Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Stoops on learning from Houston’s game plan versus Louisville and time of possession

MARK STOOPS

Opening statement: “It’s hard to believe it’s the last game of the year to be honest with you. Seems like it’s gone very fast and we are excited about this week and this week’s opportunity and playing Louisville. It will be a real challenge. A very talented football team, very well coached on both sides of the ball and special teams. They’ve played exceptionally well throughout the year. Led by the Heisman Trophy frontrunner Lamar Jackson, extremely talented player. You can see his dual threat ability. Obviously he runs exceptionally well, but he’s got a very good, strong arm, very accurate. His leadership is evident. So again, it will be a real challenge, but we’re excited about the opportunity and looking forward to trying to get our seventh victory.”

On if anything can be learned from Houston game where Louisville struggled or if it’s just something Houston did: “I think it’s a combination. Houston did and does some very good things. I’ve watched a lot of their film. They do a very good job, I think. It was very much just not typical of Louisville. I think it starts with the opening kickoff and fumbling the ball, so it was just one of those nights, not a typical game for them. They’re the No. 1 offense in the country for a reason because they have great balance and they have the ability to stress a defense from sideline to sideline and it starts with a great offense, a great offensive system and of course Lamar Jackson puts unbelievable stress on you. So what helped them was getting so far ahead and then having the ability to turn it into a pass game because they were so far ahead. Again, I think when you saw the designed quarterback runs, they still had success with that, but they were behind. So, can you learn something? Sure. I think Houston did some very good things, but it won’t be that easy. Louisville will be very well prepared and I’m sure they’ll be very balanced and it will be a different set of challenges.”

On how big time of possession could be to keep Jackson on sideline: “Yeah, I think it’s important to have some ball possession, I definitely do. I think it’s important in every game, but certainly with a player like him.”

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