Who is your favorite player this year?
My favorite player this year would have to be Josh Allen. He’s been phenomenal to watch and he’s so consistent each and every week. He is leading the SEC in sacks. No team we have played has had an answer for him. I think he is one of the finest defensive players I’ve ever seen at UK and I think he will be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft.
What has surprised you most this season?
It would have to be the way our defense has played all season long. Those guys have been unbelievable on that side of the ball. Even in games when our offense has struggled to move the football or put up points on the board like in the Missouri game, our defense kept us in it and gave us an opportunity to win. They have been great at rushing the passer, creating turnovers and stopping the run. When you can do those things, you’re always going to have an opportunity to win games. I think they have been the biggest reason for our success this season.
There seems to be a certain swagger about this team. Do you feel the same?
Yes, I definitely think this team has a swagger about them and a confidence that they can compete with anyone that they play. I think that comes from great leadership from guys like Benny Snell, Kash Daniel and Josh Allen. They set the tone for this team and everyone follows those guys.
What has been your favorite play or moment in this team’s season?
My favorite moment from this season would have to be the victory over Florida. It had been a very long time since we had beaten those guys, I think it was 32 years in a row that we’d lost to them. I was so proud of our football team going on the road in a hostile environment like the swamp and dominating that football game. I think that victory set the tone for this year’s team that they can compete with and beat anyone on our schedule.
How would you compare this Kentucky football team to some of the past teams?
I think top to bottom this is the best football team that I’ve seen at Kentucky. If you look at the way we’re able to run the football, the way our offensive line has played and especially the play of our defense it’s hard to say that we’ve had a better team here at Kentucky. I think Coach Stoops and his staff does a tremendous job of not only recruiting and evaluating talent but also developing that talent once we get them here on campus and now it’s starting to show out on the field. This team has done things that hasn’t been done here in a long time. We had a great opportunity to win the SEC East and play in the championship game, but we fell a little bit short. But we still have so much to play for this season. We’re going to get an opportunity to play a tremendous bowl game and take the next step for this program.
I think Coach Stoops and his staff does a tremendous job of not only recruiting and evaluating talent but also developing that talent once we get them here on campus and now it’s starting to show out on the field.
What has this team done for UK football and the fan base?
This football team has raised the bar for what we expect and what we’re capable of seeing out of our football program. They’ve elevated all of our expectations of where we can go and what we can be. What we’ve been able to accomplish this season will only help continue our excellent recruiting and we will be able to do that at an even higher level and continue to get better players here so we can compete for SEC east titles year in and year out.
Kentucky will always be known as a basketball school. Tell us your thoughts on what the next 5-10 years hold for the football program.
We definitely have a great and long storied tradition in basketball. But I don’t see any reason why our football team can’t be successful as well. We have put a lot of money into the football program with the upgrade to the stadium and the new football facility and I think you’re starting to see that type of commitment show out on the field. We are a different football team now. We look like we belong in the SEC. We’re bigger,faster and stronger than we’ve been in years past and that will only continue to get better each year. I think what Coach Stoops is building here is going to be special and something that all of the BBN will be proud of.
Will Kentucky football ever compete for an SEC or national championship?
I have no doubt in my mind that we will. We were so close to competing for the SEC championship this season. I really think we’re just starting to scratch the surface of what this football team is going to be in the next several years. Coach Stoops has a tremendous vision for this program and where we can go and exactly how we’re going to accomplish that. He has a great staff and they can recruit at a high level. The future of this football program is brighter than it’s ever been.
Who do you think wins the National Championship this year?
I think it’s going to be Alabama. I don’t see anyone that can compete with those guys right now. They are just on a different level. They have the best coach in the nation, the best quarterback, the best skill position players and they have tremendous depth at all positions. I would be shocked if they don’t win the title again this season.