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Mark Stoops on breakdowns against Florida: “There is no excuse for it. That starts with me.”

Kentucky’s defense had a lot to like Saturday except for two blown calls that coach Mark Stoops said Monday were his fault. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here are a few things Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said today where he took the blame for defensive lapses that cost UK in its 28-27 loss to Florida Saturday.

On the procedure of communication and how breakdowns happened on two uncovered receivers…
“It can’t happen. There is no excuse for it. That starts with me. The ball can’t be snapped unless we have leverage on both sides of the ball. That’s on me. I can’t believe it happened, but it did and I take responsibility for that. That cannot happen. We have plenty of people who can watch (the field) and look for things and it shouldn’t happen. With the second one on the goal line there were a lot of things going on. It was very loud down there. We can’t try to sub at that point. We tried to switch personnel and the two corners got confused on who was coming out and who wasn’t. That can’t happen and it’s on me. I’m ultimately responsible for all that. That’s the way it goes.”

On whether he beats himself up more now that Kentucky is a veteran team with better personnel than in the past…
“Sometimes on Sunday you beat yourself up either way, but yes, it’s extremely difficult because we worked extremely hard to go out and play like that. To have any play that hurts you from winning, it hurts you personally. That’s the deal with the head coach. It’s ultimately under your control and anything you do to take away from winning hurts you a great deal. I said that last week, I haven’t been here 30 years (for the losing streak to Florida) but I feel the passion of the (fans) and we have to be able to shoulder that. That’s just the way it is. These kids don’t, they’re just here trying to compete for the Big Blue Nation and fight their hearts out and they’ve done. We try to put them in the best situation to be successful.”

On whether they use any fail-safes to avoid those issues…
“I do, yes. That is in place and it’s on me. We have to have see somebody specifically looking (for that). I’ve been coaching a long time, what 30 years? Defensive backs have been my primary responsibility and it’s never happened to me before here. It’s inexcusable. In 30 years it’s happened to me three times and three times here, so it’s on me. That should never happen again. I’ll have two people watching and if we’re not in position somebody better be hitting me over the head. I try to manage the game the best I can and that can’t happen. It’s a shame because the players on the team played exceptionally good football for a large portion of that game. That’s the good news. That’s how far this team has come.”

1 comment

  1. Gran has got to get some faith in his team to stay aggressive after they get a lead. His desire to “play-not-to-lose” cost UK this game and I thought it caused problems in the Southern Miss and EKU games.

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