By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops seldom pulls punches when he answers questions with the media and he certainly did not during his appearance at the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Wednesday.
He had to anticipate that he would be asked what impact the win over Louisville last season had been like for his team … and he was ready.
“Positive momentum. It was very important. I make no bones about that. We talked about it. We needed to get better as a program to put ourselves in a position to win that game,” said Stoops. “Ironically, if you look at the two games prior to this past year, we were in a better position to win the game and couldn’t finish it, couldn’t win the game.
“Last year is a little bit of a reversal. So, it’s a rivalry game. We have great respect for Louisville, but we’re getting better. It’s important — that win was important to our fan base. Our fan base has been patient to some extent, but they’ve — you know, they’ve waited a long time. And I take great pride in being the head coach at the University of Kentucky. I take great pride in trying to deliver for our fan base that has been starving for a successful, consistent football team for a long time.
“I think they respect the process in which we’re going about it right now, but a win like that certainly helps for our fan base. I know it helps for our players. Our players deserve it. They’ve worked extremely hard. They paid the price. We put ourselves in a position to win that game and the ball bounced our way that day, and we’re going to continue to get better.”