By LARRY VAUGHT
On Wednesday Mark Stoops said his defense was not very smart or tough. He called out players and said he was tired of the “crap” he had been seeing from his team.
Apparently the message got across because it was a far better defense that helped UK beat South Carolina 17-10 Saturday night and even its record at 2-2 with the Southeastern Conference win.
“That’s the way this football team needs to play, with that passion and energy that every fan expects, that we expect and that we will do,” Stoops said after the game. “These guys mean well. We had work to do and have work to do and we’ll continue to work at it. They come to work. They have accepted it and they looked in the mirror.
“You can’t change the past, but we can certainly change our future and push forward. Really it just feels good to get to .500. Again, it wasn’t the start we wanted, we can’t change the past, but we can learn from our mistakes and push on. We’re excited to get on to the next opportunity and next week will be a real challenge (at Alabama).”
Stoops said he was not going to let his players accept slacking off in practice.
“The way we have been playing, it’s not okay. Every opportunity we go out there is to get better. We don’t go out there (to practice) just to kill time. When I see some of it, they mean well, they just need to push. And we need the discipline,” Stoops said.
“We need to approach every practice and every play, because you never know what one play is going to make a difference in a game. I think our approach has been better.”