Mark Stoops plans on playing Vanderbilt this Saturday at Kroger Field under relatively normal circumstances.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to play this week,” Stoops said on the SEC Teleconference shortly after the fourth SEC game of the week, Georgia at Missouri, was postponed by COVID-19 contact tracing.
“I am grateful that we are able to play. It seems like Vandy is (able to play). I haven’t heard Derek (Mason) but it seems like they’re in good shape, so hopefully we’ll be able to get the game in.”
Kentucky’s head football coach revealed on Monday that the offense was down three staff members due to COVID-19 protocols. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran was absent from post-practice interviews on Tuesday, but Stoops plans on having the Wildcats’ play-caller back on the sideline this Saturday.
“We do have a contingency plan in place (if Gran can’t return) and yes, I do anticipate him being back,” Stoops said.
“We’re like most teams. We’re dealing with issues, but we are certainly in a position to play the game and we will play barring anything drastic, obviously. We’re getting results back this morning. We had a few issues with a delay in reporting from tests yesterday, but everything that I’ve gotten back so far is a good indication that we’re moving forward and we’ll be in good shape to play. However, we will be tested again tomorrow. Things change rapidly as you know, but at this point in time we are good to go and looking forward to playing the game.”
This Saturday Kentucky is seeking its third win of the 2020 10-game SEC season, one that’s already featured one UK schedule change due to postponements elsewhere around the league. More could be on the horizon as the SEC seeks out alternatives for the eight programs that were sidelined this week. As they await their fate, UK’s coaches are preaching discipline to the players with the finish line in sight.
“We constantly continue to preach to our players about being diligent and taking as many precautions as they can. I’m quite sure our players aren’t perfect, but to this point, I am proud of the fact that they’ve done a very good job and we have been relatively safe and hopefully we’ll continue to stay that way.”