Hopefully this morning everyone with the Kentucky football team woke up thinking Tennessee, not Georgia.
It’s okay for fans to think back on Saturday’s 34-17 loss to Georgia in a game that could have sent UK to the SEC Championship game. But the coaches and players need to be thinking only about winning at Tennessee for the first time since 1984 and finishing the regular season 10-2.
That would secure a New Year’s Day bowl for Kentucky but losing at Tennessee would likely ruin that dream.
How does coach Mark Stoops make sure Saturday’s loss doesn’t turn into another loss at Tennessee because his team dwells on what might have been instead of what lies ahead?
“You let them lean on the leaders of this football team. The guys, they are good in there. We got beat tonight, and we have to regroup and go about our business. We have strong leaders in there and I anticipate that we’ll be ready to go,” Stoops said after Saturday’s loss.
His players certainly said all the right things to make you believe that is exactly what will happen at Tennessee (4-5) when the Vols could use a win to help salvage another disappointing year for them.
“We know where our heads are at. We know what we have to do next week,” senior linebacker Josh Allen said. “This game is in the past, we just got to learn from our corrections and just move on and hopefully start Monday we can get back to practice and get a win next week.”
“We aren’t going to let this loss turn into two. Tomorrow is Sunday, we’re going to Tennessee, preparing for that week,” backup running back A.J. Rose said after the Georgia game. “We can’t let this happen again. We have a goal and we came short of that goal, but we still want to finish the SEC strong.”
“This team is special. I know we’ll win out,” quarterback Terry Wilson said. “The thing about this team is that we’re not going to give up.
“We have to continue to play hard and just keep getting after it. Keep working. We can’t get complacent and don’t get lazy and just stay united as a team and we’ll be fine.”