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Mark Stoops on his team’s Jekyll/Hyde mentality and taking control on defense


On today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, Mark Stoops was asked about his team’s disappointing start and what changes are being made on defense. On Monday evening, Stoops told Tom Leach that he will be more active on defense going forward, but didn’t elaborate. This afternoon, he gave some more insight, telling reporters that while he will be more involved on defense until things are turned around, DJ Eliot is still the defensive coordinator.

“The question was asked, and I think you’re asking the same thing, will you take a more active role? The answer to that question is yes, I will take a more active role,” Stoops said. “As far as the structure of our staff, that has not changed. Coach Eliot is the defensive coordinator, I’m assisting him, but I’m much more involved this week and I will be until we get things turned.” 

When asked what surprised him most about his team’s 0-2 start, Stoops gave the answer that many of us would have: how a team that looked so good in the first half of the Southern Miss game can look so terrible since.

“The biggest surprise is how we can play like we did in the first half of game one and then since then, disappear. That is surprising. Did not see that coming. The way we started the game, everybody — as you talk about it for so long, you work during camp and you have your home opener, game one and you go out and really play very good football on all sides for a half, and then it turns on you. That’s surprising. I thought we would handle adversity better than we have. We’re a work in progress there and we’re constantly talking about it and it’s never going to change until we show that we can do it and we perform the way we can.”

Stoops said there are certain plays he keeps replaying in his head, specifically Blake McClain’s dropped interception at the start of the second half vs. Southern Miss.

“Again, I could go back and back, but you talk about opportunities and we just can’t – we’ve gotta make them. We’ve got to make plays. Once again, I could go back to game one and the first possession of the second half and the ball hits us right in the chest and we drop an interception. We have our opportunities. We’ve gotta to get back and focus on the things we do well, but that’s been the biggest surprise. How we didn’t handle adversity.”

Sounds about right.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

31 Comments for Mark Stoops on his team’s Jekyll/Hyde mentality and taking control on defense

  1. KentuckyFootballFan
    1:15 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Stoops will get the defense turned around or die trying, I’ve said before thats why i like him so much. I have faith in our coach and our players. But probably because i know how to be a true fan unlike many others who are so negative about this team.

    • Billy Hill
      1:55 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Stoops will get the defense turned around or get $12 million trying…

      Fixed it for you.

    • fauxbobknight
      1:58 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Rule #1 A true fan never questions a fellow fans fan-hood.

    • KentuckyFootballFan
      2:06 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      I never questioned yours, but trust me there are many fans whose fan-hood needs questioned at this point, and thanks Billy Hill thats basically the thought but i think Stoops will give us everything he has to get it turned around.

    • nybrasky
      2:21 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Stoops has way more integrity than I. I’d probably be mailing it in by now, waiting on my money and not actually caring to deal with the headache that is UK football.

  2. secrick
    1:32 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Need to win by 30 Sat. to get the fans back, i’m just saying PLEASE win by 30.

  3. kyle heavy
    1:37 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    He’s not fooling anyone. He’s been the DC since he got here. The players respond to adversity similar to how their coach responds to adversity. Stoops doesn’t own his mistakes and is constantlymaking excuses. You think the players don’t see that?

    • kyle heavy
      1:38 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      They constantly see a head coach stating that he believes in his players and they will get it turned around when he flat out needs to be saying… sorry guys, we’ve got to be better coaches.

    • kyle heavy
      1:41 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      We didn’t play as well in the second half because Southern Miss made adjustments, and we did not. POINT BLANK. PERIOD. At Florida, we were simply inferior from the start with poor play calling out of the gate.

  4. kycats13
    1:46 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Nothing is ever so bad that it can’t get worse.

    • TheNewOriginal
      2:32 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      True statement, But… Did you see UK’s offensive first play against Florida?

  5. Howdy Doody
    2:30 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    “Wuda, Cuda, Shuda.” SAME song Different butt whipping….it is growing tiresome.

    • Billy Hill
      2:33 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      “Wuda, Cuda, Shuda.” Is that Swahili?

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      2:34 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Billy, note from the moderator: You will be banned if you keep using that URL on your profile. I’ve removed it on several recent posts, but going forward, choose something else.

    • kycats13
      2:33 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      We are just going to have to go back to work.

    • Billy Hill
      2:38 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Copy that, Mrs. TT. That was for my impostors benefit. My apologies.

    • BluKudzu
      2:48 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Mrs Tyler, why don’t your moderators block the obvious trolls ?? is it just for the $$click$$ ??

    • Billy Hill
      3:59 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Ha ha ha. Who’s the imposter?

  6. Jiminy Crickets
    2:40 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Once again Mark stoops acts like he is taking the blame, only to throw a player under the bus. He does this repeatedly. We were shut out in the second half against Southern mess, and he’s basically blaming that shut out on a missed interception. Although I can see where the interception could have swung momentum, our offense got two first downs in the entire second half, who’s to say that interception would’ve done nothing but turn into another three and out. The point is the defense is absolutely terrible, and cannot get off the field against any opponent. , And our offense other than about 15 minutes of the first laugh couldn’t beat their own ass either. We came out against Southern Miss, and looked terrible for the first 5 to 7 minutes, until we finally got into a rhythm and scored a bunch of points, but then allowed all of that to go away with defensive lapses over and over again. this is probably the third time in stoops for years that he has said he is taking over the defense. When are people going to realize this man says the same thing every year during every press conference. Start winning the football games, or at least being somewhat competitive against a decent team and maybe we will listen to the crap that this guy says

    • Billy Hill
      2:43 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      Hey, you’re here early. You usually wait ’til basketball season to start bitching….

    • Jiminy Crickets
      6:03 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t usually respond to people that live on comment sections, but yes I’m here early, and it’s not bitching if I’m right. You’re good at copy and pasting what people write on here, why don’t you post any of the press conferences from the last 6 games last season, or the season before and see if I’m not correct. Stoops says the blame is on him, then starts blaming everyone else.

    • BluKudzu
      1:22 am September 15, 2016 Permalink

      Jiminy, you are exactly dead on. This is the reason Stoops infuriates me to the max, and with Barnhart for allowing this to happen.
      If these so called fans of UK football, who lay in the weeds and bitches about comments made by others, understood what it is like to have your child singled out as a reason for a loss, and had any idea how it makes them feel, then maybe, just maybe, they too would begin to understand how much this guy is missing from the abilities to be a head coach.
      Do you still wonder why Stoops has lost the team?
      Copy and paste this, dumbass.

    • Billy Hill
      2:29 am September 15, 2016 Permalink

      LOL. Kudzu is so mad. 😀

  7. Rsn2GoBlu
    3:08 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Exactly what I was thinking Jiminy. The coaches could not scheme up an offense that would use the clock and score points. The coaches could not scheme up a defense to stop the run. So let’s blame the poor 2nd half performance on a dropped interception that occurred prior to halftime.

  8. Kevin C
    3:41 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    I’m more concerned about the coaches and their Dumb and Dumber mentality.

  9. Willis talkin bout....
    3:52 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Lets just be honest.. Has he or the couching staff ever really tried anything different? Especially on defense. They are still trying to over scheme a 3/4. Apparently they don’t even change the signals from the sideline. Players don’t develp from year to year. Eliot is STILL here even though that side of the ball is our biggest weakness. But Neal Brown was smart enough to leave, Dawson got scapegoated, and the new OC seems to be just as clueless as stoops. We still don’t give the RB’s enough touches, still don’t use the TE. All things they promised the fans and still don’t deliver. Think the players don’t notice that crap to? And he seems to want to run everything up the middle using a weak O-line.. And the saddest part is, with that buyout, he feels 0 pressure from the AD to have to change anything. So we are stuck with both his and Eliots ignorance. All the hype from the preseason came from the fact that they only way this team will look good, is if they play each other in a scrimmage. Of course we looked liked like a conf contender. Everyone that plays us has to.

    • secrick
      4:02 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

      I agree throw the ball to the TIGHT END, gosh you said you where going to.

  10. RealCatsFan
    4:30 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Seems to me that UK needs to go out and find the best dual threat QB that they can sign, because with the offensive line the way it is, we need a kid with a set of wheels on him to be able to escape the rush and maybe turn it into some positive yardage. Maybe we need to keep going to Kemp in the wildcat.

    I agree that defense needs to do something different, but if the offense could get rolling, it might give the defense a chance to stay fresh.

  11. RealCatsFan
    4:44 pm September 14, 2016 Permalink

    Also, instead of a blind contract extension, maybe Barney should have given Stoops some kind of performance based contract that would reward him for each additional game that he wins over the 3 or 4 patsies that are on the schedule. Maybe give him $50K for each additional game, and $100K for making a bowl game. IMO that would motivate for performance a lot more than just handing over money.