The dust has finally settled after Kentucky’s streak-snapping victory over No. 25 Florida at The Swamp. Mark Stoops is proud of the way his team played, but they are far from a finished product.
“What I’m most proud of in the game was just the way we did it,” Stoops said at Monday’s press conference. “Just being methodical, tough and hard-nosed, handling adversity and taking care of the game one play at a time. Opportunities came and we made big plays.”
There are a few individuals who played exceptionally well. Benny Snell rushed for 175 yards, Terry Wilson had three total touchdowns, Kash Daniel had 11 tackles and two Wildcats, Josh Allen and Bunchy Stallings, earned SEC Player of the Week honors.
“It was truly a group effort, a great team victory. We really played strong in all three phases. In particular, I thought we were very physical upfront, both on the offense line and the defense line. I also thought, obviously Benny had a huge game. [He] Got some very tough yards. That’s a team effort. Receivers did a phenomenal job blocking on the perimeter, our O-line was physical and the tight ends really did their job as well. Then we created some big play opportunities in the pass game.”
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Stoops was pleased to see the defensive line rise to the occasion without starting nose guard Quinton Bohanna.
“Defensively, it started with our D-line playing a very good game. They were very strong at the point of attack. I thought the big difference was our corners. I felt like going into the game that that would be a match-up we would have to win. We really covered extremely well on the perimeter. We did did some very good things, but there’s so much more that this team can do. We can play better than what we did and that’s our goal.”
For the first time in 31 years, Kentucky beat Florida. The coaches, players and fans relished the moment, but it cannot linger for long. Kentucky won while not playing their best football. To reach their potential, they cannot focus on the opponent, only themselves.
“It was a long time coming for our fans and our players,” he said. “It’s all gratifying and we appreciate it. I did get back to all 250 people (who congratulated him via text), but then it’s time to put it behind you and worry about the present and what we’re going to do today to put ourselves in a position to win and improve our football team. It was a fun 24 hours, but it’s time to move on.”