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UK in midst of another 'one-week season' at Tuesday practice

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Head coach Mark Stoops

Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot

Mark Stoops admits that losing isn't fun.

Going back into the office for film work on Sunday morning after a defeat can be a tall task, but he and his staff are unwavering. Stoops is finding out more every day that his players are the same way.

"I think their attitude's right, and we truly just try to make it a one-week season again," Stoops said. "Let's come in Monday, let's prepare the right way. Let's go about our business the right way. Let's have the right attitude. Let's put a little bit more into it, do a little extra."

And you can be sure that's not coach speak.

"I'm not ever gonna try to mask any of that," Stoops said. "If I was unhappy with their preparation, the way they're trying to go about their business, I'd tell them and I'd tell you. I think we're trying to do the right things. We need to make more plays."

With an eye on that, UK incorporated more situational third-down work into Tuesday's practice with the first-string offense and defense going head to head. The Wildcats have converted just 23 percent of their third-down attempts this season, including 1 of 21 in losses to Louisville and Florida over the last three weeks.

"Got into third down a little bit earlier, see if we can improve in that area," Stoops said. "Had some good work. We're still in search of making some plays in some critical situations offensively."

After saying at his weekly press conference on Monday that his intent was to settle on a starter this week, Stoops told reporters that one quarterback got the majority of the snaps with the first team in those situational drills. However, he's not yet willing to say whether it's Maxwell Smith or Jalen Whitlow.

"Let me see where that goes. If we can get any small advantage, maybe... try to help us a little bit," Stoops said, suggesting a starter might not be named before Saturday's game vs. South Carolina.

On the defensive side, the Cats are installing their game plan for a dangerous Gamecock offense. South Carolina has rolled up over 400 total yards in each of its four games this season, but like his head coach, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot is excited to match wits with Steve Spurrrier.

"He's put up a lot of points, a lot of numbers against a lot of people over the years, so you know he knows what he's doing and he's going to have his guys ready to play, so I look forward to that challenge," Eliot said.

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