LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) On Saturday, we got our first look at this year's UK football team during an open practice in Lexington for Fan Day. The Cats return 17 starters from last year's team that went 7-6, and made a bowl game. Head Coach, Mark Stoops says that experience is already showing in practice, but they still have mistakes they need correcting. "There's still some popping up that need to get ironed out that I'm really not happy about. But overall, we're much further ahead. You know, with some experience defensively. Of course, the continuity and experience offensively. So, I think our coaches and our players worked extremely hard all off season, all summer, and definitely evident the first six practices," said Stoops.
It appears the Cats' offense has a new weapon that has actually been there for a while. Former St. X star, Charles Walker has primarily made his mark at UK as a punt returner, but that's about to change. This season you can expect to see the senior lineup in the slot at wide receiver. He has plenty of speed and head coach, Mark Stoops is most impressed with his work ethic. "Yea Charles has been really good player and definitely has a big role with our team and he is a great special teams player and he's hard to cover, he makes competitive catches and he goes hard everyday so you gotta love the way he competes," said Stoops.
After making a bowl game last season, there's an air of confidence surrounding Kentucky football both with the team and the fan base. Big Blue Nation showed up in force at Saturday's open practice for Fan Day. The Cats opened last season with a home loss to Southern Mississippi. They're hoping to avenge that loss at Hattiesburg to kickoff this season. "Being able to get back and play Southern Miss, we sort of have a bad taste in our mouth from last year, and that's something we felt we should've won. And that's something this year we feel we really should win," said offensive lineman, Landon Young.