Stoops wants players to respond like Jones, admits team lacked faith in winning at Florida

Linebacker Jordan Jones has been one of the few bright sports for a UK defense that has allowed 89 points in two games. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Linebacker Jordan Jones has been one of the few bright sports for a UK defense that has allowed 89 points in two games. (Vicky Graff Photo)


After Kentucky’s loss at Florida, sophomore linebacker Jordan  Jones did not mince words. He said he felt the team had players who quit when adversity hits and that it had to change.

So what did coach Mark Stoops think about those comments?

“I don’t know exactly what his intent was, but Jordan backs it up. I wouldn’t use the word quit, I would say I would rather have guys respond the way he does. That is a beautiful quote for you guys, but I don’t think he means it that way, I think he means it like we need to respond,” Stoops said.

“Coaches talk about it all the time, if you get hit in the jaw on the first play of the game, we talk about that all the time. I don’t think we respond the way that he responds. I am good with him. He wants to back it up, then he needs to go play like that.

“I don’t think he means any harm, he meant it like we need to play with that passion and energy that we all want to see and our fans want to see and that we expect.”

Kentucky fans would say amen. Plus, Jones is UK’s top tackler and has been the lone bright spot on a defense that has been shredded for 89 points in two games.

Stoops said Monday he still believed in his players. But do they believe they can win?

“I certainly don’t think there is any doubt that we didn’t have a lot of faith last week. Once you get hit on the first play of the game – it didn’t appear to me that we had a lot of belief in winning that game,” Stoops said.

“That is disappointing and we have to change it. Until it changes on the field, and you and I can talk about it and write about it, until it changes that is when it will change out there. Until we demonstrate that we can handle a punch and play the game the way it is supposed to be played.

“And we will do that. I am not sure when, but hopefully it will start this week and we will break that door down and we will move forward.”


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  1. If the starters are doing what you want, put in the backups. A game on the bench for a starter will do 1 of 2 things. Either he will straighten up, or he will leave. Either is acceptable. As for Jones’ quote, he is correct and Stoops is just trying to sugar coat it. If you don’t “respond,” as Stoops suggested, then you DID quit. There are no other options; either Respond or Quit..

  2. If they didn’t have faith then you as a leader are failing.

  3. It’s probably going to be the same crap next week. No

  4. If there is any fight in this team then the coaches don’t know how to get it out of them.

  5. I like Jones and he spoke the truth. Stoops can parse it anyway he wants to but Jones was playing with a chip on his shoulder. I suspect that he was spitting mad about his team getting its butt whipped. Too bad we don’t have any other players with that attitude. Also too bad it took a Freshman to call everyone out. Jones will make mistakes since he is a 1st year player but I think he could play for anyone..

  6. No one could ever have predicted that any person with the last name “Stoops”, coming from the family tree that it has, could be this bad and totally inept executing his job. We have got to have the worst coaching staff in all of D-1 ball. Maybe they need a “coaches only” meeting. Will we ever stop getting totally embarrassed every time we appear on national TV?

    1. If I were Saben, I wouldn’t even dress the starting team when KY comes to town. He may get sued for cruel and unusual punishment.

  7. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

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