Kentucky Football: While not pretty Wildcats gutsy performance sweet win

Kentucky’s Will Levis
Kentucky’s Will Levis /
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Kentucky football
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Mark Stoops has tied Fran Curci for most all-time SEC wins at Kentucky

Mark Stoops is now on the plus side of winning overall at Kentucky at 51-50 and is second overall in wins behind the great Paul “Bear” Bryant who has 61.

The win over Missouri also tied him with Fran Curci for all-time SEC wins at 25. He will have a chance to break that in two weeks when the Wildcats travel to South Carolina.

Curci coached nine seasons at Kentucky and 100 games from 1973-81. Something both had done before the Missouri game. Stoops is now second all-time being on the sidelines for 101. Bryant coached 88 games in 8 seasons from 1946-53.

That’s quite an impressive feat and Stoops won’t make a big deal about that but will reiterate that he was hired for the long haul to build the Kentucky program into something special and that is what he has done.

After the two opening games of the 2016 season, his record was 12-26 but since then he has gone 39-24 and led them to five straight bowls.

Nothing flashy, nothing glamorous. It all begins with defense in his mind, but when he opened his mind after last season to looking for more offense and getting Liam Coen to come to Kentucky he will look more like a genius every day. It will also make his job a lot easier.