He presented it with a smile split across his face, but Mark Stoops was also being completely serious.
“Well if there’s anyone out there, y’all can publicize that,” Stoops joked to the media after he was asked if he’d consider bringing in a soccer player or a new kicker to help solve Kentucky’s kicking woes. “But if there’s somebody that can kick the ball in the back of the end zone, I would certainly take them on this team. That’s for sure.”
It’s no secret the Wildcats have had kicking issues this season, prompting Stoops to say the struggles this year would change how he viewed the position in the future. Simply put, “we have to kick better.”
Austin MacGinnis has made 12 of his 14 field goals, but a groin injury is still bothering him, stretching the Wildcats thin when he’s unavailable. Landon Foster has handled 45 of Kentucky’s 46 punts, and the team’s average of 40.1 yards is only 12th in the SEC. Stoops credited Miles Butler’s body of work when he fills in for MacGinnis, but the larger issue is still present.
“Miles does a nice job. He does as good as he can, and I think he’s getting more and more confidence with extra points and field goals, and he’s trying the best he can on kickoffs,” Stoops said. “Austin was close last week, he wasn’t 100 percent on kickoffs. Shorter field goals and all that I think he was good. He says he’ll be ready this week, so let’s hope he can.”