By LARRY VAUGHT
After two losses to start the season, Kentucky fans are ready for some changes. Apparently so is coach Mark Stoops.
On his weekly radio show Monday night, Stoops indicated to Tom Leach that he’ll be even more active with the defense. He was defensive coordinator at Florida State before coming to UK where D.J. Eliot has been his defensive coordinator.
The UK defense has been shredded the last eight games and Stoops has always had a hands-on approach with the defense. But now he might be ready to take completely over.
Earlier Monday the head coach said UK would change the game plan and make it more simplified.
“There are several breakdowns we have had this year in the secondary that are unacceptable and we cannot have that. You can’t give up some of things that we are doing. You can’t have guys that are unsure and do not play on the edge with energy. That is where it is not OK. That is where our fans – I am sure – have some frustrations and I do too,” Stoops said.
“We said our players mean well and worked hard and none of that was a lie. You saw that for a half. We lost our focus and concentration in the second half of the first game. Second half, I could talk until I was blue in the face about handling adversity and responding and we didn’t for whatever reason. That we will get fixed.”
Great. But UK fans have heard that before from Stoops. How will he fix it this time?
“It starts today, with us going out and practicing and going back and fundamentally working and getting our football IQ higher. We need to have a higher football IQ. We have guys and we have to be able to put them in position (to succeed.) We have who we have and we have some inexperience and we have to be able to get them to play better on the defensive side,” Stoops said.
“Offensively, you throw a freshman (Landon Young) in the mix at left tackle and it kind of muddies things up a little bit too. It is our job to put them in a position to be successful and that is where we will get back and change things up and fundamentally get better and get our football IQ better.
“Again, you cannot beat anybody until you stop beating yourselves and that is going to be a big message for us today as we get back to practice.”