Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A Stoops on SEC teleconference

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops on the Southeastern Conference teleconference to preview Louisville game. Here’s what he had to say:

Opening statement: "Excited to get a home game against a big rival of ours and play Louisville here on Saturday. Definitely pleased with the way our team responded after a tough stretch here in November, to come back and play a good game this past week versus Charlotte. Hopefully that will give us a little confidence and a little improvement as we look forward to hosting Louisville this Saturday. It will be a big game for us. Looking to try to get our sixth victory of the year."

On Alex Montgomery’s latest injury: "Yeah, he needs surgery, so he’ll be out for some good time."

On Montgomery previously saying he would consider "hanging it up" if he hurt his knee again and if he plans to try to return from this injury: "Oh yeah. We haven’t had any of those discussions yet. I know it was a tough rehab for Alex the first go around. Hopefully he’ll handle it better. He has some experience at it. It’s a tough situation for him, but I expect him to battle his way back."

On if he talks to his players much about getting to a bowl or just assumes they know the stakes: "I think there’s a balance there. Certainly I’m not just going to stay away from it. I think it’s a very important game. They know that. What matters to me is how we go about our business starting on Monday. I’ve seen really good preparation on Monday and Tuesday and guys bouncing around, having good practices. We need to continue that for the rest of the week. I think there’s always that fine balance that you find: to play energetic and passionate but also playing with composure in a rivalry game. Also, the importance of it without pressing too much, with building on some of the good things we’ve done the past couple weeks and going out and trying to play with some confidence and play the best football we can. So, I do talk about it just briefly and then we move on, because I’m not trying to hide from it either. Our players know what’s out there and what’s at stake."

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