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In advance of Saturday’s SEC East matchup between No. 10 Florida and Kentucky, head coaches Dan Mullen and Mark Stoops shared their thoughts leading up to the game on Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference.
- Mullen was once again asked about quarterback Anthony Richardson's status heading into the Kentucky game. He kept it short and sweet: "He's ready to go. One hundred percent. Ready to go."
- Also asked about cornerback Kaiir Elam. He's still probable and should be available for Saturday against the Wildcats.
- Mullen was asked about the importance of avoiding the slow starts they've had this season on the road. "I think it's important to execute for four quarters," he said "You have to execute just as well as the beginning of the game as you got to execute at the end the game if you want to be a great team. And so the execution on every single snap and the focus on the play at hand is the most important thing."
- Feleipe Franks was in this phone call twice. Once when discussing the 2019 game against UK. Mullen liked how his team responded to such a terrible moment and the Gators coming back to win showed their resolve. The other time was discussing him being played tight end for the Atlanta Falcons in their previous game. "If you get to that next level whatever you can do to be on that roster you need to do," he said. "I don't care if you got to be the long snapper. You better learn how to long snap, cover kickoffs. Whatever it takes, find a way to make the team."
- Kentucky's offensive line is generally a "big crew" with veteran guys up front who are physical with great size. Mullen said this year is no different. "I think they continue to be a pretty formidable offensive line," he said.
- The Kentucky head coach was asked about defending the run with Florida coming into town. The Wildcats are sixth in fewest rushing yards allowed in the conference. Stoops said they've been good at stopping the run "but this is a different beast, that's for sure." He mentioned how Florida uses the quarterback on the ground and its stable of backs. They always start with physicality.
- A key cog in Kentucky's power running game is back Christopher Rodriguez. He leads the SEC with 513 rushing yards including over 140 against South Carolina last week. Stoops mentioned how the year he's having surprises nobody in Lexington because they've seen the type of runner that he is. The fumbles he's had are uncharacteristic for him. "He's one of those backs that's always going forward," Stoops said. "Very few negative yardage plays with him. He has very good strength and balance and vision."
- Speaking of fumbles, the Wildcats are -9 in turnover margin. They're in good shape at 4-0 but turnovers are something that Stoops knows his team needs to clean up.
WCC: Updates on everything Dan Mullen and Mark Stoops had to say can be seen HERE.