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Mark Stoops Does Not Believe Early Offensive Snaps Left Too Much Time on the Clock

On Kentucky’s final two offensive plays, Benny Snell received Wildcat snaps with 9 and 12 seconds remaining on the play clock.  Ole Miss scored the game-winning touchdown with five seconds remaining, leaving many fans (and Drew Franklin) wondering if the early snaps made a difference.  Mark Stoops does not believe it mattered.

“If there’s any one thing I’ll get critiqued for, it’s for milking it too much, not the other way. So let’s not even go there, you know what I mean? I’ve taken plenty of darts for slowing the game down, so I’ll continue to take the darts that way.”

Stoops’ response reads as combative, but it did not sound combative.  He tried to bring some levity to the situation.

“I think there is a balance there though.  We didn’t think about going into a four-minute offense with eight minutes to go in the game, but we were methodical in our approach.  Sometimes that’s when we are at our best.”

When Kentucky started the final offensive drive on their own five-yard line, the goal was not to milk away the clock.  The goal was to score.  They just so happened to do both, thanks to Snell’s 67 rushing yards on the 95-yard scoring drive.

There’s also a train of thought that in the Wildcat formation, one strategy to keep the defense off balance is to snap the ball randomly instead of milking away the play clock to the very last second.  Stoops said that was not the case on Saturday.

“We even considered getting a timeout for Benny to catch his breath.” Stoops said they didn’t need to randomly snap the football because he thought the Ole Miss defense was gassed and, “we felt like we had them off balance.”

Setting aside the early snaps on the final drive and the strategy behind it, at the end of the day, the game came down to making a defensive stop.  The Cats were two plays away and an overturned fumble recovery from doing just that to end the game.

“We were killing some time, sure.  I think that their approach would’ve been different if there was ten less seconds there too.  So it’s easy to say after the fact that they would’ve had those ten, but that’s not necessarily the case.  Their two-minute offense changes as well.  They would’ve had plenty of time for a two-minute offense.  We were going to have to make a stop.  We were going to have to stop them.”

Kentucky did not get a final defensive stop, leaving Stoops opened to be criticized for time management.

“Believe me, there’s nobody that’s more conscientious of the clock than I am,” Stoops said.   “Believe me, I’ll get criticized both ways, and I understand that, but I’m very conscious of it.”


Article written by Nick Roush

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

14 Comments for Mark Stoops Does Not Believe Early Offensive Snaps Left Too Much Time on the Clock

  1. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    1:47 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    Ill take that answer. He said what I have been saying, 10 seconds or not, they would have still got the ball down the field and made the plays. He even said “we were going to have to make a stop”. Either way they would have adjusted the play calling and did something to get them there faster. Fact is, when you take the lead the defense has to make the stop to become a winning complete football team. What else can the guy say? Lets take the L and move on and get ready for Vandy, another winnable game!

  2. Willis talkin bout....
    1:52 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    “Believe me, there’s nobody that’s more conscientious of the clock than I am,” Haha.. yea maybe on the way home. I wish he would become more conscientious of the Defense. It has been a trainwreck his entire tenure. How many games have the D and the mental errors cost us? UF, Ole Miss, almost cost the UT game this season. For a “defense” coach he is looking like a complete joke. He needs to get their s$hit together! Then maybe he won’t have to worry about the clock.

  3. IAmTheDanger
    1:54 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    If he doesn’t see a clock management problem, then that in itself is a bigger problem.

  4. TDog
    1:56 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    Out of all the things that have been discussed about the Ole Miss loss, why has nobody seemed to discuss the missed PI call in the first half? CJ Conrad was clearly going to score, until he got brought to the ground and we had to settle for a FG. It was obviously a PI, even the commentators were discussing how terrible of a call it was. If Kentucky had scored on that play it would have forced Ole Miss to go for 2 at the end of the game simply to tie it up. It would be a whole different game and honestly I think it is a blatantly awful call by the refs that again screws over Kentucky.

  5. timewilltell
    2:12 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    He’s done! Only question left is how long before the AD is forced to pull the plug.

    • Booby Petrino
      2:18 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

      wishful thinking on your part.

    • Rod Crandler
      2:29 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

      Done? I have been a UK fan for a long, long time and 7 wins here will get a street named after you. Hoping to fire Stoops would be like Georgia firing their basketball coach because he didn’t get them to the final four.

  6. JPGott2
    2:44 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    My issue with these losses is that they are against BAD teams! Florida is terrible, as is Ole Miss. They are just not good, but our defense makes them look like they are top 10.

    I blame the 3rd quarter issues on Gran’s play calling just as much as the lack of defense, because the offense went 4 straight 3-and-outs. That does little to help and REST a struggling defense, when they have to go back on the field right after coming off.

  7. ribin48
    3:11 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    The team has to get a “killer” instinct. Once ahead, tend to settle in for a wile. Not sure it’s play calling but 3 and outs, seem to hurt us in 3rd and fourth quarters. A couple of those with Stephen not hitting receivers- we get into trouble. Defense needs a little rest also.

  8. Wildcat85
    3:15 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink


  9. Kevin C
    3:20 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    It doesn’t matter in the least what Stoops “believes” ; the hard facts are right there for anyone to see. Ole Miss scored with less than 10 seconds to go in the game. Stoops left no less than 20 seconds on the last 3 snaps combined, and over 30 for the possession. Clock management issues have plagued this coaching staff since he’s been here, and this game was a glaring example of that.

  10. jaws2
    3:34 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    Hmmmm, don’t buy it. I don’t think he has a clue until AFTER the fact and someone brings it up, and then it’s the same old answer over and over.
    I’d also like to know WHY every time, EVERY time we are on offense coming out of a time out, we rush out on the field and stand in the set formation with our thumbs up our ‘arses’ and let the defense get set? If we know what we’re going to run, why not just stand in a loose huddle, break when the play clock starts, and proceed? The defense is going to adjust regardless, so why not make them start from scratch? Stoops and Marrow have improved our quality of players, but so does EVERY team in the league. Stoops will never be the coach that we need to win games consistently against teams we have no business losing too. So sad.

  11. TB112162
    5:35 pm November 6, 2017 Permalink

    When you trail you can’t milk the clock you have to score if you run the clockdown and you get a penalty you could keep your self from scoring. .If somebody on the defense makes a play we win the game