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Mark Stoops Shoulders the Blame for not Preparing his team for Tennessee


After Kentucky was taken behind the woodshed at Tennessee, a somber Mark Stoops accepted responsibility for the Cats’ effort.

“It wasn’t good enough.  Obviously I didn’t have the team prepared to play.  It’s on me,” Stoops said.

“It really starts and ends with me.  I really didn’t have the team prepared.  Not a good enough job by myself.  I gotta accept that responsibility, get back to work and do some things differently to try to get a better result.”

Stoops didn’t see it coming.  Neither did C.J. Conrad.  Leading right up to kickoff, the senior tight end thought the Cats had the right energy to leave Neyland Stadium with a victory.

“I thought we were very prepared going into the game, but it showed on the field that we weren’t,” Conrad said.  “I thought we had a really good week of practice…even during warm-ups today I felt the energy we needed the energy to win on the road in the SEC.  I don’t know what happened.”

After the loss to Georgia, Stoops said they couldn’t let one loss turn into two.  To stop the bleeding on Senior Day against Middle Tennessee, something must change.

“There will be a different message, believe me,” Stoops said.  “That’s on me and I gotta get ’em ready to play. It didn’t happen this week.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

37 responses to “Mark Stoops Shoulders the Blame for not Preparing his team for Tennessee”

  1. Bigblue7982

    I wish stoops would stop defending gran and fire him.

  2. sportshawk

    Stoops is NOT a head coach. EVERY year we fold in second half and end up with a crap bowl 150 miles from Lexington.

    1. BigolBlue

      4 ever thinks Stoops needs an extension

    2. bacnine

      Correct and not much a defensive coach either. When we have games like this Stoops has this deer in the headlights looks. Its time for Barnyard to give Stoops another contract extension and raise. The same thing happens every year. We start hot then we fad bad. Wonder what kind of crowd there will be next week Mid Tenn game.? I can’t believe he could not get the team up for Tenn. Then he waits to put in Gunnar after the game is out of sight. If I was Gunnar I would have said no thanks.

  3. channell

    So what did UK do all week if they were not preparing for the game. Same ole thing ever year. Falter in the second half of the season

  4. Trueblue44

    “We gotta get back to work and fix it. It’s on us. But we will. We will keep grinding and get it worked out. It’s on me.” Sounds like every single loss for the last 6 years.

  5. binarysolo

    The fact that Stoops didn’t see it coming is the biggest disappointment. It reminds me of the time I was in Calc 2 at UK, going into an exam thinking I studied well enough, and still failed HARD.

    It just showed exactly how out of my depth I was. Is this what’s happening here?

  6. Lhw

    How many times in 6 years have we heard “got to get back to work”?

  7. Headhurts

    Coach stoops by u saying ( I did’nt have my team prepared) is unacceptable, a game as important as Tennessee? What? Lame!

    1. KYCat4EVER

      Agree Headhurts! However, I will give Stoops credit for one thing: at least Coach Stoops did not respond with “maybe we all were arrogant “… like another UK Coach did last week. Coach Cal and Coach Stoops are disappointing… and yet one is supposed to be the second highest paid in his sport.

    2. dcforuk

      We are all motivated by varying degrees of fear, incentive and attitude that add up to 100%. Fear is a legitimate form of motivation but it should not be the largest percentage of the three. Attitude should be the largest percentage followed by incentive. I’m sure stoops would like to probably rip a few guys but he generally will not do that publicly so he owns it because he should. And, he always has. There could be worse things to be criticized about such as today’s loss making us 3-7

    3. kurofmi

      Let’s put these salaries in perspective. A 4M per year coach is equivalent to a 100K per year man working 40 years. Not a bad 9 month gig. Especially for a glorified gym teacher.

  8. BigolBlue

    Gotta get to work right Stoops? Bad coaching

  9. jimmer

    No half time adjustments. No mid season adjustments. Never have been. It’s so obvious teams adjust to UK and shut them down but our clown show doesn’t change. Set up for second half (game and season) failure over and over.

  10. jpgfile

    Reminds me of the “Mark Stoops Presser Bingo” that KSR created…uh, just last year, I think.

    1. big cat

      Stoops should pay UK $250,000 for this loss. After all, he earned it right?

  11. UKFootballYall

    He hasn’t prepared for the past six years, what’s new? The talent has been overcoming the poor coaching. I said about a month ago that the players seemed like they were getting restless because of the inept coaching staff. I have a bad feeling about the rest of the season, they might mail it in from here.

    1. krautdog

      Louisville is terrible but if they beat us It’ll make their season!!!

  12. krautdog

    And for the second year in a row we beat Florida & finish behind them in the standings. Glad we played Carolina early – we couldn’t beat them now! The Stoops Fall Fade!

    1. bigbluebanana

      Beat Florida two years in a row?

    2. cats646

      They’ve lost 3 SEC games just like us. Except we own the tiebreaker on them. We’re 2 in the east.

  13. Matt10

    CJ wasn’t targeted until 2 min left in the third quarter, right? Hmmm.

  14. Catlogic15

    Stoops getting 250k to win this game and team has an abysmal performance tells me he’s lost this team.

  15. big cat

    Next week….stadium will do well to be 60% full. Will have to take Kash to every school in EKy to give tickets away.

  16. Jester

    If we had a win for every time Stoops has given the “it’s on me” speech, we would have been winning 9-10 games a season the last 3-4 years.

    We get it Mark, you didn’t prepare the team. You didn’t do the one thing that idiot Barnhart way overpays you to do.

    How about showing some leadership by firing your incompetent OC.

    1. T-wah

      Is it possible that the problem may be Stoops himself and not completely Gran? If you remember Gran’s days as OC at Cincinnati, they were run and gun, scoring lots of points. Lots of creative formations. We never see that now at UK. Why not? Is the head coach holding him back???

    2. cats646

      Because Cincy is not in the SEC.

    3. zoupman

      I agree. If Coach Stoops did a good job of preparing team, he would prepare a different QB. Other than being redicuoasly loyal to Terry, he is a good coach.

    4. Jester

      Gran was at Cincinnati. That entire conference together is nothing compared to a middle of the road SEC team. High powered offense at Cincy does not equal high powered offense in the SEC.

  17. Alleykat16

    I was wondering were the bum ass fans were. I thought with us winning they found a new loser team to whine and cry about but no they are back why don’t you bum ass fans go find yourselves a new team that does everything right that never loses. If you think UK football is at a point were they are going to win every game your idiots. Well most of the people whining on here are. If you don’t like this team go cheer Loserville they got plenty room on their wagon

    1. big cat

      That sir does exist….in ALABAMA

    2. dcforuk

      I have argued in support of the Coaches all season. I also argue in support of the fans being able to share their feelings and frustrations. Impression without expression leads to depression (e.g. “venting”). I do like to respond to overly emotional illogical frustrations. Today was a downer. Let’s acknowledge that but also acknowledge 9-3 is still possible. It is more possible when we support the program. We can share our frustrations and still support the program!

    3. bacnine

      Bum ass fans —yea tell that to the fans that went to Knoxville to see us get our ass kicked.

  18. makeitstop

    Watching Auburn – UGa. It’s weird. Bc both QBS can pass, there is room to run. Totally different bc they have good care running backs. Wait, WE have good RBs. Ok well they have pretty good O-lines, though UGa is young… wait WE have a good O-line and it’s experienced. Well, their OC is in the booth calling the game where he can see everything. And they mix it up. So that’s diffferent.

  19. dbake

    Seen this one coming when he was surfing his players in Missouris locker room….yeah a unranked Missouri team like they just beat Alabama. Same ol UK faltering in the second half of the year..its no different never will be. We will be lucky to beat Louisville.

  20. kjd

    Year six, I’m sick and tired of this same old line.
    Excuse me, I’m going to go throw up.

  21. Cat68

    Effort? Easy to blame the players, but take a look at the coaches. I swearone of the reporters asked Stoops about a big UT play and his explanation was that they used PLAY ACTION to disquise it and resulted in a big gain. Hey coach, since it worked for them, it’d be stoopid to use it for us. Come on guys it ain’t that hard!!!