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Kentucky Football

The Wildcats Are Ready to Play in Charlotte

December 30, 2019
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Head coaches and select players from both teams met with media today to preview tomorrow’s Belk Bowl matchup between Kentucky and Virginia Tech. The consensus from Kentucky was that this is a team ready to take the field. Players Lynn Bowden, Kash Daniel, Logan Stenberg, Calvin Taylor, and Josh Paschal answered questions ranging from bowl week to tomorrow’s matchup to the Kentucky legacy and culture. The mood was clear today, as Kentucky is fully in business mode for tomorrow’s game.

 

Coach Mark Stoops spoke first, keeping it straightforward. What’s the added incentive this year to win? “Just winning.” The best way to make the bowl week a positive experience is to go home with a victory, Stoops said. Players echoed the sentiment, dismissing the idea of bulletin board material or extra motivation.  

When asked about the forecast tomorrow, Stoops suggested they might try some rain dances tonight. The Kentucky head coach appeared fairly relaxed today as the team awaits tomorrow’s noon kickoff.

 

If Stoops was relaxed during his media appearance, Lynn Bowden was decidedly not. The junior playing in his last college game tomorrow was clearly upset, most likely due to the comments and video by Virginia Tech players on Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bowden refused to talk about Virginia Tech, instead of encouraging questions about Kentucky’s own team.

Bowden said that he wants to be remembered as a dog in Lexington. He chose to come to Kentucky to help bring the program up instead of going with a “bandwagon” program and wants his legacy to be his toughness and his contribution to the program’s culture change.

 

Kash Daniel was talkative today, reflecting greatly on his time at Kentucky and how he wants to be remembered. He said in no uncertain terms that he’s not a great player or a great athlete, but he worked as hard as he could and gave the game everything he had. That, he explained, is how he wants Kentucky to remember him in future years. That sentiment is one he has expressed at times in the past too, and what has led to him resonating so soundly with fans across the state.

When told about the opportunity Mark Stoops has to join Bear Bryant and Rich Brooks as only Kentucky coaches with back-to-back bowl wins, Daniel was excited for Stoops. “Now that you gave me that stat, I definitely want to do it for him.” 

 

Calvin Taylor was emphatic that added motivation in the form of trash talk from Virginia Tech is not necessary for this team. “I’ve never been one for bulletin board material, but, you know, we’ll be ready for tomorrow.” 

Taylor also talked about his experience this year as one of the leaders on the defense, and the process they went through over the summer to create the success they’ve had this season. 

 

Josh Paschal kept the theme going, stating that the trash talk was one-sided. He said Kentucky's response is to work hard and just play. Paschal went on to talk about what the past year has meant to him and the people who have reached out to him going through similar experiences. 

 

 

The team was all business today and appeared more than ready to get to tomorrow’s game. The Belk Bowl will kick off at noon ET on ESPN tomorrow. 

Before that, however, Charlotte plays host to two fan-centric events, starting tonight with Fan Central at EpiCentre in downtown. This will feature pep rallies for both teams as well as many dining options at the complex. I’ll be there all night to cover the goings-on so check back here or on my twitter for plenty of updates! 

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The Wildcats Are Ready to Play in Charlotte

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