Stoops practice report: Week of Nov. 9 Q&A


UK head coach Mark Stoops calls a timeout during the game against Ole Miss on Saturday, November 4, 2017 in Lexington, Ky.

UK football head coach Mark Stoops addressed the media Thursday before the Cats travel to take on Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday.

Stoops: It’s been a solid week of practice and we’ve got one more day to put the finishing touches on tomorrow, and we’re excited about another opportunity here this weekend against Vandy.

Q: Mark, with the record of the teams you’ve played, how much is Vanderbilt kind of proof of that idea that you mentioned, that a win-loss record isn’t always the most accurate judge of how good a team is?

Stoops: You know, it’s very true. I think if you just look at teams, you know it’s very easy for some folks just to look at the record and think it’s all about that, but that’s not the case. All in all, I know there’s 14 teams in this league that are working their tail off to have a good football team. It’s hard, it’s competitive, we beat each other up, get beat down, we may have injuries, but there’s a lot of teams with very good coaches.

Just take a look at Missouri, I said that when we played them. Don’t for a minute, when we beat Missouri, dismiss that victory, but everybody wanted to. That’s a perfect example, and Vandy’s the same way. Very good football team, works, very well-coached, they have great pride, they play very hard, they’re good, solid in all areas so it’s going to be a real challenge.

Q: They’ve still got a lot to play for too…

Stoops: Yeah. Exactly. They’re battling like heck, they did it a year ago, won some games late to get to bowl eligibility, and I’m sure they’re working hard to get there again this year.

Q: Mark, Ralph Webb’s numbers are down from last year, what do you see from him?

Stoops: I still see a very good player, II think what’s probably undervalued or doesn’t get talked about is how efficient they are throwing the well, they’re very efficient at throwing the ball, [Kyle] Shurmur’s really just playing so well, so poised and makes all the throws and I think, a lot like us, they’re committed to running the ball and that sets up a lot of their passes, and their play actions and shot plays, but even a predictable pass, they’ve been very efficient.

Q: From a quality perspective in terms of the passing game, is this more of the same, what you’ve been seeing?

Stoops: Again, they’re different in certain ways, in some of them I wouldn’t say they’re exactly the same as some of the other teams we’ve played, but we’re all different and unique in certain ways, but they’ve, again, been very efficient.

Q: Attitude-wise, did they bounce back the way you wanted them to from such a tough loss?

Stoops: Yeah, they have. It’s been a really solid week, and it was a really good walkthrough today, and we’ll put the finishing touches on it tomorrow, have our last workout but the guys have been really solid this week.

Q: Did you change anything in the defensive depth chart?

Stoops: No.

Q: Anything with the either-or with [Chris] Westry and [Lonnie] Johnson?

Stoops: No, yeah, nothing. We’ll see. We’ve got one more day and we’ll see what we decide to do.