Kirk Herbstreit has long been Mark Stoops’ biggest supporter among the national media, and with Kentucky playing for the SEC East this weekend, he invited Stoops on his podcast with Ian Fitzsimmons to talk about the Cats’ special season. How is Stoops keeping his team grounded before a monumental showdown with the Bulldogs? Routine, routine, routine.
“Every Monday we wrap up and we introduce the new opponent and part of that routine is the situation,” Stoops said. “Obviously, this situation is different and I addressed that first thing on Monday. We are playing for the SEC East; that’s a fact. We do talk to them about that. Let’s have a typical week. I talk about doing a little extra. Champions do extra. Just do a little bit extra every day.”
Another part of Kentucky’s preparation for Saturday is staying hungry, which Stoops says is an easy task for his squad because that’s their defining trait.
“We’ve got to embrace the chip on our shoulder and that’s how I’ve always had to be. I tell the defense that all the time. If you don’t play with relentless effort and attitude then you’ve got no chance. That’s kind of our team and this is kind of a culmination of six years from people relentlessly working day in and day out just to get yourself in a position. To climb that ladder in the SEC is extremely difficult and I do appreciate the hard work people have done for years to put ourselves in the position that we are, to play in a game of significance in November in the league and have an opportunity. This game is winner take all for the East and that’s a good position to be in and it’s going to be a great challenge for sure. This is a heck of a team, but it’s been a lot of hard work over the years. We embrace this opportunity.”
Great stuff from Stoops, so carve some time out today to listen. He comes on around the seven-minute mark.