UK Football

Q&A: Stoops on Vandy prep, last year’s loss and NCAA recommendations


“Again, we did the walk through today. It was a good walk through. We had really good Tuesday and Wednesday practices. And, we’ll put the details on it tomorrow, the finishing touches on a good run through in the stadium. But, we’re excited. I think the guys are in a really good spot for the sixth in a six-game stretch. I think we’re in a pretty good spot, really. We’re relatively healthy, as healthy as you can be, but I think the guys have good focus and energy. We’re excited to get in front of our home fans and play here Saturday.”

On if everything with Cole Mosier and Dorian Baker went as planned this week: “Yeah. Yeah. They’re good to go. They’ve had a good week of practice. No setbacks.”

On what he thinks about Derek Mason saying Vanderbilt will look for the big play: “Well, I think we’re all looking for big plays. I’ve never really gone into a game where I didn’t think somebody would take their shots down the field. Especially teams that can run the ball well. It’s always about that. You’ve heard me talk about that a bunch about running it, running it, shots. So how they get to ‘em, what’s new. We’ll have rules that will apply. You always anticipate some of that. So wouldn’t surprise me, but we do have to be on our toes with extra possessions and fakes and last year we got beat on the trick play, so obviously, we’ve got to have good eyes and good communication.”

On if last year’s game is motivation: “Maybe a little. We don’t talk about it much. I referenced it because somebody asked me a question about it. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me, but all losses do. We’re not going to beat a dead horse. We’re worried about this year. Certainly, if you want to use it for motivation, go ahead.”

On if Marcus Walker has progressed: “He was injured. He just got back to full health this week. So hopefully he can help give us a little depth in the secondary and he’s been solid on special teams as well.”

On Ralph Webb not getting more press: “He rates as good as a lot of these backs we face in the SEC. He’s a quality back. He gets tough yards. He has really good vision and strong. He’s perfect for what they’re doing. I’m not sure why he doesn’t get the recognition.”

On Vanderbilt using more big sets than spread and if that makes them different to prepare for:It does. It does. Because that's now new, where you would start with that on Day 1 back in the day. That would be Day 1 defensive install, 21 and 22 personnel, and it's just not like that anymore. They did run even more of that last week than they had been doing, in particular with the fullback and two tight ends. But they're more than capable of spreading it out and going with some 11 personnel. They did that more last against us, but they still want to run it and be physical, so they can be very multiple in their personnel groupings.”

On the NCAA recommending two early signing periods: “Yeah, I think – I just put a little thought into that. I saw it. I’m all for it. I think most of my counterparts there in the SEC are not for it, but I would be. I think what exact date or how we work through that still needs a little bit of massaging, but I’m all for an early signing period.”

On the recommendation to allow a 10thfull-time assistant: “All for that. It’s really silly not to do that with as many quality controls as we all have and as many spots as we have. It’s silly not to just let them get out there and coach.”

On the possibility of hosting earlier official visits: “Yeah, they didn’t really recommend that, but I think it was part of the initial discussions. This is all very new, so I don’t want to jump to any conclusions on that. But I don’t believe there was any recommendation on that yesterday.”

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