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Mark Stoops talks QBs, switching defenses and more during ESPN trip

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Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops got to go through the ESPN Car Wash today and talk about the rise of UK football.

Stoops made stops across several shows across the ESPN networks, and here's some of what he talked about:

On the QB Battle between Patrick Towles and Drew Barker:

"Patrick played extremely well for us a year ago. We felt very good about him and the improvement he’s making, but he has a very talented guy behind him that redshirted a year ago that’s pushing him in Drew Barker. It will be a healthy competition. Towles will have the leg up going into camp, but everything’s earned at Kentucky. We need to do that. There’s healthy competition at every position. Everybody likes to talk about the QB position, but all of our spots need to be earned."

On switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense:

"We’ve been in that transition for about a year and a half. We just felt like it suited our personnel a little bit better. I’ve been a 4-3 defensive coordinator most of my career, I just felt like we need the versatility from the 3-4 and to be a little bit balanced. Offensives are extremely creative in the SEC and I felt like it fit us."

On UK being picked to finish 6th in the SEC East:

"I understand that. We won five games a year ago. We need to improve, we have a long way to go and we’re very happy with the progress we’re making. We feel like we have a very good football team, a much-improved football team heading into this year."