After a less than stellar scrimmage on Saturday, a fiery Mark Stoops talked about Kentucky taking a "step back."
And then the UK coach went way back.
When asked if he'd seen any bright spots in the closed scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium, Stoops went all the way back to 2011 when his old friend Steve Spurrier had just beaten Kentucky 54-3.
UK's Ryan Tydlacka had punted nine times for a 44.2-yard average, about which Spurrier said: "Kentucky has a heck of a punter, I know that."
On Saturday, the kickers again were the only positive, Stoops said: "Coach Spurrier will be talking about that again this year, about how good our punter does 'cause we ain't gonna get a lot of first downs if we play like that."
It was the second straight day of Stoops being dissatisfied with his team, which has exactly two weeks to get ready for the season and newly renovated stadium opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.
After Friday's dismal practice, Stoops was hopeful that the team, which he said had an "unacceptable day on both sides of the line of scrimmage, both sides of the ball" would rebound and play well in the scrimmage the next day.
Obviously that didn't happen.
"I've got to re-evaluate what we're doing," Stoops said on Saturday. "It was going to be the last big scrimmage, but we may have to look at it and do it again because that wasn't good enough."
He wasn't pleased with anything on either side of the ball and said the team struggled with energy and communication. There were several players that sat out due to injuries and illnesses.
"We were down some guys, but it's no excuse," Stoops said. "It's gotta be the next man up and we didn't really have that mentality today with guys stepping up and guys competing. It wasn't a tough enough mindset, it wasn't a tough enough attitude."
Stoops seemed most disappointed in the veterans on the team, juniors and seniors who were going through their third fall camp with this coaching staff and need to get the rest of the players in line.
"I thought we moved so far beyond that, to let our leadership come out in the stadium to play like that and not get it rectified," Stoops said. "So yeah, I am disappointed."
As Stoops met with reporters after the scrimmage, senior offensive lineman Jordan Swindle had his fellow linemen huddled up and could be heard yelling about the unacceptable practice.
Other position groups milled about and met before exiting the stadium. No players, coordinators or assistant coaches were made available to the media after the scrimmage.
"Unfortunately I think we've got something going on in the stadium tonight," Stoops said, referencing an incoming freshman event, "or I'd like to come back out and do it again."
Which is exactly what Stoops did. Hours after the scrimmage, the UK coach tweeted that he had the team back on the practice field at 9 p.m. Saturday.
So much uncertainty and poor play means that UK's depth chart remains in flux for the near future.
"I know this: When we release our depth chart, it's going to be a bunch of guys that have an attitude and they're going to go out there and compete," Stoops said. "And we'll find 11 on either side of the ball."
■ On Sunday, Kentucky's players will host a Special Olympics Kentucky event where the team and staff will hold private unified flag football scrimmages with the visiting athletes and then have a cookout.
The team has scheduled practices on Monday morning and then on Tuesday evening, with school starting on Wednesday at UK.