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Mark Stoops: “We didn’t play very good, we didn’t play very smart.”

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops likes the changes he's made on his coaching staff.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops likes the changes he’s made on his coaching staff.

This was Kentucky coach Mark Stoops’ opening statement after Florida demolished his team Saturday:

“We got our butts kicked. On offense and defense. On special teams, I guess we did some decent things, but we got handled,” Stoops said. “Got behind the chains offensively. Can’t do that against a quality team.

“They covered us. They disrupted us, got us behind the chains in a lot of negative-yardage plays. We can’t play that way. Defensively, same thing. We’re on the field too much. Can’t get off on third downs, milking us in the run game. Certainly early on taking the shot and hitting us over the head – or over the top and hitting us over the head – was not good. Can’t do that. Not very smart on our part.

“We knew they were patient the drive before and were really outworking us and it was time to take a shot out of their big sets. We talked about it out of the break. We didn’t play very good, we didn’t play very smart. We didn’t play very good in any way, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”


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  1. . Pitiful

    1. Pretty much sums it up Doug..

  2. If Stoops isn’t on the hit seat , then Barnhart should be. Yeah I know it was on his watch that Cal was hired, ok granted. What about the exodus of the lady cats basketball team. What about this continuing debacle of a football program. How is this an improvement over Joker? I can tell you I’m my thought process when I heard the last name of Stoops he had the right last name . Well where is that now. UK just can’t recruit well enough to overcome deficiencies in coaching. New uniforms, new weight room , stadium refurbished= same old results. They just can’t get the horses. And if they did I am not convinced this coaching outfit would help them.

  3. Bigger, faster, stronger and more talented yet we look worse than ever. I guess all this “increasing capacity” effort was misdirected. It should have been focused on increasing the fan base’s capacity for more bad football.

  4. These players are not responding to Stoops anymore as I see it. I thought this when Towles and Phillips transferred out at the end of 2015. Then 2016 season starts and Reggie Meant a stalwart on the Dline mysteriously leaves the program and winds up at Jacksonville State. The OC Stoops fired comes back and puts on an offensive clinic. So far Eddie Gran has done zero for six straight quarters of football. The UK Oline and Dline have to be the worst in major college football. Is Florida really that much better than UK personnel wise? I guess so, but if fair is fair, the UK coaching staff has to be held accountable for much of this. If Stoops falls below five wins this year I would look for a new head man if I were Barnhart.

    1. Not likely to happen old friend. Stoops has a buy out that KY cannot afford even with K-Club help. No, Stoops is here for a couple more years unless he bails (not likely). With the lack of motivation shown by the players, there is something rotten in the program. Maybe with the coaches maybe not. The players don’t seem to have a lot of respect for themselves, their team mates or coaches and certainly not the football program.

      The players need to understand that football visibility is a perishable commodity. If they expect to make it to the next level, they have to perform and perform at a very high level regardless of coaching. These players aren’t doing that – not even trying. No my friend, there is something rotten on this team and coaching is just symptom of the problem.

    2. Well Gents. I’m ready to take my lumps in this forum. I’ve stood by Stoops and was obviously wrong. He’s obviously not HC material. This program is absolutely rudderless. This team’s performance is disgraceful.

  5. I would like to see if Lane Kiffin would be interested. Unfortunately, a head coach that was worth his salt wouldn’t come to UK. Maybe someone like Kiffin who is already an Sec coach albeit not a head coach would be a possibility.

    1. Hire John Grass from Jacksonville State. He is a real good coach. I know, he is FCS, but he’s a football coach, and it shows, if you have followed their program. I doubt a Kiffin type would take this job. He is a good offensive coach but a weasel if you ask me. On the other hand, Stoops could still turn this around in 2016, but he has it to do, and the natives are getting real restless. When CWS is half empty the heat will be on for sure. In 2013 everybody was saying 2016 would be the year a Stoops team would thrive, but not so so far. Nothing will be done until the Louisville game is come and gone anyway. Even then it would be costly to part company with Stoops. I was for hiring Petrino when they had the chance. How is that working out in Louisville.?

      1. Larry, this game is full of weasels and scumbags. Nothing new. I already said he wouldn’t take the job in a post lower , not sure if you read it, and why, but I disagree with getting a coach from Jacksonville. I like Kiffin. Baggage and all.

      2. I’m agreeing with you on him turning UK down, that’s all. Good, so you like Kiffin fine. He is a great offensive mind no doubt, but he’ll get better offers from football powers when the timing is right. Ask Tennessee fans what they think about him. They couldn’t keep him in Knoxville. Kiffin left UT for greener pastures after one season. UK on the last two hires have elevated coordinators with no proven head coach experience anywhere. Nobody wanted the job when they hired Rich Brooks out of retirement. It’s a mute issue anyway until Barnhart makes a decision. I don’t think he’ll fire Stoops at the end of this year no matter his record. He’ll give him another year, maybe two, I do believe, because of his contract. It looks like Barnhart made a bad deal, and has to live with it. If the stadium is half empty that may spark him to do something sooner, but I doubt it.

        1. Grant…if UK is really serious about football hire Art Briles if you want a winner on the football field. He put one on there.

        2. To hell with the volunteers

            • Grant on September 11, 2016 at 7:01 pm

            And for that matter, briles is a worse human being than Kiffin. Ask the victims

          1. Lane Kiffin couldn’t carry Briles’ water. I only brought up the UT Kiffin story because he baled on them after one year when he got a better offer to coach at USC He would do the same to UK. I’m just saying if you want a proven football coach that’s looking for a job now, Briles is a good one. It’s going to take that type coach to turn UK football around IMO. I think the young men involved at Baylor should be held accountable for their own actions in a court of law not Briles. He’s not their Daddy, he’s a football coach. I have heard his side of the story, and he regrets what happened to these victims, and I believe him. The issue is, and me and you will never know, what did Briles know and when did he know it. He said he didn’t know a lot of this stuff was happening, but should have, and he takes responsibility for it.. Baylor had to hold somebody accountable and Briles was the scape goat. He is a damn good football coach, I know that.

            • Grant on September 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm

            Yeah your right as usual Larry, you probably believe Paterno knew nothing as well. Briles took the heat. Knew not. Larry pup s credibility is 0.

          2. Thanks for the compliment Hoss. One thing I have been right on is Dawson. Stoops should have never fired him. By the way, Kiffin has had three head coaching stints. Can you name them? One pro and two college. He was fired by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders with a losing record, He baled on Tennessee after one year, and USC fired him in 2012 when the program he inherited was spiraling downward. He lost two bowl games as a head coach. He once fired his own father who was his DC, nice guy. Don’t believe everything ESPN says or reports about Briles. Read the facts as they relate to directly to Art Briles, they are easy to find. As for Paterno since you brought him up, and if it makes you feel better, I believe he knew, and for that his name has been forever tarnished God rest his soul. Peace dude.

  6. Just another embarrassing debacle on national TV that confirms to the world that we continue to be the laughing stock of all D-1 teams. At least we were smart enough to put Butch Jones on our target list, and he was smart enough to hold out for a better deal. That better deal has now given him 8 straight victories while I think we have 9 losses in 10 attempts. The disparity between the 2 programs was showcased to the football world. I am sure you all saw the emotion and fight on Butch Jones’s face as he greeted players coming off the field while the only thing visible on Stoop’s face was shock, disbelief, and failure. Our current coaching staff continues to show that they are not SEC quality and are in totally over their heads. The players should be hanging their heads as well because they weren’t dialed in to going to the swamp to win the game. Jordan Jones cannot carry this complete team on his back, but you won’t be able to tell him that. Gran shows that he is no upgrade over Dawson. His 1st down play calling was abysmal and one has to wonder if he ever did have a game plan. Oh. that’s right…..he was going to feature Conrad more. Barker has shown that he doesn’t have the mental toughness, maturity, or leadership to get it done. Johnson comes in and showed that he, along with everyone else on the team, has not been developed or coached up either. Does anyone really think we have a chance to upset New Mexico State?…LOL..that is the current state of UK football. Thanks for what you gave us Barnfart.

  7. Then again , maybe not , being on the Alabama staff is better than being a head coach at UK. At least there is a good chance of a ring there. At UK , you just hope that hope you can schedule 3 or 4 bums to get you 1 or 2 conference victories away from going to some obscure bowl game. Hey everybody were going to the ” Gorton’s fish stick bowl”. We won 4 non conference games to do it ,against teams that barely have uniforms that match. Unfortunately, the bar is set really really low at UK for football and it shows.

    1. “Gorton’s Fish Stick Bowl” … funny

  8. Can you imagine how upset Saban must be that he didn’t land Mt. Elam? I watched Elam get pushed back about 5′ on 1 running play.

  9. We will not win any SEC games with current quality of play and coaching. The other suspect teams will all be coached up and improve as the season progresses. We will beat some cupcakes and season will conclude with a massive UL beat down. We will go bowl less but not ball less. Duped by Stoops.

  10. I was hoping Stoops would be the one to get it done, and I have stated several times he deserved 5 years to prove himself. After these first two games, I must admit, I have changed my mind. Stoops first two years, he just complained about not having the talent and everyone knew Joker did not go after or get very many players that were wanted by other schools. Stoops has upgraded the talent, size, speed, strength of the players; I have to give him that. However, he and his staff are not able to relate the players or help them improve on the field. This team has better players, but plays worse than the team he inherited from Joker. Everything looks unorganized, unprepared, and the sky would fall if this coaching staff could make a successful adjustment during a timeout or even during halftime. Until UK scored late in the game, I think they had been outscored something like 75 – 0 during the last 5 quarters. That is completely unacceptable and Stoops is doing nothing to show he is head coach material.

  11. Ah well it doesn’t matter. We as UK fans have higher standards and expectations than what UK really cares about. Fire him or don’t it doesn’t matter , they won’t hire anyone any good anyhow. Here we are again debating on a possible replacement. It just isn’t right that every few years we are wanting an upgrade. When will UK give in and just pay for a coach. Pay alot! It could be time for Barney to go as well.

  12. I hate to be the one to state the obvious coach, but until you can plug the holes in the middle of the offensive and defensive lines, every coach you play against this year run the ball up the gut on offense and stack the middle on defense. UK has already shown it does not have the horses to stop two mediocre teams so guess what SC, GA, TN and Louisville are going to do? Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide — here they come.

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