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Mark Stoops talks Vanderbilt, injury updates and more

Mark Stoops talked to the media for the last time before his team takes on Vanderbilt Saturday night.

Aaron Gershon A Sea Of Blue

Head coach Mark Stoops met with the media after practice Thursday for the final time before his teams Saturday night battle with Vanderbilt.

Stoops touched on the anxiousness to get back on the field after the crushing loss at Texas A&M the team suffered prior to last weeks bye.

“It’s a long couple of weeks,” Stoops said about losing heading into a bye week. “I don’t think any of us like it we much rather get back on the field as quickly as possible. Once it got back to Monday of this week, it felt like a normal week, but it was a long week last week.”

Turning the focus to Vanderbilt this week Stoops was happy from what he saw in practice from his team.

“We had a great week honestly. They were bouncing around had good focus and good energy all week.” Stoops said of his team.

After committing eight penalties in College Station, Stoops said the team worked on how to best limit penalties during the bye week.

“Some of the penalties with the holding that’s technique and some pre-snap with procedure that we can control. The emotional, aggressive ones we can control as well,” Stoops said about the lack of discipline.

“We have to be smart. We can’t be selfish.”

As for injuries, Stoops said that both Drake Jackson and Naasir Watkins will be active Saturday night.

Jackson will get the start at center. Watkins, however, will not start as he continues to play behind EJ Price at left tackle.

As for the fans who are hoping to see more of Benny Snell after UK seemed to go away from him in the loss to A&M, Stoops offered this:

“We came into it [Texas A&M game] knowing we wanted to be more balanced without getting the plays you want, getting the first downs you want it kind of gets you out of rhythm with who you are. We respect that criticism, and we also know we’re trying to be balanced and win a bunch of football games.”

Despite Vanderbilt being winless in SEC play, Stoops isn’t taking his opponent lightly.

“I feel like they have a hungry football team. They’re going out there and competing and fighting and take a lot of pride in what they do.”

The Cats will look to improve to 6-1 and 5-0 at home when they take on Vanderbilt Saturday night.