What does Stoops tell Gran: “‘Don’t you even think about throwing the ball. They’re on their heels, let’s go. Smash ‘em. Smash ‘em.”

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What pace does the Kentucky offense need to have this season?

“It just depends. There’s been times when we have gone at a pretty good clip and there’s been times when we have been methodical and that’s been the best way,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “There’s been times when I’ve been in Eddie’s ear about going fast, and he’s just been methodical, thinking things through and setting things up and it’s been very effective.

“It’s game-to-game, year-to-year. We’ll see how it plays out. 

We’ll have a little of both. We’ll be able to go fast and we’ll be able to be methodical as well.

”

So how often does he get in offensive coordinator Eddie Gran’s ear about pace of play?

“Not often. But there’s been times, yeah,” Stoops said.

I wondered just how many times and I also had a hard time thinking about the defensive-minded Stoops telling Gran to speed up the offense. Stoops is a coach who wants to win with defense and a ball-control offense. Often Kentucky fans have been frustrated because UK’s offense would not put the throttle down in the second half of games when the Cats had the lead.

“He does get in my ear, not very often. He’s the best, and I mean that. I’ve been around it where sometimes you’ve got someone in your ear all the time, and it’s hard,” Gran said. “It’s hard to focus. He doesn’t do that. He hasn’t told me to speed up a ton now.”

So what does he tell Gran?

“It’s been more, ‘Hey, woah, slow it down.’ He gets that feel for it, and that’s what I love about him because he’s a defensive guy,” Gran said. “We might be running the ball a little bit, and we’re going, and he can hear me and he knows that I’m getting ready to set something up and to throw the ball, and he’ll come down there, and he’ll say, ‘Don’t you even think about throwing the ball. They’re on their heels, let’s go. Smash ‘em. Smash ‘em.’ Yes sir.”

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