Football Cats Focused on Improvement During Off Week

Football Cats Focused on Improvement During Off Week

by Tim Letcher

The bye week seems to be coming at an ideal time for the Kentucky football team. The Wildcats have played seven straight weeks and are coming off their first loss of the season, which came at No. 1 Georgia on Saturday.

This is a week where the Cats and head coach Mark Stoops hope to get certain things accomplished, while not playing on Saturday. Among those are getting healthy and working on things that the team has not done well through a 6-1 start.

“Working on ourselves this week,” Stoops said on Tuesday after practice. “Like always in ‘byes’, we will look at all the good things we’ve done, keep trying to continue to get better. Look at the areas where we’re falling short, work on them. Work on different ways to get better and also work on (next opponent) Mississippi State.”

The Cats fell at Georgia 30-13 on Saturday after winning their first six games. Stoops hates to lose but he likes how his team has handled its first setback of the season, especially against a very good opponent in a hostile environment.

“They’ve been very good. They’ve always handled it well,” Stoops said. “(We have to) take a good look at it, be critical of the mistakes. Know that we’re trying to get better with each opportunity and it was the same way this week. Take a good look, learn from the mistakes and move on.”

Stoops was pleased with how quarterback Will Levis played on Saturday against a Georgia defense that is not only the best in college football this season but probably the best college football defense in quite a while.

“I thought Will played a really good game,” Stoops said. “He was really patient in the pocket when he needed to be, he bought time when he needed to, looked to scramble when he needed to, went to second and third receiving options when he had to.”

One of the other things that teams do during off weeks is to self-scout their own offenses and defenses. When Stoops was asked how offensive coordinator Liam Coen has done this season, he was very complimentary.

“He really dresses things up very nice,” Stoops said. “There’s a lot of eye candy going on, a lot of moving parts in shifts and motions. And we’ve been physical. We’ve been able to run the ball and keep people off balances.”

Stoops is pleased with the 6-1 start that his Cats have put together and he’s happy for the recognition they are receiving. But he also knows that the team still has work to do.

“There’s been so many good things. They deserve the recognition they receive,” Stoops said. “But there’s also areas where we’re falling short and we’ve just got to work on that because to get where we want to go, you have to play darn near perfect.”

Healing injuries and getting rest will be important this week but Stoops hopes that his team will also take advantage of the opportunity to focus on themselves and improve during the bye week.

Related Stories

View all