By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s senior class has won 25 games the last four seasons and will be going to its third straight bowl game this year.
That’s the legacy Kentucky coach Mark Stoops will remember Saturday when it is time to honor 16 seniors playing their final home game when Kentucky hosts Middle Tennessee. Don’t use the 24-7 loss last week at Tennessee as a reason not to come to this game — or at least that’s the message Stoops is using for fans.
“The most in school history as far as SEC victories. I think they deserve a little credit for that. I think we all — I’m the first one that you always want to hang onto things, what can you do better. And that’s what drives us every day,” Stoops said.
“It drives me every day and that’s what I want to do. But I also want to give recognition to that senior class and what they’ve done, what they’ve meant to this program and how much I greatly appreciate them. I think the Big Blue Nation appreciates them.”
The fans do. They are just disappointed right now over the losses to Georgia and Tennessee. The noon kickoff Saturday won’t help, but this team is still 7-3, ranked 20th and headed to a bowl. Many fans still appreciate what the team has done and what these seniors have helped accomplish.
“It’s a fact in the last three years they’ve won the most SEC games since anybody in the history of this school. That’s a long time, folks. I appreciate what they’ve done,” Stoops said.
“They’ve been a really good group, special group. Not perfect like none of us, but they’ve really done a good job and I will be proud for Jordan (Jones) and many of the other ones, all the other ones. Special group.
“The individual stories of some of these guys. Many of you have talked about it and written about it and where they come from, what they’ve done, what they’ve overcome, it’s truly amazing. Guys like George Asafo (-Adjei) and Jordan and just many of them. It hasn’t been easy. They’ve come a long way and they’ve done a lot.”