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Mark Stoops talks Kash Daniel, Davonte Robinson and Chance Poore

Daniel is getting healthier, while Poore could lose his redshirt.

Aaron Gershon

The last time the Kentucky Wildcats won more than seven regular-season games was the 1984 season that saw eight wins.

The Cats have a chance to get over the seven-win hump on Saturday when they travel to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers.

If Kentucky can win in Neyland Stadium Saturday afternoon, it would be their first win in Knoxville since 1984 and would be the first time they’ve won against the Vols in back to back years since 1972-73.

Coming off an ugly loss to Georgia that ended the 11th-ranked Cats’ hopes at an SEC title berth, head coach Mark Stoops was happy from what he saw in his team from practice this week.

“Excited about the opportunity to get on the road. Our last SEC game of the year, so our guys have had a good attitude and good preparation, and we’ve got one more opportunity tomorrow before we get on the bus and head that way.”

As for if the team was affected negatively in practice following the tough loss to Georgia last week, Stoops said “No, it really didn’t. The last couple days have been great, so I don’t see any side effects.”

According to Stoops, middle linebacker, Kash Daniel has been able to have better feel for his hand this week after playing the last two with a club due to a broken hand.

“He practiced Wednesday with a bit where he had some access to his fingers,” Stoops said.

Stoops also confirmed that Daniel’s cast would be “cut down a bit,” so expect not to see a full oven mitt like club for Daniel Saturday.

As for fellow linebacker Jordan Jones, who also has a broken hand, Stoops said he was more unsure about Jones’ progress.

A big storyline Saturday will be that senior safety Darius West will have to miss the first half of the game due to being ejected for targeting in Kentucky’s loss to Georgia.

Lexington native Davonte Robinson will slide into the starting role until West is back. Robinson, who has played well all season long, was given lots of praise from his head coach.

“He’s been versatile and has really played some good football. He’s got a lot on his plate learning too, and he’s handled it very well.” Stoops said of Robinson. “He’s a really sure tackler. He’s been really good in space. He can run.”

In another piece of news, Stoops announced Chance Poore would again be the kicker for the Wildcats. If Poore plays past this week, he will be unable to redshirt. When asked if this would be the last game Poore would kick in Stoops said: “We’ll figure it out next week.”

The last two seasons Kentucky has won seven games which is tied for Stoops’ personal high while leading the Wildcats. When asked what it would mean to get over that threshold and get to win No. 8 this weekend, Stoops said this:

“It’s all very important at this point.” Stoops said. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time trying to climb that ladder in the SEC, and certainty trying to climb that ladder in terms of victories in the SEC.”

A win Saturday would bring Kentucky a lot of school history, but it will be easier said than done against an improving Tennessee team.