LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky Wildcats returned to the practice field Tuesday and coach Mark Stoops said his team has no major injuries. Kentucky has a bye Saturday before returning to the field September 28 against Florida.
Taking advantage of that bye week, UK focused its work primarily on correcting mistakes and improving on a "physical, competitive day."
"Today, like I said, primarily we did corrections and then we did just good work, good on good, just to get better; just to fundamentally get better and execute better against good people," UK head coach Mark Stoops said on Tuesday.
The coaching staff, of course, is busy away from practice preparing game plans for UK's next opponent - No. 19 Florida - but at least for one day, the Cats were focused only on themselves.
"We can certainly use this week to get better as a football team and not worry so much about game-planning as far as just getting better," Stoops said. "I think it can help in that regard."
Even though the game ended in a loss, Kentucky showed plenty of signs of growth in going toe to toe with the highly ranked Cardinals.
"Like I told you after the game, I think I saw a little bit more fight," Stoops said. "I saw us a little bit more aggressive."
With that mentality, UK handcuffed a dynamic offense for long stretches and seemed poised to put more points on the board if not for some untimely drops and turnovers. In watching tape with players, the coaches plan to hammer those points home.
"They saw us have the chance to play with that team, and I hope that motivates them to get better," Stoops said. "Like I told them, we've got to mentally--we've got to be tougher and execute when it counts, and we've got to dig down and find some more heart and compete a little bit harder."
The bye week also gives a good chance for a few Wildcats to heal up before they resume a brutal stretch in their schedule. Quarterback Maxwell Smith and defensive tackle Donte Rumph both sustained shoulder injuries during the Louisville game and did not participate fully in practice, but Stoops expects them to be available when the Cats host the Gators.
"If there was an injury that I felt that would keep somebody out of the Florida game, I would tell you right now, but that doesn't appear to be the case," Stoops said.
On Wednesday, UK will begin installing its game plan for Florida, though the Cats will continue to focus more internally this week.
"We'll do a mixture tomorrow," Stoops said. "We'll do a lot of good on good, a little bit more than a normal Wednesday good on good and we'll also do Florida for the next two days."