Mark Stoops has heard plenty about Kentucky’s win streak over Florida. And obviously, the Kentucky head coach wants to continue it.

But the streak itself isn’t necessarily the important part to him. It’s about growing as a team and using it to improve when looking for victory, rather than worrying about a statistic.

At the SEC’s weekly teleconference Wednesday, Stoops tackled that delicate balance:

“If you go back to the very beginning when I got here, I didn’t worry about the streak, because I knew we just had to improve as a football team,” Stoops said. “If you go back and look at my quote 11 years ago, I probably said I can’t be consumed with Florida, concerned about Florida until Kentucky gets better. We always instill, concentrate on ourselves. … My concentration was on Kentucky and getting us better and as we improve, we will have opportunities to win. And I still feel that way. Last year has nothing to do with this year.”

“I do admit, and I admitted it then, when we’re in the midst of that streak, it does get to be a little bit problematic. Because that’s all everybody talks about and then your players start thinking about it. So that was a hurdle we had to overcome and we have. But we did it by becoming a better football team, and a better program and we’re continuing to grow and continuing to get better.”

The Wildcats look to grow (and while doing so, perhaps mark 3 straight wins over the Gators) Saturday at Noon on ESPN from Lexington.