Gary Pinkel might be the best coach the Cats will face all season. He’s been a Missouri institution since 2011, taking the Tigers to the SEC without a hitch, coming off back-to-back SEC East Championships.
Pinkel’s success didn’t come overnight. It took years of recruiting the right players, getting the proper facilities, and the right style of coaching to create a winning atmosphere. It’s what Pinkel is seeing at Kentucky with Mark Stoops,“It takes a while to get your footprint in and change the environment and the culture and I think he has a vision for what that is like I had a vision here.”
Pinkel’s early assessment of the Cats on the SEC teleconfernce appears to have ignored last week’s flop against Gators. He commended the offensive line and the young skill players for their discipline, “His footprint’s on it. You can see it in the consistency of how his players play, and the discipline in how they play.”
The Cats will need to be consistently disciplined if they plan on upsetting the 25th-ranked Tigers. With one of the best scoring defenses in the nation, it will be an ugly game, one that is won in the trenches and with nitty-gritty play. Whoever doesn’t make mistakes and capitalizes on big-play opportunities will leave the field victorious.
A win over Mizzou could be another step forward as Mark Stoops builds his legacy at Kentucky, one that could mirror Coach Pinkel’s.