By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and UK fans agree on one thing — the Cats’ play in a 24-7 loss at Tennessee Saturday was “inexcusable” from start to finish.
Kentucky’s problem continues to be a lack of consistent offense, something Stoops hinted that might result in some changes this week. However, he didn’t sound that way Monday when asked if it was time to re-think UK’s offensive philosophy.
“No, that wouldn’t be a very good idea. We got two opportunities to get the most victories we’ve had in the regular season since when? Since 1977. I don’t think that’d be very wise,” Stoops said.
“We did a lot of good things to win seven games. We plan on trying to get the eighth and ninth. I appreciate all the good things that they did to put us in that position. That would be called panic-mode,” Stoops said.
Of course, said might argue that not making changes to an offense that has scored two or less touchdowns in five straight games — and didn’t have a touchdown the second half of the previous game — would be worse than “panic-mode” going into Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee.
Beat Middle and then beat Louisville and UK will finish 9-3 and have its most regular-season wins since a 10-1 mark in 1977. But to win a team has to be able to score more than UK has been doing no matter how solid a defense it has — and the UK defense seems to be wearing down for obvious reasons.
“We weren’t ready to play at the level that we need to play at. Again, I think you could see Tennessee where maybe they played that way the week before and they got it straightened out and came out and played with a lot of passion and energy, and our team has done that throughout this year,” Stoops said Monday.
Key words: Has done that. Kentucky didn’t do that at Tennessee. Not anywhere close.
“To get our eighth victory, again, it’s very important. Doesn’t diminish all the good things our team has done this year and I appreciate their effort throughout the season,” Stoops said looking back to last week. “Again, as I mentioned Saturday, I didn’t do a good enough job of getting them motivated and getting them prepared to play last week and that’s what we have to do. We’ll get back at it here this week.”