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Q&A: Everything Mark Stoops said at his Pre-Missouri Press Conference

“Just like I said after the game, proud of our team for finding a way to win. Really great defensive effort. I thought the offensive line, Benny (Snell Jr.), tight ends just showed a lot of guts and determination and physicality to get the ball in the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown. There are obviously quite a few things we need to improve on. We’re excited to get back to work here this week and get better. We need to improve as we go this week and go play Missouri on the road.”

On how you are addressing the passing game…

“We need to address it in a lot of areas. From what we’re doing to set them up for success and set the team up for success. It starts with us and coaching and what we’re doing, the position we’re putting them in to be successful. Also, getting the quarterback to pull the pin and make accurate throws, and to trust himself. He has done that this year. He has been successful. He’s put us in a position to get to the spot we’re in right now. But, he’s also not played his best the past couple games. We have to look at that. That’s all of our responsibility; it always is, starting with the coaching staff. Certainly Terry (Wilson) will take his part, on down to protection, the receivers and so on. We’re always in this together. It’s never any one person’s fault, but certainly we need to play better at that position.”

On if Wilson has a confidence issue…

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. I talked to Terry today, before this, and he doesn’t see it that way. We need to watch the film and get some things corrected and get back on the field. Certainly we have to look at all options, again like we always have. I’ve always said that Terry is our starting quarterback. He’s going to start this week. We certainly need to look at the other guys and see if they could get an opportunity to get in there and play and help us. We’ll have a plan, and we’ll work Gunnar (Hoak) pretty extensively this week and have him ready to play as well.”

On if Josh Paschal is getting close to playing…

“I addressed that a bit last week where I said I would update that in the coming weeks. He has been working with Coach Ed (Performance Coach Corey Edmond). He’s been strength training for a long time, from the beginning he’s been doing that. Now, he’s getting on his feet and the wound is healing. Then there’s the matter of just getting in shape, in football shape and controlling the foot. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, not just the wound itself. He’s working his way back in to shape.”

On why there were so many second-team offensive linemen in on the final drive…

“They were doing well. Coach (John) Schlarman had a plan to put them in at that point and he did it, and it was a nice drive. I was asked about that after the game, and I didn’t really even realize it until I went over to the bench to shake their hand and say ‘Hey, great job’ and pat them on the head and I noticed all the guys that were in a full lather and it was freezing outside. So, I figured they had just come off the field.”

On was there some type of reward to get Josh Paschal back on the field before the VU game …

“He wanted to go on the road with us, he always wants to be involved. He’s an unbelievable player. He affects people in a positive way. We had room, I was going to bring him to Texas A&M, and he actually got a little bit sick. He had a little touch of the flu or the cold, so we just thought we would keep him home and continue his rehab. But, he travelled with us to the team hotel this past week and he’s around. He’s just working his way back into the fold.”

On Darian Kinnard and him playing three games and if there will be a fourth…

“We’ll see what happens this week. I haven’t gotten that far because of Naasir (Watkins). We’ll see where Naasir is at and who’s playing well, and make that decision as we go.”

On the secondary and what is different this year other than experience…

“I think the team defense, and you’ve heard me mention that in the past, it’s not always on the quarterback, or always on the receivers, you know it all fits together with what you’re doing. Defensively is the same thing. Getting them in predictable pass helps. Getting them behind the chains helps, so that starts with a physical defensive line. It also helps with pressure on the quarterback. It always helps the secondary. Certainly the secondary is playing much better and I think those guys, the experience is a big piece of it, and their desire and want to, to do the little things and to work hard all year to put themselves in a position when it counts. They are doing some really good things. We’ll certainly be challenged this week, obviously, with Missouri and what they’re doing and the way they throw the ball around. That’s a very good football team.”

On why Davonte Robinson was on the field more than normal and what he’s done to put himself in that position…

“He’s been steady. There’s always a balance. Some of our older guys can play multiple spots very easily, and then some of the other guys need some reps. We like to have Mike (Edwards) at nickel, but D-Rob (Davonte Robinson) has been playing very good football. So normally it’s the strong safety and nickel are on the same side. So, what they’re doing there’s a lot of carryover. He was playing the free, but he’s also plays nickel. You probably make no sense of what I just talked about right there (laughing). We felt like at this point in time he was the fifth or sixth (defensive back). You always have the three corners who I look at as starters, then if you just look at your nickel you take your top five. We just felt like it was just time to really get him on the field for significant steps. We needed to throw him out there and put him in a pressure situation, and I really loved the way he played. For our team, he was one of the guys that was nominated for player of the game within our building. He was honorable mention, but did some really good things.”

On how big of a deal it is for him to have that big game before Missouri…

“It’s significant, it’s good. All hands on deck because of the pace they play at and how they throw it around, the speed which they have. You need a lot of guys, you need a lot of bodies. I’ve had confidence in D-Rob for some time and that’s why you heard me say it in here before, you never want to see somebody go down, you don’t want to see it. But, it’s always next man up and he’s your guy, when he’s ready to play he’s going to play well.”

On what impresses him the most about Drew Lock…

“Experience, talent. He sees the field, gets rid of the ball so quick, has such a strong arm. He’s a very good football player.”

On if there is much change in comparison to what Missouri did last year on offense…

“No, not a lot. Even last year I always felt like, with as talented as he is and the receivers and the speed in which they played and an unbelievably talented tight end … I felt that way last year and it’s certainly that way this year, you better be very, very conscious of their running game because they put a lot of pressure on you with their running game and their backs are very, very talented and that sets up their RPO game and gives them some space to throw the football. So, I felt that way a year ago and I certainly feel that way right now, that they’re more physical than people give them credit for, they’re really talented and run the ball and it puts a lot of pressure on your secondary. And once again you’ve heard me talk about that many times when you’re defending somebody if they have balance it puts a lot of stress on you because you have to play with numbers in the running game, which gives them opportunity for big plays in the pass game and they have the ability with the quarterback and the talent that he has, and the speed that they have, to put a lot of pressure on you.”

On expecting Kash Daniel to be good to go this weekend…

“I do. He should be back. He’s day to day right now. He had to get a little procedure done this morning on his hand and he’ll be back, probably will be in some form of a club or cast so that will not be fun for him but he’ll be back out there. He really played a good football game this past week. He did a really good job and played very well this past Saturday.”

On how much of a hindrance a club is….

“It certainly looks awkward. It definitely affects you a little bit with tackling and things of that nature, but he’ll have to deal with it, he will.”

On dealing with distractions as a head coach…

“It’s really not hard for me, and should not be hard for our team, to have unbelievable focus today to get a lot of things fixed from this past Saturday and to get 100 percent attention on Missouri. I think you’d have to be a moron to not realize the threat you’re going to go up against with Missouri. They’re a very good football team, who I have a lot of respect for, and I really think Barry (Head Coach Barry Odom) has done a great job and one thing I really notice and admire about his football team is that they play hard, they play tough, they’re motivated and they’re hungry. That’s a very good football team and so it should not be hard to have all our attention with everybody within our building. I don’t mean that comment condescending. Outside of our building I don’t really care what anybody thinks and I say that in a good way, not like in a negative way. It doesn’t matter and doesn’t affect us and I’m glad people are excited, I mean it more than way, but that doesn’t affect us or our team. We have a lot to do and we have a mature football team, so they should be 100 percent locked in on Missouri, so I don’t think that will be an issue, at least it better not be, we have a lot to.”

On Terry checking out on runs instead of throwing the ball…

“No but there were times where he could’ve thrown the ball and didn’t and so that’s where that needs to be fixed and so that I can’t defend. So, what we do and who we are and our identity and how we win football games is going to be up to us and what we decide is best to put us in a situation to win. But also, there is an obligation to play the game and to run the plays that are there and so there were some opportunities that we didn’t throw that ball that we need to get fixed but we will. I have confidence that we will and Terry has done that and has played winning football for us. He’s put us in a position to win a lot of games and we greatly appreciate that and he’ll continue to do that and he will start but once again, I also owe an obligation to the rest of our team to put us in a position to win and so you have to have other guys ready to go.”

On if Quinton Bohanna is fully back to being healthy and what is being seen from him now…

“He is. He’s just been getting back. He’s such a big guy and he puts a lot of stress on that with the ankles bothering him some and that hurts his conditioning and hurts a lot of things, just the power that he plays with but he is getting back to full strength and we need him to, so he’ll be back in there in the fold in full strength there this week.”

On feeling good about what Bohanna was able to do…

“Yeah, for sure. He did some really good things, the big play (in the fourth quarter) and that’s one of the things that really goes unsaid that I probably didn’t point out enough after the game, and certainly after watching the tape, one of the big reasons we won that game is because we won critical situations. We were very, very efficient on third down (on) both sides of the ball, we were efficient in the red zone and we were efficient in two minute (drill, on defense) and I’ve said it to our team a thousand times and you can play the game but you better win critical situations and sometimes it’s going to be a very close game and you don’t know what any one play is going to decide the game but we were effective in critical situations and that’s one of the plays that you mentioned there, with Quinton being very disruptive on the fourth down in the red zone.”

On if the wide receivers are holding up in relation to their morale…

“Without a doubt it’s something to pay attention to and to visit with them about and it needs to be addressed and I understand that. Tell me a great wide receiver that doesn’t want the ball, right? So, we understand that and that’s part of the culture within the team, within the offense, that’s some of the things that we need to work on. I wouldn’t say it’s bad but I’d be putting my head in the sand if I said it doesn’t need to be talked about and those guys need, and we appreciate what they do and how hard they work but we also need to improve in the pass game.”

On following the game plan after a difficult start of the game…

“That’s a great point because it did affect us in this game. One of the parts of the game plan is to get off to an easy throw and we throw it behind the line of scrimmage, and we fumble it, and that doesn’t help your game plan … when the two turnovers early, when you have the wind, and they have a chance to milk the clock and possess the ball into the wind and we have to flip it, it doesn’t help. Two quarters of that game going into that wind, it drastically effects throwing the football and even with the wind it was so gusty it was tough, on certainly balls down the field, and some of the intermediate stuff you have to connect with and you have to throw the ball and catch it and so on, but that is a big piece of it and that does affect Terry to the earlier question. Terry is very conscientious, and he wants to win and he doesn’t want to put his team in danger, and so you have to respect part of that when he is, you know, after he turns it over early he wants to protect the football and make sure he just gives the team an opportunity to win. We all know, and that’s what we need to talk about and work on, that we need to improve to win games in the future, but in that moment and that situation that’s a big piece of it. The turnovers didn’t help the time of possession, the field position, the wind and confidence with the team but we’ll get that rectified and we’ll move on. I have a lot of confidence in this team, we find a way to win, and you move on to the next opportunity.”

On making adjustments to the game plan for road games since Texas A&M …

“No, our routine has been good. Doesn’t mean it’s always going to be perfect, but our routine, our guys are comfortable with the routine.”

On talking to skill-position recruits about the passing game …

“I think that’s a big piece of it that anybody is going to put their team, do what they have to do to win a football game and sometimes that’s going to be, you see people throwing the ball 70 times, and they have to recruit a running back, too, so you have to do what you have to do in certain situations. In a game like that, first of all, I said it in here publicly that we need to play better at that positon, period. Terry’s a big man. He understands that, and he needs to play better. In those circumstances, with the way it unfolded, again with the turnovers, with the wind, at that point, you have to do what you have to do to win football games, so I think most recruits understand that.”

On Lynn Bowden’s impact this season …

“He’s a playmaker. He’s a guy that we put the ball in the air and give him a good opportunity, he’s going to make somebody miss, he’s going to make tough catches. He’s playing hard, and again, he’s a guy, you talk about the morale question, and he’s a guy just like any talented player, he wants the ball in his hands. He’s gone through some of that frustration this year, but I’ve also seen an unbelievable amount of growth in him embracing and loving just winning, finding a way to win the football game. I love that about him. That shows a lot of growth and maturity on his end because he embraced that out there at that point, whether he had to block or do what he had to do to just get the win and move on to the next opponent. He’s done a good job.”

On controlling his emotions during stressful moments during games …

“I have to be intentional about controlling the emotions because I think it does reflect the results on the field. Just like in coaching, there’s going to be times that you need to really shake the players up and be very direct and honest. That’s never scripted by me. I always do it with my gut and instincts, but on the sideline, it’s been intentional about controlling the emotions. I appreciate you telling me that I’ve had some growth in that area because I feel like I have. Sometimes you also have to defend your team, and I’ll always do that.”

On the joy of watching Josh Allen on film …

“It’s a lot of fun to watch him play in predictable pass (situations), and just the whole game really, because even the things he’s doing and what he did even in this game on his feet, in pass coverage and just how comfortable he is in what he’s doing. Again, I may say this every week — I’m not saying he is because I don’t know, I haven’t watched everybody – but I’d like to see people play better than him, just across the board. I’d like to see who’s playing better defensive football at any position because he is a dominant player and doing everything for us. He’s playing at a very high level.”

On if there is any situation he doesn’t feel comfortable putting Josh Allen in …

“No. No, as far as pass coverage or dropping him, rushing him inside. We rushed him inside Saturday, and it was on a guard, and that was illegal. We’re exploring him with things like that and he does some really good things.”

On Josh Allen’s football IQ and Allen’s forced fumble late against Vanderbilt …

“It was a eally big play. I give them a lot of credit, the pass they completed right before that was unbelievable, remarkable throw and catch. But, that’s what gives you confidence in that situation. As I mentioned after the game, I thought we were very close to hitting that third down with Benny’s run and icing it that way, but it gives you confidence to punt the ball away and play defense because you have an experienced secondary that’s playing at a high level, and you’ve got Josh that’s a dominant pass rusher that’s very disruptive, and not only the strip but the sack earlier in that possession, I think Boogie (Watson) got it, he was very disruptive on that play as well. It gives you a lot of confidence. It doesn’t mean you always want to be in that situation, believe me, I would rather be protected and taking a knee to win a game, but the defense is going to be put in those situations in two-minute, and I was very proud of the way they executed. His football IQ is really through the roof, and I think that comes from experience, it comes from playing, but he also studies. It’s very, very important to him. He’s a very mature, young man. He works extremely hard in the classroom, has a child, works hard at that and being a father and then football. He’s over here all the time, and he’s working out, training and doing all the things necessary.”

On Allen’s ability to force false starts …

“I haven’t seen that. I’ve been around some dominant edge rushers, but no, to answer your question, I haven’t seen somebody create so many.”

On managing Chance Poore’s opportunity for the rest of the season …

“I told you after the game he was going in for the next kick, so once again, Miles (Butler) was the starter, I believed in him, and I still do, but he (Chance) was going in to kick.”

On if Poore will go in for the next kick …

“We’ll see how the week goes. We’ll see.”

On where the defense has improved the most …

“In a lot of ways, but I think it just comes down to an attitude and an effort, that burning desire to be great and do things right and be very precise. We talk about that, and you hear coaches talk about that so much, but in our game, it has to be that way. I just mean in football, you have to be so exact. You need game-changers, you need guys that do special things and disrupt plays and win one-on-one matchups, but you have to execute and do things necessary. You heard me talk in years past just simple blitzes, just coming under, and that’s being selfless and giving yourself up at times within the scheme to things right because your teammate right next to you is counting on you to do your job, and if you don’t do that, then there’s no trust and not that it was always intentional, but you have to execute things and have the experience, talent and guys winning one-on-one matchups and doing a lot of good things. We’ll be heavily tested here this week, so once again, you’ve got an opportunity every seven days, so we have to embrace that challenge here this week.”


Article written by Nick Roush

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

12 Comments for Q&A: Everything Mark Stoops said at his Pre-Missouri Press Conference

  1. BigolBlue
    5:44 pm October 22, 2018 Permalink

    What he shoulda said..” my running back and defense are so good we dont even need a qb or kicker. Because we have neither”.

    • mashburnfan1
      6:01 pm October 22, 2018 Permalink

      We have both. Poore will be a solid kicker and they can now redshirt him this year. Play him vs Mizzou, UGA, Tenn, should not need him vs MTSU or U6. Wilson can play at this level, has shown it at UF and vs MSU. Play calling would help alot and the WR’s getting open. Also seemslike he has little time in the pocket, our OL does not seem to pass block very well for some reason. As for Hoak he is not an SEC QB, sorry daddy Hoak. You can run your mouth, or fingers, all over social media. There is a reason his offers were Bowling Green, Kent St, Buffalo, Cincy {probably Gran}….That is his level. He was horrible vs all good teams during his High School games, BAD. He was in OSU’s back yard yet no offer, not even Ohio U offered him. Clark has the arm and body to be a great one, ope his mind set and work ethic is there and Grans play calling is not.

    • cats646
      6:05 pm October 22, 2018 Permalink

      We have a QB. Our kicker on the other hand is trash at anything further than the extra point.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:02 am October 23, 2018 Permalink

      TW is not a QB…he can’t throw the ball

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:00 am October 23, 2018 Permalink

      LOL…he actually said that very discrete if you look at his opening statement

    • cats646
      7:29 am October 23, 2018 Permalink

      I would honestly love to see you throw a football medic. Just one simple pass. That would be hilarious

  2. Shively1978
    6:15 pm October 22, 2018 Permalink

    Terry is inexperienced but we aren’t around him everyday. Maybe some of why he starts is to do with work ethic and attitude. It’s not always about what we see. Hoak and Clark may have great attitudes but we don’t know. Secondly there’s always people that want to see the next QB when one struggles. Typically for UK it dosent work out to well. Barker was all hyped up and couldn’t hang in the SEC. Third no one dogs the receivers. Baker has more drops in his career than catches. And most of them where catchable balls.

  3. zoupman
    6:53 pm October 22, 2018 Permalink

    Gunner deserves in game snaps.

  4. N-UR-i
    10:29 pm October 22, 2018 Permalink

    Hell, at this point I say we develop a few short pass plays with Benny and Lynn at QB. Then line them up in the wildcat every play only passing it about 20% of the time. Maybe 10% lol

    • davis2319
      12:00 am October 23, 2018 Permalink

      I said the same thing!!! If we don’t start doing more on offense we are going to have to become more creative. Lynn in the wildcat and throwing would be creative

    • cats646
      7:30 am October 23, 2018 Permalink