Cats turn in another good practice on Fan Day

The Kentucky Wildcats took a break from the fall camp routine of practices, meetings and meals on Saturday morning.

They made the short trek to Nutter Field House for UK’s annual Fan Day, signing autographs and posing for pictures with a huge crowd.

One other request kept coming Mark Stoops’ way.

“I held a lot of babies, I know that,” Stoops said. “Kissed some babies, held some. But it was really good, just to spend some time with (the fans). It was good to see people so optimistic and excited about the season.”


After autographs, fans got their first glimpse of this Kentucky team at open practice. Due to NCAA rules the Cats once again practiced in shorts and with no pads, but the crowd surrounding the Tim Couch Practice Fields changed the dynamic of the day.

“I felt like it was good to go out there and — you could see form the tempo of practice it’s organized chaos at times — to see that and get some young guys out there in front of a few people,” Stoops said. “The ball was on the ground a few more times today than it was yesterday. So, it’s good just to work on those things. But overall I thought it was another good day. Two solid days back to back.”

Many eyes were on competing quarterbacks Patrick Towles and Drew Barker, but neither offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson nor Stoops had much to offer in the way of evaluation.

“If I see a spectacular throw or a real bad throw, I may look over there and see who did it, but I want until I get up there and watch the film,” Stoops said. “My eyes are on the defense most of the time.”

More specifically, the secondary.

With the hire of Andy Buh and the reshuffling of his assistant coaches, Stoops has taken a more hands-on coaching role, helping defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley.

“Coach Ansley does a great job,” Stoops said. “Very detailed, very organized. Makes it easy for me, because I get in and maybe watch a little bit of film with them and get out there on the practice field and work certain parts that he wants to. I work for him during that period, for a few minutes here and there. But it’s good. It’s fun to get out there and get active.”