Throughout the offseason, Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops has made it a point to improve on the offensive side of the football. Even wide receivers Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali have been working hard in the offseason to get the Wildcats better.

After finishing last within the SEC for total offense last season, Stoops knew midway through the season that it would have to change.

“I can’t tell you the exact time or date but there was certainly a time throughout the year that I know we needed to make some improvement in that area,” Stoops said when asked at what moment last season that he knew the offense needed a change.

The addition of new offensive coordinator Liam Coen brings much excitement to Lexington and Wildcats fans. As a former assistant quarterback coach with the Rams, Stoops knew Coen was the best person to get.

“I have full confidence and trust in him,” Stoops said. “That is part of his system, part of the offense to be able to play-action pass and get the ball down the field. I feel like this spring we got the ball down the field better than we have in years, so I feel good about it.”

As it relates to the offense, Stoops is excited that Ali decided to come back for another season.

“With Josh [Ali] deciding to come back for the extra year, that was big for us,” said Stoops on what Ali means to the team. “We’re not as deep as we like to be at the wide receiver position. Josh [Ali] is extremely talented and maybe didn’t get as many touches because of the offensive system we had. He’s a guy that has top-end speed and I’m excited about his opportunities this fall.”

Stoops is familiar with Robinson from recruiting and is glad to have him in the offense.

“He’s new to our program,” Stoops said. “You felt his presence each and every day during spring. He has another gear and I’m looking forward to getting him some touches.”

Wildcats senior offensive tackle Darian Kinnard loves the challenge of controlling the line of scrimmage in this offense. After choosing to forego the NFL draft this last season, he wanted to prove more.

“I felt with this team we were going to do something special,” Kinnard said. “For personal reasons, [I wanted] to show that I’m not just a right tackle, I’m one of the best left tackles and I came back to prove that.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)