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Mark Stoops' Alabama Postgame Presser

Mark Stoops' 11th home season at Kentucky is now over. This one will end on a three-game losing streak following an impressive win over top twenty-five Florida which now seems like forever ago.


As we always do, we met with him just moments after the game to get his thoughts on what went right and what went wrong. Here are the quotes provided by UK and the live video provided by the Cats Coverage YouTube channel. Thanks in advance for watching.



Opening Statement

MARK STOOPS: "Obviously that is a good football team. We didn't

match up very well today. We didn't get off to a very good start,

and we didn't get much better after that start. So, again, give them

credit. I think that's a football team that is getting better and

better, getting stronger and stronger as the year goes on, and I

think they are going to make a strong push here late, very impressive

win by them. I wish we would have executed better. I think it was

disappointing, really third downs, both sides. They converted an

extremely high percentage of third downs. We didn't get very good

pressure. We tried blitzing, coverage, a little bit of everything.

And to their credit, they made plays. I think, you know, they

protected when they needed to. I think, you know, when -- Milroe, he

does a phenomenal job of buying time in the pocket and hurting you.

It is a threat to run it. He bought the time and hit the receivers

down the field. We didn't convert very well on third down and move the ball

consistently enough. So, again, I think it is, you know, pretty cut

and dry, took care of business, and I think we need to play a little

better. And it is a tough match up. It is a tough match up for

anybody."



Q: In the first couple of series, what did you see from their kids?

Because it seemed like they jumped out 21 to nothing.

MARK STOOPS: "Well, you saw their quarterback, that is a dynamic

threat to run the ball, and he bought time and found some explosive

plays down the field."



Q: What was your team's mindset going in?

MARK STOOPS: "Yeah, I think when things go wrong, you would like to

see, you know, dig in and make some plays. And I think,

they go down, I think we settle in, the fumble puts it at a --

you know, in a spot that makes it very difficult. In

hindsight, if we could have kept it a little closer, probably kicked

a field goal, I would like to see it 21-10, 14-10 at some point

instead of pressing and going. But we had it fourth and two, that

kind of hurts you as well."



Q: Getting those open receivers for Alabama, is it a threat of the run

or were there coverage problems on your end?

MARK STOOPS: "Well, both. We didn't do a very good job. One of them

we were in man and you can't drop your man to go get Milroe. You

can't do that. We have to have some secondary support, so guys

overlapping. Even if he is going to get yards, you have to give

those up. But you can't drop a man. And that was one of them.

The other one was a zone coverage. But, again, you have to take

it from your half, where we have split coverage and half-field guy,

and he extends it so long to one side of the field you have to carry

it all the way over. It is unusual. It is hard. And, but, we have

got to do better."



Q: Mark, the last ten top teams you played, about 28 point margin.

A lot of criticism so far. How do you respond to that, your team

giving up big games like this?

MARK STOOPS: "Our team, the ability to get up, is one thing. The

ability to compete with some of the, you know, top ten teams I think,

you know, some of these teams are 1 and 2, you know, will be 1 and 2;

you know, that's different than, you know, some of the average teams.

But there is nothing average about that, too."



Q: Mark, what do you think about 37 sacks this year and he didn't get

any today?

MARK STOOPS: "No. I thought it was very poor, you know, at times

some movement. We got negative yardage plays, and they came back and

converted and converted some third downs and third and long's. It

was really disappointing. We did a poor job of getting pressure,

whether it was straight rushing or, you know, pressures, any of it.

We did a poor job today."



Q: Conversely, Mark, I mean, how rough was offensive line play?

MARK STOOPS: "You know, it is going to be tough sledding it against a

team like that. I think you have to be good in all areas. It can't

just be the offensive line or the running back. You have got to get

open, make good decisions. We have to get rid of the ball. We can't

have as many deflected. It puts you behind the chains. You get

predictable or behind the chains against that group and it is not

going to look good."



Q: What do you say about Leary, he took shots today?

MARK STOOPS: "He is tough, resilient. And,

you know, that's some tough sledding out there, playing against those

guys, especially when you get behind like that."



Q: Mark, how did you feel about the team's fight?

MARK STOOPS: "I mean, the fight is there. I don't ever question

that. Execution and playing better is a different story.

I don't question our team's fight or their desire to win. You have got to compete at a different level. You have to execute and be more precise when you are playing teams like

that."



Q: You talked earlier this week about wanting to put up a better

performance than you did against Georgia. How do you compare

your team's performance today?

MARK STOOPS: "I don't. I can't even think. I mean, I'm worried,

thinking about this game. I have no -- I can't go back to that.

Again, I think I was pretty honest and said that we need to

be better. They did a great job. That's a very good football team.

I expect them to make a deep run."



Q: Mark, you want to be a balanced team, you get down like that so

early, how much does that throw your offense out of the window?

MARK STOOPS: "Yeah, it is really tough sledding. And in some games

like that, at times you get behind like that, it is not

where you want to live. You want to keep it close and, you know,

give yourself a chance. And you get behind like that it

definitely hurts."



Q: Mark, I know this lose has been tough, but 8 and 4 can be a lot

better than 7 and 5, 6 and 6. How do you regain your team's

composure and finish strong?

MARK STOOPS: "If they come back and focus and work like we have been

doing, then we will have a great opportunity, you know. And we have

to show the resolve, the toughness, and come back. Because it is not

easy; you know, this schedule is not easy and the SEC is not easy.

And, you know, but as I tell the team, there is not a soul feeling

sorry for you. You have to buckle it up, get back to work, get some

rest, and we have to have a great Monday practice. The players will

be off tomorrow, coaches will be back at work, and it will be a new

week, a one week season for us. We have to get back to work."



Q: Mark, you talked about you like your team's fight but execution and

being prepared has got to be better. Do you feel like a lot of

times -- like, practice is not enough, you have to watch extra film

and study. Do you feel the kids are doing that throughout the course

of the week to get ready?

MARK STOOPS: "I do. I think then there comes the disciplined

execution, and those -- they have a little something to do

with it. You know, it is not like our guys are not trying, either.

I mean, those guys are pretty good."



Q: Mark, you mentioned a drive when you went for it on fourth and two,

down 28-7, you had the ball in Alabama territory, not being able to

get anything there.

MARK STOOPS: "Yeah. It kills you. It hurts. It does. And,

in hindsight I wish I would have kicked it right there and

got down 28-10. And we got it down there again later and I thought

we punched it in after that."




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