UK football practice report: Oct. 26


Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops talking to his team from the sideline during the game against Missouri at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky. on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Photo by Josh Mott | Staff.

Taking the podium Thursday ahead of UK football’s game against Tennessee, head coach Mark Stoops touched on things the team’s been doing this week in practice.

The team went over fundamentals again

Stoops said the team has drills on the fundamentals of the game every week, but that they spent extra time this week after their 45-7 loss at Mississippi State.

“There’s always things you have to hit and you can’t get too far away from,” Stoops said. “We went back to a few things to re-train them a bit.”

Watch: Stoops’ full press conference

He said the team has more focus after their blowout loss, and that he wishes it didn’t take a loss like that to give his team that focus.

The defense doesn’t change with the suspension of John Kelly

After star Tennessee running back John Kelly was suspended after a drug possession incident on Tuesday, fans and analysts chalked up a win for the Cats early in the week.

“Their other backs are like [Kelly] in the receiving aspect of it,” Stoops said. “That’s where Kelly was so good.”

He said because the skill of the other Volunteer backs, there won’t be a game plan change on the defensive end due to that suspension.

Stoops acknowledges the rustiness of Jordan Jones

After a mediocre showing in Starkville, Stoops said All-SEC linebacker Jones was a little “rusty” against the Bulldogs. He told the media that he hopes Jones will be back to his old self against the Volunteers. However, he did say that the “instincts” and “quickness” that he possesses were still there against Mississippi State.

The weather will affect the game

With an expected temperature of about 40 degrees at kickoff, the game against Tennessee will be UK football’s coldest to date this season. When asked if this will affect the game, Stoops said that it absolutely would. However, he said, “I don’t know what you can do, other than just go about your business.”

He said the team has been practicing outside all week, with some cold weather that came in Wednesday for the team.

Social media has been mentioned to the team this week

With the rise of social media in the interaction with athletes at all levels, Stoops has had to remind his players before not to engage with negativity online. He said that he wishes the “confirmation” his players got came from within the team instead of on the internet.

“Maybe people don’t always see everything that we see,” Stoops said. “Maybe you dumb luck into something, or maybe somebody thinks they did really poorly when they did some really good things.”

As Saturday’s game quickly approaches, there’s still much to be wondered about the Cats team that started 5-1. Fans will see at 7:30 p.m. Saturday whether or not the Cats win a game that they’re expected to.