UK players embrace Stoops’ expectations


It’s not a big thing, but during an interview with Kentucky defensive lineman Adrian Middleton Monday he said something that really jumped out to me.

I asked him a fairly simple question about head coach Mark Stoops being more involved in the defensive work daily than he had in previous years and what that meant.

“A lot more expectations. He wants us to be great and we have to play great so we don’t let him down,” Middleton said.

I thought that was a terrific answer, and not one I am sure I would have got from any player this time a year ago.

I put Middleton’s quote on Twitter. And guess what — offensive guard Nick Haynes had an even better reply.

“Therefore ALL of UK players will strive 2 match & exceed Stoops’ expectations of their greatness!! #ContinedFruition,” Haynes tweeted.



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  1. Great catch Larry. A seemingly innocuous statement that screams volumes. A sign that these players have their minds right.

  2. I, like many BBN fans, have had my share of optimism coming out of Fall camp, only to wind up disappointed as the season plays out. However, for some reason I sense a different feel or vibe coming from the coaches this year, one of confidence. I truly hope I am right. I know that there are defensive front seven concerns, and the defensive stats weren’t great last year, but I felt that those stats were a result of being left out on the field too long by an offense that couldn’t convert on third down. If the offense could have scored one touchdown more in any one of three games last year, we would have gone bowling. Florida, Auburn, and Vandy were decided by less than a touchdown.

    If the offense improves like I think it will, and the defense doesn’t collapse, we can see as much as 7-8 wins. I think the team believes they can accomplish that.

    1. I agree True Blue. The mental portion of football is overlooked by many. We saw the effects of that in 07 and have watched Stoops recruit tough minded players since taking over in 2013. I too have been repeatedly optimistic over the years, but it was driven by hope. My optimism this year is fueled by expectations. This team is packing more talent and depth than any team I can remember since 77. And it’s no fluke. Stoops has concentrated on building for 3 years. They expect to field an SEC caliber football team and that’s what we’re going to see.

      This season will be fun.

      GO CATS!!!

  3. I stopped listening and leaning on anything said or written about UK football in August. I wait to see what they do on the field, and we will all see that together in 10 days.

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