The results have been the same for a month now — four straight losses, three by 24 points or more. Every week since Oct. 3, when Kentucky picked up its most recent win, struggles have been on full display. Tension within the fan base has been mounting.
But behind the scenes, coach Mark Stoops is consistently looking for a way to shake up his practice. Stoops is involved in an intricate chess game of sorts, trying to figure out what moves he should make.
“I think certainly I have to look at all options,” Stoops said. “I look at practice schedules. I’ve certainly done a bunch of research this week to see how many reps people are taking — friends throughout the country, friends within our own conference that I have and just looking at all things that we’re doing.
“Our practice schedule, what we’re doing weekly, the positions we’re putting our players into be successful — whether we’re doing too much or too little. All those things I have to look at.”
Stoops is looking to avoid a skid like last year’s, during which the Wildcats dropped six straight to close out their season, finishing 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the SEC.
While he admitted that his players didn’t show up to UGA feeling like they could win, Stoops said that in addition to him moving around the pieces, his players have to bring the right mentality.
If both happen this weekend against Vanderbilt, it’s certainly possible the Wildcats could snap their skid and get one game closer to bowl eligibility.
“I think a big part of it is mental and making sure that we have a stronger mental approach to the game. We have to be physically and mentally mature enough to handle this type of a schedule,” he said. “We’ve gone through a tough stretch that a good part of it these past three or four weeks, we haven’t handled very well. We need to bounce back, and again, just make sure we have the mental toughness to finish out this season and have a great week.”