Mark Stoops spoke for more than 30 minutes about his Kentucky football team this afternoon. For those who didn’t watch it all go down, here are the best things you missed.
1. Not Worried about the Hype
Benny Snell and Josh Allen now have a pair of websites promoting their personal accolades. Normally Stoops is a team-first guy, but he didn’t hesitate when he was asked if UK could give Josh and Benny extra attention.
“It doesn’t worry me,” said Stoops. “It didn’t bother me because I know Josh, I know Benny and I know the type of players they are, the maturity they have and what’s important to them. With the success of the team, the individual accolades will come. I don’t anticipate anything different from those guys in their approach.”
2. Areas for Improvement
Stoops began his press conference by commending the fans and players, but noted his team has plenty of room to grow.
Defensively, two plays stuck out above the rest. On Miss. State’s touchdown drive, Kentucky made a pair of first down mistakes that gave the Bulldogs’ 20 total yards. That must be fixed. Offensively, he wants the receivers to run crisper routes, faster decisions from Terry Wilson and more physicality from the offensive line (that’s possible?).
3. Recruiting Bump
Even though the Cats picked up two commitments less than 24 hours after the game, Mark Stoops was modest when asked how the 4-0 momentum is affecting recruiting. “I feel like we’ve been on the cusp of having a strong year this whole recruiting cycle. This is doing nothing but helping us.”
4. Unselfish Defensive Line
Kentucky’s defensive line has dramatically improved, but it’s not just because of one player. The entire unit has raised their level of play.
“They’ve been unselfish. They’re playing hard. It’s nice to have that rotation,” he said. “They’ve been pretty evenly dispersed, in particular this last week. Guys are just buying into their role. The truth is the strength of our team is the team. We are good together.”
5. Mark Stoops doesn’t care when UK Plays
“I really haven’t put any thought into that at all, other than I get home late.”
6. Drake Jackson Deserves More Praise
Bunchy Stallings has won a pair of awards for his play in the trenches. Logan Stenberg has earned some praise for his nastiness. One player that hasn’t received a lot of accolades is Woodford County’s Drake Jackson. Stoops believes he’s one of the best in the trenches.
“He’s solid. He’s unbelievably passionate about this game, always has been. He’s a great technician, that’s why he’s able to play the way he does as effectively as he does. He may be slightly undersized compared to the people he plays, but he’s a technician.
“Offense and defensive line is a technique game. It is everywhere, but really at those positions, and he’s fundamentally sound at what he does. He’s passionate and cares about he does, so he plays with that edge, that attitude, that chip on his shoulder everyday to prepare for himself. And he has great knowledge for a young kid. He does a lot of things good.”