After the collapse to Southern Mississippi to open the season, Stoops said he pulled the players in tight.
“I wanted to see the whites of their eyes, and I told them to stay the course,” Stoops relayed on Saturday after UK’s win over Vanderbilt. “I said, every son of a gun outside of this room right here will be attacking you and me. So put your head down, do your job, and go to work. Because there’s nowhere to run and there’s nowhere to hide. You either man up and get better or you cave.”
Stoops added that UK isn’t a great team, but they’re a work in progress that has shown signs of progress the past few weeks.
The coaches were comfortable taking the criticism after things didn’t go well early, but Stoops seemed to be pleading with the fans to stay positive with the players.
“The toxic, negative stuff, very hard to turn a program when people turn that way, and turn on the kids and turn on the players,” he said. “Coaches deserve to be criticized. That’s our job, it’s part of our job, but the players and getting toxic and negative and being all that, that’s not going to help get this program to where we want it to go. I promise you.”