3 things Mark Stoops said about Florida ahead of important Week 3 battle
Last year, the Kentucky Wildcats snapped an embarrassingly long losing streak to Florida. This weekend, they’ll welcome the Gators to Lexington for an important SEC East showdown.
However, some of the luster has been lost, as Kentucky QB Terry Wilson is out for the year and Florida will likely be without star CB CJ Henderson and speedy WR Kadarius Toney.
Still, the game will be played, and coach Mark Stoops spoke about the Gators on Monday. Here are three things he had to say about the Wildcats’ Week 3 foe (via 247Sports):
On the Florida pass rush:
“They’re just a very disruptive defense. Todd Grantham does a remarkable job, very good coach I have a lot of respect for. And they do just a really good job. They have really good players. They have some game wreckers up there up front. They have 15 sacks in two games, and they always have great skill. So they’re well coached in all facets of the game.
“Dan does a remarkable job. They’re always really tough. They’re a tough football team, very well coached on offense, defense, special teams. So they do a good job with good players.”
On if game plan changes under new QB Sawyer Smith:
“You know, it’s not like we gain much. Florida knows what we’re going to — obviously there’s tweaks and wrinkles and changeups to formation. There’s things we do every week, you know, and we have a pretty large menu of plays and ideas and schemes, but you’re never going to wholesale change that.
“You’re going to build and tailor to the plays that Sawyer does well and that we’re comfortable with him, but that’s a large variety of plays that we’ll kind of zero in on this week, but Florida knows the basic offense, and the schemes and the basic schemes and all that’s not going to change dramatically. So I can’t see that there’s a big advantage.”
On if anything changes after winning vs. Florida last year:
“Hopefully it’ll have a positive effect on our team, you know. I think just winning in general is important. And changing that culture, you know, is hard, and it took a long time. But, again, our players know that it’s a challenge each and every week, and it’s about our preparation being these next five days that’ll determine the outcome.
“Everybody wants to win on Saturday, but it’s the discipline to do things throughout this week. But just winning in general, as I said, it’s pretty strong statistic when you sit there and look at the fact that there’s only one SEC team in the last 15 games that have won more games than us. So our players and coaches are used to winning. That’s a good thing. That took a long time to change that culture and that mindset. But there’s no guarantees. It’s how you go about your business each and every day.”
Who will win the game this year? Tune in to ESPN at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday night to find out.