Mark Stoops, Eddie Gran Look To Win Saturday For The Seniors

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Mark Stoops, Eddie Gran Look To Win Saturday For The Seniors

UK Helmet.UK Football Preseason Practice 2020. Photo by Jacob Noger - UK Football

Kentucky is on the home stretch of the 2020 football season, closing in on the finale at home against South Carolina this coming Saturday. Through the many struggles they have endured this season, UK Head Coach Mark Stoops said Monday afternoon that they are focused on getting a victory for the team’s seniors.

“I want to start by thanking our seniors. This is the last game they’ll get to play at home and hopefully we’ll send them off the right way. They’ve been very instrumental in helping us win a lot of football games over the past several years. Obviously, this year has been very frustrating and has not gone the way we’ve wanted it to. It’s been very well documented how it’s been very different and how unsettling it is and disappointing so hopefully we can finish up the right way,” he said.

Many fans around Big Blue Nation have expressed intense frustration towards the failing offense this season, and rightfully so, as they’ve struggled to find any consistent rhythm. Due to this, Mark Stoops has talked about extensive changes to be made in the offseason in order to improve on that side of the ball.

Whether or not that means offensive coordinator Eddie Gran’s time on UK’s staff is up or not remains to be seen, but he is more focused right now on putting up points for seniors on the team.

“Right now I’m just trying to get two halves put together for this weekend for these seniors. If we can put two halves together, finish and be consistent; really excited about just trying to finish for these guys right now. That’ll happen after Sunday for sure, jumping right on it and going from there,” he said.

“The way this year has gone, I’m focusing on getting a touchdown in the red zone. I’m focusing on converting on third down and really that’s been the full focus for me,” Gran said. “A lot of that will be with the head football coach and when he wants me to be a part of it, I’ll be a part of it. I just really haven’t — I’m trying to get these kids through a difficult time and to finish strong. That’s where my energy is right now.”

Regardless of what you think of this UK team, they have in fact endured plenty of difficulties with the loss of offensive line coach John Schlarman mid-season, medical issues surrounding linebacker Chris Oats and various Covid-19 circumstances. Gran is really proud of how resilient the team has been through those trials, pointing in the direction of God for leading them.

“I gotta be honest with you, the resiliency of these young men, of this football team, it’s really amazing. They came out yesterday and today we had as good of a practice on a Tuesday that we’ve had, and for them to keep battling and doing that just says a lot about them. Coach Stoops has done a fantastic job of talking to these guys. Yes, it’s hard, but God’s got a plan here and it’s making us all stronger.”

The Cats take on South Carolina in Kroger Field at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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