Could we finally be seeing Mark Stoops make his first major defensive change in his UK tenure?
After watching the Kentucky Wildcats allow another 40-burger, this one to a Florida offense that scored a whopping 24 points vs UMass, Stoops is undoubtedly sick and tired of watching his defense gashed at an alarming rate. It’s sadly been a common theme during his UK, tenure, and only other thing has remained just as common.
The former Florida State defensive line coach was brought from Tallahassee to be Stoop’s DC in Lexington. It’s been, simply put, an unmitigated disaster that’s made UK’s defense one of the biggest laughingstocks in college football.
Well, Stoops may finally have had enough. During his weekly radio show, Stoops hinted that he would be taking on a bigger role with the defense going forward, both during game preparations and on gameday.
SEC Country's Joe Mussatto caught some of the exchange between Stoops and radio host Tom Leach:
“You’ve been part of a lot of successful programs on the defensive side of the ball, coaching that side of the football, is there ever a point where you consider taking a more active role in game planning or game management on that side of the ball?” Leach asked.
“Yes,” Stoops said.
“And can you elaborate on that?” Leach asked after an uncomfortable pause.
“Not really,” Stoops said.
I’ve watched Stoops down on the sideline during games. He’s already very involved with the defense, so doing anything more would just about have to be taking the outright play-calling duties.
In Stoops' final season as FSU’s defensive coordinator, the Seminoles ranked second nationally in total defense and sixth in scoring defense. Given, that was with far more talent, but he built that unit up from being one of the nation’s worst when he took over in 2010. He have a similar rebuild with Arizona in his previous stint, which should give UK fans hope he can make this unit at least respectable.
That, unfortunately, would be a massive upgrade at this point. We can only hope this really means Stoops is manning up and calling his own defense. He’s going to get fired this year at the rate UK is currently going, but there’s still time for him to make changes and call the shots himself, even if it ends up being nothing more than a hail mary.
I’d rather watch my team lose on the final play than not even get the final play off (looking at you, Dallas). Stoops is on pace to lose without even a final heave, so let’s hope he’s actually taking that final shot for everything, even if he still ends up with nothing.
Oh, and someone sent Eliot some penis candy. Yes, that happened.