LEXINGTON, Ky. — Coach Mark Stoops answered questions Thursday after practice for the last time until his Wildcats take on Vanderbilt at 4 p.m. Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
The Wildcats (2-3, 1-2 SEC) and the Commodores (2-3, 0-2 SEC) will be fighting to stay out of the bottom of the SEC East.
Here’s what Stoops said Thursday night.
- WR Dorian Baker and LT Cole Mosier practiced in full this week and Stoops said both are on track to play Saturday: “They’re good to go. They’ve had a good week of practice. No setbacks.”
- Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb leads the SEC in rushing attempts. He’s the focus of the offense and Stoops was asked why he doesn’t get more league-wide recognition: “He rates as good as a lot of these backs we face in the SEC. He’s a quality back. He gets tough yards. He has really good vision and strong. He’s perfect for what they’re doing. I’m not sure why he doesn’t get the recognition.”
- Stoops said Monday that last year’s loss to Vanderbilt will probably bother him for the rest of his life. A few players shared similar sentiments this week in practice but Stoops downplayed Saturday as a revenge game: “Maybe a little. We don’t talk about it much. I referenced it because somebody asked me a question about it. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me, but all losses do. We’re not going to beat a dead horse. We’re worried about this year. Certainly, if you want to use it for motivation, go ahead.”
- The NCAA is considering an early signing period in football and Stoops supports the idea even if it’s not popular with all coaches: “Yeah, I think – I just put a little thought into that. I saw it. I’m all for it. I think most of my counterparts there in the SEC are not for it, but I would be. I think what exact date or how we work through that still needs a little bit of massaging, but I’m all for an early signing period.”