Kentucky looking to stay undefeated heading into match up with Akron

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 7:05 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) - The football Wildcats are hoping to stay undefeated in their non-conference schedule this season ahead of Saturday’s meeting with the Akron Zips.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for [Akron Head Coach] Joe Moorhead,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said during his Monday news conference. “The person that he is and the coach that he is. I believe, in his time at Mississippi State [2018-19], we split one home game each. [His teams are] always tough, physical, and hard-nosed. He is very creative offensively.”

Tonight’s game against the Zips is the Wildcats’ first game under lights this season. In recent years, UK has a solid success rate of winning night games at home, grabbing 16-4 in the last 20 home night games.

“They rotated quarterbacks this past week,” Stoops said about Moorhead’s squad. “We got to be ready for a little bit of everything. It’s not exactly like Mississippi State but you see Joe and his philosophies still showing up and you see the creativity from him. I really like Joe.”

While Stoops and the Cats are familiar with Moorhead’s coaching style, the two programs have only met once in 2010 when UK routed Akron 47-10 at home.

For the Cats to advance to 3-0 on the season, Stoops hopes to clean up pre-snap penalties, prevent third-down conversions from opponents, and find a balance between the run game and the passing game amongst other in-game issues the Wildcats faced in their first two games against Ball State and EKU.

“I expect our team to respond,” Stoops said. “They did last week. They did in practice. There were certain things on film that did show up. The drive-stalling things cannot happen, we know that. We got to get those things cleaned up, [Akron is] going to jump up and hurt us if we don’t get them corrected. But I’m confident that we will, confident we will continue to grow and get better in certain areas.”

Kentucky and Akron kick off at 7:30 p.m. in Lexington. We will have updates of the game on the Sports OT Twitter page @SportsOT and post-game highlights on ARH Sports Overtime at 11:10 p.m.