Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has done everything he can think of to try to find a remedy for his team’s recent woes on the football field. He’s made players stand accountable for their efforts, and he’s said he and his coaching staff need to communicate better.
But sometimes a coach can only do so much if players aren’t on the same page, which is why junior quarterback Patrick Towles and senior linebacker Josh Forrest called a players-only meeting this week, running back Mikel Horton told reporters. The meeting lasted almost an hour, according to reporters at practice.
“Mikel Horton said there was a players-only meeting this week, says half the team was on the wrong page,” the Courier-Journal’s Jon Hale tweeted.
The meeting comes after three straight Kentucky losses to Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee. The Wildcats were able to keep it close with the Tigers and even mounted a comeback after trailing at the half, before losing 30-27.
But against Mississippi State, Kentucky gave up a season-high 42 points to the Bulldogs as Dak Prescott accounted for six touchdowns. The next week against Tennessee, the Wildcats gave up a season-high again, this time relinquishing 52 points to the Vols.
In his weekly meeting with the press, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said he thinks player-only meetings have their advantages and that this could be a good step for the Wildcats.
Kentucky will travel to UGA Saturday, looking to snap a three-game losing streak and continue to push toward bowl eligibility. Two more wins will do the trick. But first, something has to change.
“I think it’s a good thing. Our kids care,” Dawson said. “I think at times, everybody — including myself — needs to be set straight. And so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having meetings and having leaders stand up and voice their opinion. Not just on the team, but in every sector of society it probably works to the benefit of the group.”