Stoops: Kentucky is prepared for another early kickoff

On3 imageby:Drew Franklin09/29/23


Mark Stoops was brief with his Thursday evening comments after practice. The weekly conversation usually lasts around five to seven minutes because, at that point, there isn’t much left to say or ask. Everyone’s tired of talking and ready for Saturday’s game.

This week, being ready for Saturday’s game was the theme of Thursday’s conversation as Stoops’ Kentucky Wildcats get ready to host Florida in yet another noon game for Kentucky. It’s the Gators’ first early game of the season after Florida’s first four games began at 7:00 p.m. or later. For Kentucky, it’s the fourth game that will end before 7:00 p.m. and the third time in the noon time slot.

“At least we’ve been through it,” Stoops said Thursday. “We’ve already played a noon, an 11:00, a 7:00, and now another noon, so we’ve been through our routine. It changes just briefly on how we do our meetings between Friday and Saturday, but the team is prepared. They’re ready to go.

“We’ve been through it,” he added. “Hopefully it helps.”

Some of the players on the team prefer the early start. They don’t like sitting in a room all day watching other teams play while they wait to take the field at night.

Stoops said some coaches feel the same way, and preferences vary around the locker room.

“That’s how some people feel, and some players feel, and for coaches, sometimes it’s no different. We don’t have much say in (kickoff times), so, the fact that, you know, we’re spread out across the board, it is what it is. You know what I’m gonna say: tee it up and play wherever, whenever. And we have to be ready to go.

“But for the players, I do think it helps them. It’s hard sitting around waiting around all day long on Saturday. We have our meetings, we have walkthroughs, we have things we go through. But they have been through it enough through the week. At some point, it’s kind of nice waking up, having a brief meeting, having our pregame meal, and rolling.

“Again, it was a really early start last week for us with an 11 o’clock, and our guys were ready to play. And hopefully, we’ll wake up with that same mentality. I don’t think it should be hard to get us motivated to play this game.”

Stoops’ updates on Josh Kattus, Kenneth Horsey

Also from Thursday’s post-practice chat: Stoops was asked about the playing statuses of tight end Josh Kattus and starting guard Kenneth Horsey.

Both players are listed as “We’ll see” versus Florida.

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