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Mark Stoops' Missouri Postgame Presser

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Even on the wins, Mark Stoops usually isn't satisfied with his team. He's also not every really happy about it in those scenarios either. He's a straight-to-work kind of personality and very aggressive in wanting his team to have success.

So with that being said, after back-to-back losses as they enter the bye week with no momentum going for them, how do you think he responded in his postgame press conference? Take a look for yourself. His presser is up on our YouTube channel (that you can watch below) and his official quotes (provided by the school) are here as well.

Opening Statement

MARK STOOPS: I give credit to Missouri for beating us and playing better than us. We need to get to this off week and take a good look at ourself and improve in a lot of areas, you know, starting with the discipline of this team. You know, there are a lot of penalties and things that are happening, the football, a lot of areas that we can go through, and I'm sure you will ask questions on, and we need to address and work on to improve. And I anticipate we will.

But the discipline, the lack of discipline is really something that's standing out and bothering me. We have not been perfect over the years by any stretch, but we've had more discipline than we had right now and that is something that is inexcusable. We have to take care of the football and we have to eliminate penalties and then, obviously, get to work and get better in certain areas.

And as I told the team, that this is not fun, it is a tough loss, especially when you have a team at home and we don't play our best. But we have an opportunity to bounce back. And, you know, I think the bye week comes at a good time. Our players need to get healed up. We are down a bunch of guys. But that is no excuse. We have plenty of players that can step in and play better than we did. And we will use this week to coach better, develop the guys that we have, and try to get some guys healthy.

Q Well, Mark, after all week talking about responding to adversity, it felt like things fell apart with the fake punt really quickly.

How concerning is that?

MARK STOOPS: Yeah. Yeah. I think it definitely doesn't feel very good, when you feel like you get out fast, have an opportunity to start really fast with defense, starting with a three and one, driving it down the field, overcome a penalty on both of the touchdown drives and start 14 nothing and then the fake punt definitely. It is one of those plays that feels like it punches you right in the gut. And we didn't respond very good after that.

Q Mark, you lost some good leaders off this team, guys who were better this year and developing leadership. Do you think at this point some of that lack of discipline goes back to lack of leadership on the team?

MARK STOOPS: I don't want to point the fingers at the team and the lack of that. I have to own that myself. And we will. Like I said, through the years we have been far from perfect. But we have been unselfish and played for each other. And that's the message and we will get that across. I think frustration is a big piece of some of this tonight. Guys are frustrated and, you know, I think we all are frustrated but we have to handle the situation better than that.

Q Offensively, do you feel like you are struggling to find the right balance with runn or pass after those scripted draws?

MARK STOOPS: Yeah, I do. And I think, you know, Liam (Coen) will be the first one to tell you, when things don't go well it is difficult. It is just like late when Devin (Leary) had somebody right in his face on the boot and after a first down run, I think you saw when we have success in the run game it sets everything else up. And you watch a lot of the games. With playing a night game, we had an opportunity to watch others and you see other teams in the league making a lot of hay on first, second down. When we got in predictable situations and behind, even the pressures and all of that, there is going to be protection things that we will look at and head scratchers. Because we worked on them, you know, and didn't look good. So...

Q Mark, how concerning is the pass protection? Because, I mean, you guys had maybe second and five and second and six at times and he still had people in his face.

MARK STOOPS: Yeah, I think it definitely showed up tonight.

You know, that's things that we have got to look at and make sure, you know, we're keeping people off balance, too, the right way. And, you know, credit them, you know, tonight for sure. And there's going to be plays, and I am not pointing fingers at Liam, offense and defense and special teams and us coaches, we look at things and we will be like, you know, what-if. Do you know what I mean? That's not good enough and we have to get things corrected and we have got to be better.

Q Mark, is there anything that can be taught or is it all of the players not responding?

MARK STOOPS: I did talk to the players about that. I was like, listen, it starts with me. I'm the head coach and we've got to get the discipline under control. But, those players have to help, too, yes. They have to hold each other accountable as well. It is their football team.

Q Is Jager (Burton) injured, is that why he didn't play?


Q A long-term thing?

MARK STOOPS: I hope not. I hope not. He wanted to try to play desperately, but he could not go.

Q Defensively there were some -- as bad as things were, the stretch in the second quarter, it was still a six point game in the third quarter. How do you keep the defense from maybe pointing fingers when the game was still within reach there for a while?

MARK STOOPS: Well, you know, it's easy. I mean, just look a week ago, you know, and the defense didn't play very good. So we are in this together. There's frustration across the board. But there won't be finger pointing about one side or the other. We know that script can flip at any moment.

Q Mark, two more drops on what I think would have been third down conversions today. Do you still have numbers in that wide receiver room, because some of them transferred out. How do you hold guys accountable and push there and fix the issue that has been a problem?

MARK STOOPS: Yeah, we have to fix that issue. We do. You know, the guys that are here, you know, we have to try to get healthy. With Tayvion and Barion not being 100 percent, that hurts with their conditioning, with the way they practice, you know, and they're battling and trying to get through the games. And when we give some other guys opportunities, they have to step up and we have got to make plays. We have to help the quarterback more. And, you know, right now we are not doing that on a consistent basis.

Q Mark, obviously it was a tough night. The second straight game, it seems like you were in tough spots. Do you open that position up or?

MARK STOOPS: Yeah. Yeah, it has frustrated me as well. And, so, you know, we have to look at all options and we will see, yeah.

Q Mark, coming off a 38-21 loss, the fans will be frustrated. But what would you say as a mentor?

MARK STOOPS: They have every opportunity to be frustrated. And our team, I just talked to many of the guys after, you know, in smaller groups. And the players, you know, our players will be frustrated. At first right now they have got to cool down, go back home and come in tomorrow and watch the film. And we will get together Monday as a unit, and it starts with looking at your individual performance and what area you can do better. With the fans, I mean, what do you want me to say? It is frustrating and I understand that. And, listen, I've been here 11 years and I've taken the good with the bad. And, you know, either way I will hold my head up high, try to coach the team, work my butt off to get them right. And like I told the team, the next opportunity we have in this stadium, after a bye week, is a big game. And I also told the team, when I show them the standings when we take the field against that team in two weeks, there's going to be, what, 3, 4, 5 teams in our league with a better record. I mean, it's tough. It's tough. This is a tough league. And we beat each other up and right now we are a little bit battered and we have got a bye week and we have to become a better football team and we have to get some guys healthy.

Q Mark, in the first quarter (inaudible) and something happened that really changed and they lost some footing.

MARK STOOPS: You know, there are a variety of things that happened, whether penalties, protection, a drop, or you name it. We definitely have to help Devin, you know, some more. You know, there is enough blame to go around that we have to look at every area and put him in a better position to be successful. I thought we did that in the opening drives. And as you mentioned, we have got to continue that through the game and we have to respond better.

Q What about Trevin Wallace, what is his situation?

MARK STOOPS: We definitely missed him, you know, just his play, his leadership, all of that. You know, it is not good. And, you know, Tre'vonn and Keeshawn, I don't think they played a snap tonight. They were dressed. We were going to try to play them, but I don't think they played.

Q Wallace, do you expect him back after the bye week?

MARK STOOPS: I hope so. Yes.

Q All right. Anyone else?

MARK STOOPS: Go ahead.

Q In helping out Devin, he did a lot of good things tonight, what do you say to him when he did good things for the offense?

MARK STOOPS: Well, I think that he understands that and, you know, he starts with owning his mistakes. And then there's areas tonight, confidence this week, I thought he was really turning the corner and we have to help him as the whole organization, whether protection, play calls, or catching the ball. And we need to step up and work and develop, and that's what we have to do here this week. We have to get guys healthy but we have to get some of the other guys better to finish this season off.

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