MARK STOOPS“Obviously, not a very good night. Did not play very good, we did not coach very good. Obviously that's not the result we were looking for. I feel like they played a very good football game. We knew that going into it that it was going to be very difficult with Dak and the way he handles a game and manages a game, and with the matchups outside at receiver. That definitely held true. They kept us off balance all night and did a heck of a job. Like I said, they were a lot better football team and a lot better coached. We'll get back to work. That's one football game that we're not very proud of, but there's nobody that's gonna sulk or pout or any of that. We're gonna go back to work, we're gonna get better and get ready for our next opportunity.
“Same thing offensively. We did some good things. I think the game got away from us very quickly at the end of the first half when it was 14-10. Three minutes to go in the (half) and I knew we were having a hard time. We were getting a few stops, but I knew it was going to be difficult and I really wanted to get out of that half. And I think we throw three straight incompletes and missed a field goal and the rest really was history from there. Really went downhill from there. We've got to do some things to offset that. We've got to stop them. We've got to be able to run the ball when we've got it 1st and 10 at the 30, or at least move the clock a little bit and try to get some yards and try to get some points and get out of that half. The complete opposite happened there and I think the game got away from us very quickly there. “
On if he thought they were past scores likes this: “Yeah. Well, you hope you are, but this is a very good football team and when you turn the ball over and you play bad on all sides then it can get away from you very quickly. There's not one bit of panic. That's a good football team that beat us. We'll go back to work. Believe me. We'll be excited to practice on Monday and excited to play Tennessee. The score – let me tell you: I felt pretty rough after the 3-point loss and the 5-point loss, too. I felt a heck of a lot worse than I do right now. There's no panic in us. We'll be fine.”
On Mississippi State having all day to throw: “I agree.”
On if that was good protection by them or not being able to win one-on-one battles: ”A variety of things. Us not winning some one-on-ones, they were protecting well and when we did get there he eluded it. They did a nice job of moving the pocket. They really kept us off balance. It was one of those games where we were a little out of sync right from the beginning. They were a step ahead of us and they did a better job. I've got to do a better job of coaching and putting our guys in better position, but we were a little out of sync and there was entirely too much time. Not having Hatcher – he got a little dinged up last week and we thought he might be able to play but he just wasn't ready to go. We got to do a better job.”
On the timeout before MacGinnis’ missed field goal: “Play clock. Play clock. You know, I was very frustrated with that whole sequence, starting with the incompletions. I really second-guessed myself – I wanted to call a second timeout, and I should have went with my gut instinct. Austin coming off injury, a long kick, and I knew we had a chance to get that on fourth-and-three, and, again, keep that clock running. That’s what aggravated me before: the incompletions. One of the play we have a run play called where he can throw the screen. It unfortunately got tipped. So we really got behind the chains and missed that and – that possession really hurt us. In hindsight I would, I would’ve probably went for it on fourth down. With Austin – he had plenty of leg, but just coming off injury and all that.
“Then you have an opportunity to get the first down and, again, kill that clock and get out of that half. They were getting the ball to start the second half. And again, that guy, Dak and that whole unit, they put extreme pressure on you. So really, if I could do that sequence over again we’d do the whole thing over.”
On how hard it was to matchup with Mississippi State receivers: “It was hard. It was hard. Some of their tempo kept us a little off balance. The guy has seen everything. They’ve got a good package, they’re well-coached and they got big guys that are hard to match up with right now outside. With Dak being so poised and seeing it all he’s just very comfortable. So, yes, it was difficult.”
On Garrett Johnson being taken to the locker room: “Yeah, I think we’re going to be OK there. He got banged up. He had a shoulder. He wanted to come back in. We got X-rays. They came back negative – with the tentative X-rays we got here. He wanted to go back in. He was pretty sore. He couldn’t life up his arm. We think hopefully he’ll be OK.”
On his first reaction to Matt Elam’s play: “I’m not sure. I don’t know. It’s hard. We didn’t play very good defense.”
On having a lot of young DBs in even before the game got out of hand: “Yeah, that was the plan. They’re big guys, as you can see. That’s what we’re trying to get to. Some of our freshmen corners, I wanted to get them some experience and really what I felt like they gave us the best opportunity. (Derrick) Baity, I thought did some good things and we’ll continue to bring them along.”
On personal foul in the third quarter killing momentum: “Yeah, very – that hurt us quite a bit. That’s something that we can’t lose our poise. Again, I got to do a better job of coaching. I think Ramsey understands that now. I don’t care what’s going on in the middle of the game, you can’t have foolish and selfish acts. That’s not him. We’ll get it coached and we’ll move on, but it was hurtful.”
On if Drew Barker playing was just a result of the score and situation: “Yeah. At the beginning of that series I wanted to put him in. I’d told him earlier to get loosened up. I just wanted to get him some reps and get him some action. Like we talked about, when is the right time? When is the right time? I’d like to be up by three or four scores one game and put him in or whatever, let him get his feet wet. That never happened all year. This was the first time where I just felt like I wanted to get him in the game. Patrick did some good things. He struggled a bit like all of us. I just wanted to get Drew some reps.”