By LARRY VAUGHT
If you are still trying to debate what the rest of the season could hold for Kentucky, consider what Alabama coach Nick Saban and leading tackler Jonathan Allen had to say about UK after the game Saturday night.
“That’s probably one of the most physical games I’ve played since I was in college. I have to give Kentucky a lot of credit,” Allen, who had eight tackles, said.
That’s strong praise.
“Kentucky has a much better team than what everybody gives them credit for, especially the last couple weeks when they’ve sort of been trying to run the ball and do what they can do very well,” Saban said.
“Their defense has played a lot better, and I think that was certainly the case today. So you’ve got to give them a little bit of credit. You’ve got to give Mark (Stoops) a lot of credit for bringing his team back that way so that they’re playing hard and actually playing a lot better.
Again, Saban is not one to lavish praise on his team or an opponent after a game.
So what did Kentucky coach Mark Stoops think of his team’s 34-6 loss?
“I felt like we did some better things in this game, and the bad thing is we’re still capable of so much more and that’s what aggravates you. I definitely felt like we grew. We’ve been talking about improvement and growing as a team. I think we did that in certain phases and maybe took a step back in others, but we’ll keep on working,” Stoops said.
“That’s a quality football team in a hostile environment. We did handle, we started the game better than the last time we were in this situation. We had a chance to do some good things and go up by at least six getting the turnover there early that we can’t do. So they had a lot to do with that by covering people and putting a lot of pressure on you with their front four.
“I thought defensively, we had some good stops and they’re always going to be a lot to handle. We weren’t efficient enough on third down. They were on both sides. That’s where the game’s going to get won and lost.
“Again, I feel like we did some better things and we’ll continue to improve. Looking forward to getting back to work. Told the team, we’ll get back late, late tonight and they’ve got to get their rest and their treatment tomorrow and get back to work on Monday before we have an off week. We’ve got to put a lot into this next week and try to get back to .500.”