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Stoops on defense: “We’re not real tough, we’re not real smart and we’ve got a long way to go.”

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo


Whatever the reason, Stoops finally did what he should have — he lit into his players after Wednesday’s practice for continuing to make the same mistakes.

“Yeah I got after them a little bit. I’m not pleased. I’m just … it’s frustrating. We try to teach, try to coach, try to educate, and sometimes all that don’t work. The truth is the truth. If we’re so fragile we can’t handle the truth, we’re not going to win many games. I told them the truth,” Stoops said.

About time and the defensive players have to realize that after being shredded by Southern Mississippi, Florida and New Mexico State. Kentucky has yet to hold an opponent under 40 points this season.

Stoops thought the defense had performed better in Tuesday’s practice but not Wednesday.

“I thought we absolutely regressed today, and that’s our problem. That’s our problem. Until we get it changed, we’re going to have the same darn results that we have in that stadium which is bull crap,” Stoops said. “So until we grow up and get a mentality about us and have some guys step up and get tougher, then we’re going to look like the same bunch of crap.

“Some guys need to grow up in a hurry. We have no idea what it takes to have concentration, from the beginning of the week through the end and through a whole game and so on. You get the picture? We’re not real tough, we’re not real smart and we’ve got a long way to go.”

How did the defense respond to those stinging words?

“We’ll see. There was no discussion,” Stoops said.

Probably a wise decision by the defensive players not to mess with Stoops when he was obviously so upset.

Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot was no happier, either.

“We’re just immature. I don’t know why we just can’t lock in and go to work every day. We just can’t take it seriously every day and that’s disappointing,” Eliot said. “We lost a lot of leaders from last year and a lot of those guys from last year were very serious and very disciplined. Our group this year, we don’t have as many guys like that.”
“Yesterday we had a good practice and we had a good focus, so I think the consistency is what the problem is. It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s that it’s not done as often.”


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  1. Motivation. It’s all about wanting to get it done. It’s little late for the coach to just discover what fans have known or suspected all along. I recall a saying from Che Guervera (one of Fidel Castro’s old henchmen) : “If you want to get someone’s attention, shoot the man standing next to him”. While this method be a bit drastic, not to mention illegal, it does serve as a useful metaphor.

    I suspect that some of our scholarship players think they have already arrived and need not pay the price of greatness. Why we have not been recruiting around this is anyone’s guess but his name is likely to be Eliot. We got Johnson from a JUCO and he’s a pretty good QB. It is very likely that there is some good JUCO defensive players out there too that would like to have a shot at the big show.

    The thing about JUCO players is that they know what it’s like to be overlooked and inhabit the bottom of the heap. Chances are that they are well motivated when they arrive and they are quick fix. I’m not saying that there is a huge pool of talent at the JUCO level, but there is a veritable mob of players who are motivated to play beyond their capability. And motivation hides a lot of sins. Motivation… There’s that word again.

  2. When he says “we’re not real tough, we’re not real smart and we’ve got a long way to go,” I hear “we’re not coached very well.”

  3. Its clear his defensive assistants can’t get any motivation or discipline on this team. What a,crap shoot.

  4. The stuff that Stoops is just now talking about has been with us for 4 years. He and his staff are grossly inadequate in coaching, leading, developing, and motivating their team. There is nothing inspirational about Stoops and this team really has very few fighters and that is not a good formula for success which we have all been witnessing since day 1. I read today that he has just been elevated from a 4 to a 5 on national “hot seat” list so everyone else is seeing exactly what we have been seeing. We do need to win this game and hopefully will.

  5. A reflection and indictment of the coaching staff. Lol. That’s a hell of a headline

  6. Kind of explains why the UK offense looked so good in fall camp. They were going against a Stoops defense. What happened to all that team depth we had back in August? Stoops, in his remarkable comment before the Media Wed, about his own defense, sort of explains why USM scored 34 unanswered to come from behind and win, with a OC Stoops fired I might add!, Explains why Florida just had their way at the swamp, as they always do, and why NMS was able to score 42 on em in CWS. Thank the Lord for Stephen Johnson and company in that one. UK should be 2-1 right now.

    Boys, if UK has more talent now, as we all say they do, but they keep dropping games they were supposed to win, it has to be the coaching, can’t have it both ways. Or, maybe some of these players he recruited are not living up to their hype. Or maybe some of these players have quit on him. Stoops can get some of his swagger back if this team pulls out a win against USC Saturday to get to 500. Going forward after the USC game, I can only see one win. At least it should be a win. The other games are against SEC teams, and Louisville, with four of those on the road. UK, the way the defense is playing now, will get pulverized at the Ville. Lamar Jackson will score at will as he did last year. Petrino will see to that. He owns Stoops now. Hate to be so negative, but JMO.

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