– Jordan Jones will get plenty of reps in place of Ryan Flannigan. Even though he’s a true freshman. Even though he’s been sidelined for almost a month because of an undisclosed illness, Mark Stoops still REALLY likes what he sees. Jones reacts quickly, and he has what we in the biz like to call a nose for the ball, “He’s a different bird,” Stoops said.
Stoops hasn’t decided if Jones, Khalid Henderson or Eli Brown will start, but all will play. Flannigan isn’t being held out to be saved for the future. If Stoops could play him, he would, “That’s not even close to what I’m thinking.”
– Today’s practice was a light walk-thru; tomorrow will be more intense. Continuing a tradition from last year, the Cats went though their light walk-thru today, picking the tempo up tomorrow. Stoops believes it gives them a sense of urgency, and keeps them from being lethargic on game day, “I think it helps with timing, and getting the guys moving, because when you play those night games, you’re sitting around all day Friday and all day Saturday.”
– He feels good about his pass rushers. They aren’t Bud and Z, but Faro (Farrington Huguenin) and Denzil Ware have been exceptional, and Josh Allen has been a pleasant surprise. D.J. Eliot preached on the importance of pressuring the quarterbacks on Tuesday, giving them credit for causing more turnovers through the air.
– Courtney Love will NOT be eligible to play this Fall. Stoops heard the word earlier this week. Don’t take the news too harshly, it was a longshot from the start.
– Stoops believes his defense will be better this year than last year. It could just be coach talk, but I think he truly believes those words. His secondary has a lot more experience and Josh Forrest has learned how to stop the run by filling holes quicker. He knows there will be growing pains, but believes there is a much better comfort level overall.
– Stoops’ advice to Westry: keep your eyes on the prize. He’s never played in front of this many people before; there’s going to be a lot to look at. Stoops knows he’ll be fine once he gets settled in, but until then, he’s telling him to keep his eyes disciplined, “Young guys have a tendency to start looking at a lot of things, except the things they’re supposed to be looking at.”
You can watch all of Mark Stoops’ comments here, and while you’re watching football tonight, Tweet along with me @RoushKSR.