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How does Mark Stoops handle Thanksgiving/rivalry game with players and staff?

Mark Stoops (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Having a huge rivalry game with major bowl implications certainly can take away from Thanksgiving.

So how does Kentucky coach Mark Stoops handle that dilemma with his team that will be playing rival Louisville Saturday at noon at Kroger Field?

“Our team has done a good job with this week in the prep in the past. We have a routine and we will stick to it, we will have a normal Monday and a normal Tuesday, we’ll have a normal Wednesday. It may be a touch earlier,” Stoops said.  “Those guys will get to sleep in a little bit so the coaches can get off the field and we’ll watch some film.

“Then we have all the players go to the assistant coaches’ houses on Wednesday night and have a nice family meal. Then Thursday we will have our regular routine as far as film and walk through and then we’ll have dinner together as a group Thursday after practice here.”

After that, Stoops lets players go to family or friends that live close and some players will go with a teammate to someone’s else if they don’t have friends or family close to Lexington.

“It probably works out good that we have our run through on Friday so we can get ‘em out. They can run some of that turkey off and stuffing and all that,” Stoops said. “We’ll have our normal routine on Friday.

“Our guys have handled it well in the past. I think it is kind of nice for them to have a little bit of school off so that they get to catch up on a little rest, so hopefully that will help.”

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