Mark Stoops: “The plays that are there, we’re not making them.’

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here is the opening statement that Kentucky coach Mark Stoops made Saturday after his team’s loss in Knoxville that dropped UK’s record to 5-5 with two games remaining.

“We didn’t play good enough to win. You have to give credit to Tennessee,” Stoops said. “They made plays, they were physical, they put us in a lot of space with their run game. Their dual-threat quarterback put a lot of pressure on us. They put a lot to the perimeter and made big plays — explosive runs. It’s hard to win when you do that.

“I thought our offense did the same. We had a lot of quality runs, obviously, when you rush for that many yards. The difference was in the red zone. They capped it off with touchdowns, we capped it off with some field goals. Again, in a close game when the defense is reeling and every point counts, and got it down there and had a turnover down deep, that puts us down as well.

“The bottom line is they played better than us. We did not play clean enough to win. We know that going into this game you’re going to be put under some pressure on the perimeter, and they finished off some big runs. I thought that was the difference. Give them credit. I think they’re a big, physical team and Dobbs is a real talent. He’s been around for a long time and really made some quality runs. Part of it, and again, I want to give them credit first. In particular, their team and their coaching staff, but also I think it gets down to some of it with us.

“The aggravating pieces is we have to do the things we’re capable of doing. It gets back to the things I touched on early in the year and some of that showed, reared it’s ugly head today as well with guys not executing their responsibilities at times. That’s where we have to grow and get better in all sides from when it’s offense, defense, special teams. When we have a play that’s there, we have to make them. They’re good enough.

“That’s a heck of a football team, and they’re coached really well and put a lot of stress on you. You know that going into it, but the plays that are there, we’re not making them. It’s difficult to win a game like that and that’s where we have to grow and take it to the next step.”


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  1. I don’t believe Stoops will ever get it done at UK, sorry. He never can win the must win game. Pretty soon you run out of excuses. If there was ever an opportunity to beat UT, it was yesterday. Kentucky failed again, and the loss cost them dearly IMO.

  2. Just read that Dobbs is now in the record book for most rushing TD’s by a quarterback at UT. He now has 27 beating previous 25. UK must be the biggest contributor over last 4 yrs. He has had 4 yrs. of running and passing at will against us during that time. I think Stoops must have gotten his recognition at FSU because of the people around him. He has had 4 yrs. to teach this team how to tackle. He has had 4 yrs. to adjust and game plan for Dobbs. He has had 4 yrs. to teach his team how to cover people in pass defense, and he has failed miserably at all of the above. Duped by Stoops!!

  3. You guys need your head check, you know good dam well that we wasn’t gonna beat Tenn before the game started . We got Austin Peay coming up a game we should win in order to be bowl eligible. That was one of the goals to get which would make the season at least successful and we know got a darn good Louisville team play which they score as much points as they can against us since there back in the playoff hunt.But I’m proud of my cats regardless!!! Go Cats!!!

    1. You’re swimming upstream Cats, These are the smartest two guys in the state and know more about football than any five coaches you’ll ever find. You think that this crap is assinine wait until they switch over to basketball. That’s when Tweedle Dum really gets wound up. You will never find two greater minds who take such supreme pleasure at trashing a game, played by kids
      In one case you have what I suspect is a ‘burger flipper or possibly a used car salesman with way too much time on his hands and the other is simply someone who can’t leave the couch.
      They simply can’t understand why Barnhart hasn’t called with a job offer.

      1. Knob you are a glutton for punishment, and Stoops just keeps losing big games while giving his standard speech that they will just have to work harder. He’ll be giving that same speech next year, mark it down. These coaches are not kids, and these kids are young men, and Div. 1 athletes. The coaches get paid huge salaries to win football games, especially in year four, and especially with so called better talent. Coach Joker even found a way to beat UT. This ain’t Pop Warner any more PK, this is major college football and some of us long time UK football fans are sick of losing to Tennessee year in and year out, and Georgia, and Florida, etc. etc. Let Calipari start losing like Stoops, and you will find out real quick what the basketball bennies think about it, and it will not take four years either. Like I said you are full of your self importance. This ain’t life or death, get over yourself. Some of us just have a different opinion, live with it..

      2. Knob…..I can’t say it any better than the Pup just did. Didn’t think you were that delusional. We should have beat the Dawgs and would have beaten UT if we had a defensive coach and staff. We haven’t beaten any team that was .500 or above and they will all be better next year but will we.

  4. cats79….always wondered if u needed a mental evaluation and u just confirmed it. How in the world can u ever expect to win with that attitude? Only at UK do u rush for over 400 yds and snatch defeat from jaws of victory. Our defense has to be worse in the nation and has gotten worse last 2 games with Stoops taking over defense.

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