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Stoops on his team’s turnaround: “It is very gratifying”

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

On today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, Mark Stoops was asked what it felt like to be on the verge of not only bowl eligibility, but the program’s first SEC winning season since 1977. Stoops admitted that the team’s recent success is “very gratifying,” but also a result of several years of hard work.

“I think it says a lot about our team and the character our players have and I think it goes back a long way,” Stoops said. “I don’t think any one thing changed in the past five or six weeks. I think this has been part of this turnaround has been going on for a long time. Our players have worked extremely hard, our coaches have, for many years to keep on building and doing the right things and developing our players and putting them in a position to win. It is very gratifying to see us playing better football.”

However, Stoops was careful to add that while the recent wins are great, he wants his team to “push forward” and not be satisfied, a message he’s been hammering home in practice this week.

“It’s always week to week, so, we’ll have another great opportunity this week. I have been proud of the growth that we’ve made and we’re going to challenge them to continue to push forward,” Stoops said. “We need to challenge our team and stay aggressive in our approach and our preparation as we look forward to the Georgia game. We know it’ll be a great challenge for us. They’re a very well-coached team, a lot of talented players across the board and we certainly will have our hands full and we’re excited about the opportunity to be at home and play in front of a great crowd and have a great atmosphere here this Saturday.”

If you want to be part of that (hopefully) great atmosphere, tickets are still available at

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

21 Comments for Stoops on his team’s turnaround: “It is very gratifying”

  1. Undeniable
    1:42 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    I’m really happy for Coach Stoops and company! It took longer than expected but I think that his program might finally be headed in the direction he’d intended on day one!

  2. Rod Crandler
    1:56 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    Sports is a funny thing. If the field goal against Miss. St. is five feet shorter we all might be talking right now about who our next coach might be.

    • secrick
      2:02 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      If , if and buts were candy and nuts it’d be Christmas every day.

    • Booby Petrino
      2:13 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      and if we had another stop during the Southern Miss game and didn’t crap the bed, we’d be 6-2 and no one would’ve discussed firing Stoops this year.

    • Rod Crandler
      5:07 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      And that’s my point. Just making a general comment. Geezzzz.

  3. Mathlete
    2:27 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    – If Damien Harris chose UK we’d have won at least 6 games last year and nobody would be worried about the Southern Miss game.

    – If we’d upgraded the stadium and practice facility in 2010 Brooks might still be the head coach and none of this is relevant.

    – If we had paid Bear Bryant what he was worth, we might be Alabama with a better basketball team.

    – If the asteroid never hit the Earth, we might all be lizard people (instead of just the politicians).

    Doesn’t matter, that’s not our reality. Let’s live it up while we’re here though, Kentucky is going bowling!

    • Sentient Third Eye
      3:46 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      Wait…you’re NOT a lizard person? The rest of us are. Who let a mammal in here?

  4. Sentient Third Eye
    2:27 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    Too much praise, though. I don’t like it. It may make the kids fat and happy no matter how much the staff tells them not to get satisfied.

    • ClutchCargo
      4:05 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      I think/hope it is having the opposite effect. A little positive reinforcement after years of drudgery is bound to make them want to keep it going.

  5. Booby Petrino
    2:28 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    KSR has also been more pleasant with the Cats winning. The Louisville trolls are hiding out, waiting for us to lose so they can show up again. Hopefully they will continue to wait a while. Hello if you’re reading this ScorpioCard, cats paw, CodeRed502, FBI Informant, etc.

    • cats paw
      3:10 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      lets see know. UK hasnt beaten a team with over a .500 record this year and they are at best the 8th best team in the conference. you can attribute the entire year to the SEC sucking eggs this year. just like all cheerleaders…you embrace mediocracy! lets give stoops another million before he goes on his losing streak!

    • Mathlete
      3:29 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      Dammit BP, why’d you have to summon Cats Paw? You know he’s like Beetlejuice, if you say his name enough times and he’ll show up and eat a roach or something.

    • Booby Petrino
      3:52 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      ha ha ha sorry Mathlete, my bad. I knew he was reading and just staying quiet. I figured I’d get the typical “living rent free in your head comment” but he went another direction today. cp, your beloved Cardinals have only beaten 1 team with a record over .500 this year. and barely scraped by over a 2-6 Virginia team and 3-5 Duke team (VA was 2-5 at the time, Duke was 3-3). I think that game at the end of the year is going to be interesting.

    • ClutchCargo
      4:10 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      Wrong, Mathlete. cats paw survives on a diet consisting entirely of the droppings of the Northern cardinal.

    • dshwildcats
      8:55 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      Booby P,

      The Louisville fans/trolls are too busy lamenting their ranking of 7th in the first CFP poll! It’s an “SEC conspiracy” you know!! Their three wins all-time against SEC teams not named Kentucky, make them experts on the SEC! The SEC has 10 National Championships, won by five different schools, since the BCS era began in 1998; but according to the Cardinal faithful, the SEC is overrated, and overhyped! Lol!!

      Quite arguably the dumbest college football fan base I’ve encountered in my years of following the Cats on the road!

  6. KSR Spy
    2:30 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    Really looking forward to the UGA and UT. I didn’t think we would win either of these games at the start of the season, so right now it’s house money. Curious to see how our boys stack up against these two teams now that they’re started to click since the changes earlier in the year.

    • secrick
      3:24 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah and the Lville games looks a lot better now, they should have lost to Virginia last week. Just one more win and we go bowling and that’s killing some fans, you know what i mean Darrell. I think the l-ville game be the easiest one left on the schedule not counting A.P.

    • Mathlete
      3:30 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      Even Darryl has softened his stance and admitted he was wrong about Stoops on the show yesterday

  7. TWhite
    3:38 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    Realistically, we are right where a lot of people projected us to be at the beginning of the season. Which means we are right on schedule right now. I just hope people don’t go the other way if we drop 3 out of the next 4, which most fans would have been ok with in August (as long as we had 5 wins going into the AP game). If we finish 6-6, and compete against Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisville, the season should still be considered a success. It was a bowl or bust year, and we bowled.

    • secrick
      4:05 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

      That is so right

  8. BluKudzu
    6:22 pm November 2, 2016 Permalink

    I am glad things have changed for the football team. Going to the ground game, and Stoops taking over the defense, has redirected the program. I think it safe to say, after last year, and the beginning of this year, every UK football fan has to be happy with where this team is right now.
    Stoops showed me something this year, to which I have the most respect for, and that was telling his friend and DC, it was not getting done and a change had to be made. I took guts to do that. It had to be done.
    I have been the biggest critic and azz h0le towards the AD and the coaching staff, up until that point. (I had thought we had the players and athletes to compete and play better than what we saw.) That was all of last year, and right up to the change, after the first part of the season, this year, in both Offense and Defense.
    I get it, the SEC east is bad this year. So What? We are winning now and not losing to Vandy for doing Stupid stuff.
    The test is UT and UGA. That will tell us where we need to be. To me they represent the middle upper level of the East. They are who we must beat to get to the top of the East. I hope we get there.
    Give me a victory over AP, and that will be a Christmas Present I will enjoy for years to come. I really did not think we would be here. I really did not think Stoops would make the changes that were needed. He did. He has my respect.
    Thank you for the wonderful drive back from Mizzou.
    Go Cats.