Cats prepare to face Vanderbilt in final regular season road test


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops at open practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Braden Ramsey

It is all business for Kentucky this week. Needing two wins in three games down the stretch to become bowl-eligible, the Cats do not want another slip-up. Their opponents in these last few weeks aren’t world beaters, but with so much on the line, the team knows they have to focus solely on who is next-up to be successful.

“Each week, you know, we’re starting to look at it as 0-0, and just go 1-0 each week. That’s what you gotta do,” linebacker Kash Daniel said. “We went 0-1 last week, and now we’re trying to go 1-0 this week.” 

“You get to the back half of a season, every game matters,” defensive coordinator Brad White said. “That’s the beauty about college football compared to other sports.”

As the season winds down, attention always gets turned toward the seniors, who will be wrapping up their college careers. In a matter of weeks, the sport in which they have dedicated so much time and effort will be done. Many won’t play another down in their lives. It’s always a goal for teams to end with a bang for their seniors, and the Cats are no different.

“From here on out, it’s gonna be a lot of ‘lasts’ for those guys, and you never want their lasts to be a bad memory,” White said. “We’re gonna do our best as a team, as a defense, to send those guys out in their last SEC game as a winner.”

Talking about being the last conference game for he and his fellow seniors, Daniel mentioned that it hadn’t crossed his mind.

“Man, I didn’t even think about that yet,” he said, drawing chuckles from the crowd around him.

The Commodores may not be the highest-quality team, but in this conference, you can’t sleep on any team. Coach White emphasized that point at the podium.

“If you’re overlooking an SEC opponent, you’re in trouble,” he said. “Each and every week, anybody can beat anybody.”

“We’re gonna be in a dogfight from start to finish.”