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Mark Stoops won’t “throw any stones” at Tennessee but Georgia State sure is

This is the back of the new Georgia State T-shirt.

By LARRY VAUGHT

As much as Kentucky fans probably would cherish coach Mark Stoops poking a little fun at Tennessee after the Vols opened the season at home losing to 28-point underdog Georgia State — a team that won two games last year and got close to a million dollars for coming to Knoxville to play — he knew not to do that.

“I got an opportunity to watch some of that. So I was watching it unfold and, you know, it can happen to any of us, so I’m not going to sit up here and throw any stones, that’s for sure,” Stoops said Monday.

Of course, Stoops has had a few of those head scratching losses at Kentucky and seen many, many more during his coaching career.

“You heard me say it, you get an opportunity to be humbled every seven days sitting up here. So I’m not going to get out in front of my skis,” Stoops said.

Out in front of his skis? I like that.

“Experience matters, right? So been there before. It’s just, across college football, these are young kids. We don’t get any exhibition games or anything. I mean, we just practice against ourselves. And so early on it’s very difficult because if you have some inexperienced players, they’re just so used to playing your team and then you go play somebody else, they dress things up differently, maybe same plays, things just look different and it’s just different,” Stoops said.

“So we don’t get the opportunity to have scrimmage games against other opponents and/or exhibition games or pre-season games, so it’s tough. And early on you just —  I really harp on our team and try to beat it into them that we can’t beat anybody until you stop beating yourself.

“And I think early on that happens a lot in football.”

Georgia State is not being quite so humble and has T-shirts for sale with the game score on the front and a shot at the SEC with “This Means More” on the back with the score underneath. Of course, can’t blame a team for enjoying a win many are calling the most embarrassing loss in modern Tennessee football history.

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  1. I posted the following in another thread in response to a Post by LV. However, it really fits better in this thread. Please pardon my duplication.

    Over the last 20 years, Tennessee football has experienced a generation long slide from a position of high SEC rank and bordering on national prominence to a consistent level that has been defined for years by Vanderbilt and Kentucky. I am not sure the majority of Vol fans can acknowledge the nature of their slide, but it is as real as Kentucky and Vanderbilt’s bottom dweller status in the SEC.

    This year, for the first time, the UK trend line will move above the Tennessee trend line, and I have no reason to believe that UK’s current rising trend or Tennessee’s 20 year slippage trend will change. Yes, Tennessee did beat UK last year.

    Isn’t it ironic that Tennessee fans have to point to a home win over Kentucky as one of the high moments of their entire dismal season, and Kentucky fans point to a road loss to Tennessee as the most dismal element of an historic football season.

    My how the times are a changin’

  2. Fact is, I don’t blame Coach for keeping his mouth shut, Pruett has already beaten him once with an inferior team in 2018. That said, Coach has to find a way to beat UT starting this year, and then do it consistently year in and year out. If Vandy can dominate them, it must be in his players heads as to why Stoops’ team struggles against the Vols. Stoops has to engineer a fix for that in 2019. UK must shake the domination they have suffered year in year out, from this Tennessee team, in order too continue their rise in the SEC. It starts with talent, yes, but in a game like this old rivalry is, it is about desire, and the will to win. UK must want it more, and it is up to Stoops to get that fixed.

    1. I agree LP. my only question is…
      Where can I buy one of those shirts?
      GO CATS !

  3. Pup, that was a very on target post. Maybe I am starting to have a positive influence on you…I couldn’t have said it better.

    1. No way hoss, we are worlds apart, lol. That said, facts are facts, and Stoops has to get a grip on this Tennessee domination if he is ever going to be remembered as a UK great. I hate UT and their fans, with a passion, from a purely sports perspective, that is. The torment and pain that one team has caused UK football fans over the years is bitter indeed. To me it is like the Hatfields and McCoys! I don’t think Coach sees it that way and his teams come out “flat” against that bunch way to often. It is a glaring fault I see in Coach is that he does not seem to grasp the importance of winning this particular game IMO, and seems to project that persona when this game rolls around every year. He seems to feel to much juice and passion is not important. How about a little passion and motivation Coach for this age old rivalry. Just let it rip. For State pride! Even in his lone victory against UT a couple years back, had UT had another min inside the UK 5 yard line, they win that one too. Brooks never could beat them either. It is time to start dominating that team if UK has any hope of being a East Champion and a SEC contender. Why does UT always seem to have more fight and determination? I say I will stop preaching.

  4. Pup, you are right 100%. I hate Tenn in any sport, but especially in Football. I grew up on the State Border in Way West Kentucky. Fulton Ky and S. Fulton Tenn. Growing up on the border you learn really quick how rude Tenn. fans are. GO CATS!!!

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