Stoops has no doubts that Lamar Jackson should be Heisman Trophy contender

Russ Yeast (Louisville Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Mark Stoops had quite a few things to say about Louisville and quarterback Lamar Jackson going into Saturday’s game during his press conference Monday.

On if Lamar Jackson should be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy…
“Without a doubt. I said it in here in my Monday press conference last year that I thought he was the best player in the country. And certainly I don’t watch everybody all the time and I know there are some guys playing some exceptional football but he absolutely should be in New York because you’d be hard pressed to find a more talented guy than him.”

On Lamar Jackson improvement from last year …
“Like any quarterback, just like any player, just experience, just more reps, just seeing things. It’s just a normal progression. He was excellent a year ago, and he’s excellent now. I think where you see the growth is the ploys maybe in the pocket and the time to distribute the ball.”

On how Louisville is different from last year …
“They’re still a very good football team. When you have a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (in Lamar Jackson) back there behind center, it puts a lot of pressure on you. He’s a fantastic football player. He creates plays all over the place. He’s a dynamic guy. He does a very good job, I think. He’s throwing the ball. He’s always thrown the ball good in my eyes because he’s always been so dangerous. He’s got such good touch on it, but he’s definitely, you can just see from experience, just sitting in back there and distributing the ball when he has time, he does an excellent job there. Of course he ad-libs, design run plays, whatever it is, he can put a lot of pressure on you.”

On who will portray Lamar Jackson on the scout team this week …
“We’re going to look into that. We have a few guys in mind. I think we may go with (wide receiver Charles) Moushey a little bit today. He’s involved in the offense some, but he also comes over and helps us when we need the speed at wide receiver. He helps us there. He’s such a good team player. He has an active role on special teams, but I may talk to him and see if he’ll come do that. Zy’aire (Hughes) did that last year as well (along with running back A.J. Rose), but he’s not been 100 percent healthy last week and I’m not sure where he’ll be right now, but Zy’aire helped us as well. “

On the other factors to watch for going into the Louisville game …
“They’re a good football team. They’re good across the board. They’re good on offense and defense and special teams. They’re well coached, and of course Lamar’s a big part of it.”

On the Louisville under defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon, who was coordinator at Mississippi State in 2016 …
“They’re similar in some ways. They’re both very multiple, but very similar to what he was doing at Mississippi State.”

On if Louisville’s wide receivers compare to other teams played this season…
“Like a lot of the guys we have played, very good and explosive. Can make plays like most teams we’ve played. So it would be much the same.”

On playing Louisville at the beginning or end of season…
“I really don’t get involved. I’ve put zero thought into it so I don’t really care to comment on that since I really haven’t thought about it. It is what it is. You know that is above my pay grade.”

On the play of Louisville’s Russ Yeast…
“He has stepped in and played when their corner No. 10 (Jaire Alexander) got hurt, so you know he has done a nice job. I don’t think there is any doubt they are glad number 10 is back healthy.”

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  1. It doesn’t seem to feel good or look good for this weekend’ Petrino is 6-1 last 7 games vs UK. They have demolished their last 2 opponents while we limp to finish line. LJ racked up 450 yds personally in a loss. Does anyone think that Petrino proven better coach than Stoops. I hope it doesn’t get too ugly.

    1. Only good news is that Louisville was even bigger favorite last year

  2. Larry….good point…I wasn’t aware of that but would guess that we weren’t as wounded or as inept with our tackling or pass coverage last year.

  3. Nobody gave UK a chance last year, and It is kind of like that this year. Go Cats!!! Kick Louisville’s A$$!

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