LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky is in the middle of preparing for Missouri and defensive and special teams players and coaches were available to talk after Wednesday evening’s practice.
Kickoff against the Tigers is set for noon ET Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo., and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network. Here’s what you need to know from the latest round of interviews.
What we learned
- Austin MacGinnis got the game ball after drilling a 51-yard game winning field goal against Mississippi State. The kick put the Wildcats on top 40-38 and kept Kentucky’s bowl chances in tact, but the kicker is clearly not obsessing on where to feature the ball: “It’s in my room,” MacGinnis said. “Sittin’ with my socks.”
- Balls can only be swapped out during a game if the play goes outside the hashes, so MacGinnis was stuck with a regular ball instead of a kicking ball: “It’s just not as broken as a football,” he said. “It hasn’t been kicked and compressed and stuff so it doesn’t travel as well.”
- Coach Mark Stoops said he’s trying to get his players to go to bed early all week in preparation for an 11 a.m. local kickoff in Columbia, Mo. CB Derrick Baity said he prefers an earlier kick anyway and LB Josh Allen says kickoff times don’t matter to him because he doesn’t get much sleep on Friday nights in the first place: “I probably still won’t sleep before a game,” Allen said. “I really don’t sleep now before a game cause I’m so excited and ready to play.”
- Missouri is accustomed to running more than 100 snaps a game, and the Tigers are tops in the SEC in 505 yards per game. While the number is inflated after high point totals against weaker sides like Delaware State and Eastern Michigan, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said his team is preparing for the pace: “We’ve just got to get ready for the tempo,” Eliot said. “We have to have a lot of substitutions. We have to have a lot of guys play.”
Watch: D.J. Eliot interview
Other news you need to know
- Mark Stoops shared good injury news for Wildcats fans about Jojo Kemp and Landon Young.
- Five things to watch in the Kentucky-Missouri matchup.
- The Wildcats are preparing for a Big 12 style offense in Missouri.
- Stoops says Kentucky is no longer the fragile team it once was.
- A pair of Wildcats earned weekly SEC honors against Mississippi State.
- Highlights from Stoops’ Monday call-in show.