Kentucky is one of the best turnaround stories of the SEC season even as it reaches the midpoint. The Wildcats started 0-2 and didn’t have many answers on the horizon. Now, with two straight wins, they’re one of the hottest teams around as they travel to Missouri this week.

“We weren’t use to giving up so many explosive plays, that was new to us,” coach Mark Stoops said on the SEC coaches media teleconference. “Brad (White) has done a great job of getting guys where they need to be … we are playing with better discipline, we are in position and that’s a credit to Brad and our players.”

The defense’s focus this week is Missouri QB Connor Bazelak, who himself has found momentum in recent weeks after he didn’t start the season as the starting QB.

“You can see he’s given them a spark, running the offense, very efficient,” Stoops said. “It gives them an opportunity to do what they want to do. Coach (Eli Drinkwitz) is very creative offensively, I’m sure he will have a great career there.”

Along with the defense, UK got a boost of leadership that Stoops said is cultivated.

“We invest a lot of time in working with players and developing leaders and that’s evident during tough times … they have a lot to do with the turnaround … it’s a special group,” he said.