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SEC football coaches give their anonymous thoughts about Kentucky

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“There’s a different attitude with them. You see it in recruiting too.”

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Before the 2020 college football season kicks off for the SEC, Athlon Sports asked SEC coaches their (anonymous) thoughts about each of their foes for the upcoming season.

So what did they have to say about the Kentucky Wildcats? Well, none of the statements were bad or blasting the program. In fact, a lot of coaches praised Mark Stoops. But some coaches did have their doubts because, you know, good ‘ol Kentucky football.

And one coach just flat-out doesn’t believe that Terry Wilson can get the job done.

Here’s what each coach had to say:

“This could be a big transition year.”

“The remarkable thing about Mark Stoops is that he’s been there long enough to eliminate the gap seasons between talented senior classes. It used to be that Kentucky would make a run and then fall off to a three- or four-win season turning guys over. He’s shored that up, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune.”

“They’re really, really gonna have to run the ball to win.”

“They return some really solid backs, so we expect them to lean on that early on.”

“(Offensive coordinator) Eddie Gran does a great job adjusting to personnel. They can find a way to get production from limited options.”

“It’s a really solid, effective defense. They have Mark’s identity, you can see his Florida State stuff, you can see his family’s style in there.”

“They’ve been a team where, hey, you’re physical in a league where everyone is, but for a long time teams wouldn’t expect that from Kentucky, so they got caught off guard. They’re losing some guys up front who were nasty.”

“The best thing going for them is that they’re so many years into this system that this isn’t a new situation. They’ve lost quarterbacks in season, they’ve had to get creative, and they’ve known this was coming. This is where having a veteran staff and a consistent development pipeline saves you, which is exactly why Kentucky hung with Mark when he was building it up.”

“The biggest question is if they can keep that momentum they’ve created the last two years.”

“There’s a different attitude with them. You see it in recruiting too.”

The last comment may be the most glowing of them all. There’s been an attitude change in the football program around the last 3-4 years, and you can see it on the recruiting trail as well. Kentucky is battling the big boys for SEC caliber players and some times, they’re coming away with recruiting wins.