Kentucky’s Stoops preparing for test at Florida

By Adam Silverstein
September 9, 2014

The Kentucky Wildcats appear to be trending upward under second-year head coach Mark Stoops. Currently sitting at 2-0 with a 59-14 win over Tennessee-Martin in Week 1 and a 20-3 victory against Ohio in Week 2, Kentucky is not only 33rd nationally in scoring offense (39.5 points) but sixth in the country in scoring defense (8.5 points).

With the Florida Gators (1-0) on deck Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, Stoops spent a large portion of his Monday afternoon press conference discussing the Gators and the difficult task his team has ahead of it this weekend.

The below quotes are courtesy of a transcript from The Courier-Journal, which has more from Stoops on Florida and his Kentucky team entering its third game of the season:

On how the Gators have impressed him on tape: “Just the typical Florida team: physical, with a bunch of athletes out there. Very fast, very well-coached. They’re very aggressive defensively. They’re much improved offensively. Obviously, they racked up a whole boat load of yards.”

On the difficulties the Wildcats will face in The Swamp: “Well, we have some inexperience, but it is what it is. It will be a real challenge. I think it’s a great venue, obviously one of the best venues in college football. … It’s a great place, a great atmosphere. Very passionate fan base. It will be a real challenge. It’s certainly not easy. It will be really good for us to see where we’re at. I know the coaches are excited. The players are anxious for this great challenge. We’ll see where we’re at.”

On his relationship with Florida head coach Will Muschamp: “I know Will well. Have a lot of respect for Will. Great defensive coach, great head coach. They’re going to have a good year, I know that. Like I said, I just like him, like the way he coaches, have a lot of respect for him and the program.”

On what Muschamp’s teams look like on tape: “What you see is what you get. He’s a tough guy, defensive-minded guy, and they’re gonna play with that great passion, which, how can you not love that and appreciate that? Like I said, I think they’re much different offensively this year, and they got some weapons, and they got some real speed outside and a great scheme. So, I think they’re much-improved offensively.”

On whether the Wildcats will be coached up on their 27-game losing streak: “I really don’t think we need that motivation. If it does [provide motivation] to some individual players, that’s fine. I’ll let them read that, but it’s not something I want to put in front of them. We’re pretty motivated to get out there and play well and to try to get a win.”

On what problems UF redshirt senior quarterback Jeff Driskel presents for UK’s defense: “He’s a good football player, and he’s got some good weapons and a good system. So, he can run it and he can throw it. They obviously – they exploded in that first game. They have some playmakers. Well, I don’t know if we ever really go into it taking that effect, but I think it would be very challenging to jump out in front of them like we did in the first two. But that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

On the importance of Saturday’s game considering the roll Kentucky is on right now: “I think it is. I’m anxious. I want to have a great week of preparation by our coaches and our players. I want us just as excited to go out there and play as we were in the first two games at home, and I think it will be interesting to see how our young players respond and how they go play. So, yeah, it’s a measuring stick for us.”

17 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    I’d like to ask Mark why his brother Bob hates on the SEC so much? Is it a symptom of sibling rivalry or just plain ole conference envy?

    • Dave Massey says:

      He wanted the Florida job and didn’t get it. Then didn’t like the butt hurting he got in 2009 when the most prolific offense in the history of college football only scored 14 in the BCS championship game against Florida. What do you expect him to do in the Big 12 (the conference that can’t count) but put down the superior SEC?

  2. Dave Massey says:

    How many times do you think he winked when he said he wasn’t going to bring up the 27 game losing streak. Any coach in football would be pounding that into his player’s head as motivation to play with ferocity and they are no different.

    You heard it here first, Kentucky will not be 33rd in scoring offense or 6th in scoring defense after this game. No way are they scoring 40 on our D and holding us to 9, just sayin’.

    • Michael J. says:

      I agree. Kentucky is a bad team. Statistics are meaningless this early in the season since a lot of teams, including Florida and Kentucky have yet to play a good team. Even an offense as bad Florida’s put one player on the preseason All-SEC team, a guy that didn’t play last year, Chaz Green, on the third team. Kentucky failed to get anyone. We have no idea what kind of team UF is, but it’s probably a good bet that we won’t learn anything from playing Kentucky. Mark Stoops is not a miracle worker, Kentucky still has a lot of bad players. Maybe they’ll be competitive in two or three years, and that’s a big if. I can’t forsee any scenario where UF has any difficulty at home with Kentucky. The most important thing is to not suffer any more injuries because the “real” season starts the following week.

  3. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Amen Michael J. Amen to especially to that last sentence I just pray we stay as healthy as possible so we can show the country our full potential that’s just all I want, I just wanted every player fully healthy going into Tuscaloosa, why in the is one of our bye-weeks after Bama when we sure could’ve used it the week before Alabama it’s a waisted week to have it before the Tennessee game I mean when have we ever needed a bye week before Ole UT yeah back in the manning years, I personally hated the way the SEC set these incoherent schedules up the for past 3 seasons we should be playing at Arkansas not Bama cuz they played us I. The Swamp last year hell even before that we got screwed with having to go to auburn then no revenge in the swamp and surprise Alabama doesn’t come down to the swamp next year this new scheduling is a bunch of B.S. If we are not gonna rotate home & home properly then atleat get rid of this silly ass permanent rival system no one had rivals anymore these young guys aren’t aware of the old days of playing auburn every season or Georgia playing auburn every season no one cares that Bama & UT have to play ever year how bout make it actually exciting and just rotate both western division opponents of course until we get 2 more teams in the SEC then you’ll play your 7 eastern division teams every season then you’ll have to rotate your western opponent just out if pure fairness well IMO it ain’t been to damn fair to Florida as far as schedules go it’s cost us some trips to Atlanta infact which equals $$$ for the University why can’t they get this sorted out for the lord’s sake we are playing the top 2 pre-season teams in the country that has t happened since the 60’s I believe I heard plus 6 ranked teams we’re only getting an 11 game regular season this season I understand this is life in the SEC just quit giving us Gator’s the sh*tty end of the stick every year I just pray somehow DJ Humphries heals quick we sure could’ve used him not to mention our secret super weapon Tight End Jake McGee against this Hell’s Rowe of a schedule though South Carolina which when I watched how bad their defense looked in their spring game I knew were way overrated plus if we stay healthy LSU doesn’t appear to be as daunting a task in the Swamp especially I just wanted the opportunity to send a message to the rest of the country after the Bama game that the Gators of Florida were back and were never going anywhere Bama, Georgia, & FSU will decide how successful this season could possibly really be especially barring anymore serious injuries like I said before the season this team is only as good as how healthy it will stay 65 -0 against EMU means nothing when ya lose a special offensive weapon for the season as well as your best left tackle before the Bama game but if we are truly blessed concerning the injury bug there’s no question the Eastern Division title goes through Jacksonville on October. Go Gators p.s. Someone please call a voodoo witch Doctor to get rid the bad juju off our football team & off of Coach Muschamp, I’m sure good ole Les Miles knows exactly where to find one……..

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    the 33rd nationally in Offense and 6th nationally defense sounds impressive until you consider the teams they played of course, and on that scale, UF is 1st nationally in scoring offense (65) and 1st nationally in scoring defense (0), so in those terms, UF should dominate!

    • Dave Massey says:

      Adam, congratulations on the new opportunity, you certainly deserve it.

      Sure was nice of Jojo Kemp to run his mouth and say how much he was going to enjoy walking out of the Swamp with a win. You would think this loud mouth chump was playing for their basketball team. Kentucky has the longest losing streak against one team in the FBS. I can’t wait until they hand the ball off to him on Saturday and Fowler and the boys plant his smart ass in the ground. We’ll give him a real fine Swamp welcome. Spank him on his ass and send him home to his mama cryin!!! Guess he thought they were going to play Ohio again or somethin.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Even if he were on their hoops team, UK doesn’t come to Florida with a cavalier attitude, they know how hard it is to get out of the O’Dome with a win even with their talent level.

  5. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Look dude I’m just a very informative 32 year old fan who loves his Gators & also just lost the only mother who he’s ever going to have no less than over week ago whose having a real BAD day, I was just trying to distract myself & make a very seldom comment on this site so please guys just leave me be, it’s expected when bandwagon troll Criminole fans jump on you but damn it’s really a damn shame when fans of the same team are jumping on you just cuz your comment was too long which I now apologize for but I never lied in my earlier comment nor did I attack anyone at no all I did was just give my opinion about the university that I grew up loving as well as graduated from, the very same university my dad & my mother’s dad graduated before I ever did. I got on a rant big deal so bring in the firing squad Jesus oh yeah & btw as for Gatorboi’s comment if we do beat Alabama I swear I’ll never comment on hear ever again, you’ll certainly have my word on that Sir! I’ll just keep reading just the post & leave all those truly such “interesting & insightful great comments & jewels of wisdom” to you all to of you real professional “fans”, cuz believe you me I got much better ways to kill my time than trying to act like some tough guy internet phony so congrats with all that. I hope it makes you feel real good. In fact I’ll just refrain from texting another damn word alright so how bout them apples congratulations. I hope you all feel real good about yourselves……Go Gators !!!!!!!!

    • Dave Massey says:

      Dude, the OCD comment was tongue in cheek. A lot of people on here, including Adam once, have got on me about my grammar and I got a good chuckle about it. I don’t have any problem with true Gator fans like you posting all they want, I don’t necessarily have to read them though. If you use a few more periods it would make it easier. I usually get about a third of the way through and stop, just to let you know. Gatorboi’s comment was directed at Michael J. not you. He is the nole troll. I don’t read anything he writes, I delete it as soon as I see the name. Sorry about your mom, I lost mine too so I know what you are going through. Please feel free to continue posting as a true Gator fan man!!!

      • Kaleb Wolfe says:

        I truly appreciate it Mr. Massey, sorry I’m just not a regular on here so I rarely ever comment on here. I’m very sorry for your loss as well. Hopefully we have a good season this year I think if we stay healthy we actually could have a real fun season it’d be nice as my heart could surely use something basically anything to lift my spirits anyways thank you for comment and of course Go Gators!!!!!! Cheers to a healthy & happy season!!!!!!

  6. G2 says:

    Stranger things have happened under Muschamp (GS!). Think this game is closer than people think and what do we really know about UF yet, that was a scrimmage last week. Hoping we get out to a big lead so Treon gets some PT.

  7. aziatic41 says:

    Kentucky is much improved. The kid A.J. Stamps from UK is a stud. One bad throw by Driskel and he’s taking it to the house. I think this game will give everyone a little better measurement as to how good UF’s offense is really going to be in the SEC. UF should still win being at home.

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