madness.

Monk’s getting a ton of pressure to stay home and play for Arkansas, where his brother played both basketball and football. Right now, the Razorbacks lead his Crystal Ball 77% to UK’s 23%; however, if there’s any event that can change that, it might be Big Blue Madness.

Louisiana Lafayette’s last SEC road game was ugly

Last season, the Ragin Cajuns took their show on the road to Oxford, Mississippi. I’m fairly certain that tailgating was enjoyable and the Grove was welcoming. But in terms of the actual football game, well it got ugly. Mississippi’s consistently inconsistent quarterback Bo Wallace was nearly perfect by completing 23/28 passes for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns. His numbers reflected ULL’s 2014 pass defense woes.

Midway through the second quarter, Ole Miss’s lead grew to 28-0. Before the third quarter ended, ULL fell behind 49-6. Final score ended up being 56-15. What does all this mean? Let’s take a look at some numbers:

Total yards: ULL-322, Ole Miss-554

Passing yards: ULL-129, Ole Miss 340

Rushing yards: ULL-193, Ole Miss 214

3rd down efficiency: ULL 4/14, Ole Miss 7/12

Time of possession: ULL 31:19, Ole Miss 28:41


The home team scored by big plays and exploited ULL’s suspect pass defense. From that 2014 defense, Lafayette has lost its primary pass rushers and linebacker. I look for Kentucky to come out firing to put the Ragin Cajuns in a must-pass scenario and take RB Elijah McGuire out of the equation. ULL’s only bright spot was it rushed for 193 yards, a number that concerns.

Time of possession was advantageous for ULL which is consistent with its intent to run the football. However, with a new starting quarterback, I suspect the Cats will blitz from multiple positions to force the issue and take the run game out of the equation. Kentucky taking a significant early lead is paramount. On September 5th, first quarter points are vital for Shannon Dawson.

Five Takeaways from Mark Stoops’ Monday Press Conference

When you're trying to stay serious, but you're too excited because it's game week

When you’re trying to stay serious, but you’re too excited because it’s game week!

It’s officially game week and the excitement around Lexington cannot be missed. Let’s begin this exciting week with five takeaways from Stoops’ weekly press conference.

Kentucky could see a change in the return game

It seems like forever since we’ve seen a kickoff or punt returned for a touchdown. Randall Cobb was the last to return a punt back in 2011 and Derrick Lock was the last to return a kickoff back in 2009. Thankfully, true freshman, Sihiem King could fix that. King has proven to be the playmaker Kentucky needs to return kickoffs. Stoops noted that King has been explosive, protected the football well and made big plays, which has put him ahead of Ryan Timmons.

Wide receiver is one of the most improved positions

Mark Stoops and his staff have worked very hard at improving the wide receiver position since beginning here just three years ago. The hard work has finally paid off this season. Fans are going to see some of the best wide receivers this season that Kentucky has had in a long time. The inside wide receiver spot is one of the deepest on the team according. Two star freshman wide receivers, Tavin Richardson and Jabari Greenwood, are in a position to get red shirted because there are too many good players ahead of them. If that isn’t a sign we are improving, I don’t know what is.

Veteran leadership is going to come from second year guys

Any experience that Kentucky has is going to help them win games. However, most of the experience and leadership is going to come from second year guys. Kentucky is playing nine true freshman and 10 redshirt freshman. Last season Kentucky had to rely on a lot of freshmen to make plays on both the offense and defense. That experience from last season, especially from the offense, will only help the team.

Success is going to come from improvement

Improvement across the board will be key to the success of this football team. More consistency in each game will be the reason this team is  successful. As we know the players want a bowl game, however Stoops does not want them to get ahead of themselves. Stoops philosophy for this season is to just take each game one at a time.

Stoops is anxious for the first game

The first game of the college football season is one of the most exciting games on the schedule. After a long offseason, the players and coaches are anxious to get back on the field and finally begin the season. However, for any opener coaches are finally able to see the kind of players they have. In Stoops’ third season as a head coach, he knows that playing in a real game will be true test for a lot of players. Stoops is confident in his team and is anxious to finally watch them play.