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Stoops takes aim at perception Kentucky will regress next season

Last year’s Kentucky Football team was fueled by low expectations from the national media. With several stars departing and the experts expecting the Wildcats to take a step back, Mark Stoops said that chip on their shoulder is just getting sharper. 

“They didn’t think anything of those guys last year,” Stoops said on today’s KSR. “They didn’t even mention those guys last preseason. So, why all of a sudden are they mentioning them? We weren’t in anybody’s preseason [rankings] last year. We were picked to win five games, picked to finish in the bottom of the SEC, picked nowhere in the top 25, so, what’s the difference? What’s the excuse now?”

After proving all of the experts wrong last season, Stoops said the team doesn’t need their validation.

“Absolutely but we also don’t need that. Know what I’m saying? We don’t need that. Nobody counted on us last year and we did what we had to do. And nobody’s counting on us this year and we’ll do what we have to do.”

Stoops said that priority number one after getting back from the Citrus Bowl was meeting with the returning players to make sure they were in the right mindset to carry that momentum into next season. Much to his delight, they were, a testament to the core principles his staff has put into place over the years.

“I’m very excited about this team because once we got to work after the bowl game, I was all over the coaches about intentionally meeting with our players for the future because I know the leadership that we lost, the good players that we lost, and immediately you just hit the reset button and you try to get ahead and get these guys motivated.

“Here’s what I’ve been pleasantly surprised about: they are ready to take it to another level. They are ready. They already learned it. That comes from the six years. That doesn’t just come from last year. That comes from the six years of things that we’ve been doing to put ourselves in a position to be successful and constantly and continuously grow the program and get better in all areas. That’s something you’ve heard me talk about from day one. Just putting your head down, going to work, doing the things that you can do, attack each and every day, and get better.

“We started that the moment we got back from the bowl game. We’ve been all over these guys with their assessments and about areas and blindspots that they have but here’s the thing: I see growth already and that excites me because they see the success we have. They see the success — what it took to get there, the ups and downs, the trial and tribulations and the things that it takes and the players persevering through those things and the grind that it takes and they’re embracing that and we’re attacking it right now. That’s what excites me.”

Me too.

You can hear Stoops’ entire interview below:

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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.

11 Comments for Stoops takes aim at perception Kentucky will regress next season



  1. Wildfelinebeeline
    12:38 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    First!



  2. mashburnfan1
    12:53 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    Love it, reminds me of his Super Bowl commercial where he said “we will get it done”., and he did. No reason to doubt he will continue it.



  3. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    1:08 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    Very much like his saltiness. That edge helps moving forward.



  4. cats646
    1:13 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    I’m so pumped for next season!!!!!!!!!



  5. highway119
    1:56 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    I sometimes struggle with having higher expectations than should be expected, but I can see us with another 8 wins in the regular season next year. After GA, at MSST, and probably FL (unless we can start a new streak), I think we match up well with everyone. We will probably lose one to SC, MO, or TN, but I don’t see us falling to AK, or Vandy, and the 4 non-conference games are almost certainly W’s. Barring a complete collapse, 8 wins is not only achievable, but should be expected.

    And who knows? I was one of those who was so worried last year that we would struggle to get bowl eligible, and we took a major step up. Even with the loss of 2 generational players, and some other great talent, maybe we improve as an overall team, the youth has the talent to cover up the inexperience, and we enjoy another double-digit win season. After last year, I’m not counting us out!



    • Lip Man 1
      2:19 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

      The “excuse” for not giving Kentucky football more “respect” is because of the history of the program period. Voters and national pundits aren’t going to do that until UK shows that they can consistently perform well over a period of time. Last year may turn out to be a “fluke” year…who knows right now? Time will tell.

      I’d suggest to Stoops to worry about his team, his schedule for next year and forget about everything else. Respect is earned over consistent performance over time…it’s that simple.



  6. notFromhere
    3:22 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    Football games are won in the 60 minutes allotted. The Cats have been preparing for those 60 min allotments for 6 years. They finally broke through. No officials getting in the way.

    The media are swinging from the jockstrap that feeds them in weekly presser, pregame and halftime meals. They dont give a sht about UK. They won’t give them respect until they have to do it. Keep making em choke on it, coach!

    The history of the program doesn’t mean sht. This staff and these teams have outperformed better stocked and “starred” teams for years now. The media refused to notice as always. Screw em



    • Lip Man 1
      4:44 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

      With respect, winning six or seven games with a brutally soft non-conference schedule, then usually falling apart in the stretch run of said seasons doesn’t really mean much.

      Last year absolutely did.

      Now we’ll see what happens moving forward which is what the national writers and football pundits are waiting on.

      They didn’t give UK much respect in those past seasons because again with their schedule and the way they usually finished them, they didn’t deserve much.



  7. [email protected]
    4:41 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    Me thinks coach Stoops should engage his brain before making such a fool out of himself. He’s mouthing off like a UL fan when he whines about the lack of respect. UK is still everybody’s Home Coming Game and I don’t expect that to change overnight….or after one season. Most sports pundits had UK beating Penn State and that shows respect.



    • krautdog
      5:41 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

      You’re spot on. We had a good measure of luck last year & some breaks from the officiating that we haven’t gotten in the past. This recruiting class is not as good as the last couple of years soon…time will tell.



  8. Brad
    7:51 pm February 6, 2019 Permalink

    Yall so negative lol. He just saying we dont need respect and we like being overlooked it motivates us. And yall trying to turn it in to him crying smh. And we didnt get lucky last year. We had an elite defense that kept us in games. And we had enough offense in 10 of them