Friday afternoon was Kentucky’s first day on the gridiron in Charlotte as the Wildcats prepare to take on Virginia Tech in the 2019 edition of the Belk Bowl. Mark Stoops was pleased with how his team performed after taking a three-day break for Christmas.
“This group likes to be around each other. It’s a fun group. It was very energetic and I thought we had good focus,” he said after the practice.
“It’s always our mindset before we leave Lexington that we’re game-ready. You come here and just freshen up. There’s still work to be done. We want to be as prepared as we can be. But it goes faster here. There are a lot of events. I try to be cognizant of their time and how much we’re putting them on a bus and running them around to different events, and making sure they’re hungry, fresh and ready to go for the meetings.”
The team will begin their day by hopping on a bus to Charlotte Motor Speedway. From there they will return to the Charlotte Latin School — their practice home for the week and New York Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones’ alma mater — for a practice they typically would hold on a Wednesday. Their night will conclude with a trip to Belk’s flagship store for a shopping spree.
Kentucky will have plenty of fun before the game. What matters most this week is what happens January 31.
“It’s important to come here and have a great experience, but the best part of this week will be after the game. Each team, whoever gets the victory, that’s what you’re going to remember,” said Stoops. “I want them to enjoy themselves, but most importantly, when we’re here between the white lines I want them locked in because we want to play a good football game.”
Just when you thought Lynn Bowden couldn’t get any cooler, his practice jersey is a version of the Jolly Rodger with the No. 1. Incredible.
Sawyer Smith was in action in Charlotte. We learned on KSR last week from Jeff Piecoro that the quarterback suffered a dislocated shoulder and a broken bone in his wrist in his only three games as a starter.
Hear the pads pop in this video from the KyWildcatsTV crew.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 28, 2019