For Stoops, it be one of the biggest games of his tenure at Kentucky.
If his team wins, the Cats will almost surely be ranked for the first time in his six years at the university.
Despite what’s at stake, Stoops knows it’s just another chance for his team to prove themselves.
“It’s definitely a challenge. You have a chance to prove yourself every seven days, and this is another opportunity.”
Mississippi State will be as big of a challenge as Kentucky may see all year. Both their offense and defense rank in the top 10 nationally.
Stoops talked about what type of game to expect.
“This will be a line of scrimmage game on both sides. With that, then it goes outside and winning your one on ones. Both teams can run the ball effectively. When you can run the football, it opens up opportunities. Who’s going to defend and who’s going to make the plays down the field is going to be a big piece of it as well.”
As for Bulldogs star Nick Fitzgerald, Stoops knows that it will be impossible to completely stop the quarterback who ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns against his team a year ago.
“He’s going to get some yards, but you have to make sure you limit it the best you can, because the majority of the offense is going to go through him.”
Mark Stoops points out one play in particular from last years Mississippi State matchup that indicates his team was closer than it looked. pic.twitter.com/vXOloI62oy— Aaron Gershon (@agershon99) September 20, 2018
As for what type of environment to expect at Kroger Field, Stoops expects a “great atmosphere”.
However, Stoops knows just because the game is at home that it won’t be easy to play in such a loud environment.
“We got to watch how we handle ourselves, and I expect us to be very businesslike with our approach like we’ve been all year. We know we’ll be excited and amped up to play, but we’ve gotta focus, and we’ve gotta execute.”
Kentucky will try to become a ranked team for the first time since 2007 with a win Saturday night.