Mark Stoops: “We’re certainly not backing up.”

Florida’s defense overpowered UK’s offense last year. (Vicky Graff Photo)

During the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Wednesday, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was asked about Kentucky’s long losing streak to Florida.

Q. Coach, I just wanted to ask, just to follow up with the Florida question, are your kids aware — I know it’s been like 30 years since they’ve beaten Florida, and how close are you, not just to Florida, but overall in the SEC East, how close do you think you are to contending for the division?
COACH STOOPS: Yeah. I think our players are probably well aware of that, because what we’re a month or two months away from playing Florida. And it’s getting talked about right now. So I think they’ll hear that a few times between right now and the time we play them. So, we don’t hide from that, but it’s not something I talk about.

I haven’t been here for 30 years. We’re trying to build the program and do what we’re doing. These players haven’t been there. They care about what’s going on right now. They believe in what we’re going to do today and what we’re going to do this week to get better and put us in position to win every game, let alone the Florida game.

So we can’t control that. We can just control what we’re doing to get better. What was the second part of that?

Q. How close you are to contending?
COACH STOOPS: Oh, how close we are to contending? You never know. You guys covered this league for a while. You’ve seen — I remember a few years back, I believe the team that won both sides didn’t win a league game the year before. We are not concerned about the rest of the league. I know this about the league, the league’s not backing up. Nobody we’re playing is backing up. We’re certainly not backing up. We’re worried about us getting better to put us in a position to contend each and every week.


  1. One of the toughest games, IMO, on UK’s schedule this year will be against South Carolina in Columbia. UK better come to play, Muschamp will have the Gamecocks prepared since UK has won against them now for several years in a row.

    1. I will just add that I think the biggest question about this UK football team for 2017 is their defense. It must improve, especially against the run. Their front seven must play more physical than they have in the past in order to win more games.

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