Since arriving in Lexington, Mark Stoops has created quite a bit of excitement around the Kentucky Wildcats. However, he may have his work cut out for him keeping the momentum going after his opening game on Saturday.
Kentucky lost 35-26 to Western Kentucky in Nashville in the season opener for both teams. This is one of the games that Kentucky was supposed to win this season, when they face one of the nation’s toughest schedules.
For all that Stoops has done for the Wildcats and the Big Blue Nation, this one hurts. This marks the second-straight season that WKU has beaten the Bluegrass State’s flagship institution. And a SEC team simply cannot afford to lose to a team from the Sun Belt Conference. Let alone two years in a row.
Stoops inherited a team that does not have a great deal of talent, but there should be enough talent there to beat even the best team from the Sun Belt. But it didn’t happen on Saturday night.
The job for Stoops now is to keep the positive energy going. His recruiting has been outstanding, but there is no question that opposing recruiters will use this loss against Kentucky.
The Wildcats have one week to get things together before they face another team they should beat, the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. If Kentucky were to lose that game, things could get really tough for Stoops and his team, as the tough portion of the schedule still remains.
Stoops has been outstanding in changing the culture around the UK program off the field. Now, he needs to change the culture on the field.