Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Stoops says UK anxious to get to Missouri for a ‘heck of a football game’

MARK STOOPS

“OK, it’s been a good week of practice, guys are anxious to get on the plane tomorrow and head to Missouri for another opportunity. We know we’ll have our hands full. It’ll be a heck of a football game and we’re excited and anxious to get rolling.”

On if he’s been calling players to make sure they’re getting up early to prep for early start time: “I have been. I have been. I’ve been just sending them nice reminders: when pregame meal is going to be and when kickoff’s going to be and making sure they’re as ready as I am.”

On some players being happy with the early start and if it’s a benefit to start early: “I hope so. I think so. It is nice because when you play the late game all the time, it does get to be a long day. And so, to wake up in the morning and get right out there and get in your pregame routine and get ready for the game, I hope they're excited about it.”

On how it changes the Saturday morning routine if at all:Well, you just won't have as many walkthroughs and meetings. You have to abbreviate it some. We always get work done here before we leave anyway, and we'll get some meetings tomorrow night. You just won't get the Saturday.”

On how much of a coaching point it's been for the defensive backs to be aggressive: “Well, we've gotta really play well and on point this week for sure. They spread you all over the field. They have receivers that are very fast and a quarterback that can deliver the football anywhere on the field. And they go extremely fast. We're gonna have our hands full for 60 full minutes.”

On the importance of winning time of possession: “I think it's very important. I think if you ask Missouri, it's not as important to them because they know, because they go fast. They're not worried about winning that battle. They're worried about getting their snaps and a lot of plays and getting you off balance. But for us it is important to have some possessions, to have some drives. We’re not going to – I told them the other day and told them every day that we’re not going to handcuff them by any stretch. We’ve got to play aggressive and do what we have to do. If we play the way we’ve been playing – just protect the football a little bit better – we’ll be in good shape as far as number of plays, number of drives. I think our offense has done a nice job of having some long drives.”

On if thinks he has players that embrace hostile road environments: “I do, and I hope you learn with every opportunity. I feel like you need to get better and learn from every experience. Sometimes you’re going to play better than others, and hopefully we’ll put it together and have a heck of a road game.”

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