Mark Stoops kept it short and sweet during his weekly press conference. While the head coach talked for just over three minutes, he did provide some important insight for the Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt game this Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:
1. How the team bounced back
The Ole Miss loss was upsetting for fans, and members of the BBN may still be recovering. But what about the team? Have the players bounced back attitude-wise from the tough loss?
“Yeah, they have. Its been a solid week, and it was a really good walk-through today,” Stoops said. “We’ll put the finishing touches on it tomorrow, and have our last workout, but the guys have been really solid this week.”
2. Westry vs. Johnson
When the depth chart came out Monday, one of the most notable aspect was the “or” listed in between sophomore Chris Westry and junior Lonnie Johnson. Johnson took over the starting position for the Cats last week against Ole Miss, but, as of Monday, Westry appeared to be “tied” to regain his starting spot. Four days of practice later, the “or” still lingers. So, who will start for Kentucky against the Commadores?
“We’ll see,” Stoops said. “They’ve got one more day, and we’ll see what we decide to do.”
3. It’s not all about the record
Just like our very own Matt Jones, Stoops finds it important to emphasize that a football team’s ability is not solely measured by their record. It’s true for Kentucky; it’s true for Vandy (who currently sits at 4-5 overall and 0-5 in the SEC).
“It’s very easy for some folks just to look at a record and think it’s all about that, but that’s not the case – not at all,” Stoops said. “I know there’re four teams in this league that are working their tail off to have a good football team. It’s hard, it’s competitive. We beat each other up, you get beat down, you may have injuries, but there’re a lot of good teams with very good coaches.”
On Kentucky’s end, Stoops recalled UK’s victory over Missouri – who was 1-3 before being defeated by the Cats – urging people to avoid overlooking that win.
“Don’t for a minute – when we beat Missouri – dismiss that victory. But everybody wanted to. That’s a perfect example, and Vandy’s the same way.”