By LARRY VAUGHT
Two games into the season many Kentucky fans had given up on the season after UK’s 0-2 start. After the Cats won 35-21 at Missouri Saturday for their fourth SEC win, some Kentucky fans actually came to the airport to greet the team and coaches when they arrived back in Lexington.
“I was excited for our players and our program and the fans. I have never denied the fact that I feel an obligation and want to put a product out there that the fans are proud of. I have said that from day one and I have said it every opportunity that I have had,” Stoops said.
“I am not going to use the word pressure, but you feel an obligation. You want to deliver for those fans that have been starving for a long time to have a successful football program. Believe me, we work every day around the clock to do that for them.”
Those fans are starved for a bowl bid and winning season. At this point, especially with the distress at Tennessee, the Cats are in serious contention to finish second or better in the SEC East.
Kentucky hosts Georgia Saturday night. The last few homes games have had numerous empty seats in Commonwealth Stadium.
Freshman linebacker Kash Daniel, never one to mince words or hide his feelings, took to Twitter Monday night with a message for UK fans.
“If commonwealth isn’t full this week then something’s wrong,” Daniel posted on Twitter.
But he’s right. Kentucky football fans have been stunningly loyal at times. Now with UK 5-3 overall and 4-2 in SEC play, fan support could play a huge role in what figures to be a close game with Georgia.
“I think it’s very important for us to see the stadium filled. I think that our players would love to see that happen. Our fan base, there has been a lot of loyal fans to us. We just need more and need people in there to fill it up. I would love to see it filled,” Stoops said.
“Again, I make no bones about it, when we see it filled I expect our team to play at a high level to make those fans proud. Believe me, we are going to go to work and have a great week of preparation to put ourselves in position to win the game. It will be very important for us to play well.”