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Mark Stoops Doesn’t Make Excuses After Florida Loss

Following Kentucky’s fourth quarter collapse against Florida, head coach Mark Stoops said everything a head coach should say.  He did not make excuses.  He was accountable for his actions (or lack thereof) and shouldered responsibility for the mistakes that cost Kentucky the game.

“There’s things we all could do better, starting with myself, that hurt that we have to accept responsibility for, that we have to do better.  It starts with me,” he said during today’s press conference.

The first glaring mistake happened twice.  Kentucky left Florida wide receivers near the sidelines uncovered to hand the Gators two touchdowns.

“Obviously that can’t happen.  There’s no excuse for it.  That starts with me.”

The first time Stoops got caught looking at Florida’s unbalanced formation.  The second time there was a miscommunication while trying to make a last-second substitution.  He tried to do too much near the goal line and failed.  Now it’s just another harsh lesson learned.

“That’s on me,” Stoops said.  “It’s inexcusable.  In 30 years it’s happened to me three times. And those three times were here. That’s on me. That should never happen again.  I’ll have two people watching the edges, the perimeter of the field.  If we’re not in position, somebody better be hitting me over the head and I need to call a timeout.”

Those were two extremely specific scenarios.  A day of watching film revealed other missed opportunities that cost Kentucky a chance to snap a thirty-year losing streak to Florida.  He took it personally.

“That’s the deal with the head coach that every offense, defense and special teams play is ultimately under your control and anything that you do to take away from winning hurts you a great deal.  I said last week that it was very important to myself also. I haven’t been here for 30 years, but I embrace the history and the passion of our people. We have to be able to shoulder that. That’s just the way it is. These kids don’t, but I do. These guys, they weren’t even born. They’re just here trying to compete for the Big Blue Nation and fight their hearts out and they’ve done that.  We’ll do our best to put them in position to be successful.”

Failing to snap the streak hurts, but that’s not what hurts the most.

“It is a shame because the players and the team, we played exceptionally good football for a big portion of that game.  That’s the good news.  That’s how far this team has come.”

After the team watches film this afternoon, they will put the painful loss in the past.

“We don’t have time to sit and dwell on it.  It was a long 24 hours for myself, that’s for sure.  It was very difficult to get through, but today is a new day, a new week and a new opportunity.”

Stoops is confident that this team still has enough left in the tank to do something special this season.

“If our team continues to play with that kind of edge and attitude, and work and prepare the way they do, continue to get better, then good things are in store for us as we have through the season.”

Article written by Nick Roush

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

21 Comments for Mark Stoops Doesn’t Make Excuses After Florida Loss

  1. classof68
    3:01 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    That makes the fans feel so much better. Did he address that he might change his approach to nursing a lead?

    • Memphis UK Cat
      5:02 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Mark Stoops is a stand up guy. I bashed him last year and he proved me wrong when we were winning and went to a bowl. There were mistakes but damn Kentucky football is better than it ever has been in a long time. Everyone chill and see what happens.

  2. IAmTheDanger
    3:03 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    “There’s things we all could better” ”

    “It starts with me”

    “Obviously that can’t happen”

    “There’s no excuse for it”

    “That starts with me.”

    “It’s just another harsh lesson learned”

    “That’s on me”

    “It’s inexcusable”

  3. Sentient Third Eye
    3:06 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    We don’t really care who takes the blame. “WInners fix the problem; losers fix the blame”, right? We just want it to not happen again.

    • Realme
      3:21 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      This! Learn from mistakes and stop repeating them.

  4. Angelo
    3:06 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    This guy was a defensive back. He was the defensive coordinator at Florida State before they won the championship… This was the greatest coaching blunder I have seen.

    • abobicesaevior
      4:19 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Nah, failing to put a man on the ball in 1992 was the greatest coaching blunder.

    • Angelo
      4:43 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah…. But Stoops did it twice.

    • RealCatsFan
      4:45 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Three times, actually – dating back to last year.

  5. BluKudzu
    3:32 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    I still cant believe, a coach who is paid millions, can’t get the right personnel on the field, has not got the center snap down, and leaves receivers open, twice, after a timeout.

  6. sj
    3:37 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    They’ve got 8 coaches in the press box, 8 on the sideline, players on the sidelines, managers, trainers, etc, and no one noticed those receivers left open??? Stoops preaches about doing the little things on and off the field to his players. Hey coach, how about getting your -ss out of your head and start doing the most obvious things, like cover a receiver!!!!!

  7. secrick
    3:48 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    I want to take up for him but hell it’s hard to do until this stops.

  8. secrick
    3:50 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    On that last picture is there only 10 players on the field for us?

    • RealCatsFan
      4:46 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink


  9. Gus Chiggins
    4:13 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    It’s awesome he doesn’t make excuses for what happened. However if I made a mistake at my job and said “My fault, I did it, I’ll get better”, but I continue to make the same mistake, I’d be fired. Great to admit you made mistakes, but don’t repeat the same mistakes going forward, FIX THEM!

  10. abobicesaevior
    4:20 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    We’re a better team than we were last and and he’s a better coach than last year. Keep improving and keep moving forward and UK is in for unprecedented success the next several years.

  11. RealCatsFan
    4:48 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    If I’m Barnhart, I would call him into my office immediately after the press conference, and tell him “It’s great that you took responsibility for the two unguarded receivers, but here’s the deal. If it happens again, you’re fired. Period.”

    • ClutchCargo
      5:21 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Not only would that be counterproductive, but if he actually had to follow through with the threat, I don’t trust Mitch to identify and hire a better coach than who he has now.

  12. Doctor21
    5:25 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Additionally, the receiver was waiving his hand to the QB both times to let him know that he was not defended!

  13. bige
    5:59 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    FIrst time I have ever watched a UK UF football game and thought if Kentucky and Florida played 10 times on a neutral field they would at least split the series. Looking back, that number decreases quickly in Florida’s favor.

  14. BigBlueBass
    6:08 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Just fix it & don’t embarrass us like that again…..