By LARRY VAUGHT
Even if he would like to play more true freshmen, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said it is “hard to just throw them in” this late in the season.
“With us and the explosiveness and balance as we were talking about in the past game and the fair questions on whether to go with (quarterback) Sawyer (Smith) or not, it does get hard to what you evolve to, what you morph to, and that is part of it as coaches, to put them in the best position you can,” Stoops said.
That led Stoops to admitting he understood the fan frustration with UK’s 4-5 record and loss last week to Tennessee when he didn’t put Smith in at quarterback after the Vols shut down UK’s offense the second half.
“We are a much different football team right now than we were in game one or game two. As I said earlier, I have to give credit. I know the easiest target in the world outside of me is the offensive coordinator (Eddie Gran). You’ve got a bullseye on your chest every day, every play,” Stoops said.
“I can promise you, they’ve worked their tail off putting guys in position to be successful and we have had to morph into what we are doing, but that is where a seasoned veteran helps you immensely. I know we are not perfect and I’m not looking for a pat on the back, but I have to recognize those guys and the job that they are doing, putting guys in position, but we are different right now than what we were with Terry (Wilson) and with Sawyer (Smith).
“Look at the first three games and look at us now and we have had to what we had to do to try to win games. Again, we are not perfect, and we’ve got to find a way, that’s not some coaching cliché, we are close. A play here, a play there against some very good teams, but I can promise you they are all battling.”