Mark Stoops struggled to find good things to say last week after UK’s first scrimmage of the preseason. He eventually used the words “just okay” to describe the scrimmage. Today, he was pleased to share a positive report.
“Overall it was a good, competitive scrimmage,” said Stoops. “I feel like it was better scrimmage than it was a week ago, as it should be. I thought we had a really good, solid week of practice this week. We got a lot of work in. Wrapping it up today with a good, long scrimmage. I feel like we did good things on both sides of the ball.”
Careful not to condemn or praise either side of the ball too much before watching the film, he was happy to see the defense prevent the offense from putting early points on the board. However, one play that made him change his tune was a long, explosive run.
“It’ll be a good learning situation for them. We gotta watch it and see exactly who it was, but they creased us and got a long run that led to a touchdown early,” he said.
Offensively, the Cats improved from a week ago and kept the ball off the ground throughout the entire scrimmage. Still, Eddie Gran wanted to see more consistency, especially on routine first down plays.
Moving forward, the depth chart is tightening up as September 2 creeps closer and closer.
“We’re going to be making some decisions with playing time and moves on the depth chart after this scrimmage,” Stoops said. “Guys that either can’t do it or won’t do it, they’re getting passed up because we do have a lot of depth and a lot of talent on this team, a lot more than we’ve had.”
Classes start on Wednesday, essentially closing the door on training camp and commencing Southern Miss prep. Through three weeks, Mark Stoops likes his team.
“I feel like we’re much further ahead. The maturity level of this team has been a lot of fun to coach,” Stoops said. “It’s been an enjoyable camp. There’s still so much work daily to do, but it’s been fun. The guys are really taking to the coaching. I think it’s very important to them. I feel like we’re further ahead with the details. ”
Stoops’ team has exactly two weeks to master the details to create a polished product in Hattiesburg.