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.