Kentucky gets a rare game against Arkansas this week, something coach Mark Stoops took note of given the fact that he never faced former coach Bret Bielema in five years.

“When we were new in the league, we saw that and thought it was odd… it is what it is, I don’t put a lot of effort into thinking about that,” Stoops said. “Each week there is a new challenge and a new opportunity.”

Stoops expects to have his hands full with the Arkansas offense and QB Nick Starkel, who he called “very talented.

He added that QB Sawyer Smith, who has battled multiple injuries in recent weeks, practiced this week alongside all of the quarterbacks.

Since both teams are coming off of bye weeks, Stoops expects some changes.

“There will definitely be some new wrinkles from both teams,” Stoops said. “We expect that with just one week to prepare but with two, definitely… you always have to be aware of that.”

Stoops added that managing the bye week wasn’t difficult to get the guys energized and focused.

“They take pride in their work,” he said. “The results are the results we have to do the things necessary to be successful… we work hard on leadership, I’ve noticed this week, they were very focused and energized and it is what it is with our quarterback situation and the rest of the team has to pick up the slack.”

The team will honor the late Jared Lorenzen this week, a fan favorite and quarterback who is remembered for several heroic performances. One of them was a seven-overtime performance in a loss to Arkansas in 2003. Lorenzen rushed for three touchdowns in overtime, and threw two touchdown passes in the second half, including a 51-yarder.

“That was the reason, why we decided to honor Jared in this game,” Stoops said. “Jared was exceptional in that game and we should them the highlights from that game. I wanted them to be familiar with him and that game.”