By LARRY VAUGHT
If Kentucky had beat Tennessee Saturday to get to 5-4 going into Saturday afternoon’s game at Vanderbilt there might have been a near capacity crowd of only UK fans at the game.
Instead, UK lost 17-13 to the Vols after having a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. That had Kentucky coach Mark Stoops “encouraging” fans to still come to Nashville Saturday that has turned into a “must win” if the Cats are going to get bowl eligible because a victory over Louisville in the final game is no given.
“It’s very important to have our fans there. I think that our fans like going to Nashville, it’s close, they can drive, much of the state is very close to getting to that stadium. So, hopefully we will have a lot of fans there,” Stoops said in a pep talk for fans like he might give players before a game.
“I know our players love seeing their family and their friends, and the Big Blue Nation and we hear them. We played well the last time we were in there and hopefully we will go and play good this year, this week.”
Stoops is changing UK’s normal travel routine. The Cats will leave a bit earlier than usual Friday and go to the Tennessee Titans’ indoor facility to “have a brief workout” to hopefully break up the monotony of a long bus ride from Lexington.
“We are going to leave earlier, go there, grab a quick lunch, have some meetings, go have a quick workout and come back,” Stoops said.” Hopefully that will change some things up because I wasn’t pleased with the last time that I drove to Tennessee. Hopefully that’ll help.”
The last time was to play Tennessee in Knoxville last year and the Cats were dominated in a game Tennessee won much easier than the 24-7 score showed.