Stoops: “I believe in these players”

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo


Kentucky football fans are angry, frustrated, disappointed and more after UK’s two losses this season.

So what message would coach Mark Stoops have for fans? Here’s how he answered Monday:

“Again, we have showed that we can play some good football. We know and we have already been down that road that it is not acceptable to not play four quarters. But our team will play with that passion and that energy that our fan base wants to see,” Stoops said.

“We will do that. I promise you that. This team has some character and we will get back at it today. We fundamentally need to go back and get better. We cannot beat anybody until we stop beating ourselves. Those are things that we will get cleaned up today.

“The first one is just to fundamentally play better football and we have to simplify things on both sides of the ball to make sure that we execute. We have to play with that passion and that energy that our fans want to see. We saw that. We saw us come out (against Southern Miss), but we need to do that for 60 minutes. We will do that.

“We played very good football the last time we were here for a half and we are going to do that for 60 minutes. That I guarantee that this team will play hard and fundamental football. I believe in these players and I hope the fans do as well. It is a long season and we will get better in certain cases, there is no doubt about that.”


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  1. Sorry coach, you can’t guarantee anything. You’re not on the field. Secondly, if you go back and review the SM game, you had 5 good plays and a bunch that were average for a power 5 team playing a FCS team. With NMS coming up, it should be a game where we can show some dominance. If not, you might was well pack it in. NMS has not beaten anyone of consequence in recent memory and, well, come to think of it, neither has KY. It should be a good game. On the one hand, if we beat them 70 to zip, it says that we are capable of playing well. So what happened the first two games? On the other hand, if we squeak by, my word, it’s going to be a long season.

  2. Stoops has 0 credibility with anything that he says. He has lost the BBN and apparently never had the team. Just amazing how much money this dud is making at our expense. He may believe in the players but obviously they don’t believe in him and haven’t for some time. Pretty sad when he has to use a player as an example to get these guys motivated. I have seen some bad Kentucky football over the years but nothing as bad as these last couple of games. I am hoping and praying, almost daily, that either this guy resigns or gets run out of town but know it won’t be happening anytime soon. The players don’t get a pass on this though, and it is inconceivable that they showed no grit, fight, passion, or determination to lay it all on the line at least for the BBN. Duped by Stoops!!

  3. I was really shocked when I saw the starting defensive lineup. So many sophomores and freshmen. Maybe we do need to simplify our playbook. I think of Kemp in the wildcat against USC and Rourke in the pistol against TN.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m very disappointed over the performance of this team… disgusted even. But there’s something bad wrong here. Maybe we have given these kids more than they can get their head around. Sure would help explain the piss poor execution.

    1. Good point…..

  4. Thank goodness I am not the head coach at this point in the season because I would tell the guys on this team: ” look, you have been taught the techniques of your craft, you know the plays and you know pretty much what the other guys are going to try to do.. There really isn’t much more to talk about. Go out, play football and have fun. When they hit you in the mouth, hit them back in the groin twice as hard. If you do those things, the score will take care of itself.”

  5. He may believe in the players but do they believe in him? I have my doubts. It’s over. He’s lost this team. I get tired of getting pulled into new optimism only to see it fail miserably. The only coach that has done well since the 70’s was the one people said had no business coaching at all.

    There’s something very rotten in Lexington and I see no reason to expect it to change. I don’t blame the kids. The coach fields the team. Stick a fork in him. I hate to be so negative – I really do. But this is UK football and it hasn’t been good since I was in school 40 years ago. For an SEC team that’s just ridiculous. One more reason to get out of the SEC.

    1. I agree with everything you said . We’ve seen other schools get it together in the sec and rise. Never UK. It’s beyond old, and to ask fans for patience is sickening.

    2. Sorry King. Ain’t going to happen. Being in the SEC is about the money; not about being good at anything. Football funds just about all of the Title IX activities at UK and every other SEC school. No, nothing substantive is going to come from the administration until we have another Vanderbilt moment where it costs more to put on a game than the revenue coming in. At that point financial panic will set in and heads start to roll al la the Joker Philips debacle. Except this time, the visibility is much more acute since the Stoops buy-out is so expensive. This time the idiots that did this deal that put the university and the KY taxpayer in such financial jeopardy will be in deep do-do.

      1. I don’t expect it to happen RJ. But the SEC does not treat UK well in any sport. Too much jealousy over the basketball program IMO. UK has officiating go against them on their home floor when the SEC hires the refs. That’s unacceptable. it doesn’t happen anywhere else. But the basketball team has been so dominant over the years that the SEC will do anything to break the stranglehold UK has on the sport. They got ripped in a few recent football games too including one where they had Florida beaten but the whistle didn’t blow despite time expiring to run the play to beat UK.

        I know the SEC brings in a ton of football money and UK gets their share. But wouldn’t it be nice to see them actually start winning even if they had to to FBS level? I’m sick of watching them lose year after year. They aren’t going to make it in football in my lifetime and basketball is always going to be strong there. The SEC doesn’t do as much for UK as another conference could IMO. Which one is the tough question.

        1. I have said for a long time that UK needs to get out of the SEC. Losing football for 40 years is proof enough. If they want a basketball oriented conference, the ACC would be a good one, or the Big East for all the basketball bennies. The football is still good in those conferences, and UK might actually have a chance to win a football game every now and then. I also agree that the chances of this happening are nil.

          On another subject that is drawing attention now at UK, and that is losing football. Louisville has two great coaches in Petrino and Pitino, both controversial to say the least, but winners. UK needs to hire a real football coach, with proven head coach on his resume. Art Briles is looking for work. Like him or not, I happen to like him, is a damn good football coach. Pull the plug on Stoops and go hire him Mr. Barnhart. You had no problem pulling the plug on Joker, and Stoops now has a worse record. Don’t think he will win more than 4 games this year. If I’m correct, that would be 4 straight years of losing football, with supposedly more talent.

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