Monday Begins Important Week for Cats

With the season rapidly approaching, there isn’t a second to waste for Kentucky football. Head coach Mark Stoops is making sure his team knows it.

The start of Monday’s practice was slightly sluggish, but the Wildcats responded to Stoops’ challenge to pick it up.

“Good Monday morning,” Stoops said. “Took them – had to get them going a little bit, but we’re going to challenge them this week. We’ve got to get a lot of work done this week. It’s critical that we keep on pushing forward and have a great couple weeks here as we’re about a third of the way through camp.”

Situational and third-down work was a priority on Monday morning – the first of a start-of-the-week two-a-day. The practice came on the heels of a Saturday scrimmage that left Stoops pleased. On further review of the film, he had not changed his tune.

“We’ve got to fundamentally continue to get better,” Stoops said. “But I thought we did a good job. I thought offensively, we were smart with the ball. If we got in second and long we got five, six yards back. Was very efficient on third down. There was some good on both sides of the ball.”

One apparent negative from the scrimmage was an ankle injury suffered by Mikel Horton, but the junior running back was back on the field Monday. He wasn’t about to let an opportunity to compete at a deep running-back spot pass by, and that sort of attitude is hardly limited to that position.

“It's very good,” Stoops said. “We're not taking one step back. We're gonna push forward and guys are gonna learn to fight through adversity. You're not meant to feel real good right now, in two-a-days and the heart of this right now. You're gonna be bumped and bruised and banged up a little bit, so it's very good. We have a lot more bodies out here. That's for sure.”

Having more bodies makes the grind of fall camp much more productive.

“As you know, we’ve got a lot of work to do, so that’s what we’re excited about,” Stoops said. “Talked about embracing this week, have another good practice today, true two-a-day Monday and Wednesday. So five practices in three days, and we’ve got to get a lot better.”