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Mark Stoops: “Truly a team victory”

John Schlarman celebrates with the game ball after Saturday’s win. (UK Athletics Photo)

Here are the first things Kentucky coach Mark Stoops had to say in his postgame press conference after UK beat Florida Saturday night:

“Obviously, it’s hard to describe the feelings that I have right now, just feel so blessed to be the head coach here and just to get that victory for truly everybody in the Big Blue Nation. Most importantly our players for the work that they put in and the time and commitment. I’ve said all along that I love this team. I told them at halftime, I told them before the game that we were going to win this game because they love, trust and believe in each other. I’m happy for our administration and our fan base.

“Our fan base has waited a long time. To say (the streak talk) doesn’t bother you would be a lie. I think it’s an undue burden players inherit some time, coming into a streak like that. They don’t deserve that. They weren’t part of that. Some of these guys were a part of last year’s team and they played well a year ago, they just didn’t come out on the fun end. And we know how we can play with just about anybody in this league and that is gratifying because we don’t have to deal with that no more. So they can get all that updated. The game notes and all that updated real quick.

“I’m just very, very, very, very happy for our team. Truly a team victory. You can go down and talk about so many parts for the team, but I think the physicality of our offensive line. It was really a joyous occasion in there just now as I awarded John Schlarman the game ball for the way the offensive line blocked. We rushed the ball for over 300 yards at Florida. That’s a pretty good number. John is going through a lot as we’ve talked about and to see him again this past week as he goes through six hours of chemo and then pop up again like he didn’t miss a beat. He’s a strong man going through a lot and I’m grateful to be able to give him a ball. And of course we’ve got one in a box for Josh (Paschal). Great team victory.

“At halftime our team felt very confident that we could go back out and execute, just play. We were the more physical team and I told the guys you know the statistics, when you rush like that you come out on top most of the time, like 95 percent, most of the time in the SEC. That I think is the difference. I’m very proud of our defense. I think they played special all night. Good team win.”

3 comments

  1. Congratulations coach Stoops and the team finally got the monkey off our back. I really this is just a beginning of a special season. Go Cats!

  2. We bullied the Gators and it was a beautiful thing to see.

    GO CATS !!!

    1. I watched a video on Mullen’s post game meeting with the Florida media people, he looked shell shocked, a bit incoherent. The last TD UK was awarded on the fumble scoop, and awkwardly score, was poetic justice against that bunch who have tormented Kentucky for years. It was beautiful.

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