Stoops Asking for Improved Execution Saturday

Mark Stoops has reminded his team this week that, in spite of the final result, the good things Kentucky did in a loss at Vanderbilt should not be forgotten.

What this week has been about is ensuring the mistakes that felled the Wildcats don’t repeat themselves this weekend.

“All’s well so far,” Stoops said. “Good week. Good week of practice. Guys have good energy and have been very positive and hopefully we’ll get out there and execute a little better here this Saturday.”

Saturday’s game – kicking off at 7:30 p.m. – will pit UK against Charlotte (2-8, 0-7 C-USA), marking the Cats’ first nonconference game in more than a month. The matchup, according to Stoops, is a similar one.

“They’re a team much like some others we played earlier, EKU,” Stoops said. “They have some very talented players. Not as many as the teams we’ve been playing. Obviously they’re not as deep, but very well-coached. Playing a couple quarterbacks. They have some (quarterback) run game that puts a little stress on you, so good football team.”

On the subject of quarterback play and in the story of the week for UK football, Drew Barker has taken over as the starter. He’s embracing the opportunity.

“For the first time he has the reins,” Stoops said. “Just the leadership and the ability to go out there and command the huddle. I hope he’s more comfortable. He seems more comfortable and more confident. I’m excited to watch him play. I know the team is and I know Drew is. He’s worked hard.”

With Barker at the helm, the Cats will be looking to put together a complete game.

“We’ve just got to be cleaner in certain areas and execute in critical situations,” Stoops said. “It is important to go out and play well and play with great energy and passion and focus and do the little things right.”