UK Football

Q&A: Stoops on SEC teleconference

A full transcript of Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops’ comments on the SEC teleconference. He discussed needing a win, impact of fan noise on recruiting and even a question about starting an SEC/Big 10 challenge like in basketball ...

"Looking forward to hosting Charlotte this weekend. Big game for us, an opportunity to get back on the right track, get a victory. Our team desperately needs one at this point in time. It’s been a tough stretch for us and looking forward to a good game and getting home this weekend and trying to play some of our best football of the year. We certainly need to improve over the way we’ve been playing the last couple of weeks, so we’re anxious just to get out there and host Charlotte."

On continuous football versus downhill football and why SEC culture seems more geared toward downhill football: "I’m not sure. I can’t answer exactly why that would be the culture of the SEC. I think you do have a variety of play in the SEC if you just look at the SEC (East) champs the past two years in Missouri, it’s been one of those teams that likes to spread the ball around and run it and throw it and they’ve had some great success. And certainly you look at the offenses like Mississippi State and Ole Miss, I think they’re power football in a spread format and I think, then you have your LSUs and Alabamas who absolutely want to pound you run the ball and playing really big sets. I think we have a good variety, but I’m not sure I can answer exactly why our league would be that way. I know when people do talk about the physicality of the SEC, a big, big part of it is because of the recruiting in the SEC and the defensive players in the south."

On Charles Walker: "Charles is just a guy -- you’ve heard me talk about him all the way to the summer -- just a very good football player. A guy that really brings a great passion and energy every day. One of those guys, an inside slot receiver that’s crafty, that has that finesse about him. He gets open. He makes competitive plays when given the opportunity. He stepped in and did a great job in punt return this last week. He plays on just about every other one of our special teams units and does a great job. He’s a competitor and he has that ability to have that special little craft to get open inside and make competitive plays."

On if negative fan noise impacts recruiting: Well, I think it can affect somebody in different ways. You’re not sure. We continue to build our relationships and recruit players. Sure, players that are close, they hear the noise and all that. It could affect them either way, I’m sure."

On the idea of an SEC/Big 10 challenge in football like they do in basketball and if that intrigues him: "Yeah, I think it would. Just off the top of my head, it takes a lot of planning and a lot of people you’re trying to get on the same page, I’ll tell you that much. I’ve just been in the league three years and I can tell you, you’re getting a lot of minds, a lot of people in the same room, trying to get on the same page, I don’t know if you could pull it off because there could be a lot of different opinions. Just if you’re asking me, I’d be open to playing some Big 10 teams."

On if there are incentives to keep playing FCS programs for an an FBC school: "I think every school has to look at themselves -- you know what I mean? -- differently. You know from covering the league, I think you know that Kentucky is built different than an Alabama. Does that make sense? So what’s right for some other schools may not be right for you. I know it’s important for us and I think you listen to every coach, I’m not going to sit here and cry the blues, that’s for sure, but you listen to every coach and I think it’s a common theme you talk about the grueling schedule in the SEC. And I don’t think we need to apologize to anybody for strength of schedule."

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