Discipline is the key word for Stoops’ players this week


Head Coach for the Kentucky Wildcats, Mark Stoops walks during the Cat Walk prior to the game against EKU on Saturday, September 9, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky defeated EKU 27 to 16. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Jacob Heheman

As the UK football team travels to Columbia, South Carolina this week, they will be seeking their fourth straight win against the Gamecocks. However, head coach Mark Stoops says past success against South Carolina does not have much to do with this year’s matchup. 

“At the time, they were big wins,” Stoops said. “I don’t think they mean much coming into this game.”

With one road game under the Cats’ belt this season, Stoops expects the atmosphere at Williams-Brice Stadium to be much more electric.

“It was good to go on the road week one and get the win,” Stoops said. “We all know that this atmosphere will be quite different.” 

Stoops said the team is working on snaps from center this week. He said there were two snaps in the game against Eastern Kentucky that halted drives.

Penalties and protection were also some causes of concern for Stoops. Stoops said his team needs more discipline and to clean these things up before facing more quality opponents. 

“The margin for error starts to shrink when you get into conference play,” Stoops said.

Other notes

Stoops defended backup quarterback Drew Barker after he entered the EKU game early in the second quarter because of the issues mentioned above.

“I have to defend him just like I defend Stephen (Johnson),” Stoops said. “It’s a lot of people around him. You don’t need to go in there and get a penalty on a screen pass.”

Stoops mentioned Boom Williams, Jeff Badet, Dorian Baker and Cole Mosier as guys who would greatly help the team right now.

“Those are four guys,” Stoops said. “And you know, again, all you’ve heard me talk since I’ve been here is about recruiting and developing, and there’s four examples right there.”

Going into their second road game of the season, Stoops says it is beneficial to have played on the road at Southern Miss in the first game.

“I think it helps, I really do,” Stoops said. “It’ll be something quite different but I think it does help. Just the routine in some of those guys that haven’t been through it.”

When asked why he seems happier at the podium, Stoops said this is a fun team to coach and they want to get better. He also said, however, that he is not pleased and there are a lot of things they need to work on.