Keep picking against Kentucky, please.
After Kentucky’s 23-13 win at South Carolina, Vince Marrow slammed open the door to the media room to share a message: “Thank y’all for picking against us. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Entering today’s game, South Carolina was the sweetheart of the SEC. Kentucky was also 2-0, but did not receive the same amount of respect.
“Quite honestly, we were tired of it. What, like we didn’t get better? We aren’t a better football team?” Mark Stoops added, “Keep on being negative.”
Coaches and players will publicly say they don’t hear the naysayers, but Stephen Johnson said it’s impossible to avoid.
“Everybody pretty much watches College Gameday, so when you have seven people rooting against you and you’ve got one guy pick you, that’s just motivation for us.”
Garrett “Juice” Johnson feels free as the underdog. “You don’t have nothing to lose. You’re just going out there and laying it all on the line.”
Doubt us if you want…. But we 3-0 for a reason✍🏾✍🏾 #SNELLYEAH
— MrSnell Ya Later👋🏾 (@benny_snell) September 17, 2017
Pretty sure that's 4 years in a row😴
— Logan Stenberg (@LBStenberg) September 17, 2017
Kentucky felt under-appreciated and disrespected entering the game. When South Carolina didn’t shake hands before the game, it added fuel to Kentucky’s fire.
“It seemed like everybody has us being underdogs. It just gives us extra motivation,” Johnson said. “They didn’t shake our hands, which gave us even more motivation, which was pretty stupid on their part.”
Mark Stoops’ Kentucky teams are at their best when everyone is doubting them. No matter how much adversity they face, they never flinch and always respond. They’re at their strongest when their backs are against the wall.
“The strength of our team is the team. I told you guys since day one that they had a winning mentality and a winning work ethic. You see it now,” Stoops said. “Everyone wants to panic because you’ve got to look pretty all the time. Winning is what matters. We have an edge, an attitude about us; we like it that way. I’m just proud of the team. You take a shot right to the chin, you start to gain, the place is going wild and we embraced it. We took the shot and went right back to work. That doesn’t even faze us. That’s what I love about this team.”
They may eventually win out of the underdog role, but they’ll continue to find ways to play with an edge, and edge the sets them apart from the rest.