Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: After Florida, Coach Mark Stoops says ‘we got our butts kicked’

Mark Stoops: "We got our butts kicked"

Mark Stoops' opening statement after Kentucky's 45-7 loss at Florida.
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Mark Stoops' opening statement after Kentucky's 45-7 loss at Florida.

MARK STOOPS

We got our butts kicked. On offense and defense. On special teams, I guess we did some decent things, but we got handled. Got behind the chains offensively. Can’t do that against a quality team. They covered us. They disrupted us, got us behind the chains in a lot of negative-yardage plays. We can’t play that way. Defensively, same thing. We’re on the field too much. Can’t get off on third downs, milking us in the run game. Certainly early on taking the shot and hitting us over the head – or over the top and hitting us over the head – was not good. Can’t do that. Not very smart on our part. We knew they were patient the drive before and were really outworking us and it was time to take a shot out of their big sets. We talked about it out of the break. We didn’t play very good, we didn’t play very smart. We didn’t play very good in any way, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

On where they go from here: “Go back to work. Go back to work. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. We’re in the arena. Time to go to work. That’s where we go. We go right back, we look at the film, we look at what we’re asking them to do, what we can do. The players need to look at themselves, the coaches need to look at things and see what we can execute. I know we can play better than that.”

On if taking Drew Barker out was about score or performance: “Actually, early on we had every intention of playing Stephen (Johnson). We just couldn’t get enough plays and we weren’t getting first downs. So, we didn’t have that opportunity. Then, later on we just wanted to give them that spark, we wanted to get the plays that we wanted to get him into the game.”

On what led to 79 straight points over two games against the defense: “Yeah, it’s a combination. It’s always team football. We’ve got to possess the football, we’ve got to get first downs, we’ve got to move the chains and then we’ve got to get off the field on third downs defensively. Yeah, we’re not playing very good defense at all. We’ve got to get a lot better. We’ve got to get stronger up front and back end we thought we were going to have some guys that could cover some people but we’re not playing very good there today as well.”

On if sack on the first play rattled Barker: “I really don’t know. It didn’t appear that way, but they certainly were playing at a high level, getting some pressure on him and making it very disruptive, making it very difficult on him.”

On if there was any carryover from the opener: “I don’t know. I don’t know if there was carryover from last week or not. I didn’t see it all week. I really didn’t. I think you credit them. They out-coached us and out-played us. They really played well.”

On if they played more 4-3 today: “We plays some. Yeah, we played some four-down. We did some better things in that, in 11-personnel. In 21 and 12, they hurt us in some big sets running and again milking us for too many yards in 12, or some of their big sets.”

On why Florida offense was so much better today after struggling against UMass: “They executed. They moved the ball. They’re strong. They were pushing us. Like I said, they patient on the first one and then we knew – I always worry about that when they’re running the ball and they have weapons outside that can really go, really stretch the field. And they hit us right over the top. I’m not sure we every really responded from that point on.”

On if they can just say “start over” after two bad games: “To a point, yes. I’ve never been one to just wash a game. We have to all be held accountable for what we do. I know that. It starts with me. So, we’ve got to look at all the things that we’re asking these players to do and what they can do better. But to a point, yes. To a point we can only control next week and how we prepare, how we play. Let’s go try to get one victory and go from there.”

On if the turnovers were a case of Barker trying to do too much again: “I’ll have to look at the film, but there were some throws in there that he did miss. He’s got to step up – when he was getting some pressure, he bought himself some time and he’s got to step back up in that pocket and make some throws.”

On if he wants to get Stephen Johnson in more games in the future too: “I’m not sure. We’ll see how it goes. Just knew we were trying to give them a little change of pace. Again, we’d like to run more plays than we’ve been running, so you can’t get a lot of offense in when you’re not running a lot of plays.”

On how he felt about team’s effort: “Not great, but it’s not acceptable. We get a turnover, when the guys go out there we’ve got to get some stops. I didn’t notice anybody rolling over, but the guys – we certainly didn’t have a lot of energy, that’s for sure.”

On if Cole Mosier’s injury is a long-term concern: “I don’t know.”

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