Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops took a break from the recruiting trail to spend a morning in Charlotte discussing the upcoming Belk Bowl.
“We’re looking forward to this opportunity. Our players are very excited to be here,” Stoops said. “We’ve heard nothing but great things about this city and about this bowl.”
To this point, Stoops and Fuente are mostly going off word of mouth. Each has been so busy recruiting, they’ve hardly looked at what’s in store for them on New Year’s Eve. All Fuente had to hear was that he’s playing a Stoops.
“When you play a Stoops brother, you know you’re going to get great defense.” Virginia Tech’s head coach caught a little UK film on his way to Charlotte. “I’ve watched them on that side of the ball through several games. They’re obviously very well-coached and doing a fantastic job there.”
On the other side, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s final test will not be easy.
“I’m looking forward to looking at in-depth what they’re doing offensively. I know they’ve made some changes at quarterback. They’ve had to think outside the box, I guess I would say, and been really productive with it. A tremendous credit to Coach (Stoops) and his staff for being able to adapt and find ways to be effective and win games,” Fuente said.
The clash of the SEC and the ACC will be a storyline mentioned throughout the lead-in to the bowl game. Even though Stoops’ squad handled Louisville with ease to end the season, he’s not taking Tech lightly just because they’re in the Coastal.
“I think for us it’s just important to win your last game, no matter who you’re playing, whether it’s a league game or any opponent,” said Stoops. “Winning a bowl game is important. It’s important to your fanbase that travels down to the game. As far as the league affiliation, we don’t get caught up in that. We have great respect for them and their league. We’re really worried about ourself and playing the best football we can.”
Stoops has respect for the ACC, best known by KSR Football Podcasters as “Clemson and a whole bunch of Boston Colleges.”