Kentucky Coach Rich Brooks took full responsibility for his team's 63-5 loss at Florida on Saturday one day after watching the carnage on film. When asked if the film was as bad as it looked live, Brooks said, "It might have been worse."
Defensive end Jeremy Jarmon defended the coaches after the game, saying the players were properly prepared but just didn't execute. But Brooks wasn't hearing any of that.
"That's my job to get them to (execute)," Brooks said. "It was almost a total systems failure. When you have breakdowns in blocking assignments, execution, getting lined up right, and communication, those are the things that I'm responsible for.
"I'm dissatisfied across the board and that's why I put it on my shoulders. For us to play as poorly as we did across the board is unacceptable. I know Florida is a good team and had a week off, and they did do a few different things and took advantage of that. Having said that, I've got to have my team better prepared than I did."
Brooks said Florida's two blocked punts in the first quarter that put the Cats in a quick 14-0 hole were the result of missed blocks.
"It wasn't all that complicated, really," he said. "We just turned two guys loose on (Masthay) right up the middle. One came from the left side and one came from the right side."
The Wildcats must travel to Mississippi State (3-5, 1-3) this week, and Brooks indicated that the staff will look at making some lineup changes. He also said that he'll likely decide who will start at quarterback between sophomore Mike Hartline and freshman Randall Cobb after Tuesday's practice.
Cobb saw the most action he's seen at quarterback since the Norfolk State game, going 9-for-18 passing for 78 yards while rushing for a team-high 52 yards on nine carries.
While Brooks said Cobb had some formation-check errors and had a couple of passes that could have been picked, he complimented the freshman on the several good plays that he did make.
"The thing I like is that he did throw some very nice passes," Brooks said. "And he made some plays when things broke down with his feet. In that set of circumstances I think he also showed some pretty good poise."
State got a 31-22 win over Middle Tennessee State on Saturday and still has hopes of qualifying for a second straight bowl.
"This is a huge game for both of us," Brooks said. They'd like to repeat a bowl game, so they've got to get back on track, and that win (over MTSU) was very helpful. They really can't afford a loss, and we can't either."
While the Cats need just one win in their last four games to attain bowl eligibility, Brooks pointed out that South Carolina stayed home last season despite a six-win season.
"We would like to not leave any doubt," Brooks said. "Every game is critically important, but this one, coming off an embarrassing loss like we had, becomes even more critically important."
Brooks said that junior defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin (strained calf), left tackle Garry Williams (knee tendinitis, back spasms) and right guard Jess Beets (re-aggravation of prior knee injury) are all questionable for Mississippi State. Middle linebacker Micah Johnson re-aggravated his high ankle sprain and is also questionable, but linebackers Johnny Williams and Braxton Kelley didn't suffer any setbacks from their shoulder injuries.