As Kentucky’s 2020 football season nears a close, the BBN is looking ahead to see what’s next for the program as it limps to the finish line after top 25 preseason expectations. Fans are not alone. Mark Stoops said as much Monday afternoon.
“We do need to get better,” Stoops said. “There’s no denying that. Some of the football that we’ve put out there is unacceptable and that’s my job as the head coach to look at that and address it and improve. I don’t want to get into specifics. There’s no time for pointing fingers and doing all that right now. But I have to continue to move the program forward. There’s no doubt in my mind I have to continue to look at all things and improve and get better. I will certainly do that after this week.”
As for Eddie Gran, Kentucky’s offensive coordinator was unwilling to share any details on what the future of UK’s offense might look like, or if he will be a part of it.
“Right now I’m just trying to get two halves put together for this weekend for these seniors. If we can put two halves together, finish and be consistent; really excited about just trying to finish for these guys right now. That’ll happen after Sunday for sure, jumping right on it and going from there,” Gran said.
Gran wants to send the seniors out with a win. Some may have the opportunity to return for another year of football in Lexington. He has not been a part of any of those conversations so far.
“The way this year has gone, I’m focusing on getting a touchdown in the red zone. I’m focusing on converting on third down and really that’s been the full focus for me,” Gran said. “A lot of that will be with the head football coach and when he wants me to be a part of it, I’ll be a part of it. I just really haven’t — I’m trying to get these kids through a difficult time and to finish strong. That’s where my energy is right now.”
Obviously, the year has not gone according to plan in almost every facet of life for Kentucky football players and coaches, both on and off the field. Despite the struggles, Gran is proud of the way the Wildcats have battled through adversity every single week. It may be difficult now, but it will pay dividends down the road.
“I gotta be honest with you, the resiliency of these young men, of this football team, it’s really amazing. They came out yesterday and today we had as good of a practice on a Tuesday that we’ve had, and for them to keep battling and doing that just says a lot about them. Coach Stoops has done a fantastic job of talking to these guys. Yes, it’s hard, but God’s got a plan here and it’s making us all stronger.
“Later on down in life everybody’s going to look back at 2020 and ask, how did you handle it? How did you face adversity? It’s been tough on every one of those young men for a lot of reasons as we all know. But then you add the football part of it and here we are, the last week of the season and our kids are taking finals and they’re practicing. It has been taxing, but I’m so proud of them. They’re grinders and I think it’ll pay off for them later on in life for sure.”