WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Stoops pleased with third day of practice


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops injected an element of physicality into the third practice of fall camp as the Wildcats worked in shoulder pads and shorts on Wednesday.

"We got a lot of work in," Stoops said following the afternoon workout at Nutter Training Facility. "A little bit more humid today, we got the uppers on so it was a little bit more physical in practice and we really got a lot of good work so overall I'm very pleased."

The Wildcats will likely take it easy in practice on Thursday before heading onto the Commonwealth Stadium field for the first time this season on Friday as part of Fan Day. Friday's practice in CWS will be free and open to the public.

"We do want to have a good, full practice and let the fans see it," Stoops said. "They don't get many opportunities to see practice, and I know there's a lot of interest, so we'll be there. Really, what we want to get out of it is to be there for the fans, shake hands, give autographs, spend some time with the fans, let them see our practice."

Stoops is taking in his first fall camp as a head coach from a different perspective than he may have been used to as a coordinator. The UK coach has entered uncharted territory for a defensive-minded coach during 11-on-11 periods by watching from the offensive backfield.

"I've actually been spending more time standing behind the quarterbacks," the UK coach said. "When I coached the secondary and was the defensive coordinator, I was always in the defensive backfield. I'm maybe not as athletic as I used to be. I'm going to get run over back there.

"With this tempo that they're going at, you got bullets flying everywhere. So I'm actually standing so I can watch the defense, but it also gives me a good feel for what the quarterbacks are doing, and really what the offense is doing. So it's a different perspective for me, to sit right behind the quarterback and watch the whole situation, but it helps me make adjustments in the secondary and make adjustments on defense but still get a feel for what everybody's doing."

Stoops outlined some of his defensive goals for the season, which include at least a +2 turnover margin and four three-and-outs per game.

Neal Brown addressed the quarterback competition for the first time since the start of camp. The offensive coordinator said the staff will not update the depth chart until the offense is fully installed the second week of fall camp.

Kentucky's practices have taken on a family-friendly atmosphere as many of the coaches' children have been spotted running around the side practice fields over the past three days. One of Stoops' sons could even be overheard playing with a whistle as the UK coach met with the media following Wednesday's practice.


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