Stoops Pleased with Football Cats So Far in Spring

Stoops Pleased with Football Cats So Far in Spring

by Tim Letcher

The Kentucky football team is a little less than halfway through its spring drills after Saturday’s practice. To this point, UK head coach Mark Stoops has been pleased with how his team is doing this spring.

“I like where we’re at. I like the way the team has practiced,” Stoops said. “We’ve got two weeks and they’ve been putting in a lot of work. That’s what I appreciate, their attitude, their willingness to take coaching.”

One of the main orders of business this spring has been working on the little things. Stoops knows that those little things can make a big difference during the season.

“It’s such a fundamental game that we have to get better fundamentally,” Stoops said. “I just told the team this as we walked off (the practice field), if you look at last year’s either success or some of the areas where we fell short in certain games, critical areas, 90 percent of the time it comes down to fundamentals and fundamentally doing the things necessary and executing.”

Stoops and his staff are trying to find that spot between working on fundamentals as well as installing the scheme of new offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan.

“I think there’s a fine line in the spring, because we have a new offensive coordinator again, and you have to put so much in,” Stoops said. “I’m very pleased with the way they’ve been able to put a lot in, a lot of window dressing and a lot of things that make it hard on defenses. The critical part for us will be in the next two weeks is to define that. Being able to function without coaches out there trying to coach them before and after every play. That’s what I’m looking for the last two weeks.”

Looking at the talent on the field, Stoops thinks the Cats have some individuals who can impact the game.

“We definitely have playmakers, we have guys who can stretch the field,” Stoops said “I feel like we’re stronger up front. We’re down some (defensive) linemen, makes it hard to practice. I feel like we’ve got some really good players. We’ve just got to put it all together and just be more detailed and that’s a fine line because we have so much to put in, so much install, yet we’ve got to be able to execute at a high level. So, that’s what we’re working on.”

Overall, Stoops has liked the dedication and effort that this group is showing so far in the spring. He also likes the leadership that’s coming from within.

“I’ve been very pleased with this group. These guys are up early every day. They have great attitudes, they’ve been working and I love that,” Stoops said. That tells me that they’re getting good leadership from their coordinators, their position coaches and they’re carrying that to the field. They’ve been very enthusiastic, and I think confident. We have some guys who have been in our program so you have some leadership, some maturity, guys that know what to expect. We’ve worked hard with the transfers coming in to understand what our culture is and what to expect.”

Spring football continues through mid-April with the Blue/White Game on April 13 at 1 p.m. at Kroger Field.


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