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Mark Stoops talks about COVID-19’s impact on his team

He is proud of how his team has handled it.

Kentucky v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Monday evening gave us Mark Stoops’ final preseason call-in show of 2020. He talked about the newly released depth chart, what he expects from the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, and who he expects to step up from the Wildcats. He also took time to talk about the impact that the coronavirus has had on his players and their lifestyles.

“They’re handling it really well,” Stoops said. “I just appreciate our team, I appreciate our guys.”

While Stoops would not speculate on how his team measures up to others as it pertains to positive tests, he did discuss how important this process has been to his guys.

“It’s really important to them, and they’ve worked extremely hard. They want to play. They’ve made sacrifices to put themselves in position to play. It’s evident by our numbers. I’m not comparing numbers across the country or across our league, but I know our cases are very low. I hope it stays that way. I appreciate their effort. A mature football team seems to adapt.”

However, the battle with COVID-19 does not end now that the season is here. The players will test again on Friday, hoping that nobody is ruled ineligible at the last minute.

“You have to develop more guys and have more guys ready to go and work deeper into the lineup than in previous years,” Stoops said. “We have to bring in some guys Friday, have them ready. They’ll test and be ready to go in case someone else tests positive.”

Stoops has always run his program like a family. He loves his players and cares for them very much, but he also expects a lot from their attitude and effort. In these uncertain times, those expectations have risen to another level.

“Adapt and overcome. It’s a military term, and it’s very true. It applies to life, and it certainly applies now. You have to be able to adapt to the circumstances, and you have to overcome.”

Will the Kentucky Wildcats be able to overcome Auburn on Saturday. Kickoff is at noon.