LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) – They are nowhere near the finish line but Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops wants his players to be proud of what they're already accomplished this season.
“I want them enjoying it,” Stoops said Monday at his weekly press conference. “You know, we want to continue to win games to put ourselves in position to play in big games.”
The Wildcats (5-1, 2-1 SEC) have already won 5 games. They are off to their best start since 2007. With a victory Saturday against LSU (5-2, 1-2 SEC), they can claim bowl eligibility for the first time in four years.
"Progress. We're making progress. And I think you know there's still a lot more in our tank."
There have been many reasons for the turnaround including a key change in the locker room dynamic: Older players stepping up and taking charge.
"It's helped a bunch. I think it's helped us all give us some structure and how we manage this situation and communicate about it and hold accountability to all of us in the program."
Stoops knows it's not going to be easy in Tiger Stadium Saturday but he believes his team will be prepared. Yes, they've only played one game away from home this year, but it was a big one. Stoops believes they've learned a lot from the loss to Florida.
“Same communication that we used in the swamp, you know,” said Stoops. “The good news is we've been to a hostile environment, and hopefully as I commented last week, I think we grew from that game.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 Saturday night.