Kentucky's Mark Stoops sympathizes with Vols head coach Butch Jones
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops says he knows what Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is going through in terms of the adversity and pressure he’s currently facing as the head coach of the Volunteers.
Jones’ Volunteers are 3-4 this season (winless against the SEC) and haven’t scored an offensive touchdown since Sept. 23 in a narrow 17-13 win over lowly UMass.
Stoops said he has “been there” (on the hot seat) before, and he had some positive things to say about Jones and his football team — which Kentucky will face in Lexington on Saturday.
“We know what Tennessee can do,” Stoops said on Monday, according to a CatsPause247 report. “I know the way people pile on people when they’re not doing so well. I know how that goes. I’ve been there. We can’t control any of that. We’ve gotta control how we’re going to play. I expect Tennessee to come in and play exceptionally hard just like they did this past week against an exceptional Alabama team. We expect them to come in with great pride and play very well, much like we did a year ago.
“They always have good players,” Stoops added. “Butch (Jones) has had a lot of success for a lot of years. I know they’ve had some tough breaks this year, but he’s obviously a very good football coach and they have very talented players. They’ve been going back and forth with the quarterback and made the switch. I see a very talented young guy there, and they have playmakers.
“They’re still a big, physical team. They’re an SEC-looking football team. You look at them across the board, I know they’ve had a couple bad games but they’ve played some very good football at times and they’re very prideful players and a very good looking team.”
Kentucky and Tennessee both were beaten 45-7 on Saturday. The Vols lost to No. 1 Alabama, while Kentucky fell to Mississippi State. The Wildcats are 5.5-point favorites in Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.