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Stoops defended the late run call, also regrets it

Facing a 2nd-and-5 with under a minute remaining and momentum in the passing game, Patrick Towles handed the ball off to Boom Williams for a draw play that was stopped just past the line of scrimmage. Commonwealth Stadium erupted with frustration in the call, knowing Kentucky was out of timeouts and still had a ways to go to inside field goal range. The play was a killer, given its timing and lack of success.

After the game, Mark Stoops was asked about the call and if he realized he was out of timeouts when it was made. He defended the decision.

“We knew we were out (of timeouts),” he said, emphatically. “But we’ve called that same play on third down in the past and it’s worked.”

But does he regret it?

“Yeah, because it didn’t work. Would do that different.”

When asked the same question, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said, “Every call is a bad call when it doesn’t work.”

Fair point, but that doesn’t make anyone feel any better.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

60 Comments for Stoops defended the late run call, also regrets it



  1. Paul Elam AVFM
    11:10 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    You can’t have it both ways, Mark. Own up to your mistake and make the changes that need to be made in the coaching staff. This team is close to getting a big win — but close won’t cut it. We need to see blood before the year is over.



    • Coach Jamin
      11:18 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      I’m sorry, here, let me show you a video of UK under Joker Phillips…



    • RandPaul2016
      11:20 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      It scares me how much this team looks like Joker Philips coached team with better talent. No one can doubt the Stoops crew’s ability to recruit. Now we just need to see it on the field.



    • BlueIt
      12:15 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Amen.
      If the team’s play the last two games (EKU & Auburn) are indicative of what we are to expect for the rest of the season, we will not have to worry that another college team will hire Stoops to run their program.
      As I see it, UK has to score a minimum of 35 points per game to even have a chance to win any game the rest of the season. That is bad.
      Our Defense is the worst. We have zero chance against Georgia, Tennessee, or MSU. Hate to say it, but it is extremely Doubtful we will beat either Vandy or Louisville.
      We better face it, 6-6 will be a gift.
      A few coaches need to have their backsides kicked. Total poor performance every level, in each phase.



    • WeareBBN
      12:23 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      If you don’t see it then get the he** out of BBN. This team is the most talented UK team in many years and you all seem to forget how young they are. We are 10 points {2 plays} from being unbeaten and highly ranked with this young group, coaches and players. Young players learning on the job in tough games, just missing on a couple plays that young players often miss on. The draw call was to catch them off guard and was a gamble but probably worth it, Boom has the potential to break that for 6 every time, just did not this time. If he did everyone here would be saying what and awesome call it was.



  2. Katya
    11:11 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    How do you defend Towles running around like a chicken with his head cut off on 4th and 3? How?



  3. TheC3K
    11:11 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Except when you run the ball in that situation you rush everyone back to the line and screw up the rhythm for the next play. They didn’t look very composed after the run was stuffed.



  4. JD
    11:12 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Defend it all you want Stoops, That was phenomenally STUPID. Did anyone ask about the 8 man punt return team??



    • Coach Jamin
      11:19 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      I’m sorry, here let me show you a video of UK under Joker Phillips.



    • JD
      11:22 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Oh C’mon man, we both know Joker had no business being a Head football coach in the SEC. Find a better person to compare to please.



    • WeareBBN
      12:26 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Have Curry come back so we can have more of those 65-0 losses and could hardly score 35 points in a season. What an idiot.



  5. Jacob
    11:12 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    I’d have to disagree with Shannon Dawson on that response. I mean I know he gets paid to run the offense but if UK tried to do a pass on that 2nd down and it didn’t work I don’t think many would call it a “bad play” just because it didn’t work. I think that called draw was a “bad play” because it wasn’t sticking to the momentum and mentality that we had to hurry it up.



    • Le Docteur
      11:51 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this comment. Dawson’s answer was total bullsh*t and cowardly. He made a horrendously stupid play call. That play had a very low percentage chance of working for what we needed and a very high percentage chance of effing up our chances of winning the GAME if it didn’t work. We ended up just bleeding precious seconds off the clock and then having to rush rush rush the next play, leading to a lack of preparation. It was an idiotic call from a guy who thought he was too cute. We had no time outs. In a season of piss poor play calling, that one took the cake.



    • WeareBBN
      12:33 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      You do know we ran out of downs and not time right. It was a gamble to catch them off guard as the world knew we were passing, it just did not work. Boom has the ability to break that for 6 points or at least 20-30 yards someone just made a play. After that play Badet had the ball in his hands at the 5 just could not hold on to it, literally inches from 1st and goal with 30 seconds left. Sometimes a play does work and sometimes it does not. On 3rd and 22 they threw a deep middle, hey it worked so was a great call. Also keep in mind our staff is young as a coaching group and still learning just like our players. I love what we have and where we are going, maybe you can have Joker and Curry come back and lose this same game 47-3.



    • Le Docteur
      8:20 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Yeah, numbnuts, I know we ran out of downs not time. But ask yourself this question. When Badet did not get that catch — oh, and please stop acting like the incompletion was the result of a drop or a bad play by Badet, he made a tremendous play just to wrestle the ball away from the defender and avoid and interception — after that incompletion, how bad did you want that idiotic running play back? How much better would you have felt after that incompletion if it was 3rd and 5 instead of 4th and 5? So don’t act like we had downs to throw away at that time, with no time outs. It was an inexcusably bad play call. Was there a chance for a high reward? Yes. But there was a way greater chance that it was essentially a throw away down and a throw away of 25 precious seconds. Jesus, if you want to run a running play, at least figure out a trick or a sweep or something that give the player a chance to get out of bounds. Don’t run your basic A-gap hand-off. By that time, the Auburn D-Line was only too happy to not have to pass rush and gladly stepped into the gap to stop the play. “It was only bad because it didn’t work.” Save that explanation for the next time you go to Vegas and drop $1,000. “It was only stupid because I lost my bet.”



  6. Catlogic15
    11:13 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Mark Stoops says “blah blah didn’t work blah blah if this blah blah”
    Kentucky hadn’t had a meaningful victory since Rich Brooks coached. He would not have lost this game tonight.



    • Coach Jamin
      11:19 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      I’m sorry, here let me show you a video of UK under Joker Phillips.



    • JD
      11:24 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Sunshine bumper. Again, please find another RESPECTABLE coach to compare to.



  7. Jacob
    11:14 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    And I think another thing that’s important to note on the 8 men on the punt return is that UK doesn’t have a designated special teams coordinator and that could have easily been avoided in a normal situation but it worked so it’s okay for now.



  8. Dennis
    11:17 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Ok, I am officially done with football season. Thank God Big Blue Madness is tomorrow. So sick of wasting time watching UK football. Never going to change. Yes, we may make it to a crappy bowl game this year, but really who cares? And next year when we lose several key players on defense, it’s not going to be any better.



    • Coach Jamin
      11:19 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      I’m sorry, here let me show you a video of UK under Joker Phillips.



    • JD
      11:25 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Sunshine bumper. Again, please find another RESPECTABLE coach to compare to.



    • Ray
      11:49 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Don’t give up now. Every year fans similar to you bail at this time. This is the best tem UK has seen in a long time, and it will get better year after year. If anything, you should root harder than you ever have before!



  9. Stoop-id
    11:17 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    That is because stoops is a clueless moron. He has a lot of people fooled for some reason.



    • Coach Jamin
      11:20 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      I’m sorry, here let me show you a video of UK under Joker Phillips.



    • JD
      11:26 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Sunshine bumper. Again, please find another RESPECTABLE coach to compare to.



    • Katya
      11:26 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Joker at least took us to a bowl game. Sure he sucks and had no business being coach, but this staff is terrible at coaching. Give the keys to somebody who can and leave the rest to the recruiting.



  10. ColoradoCat
    11:17 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    It hurts because this year’s schedule is one of the easiest we’ve ever had.



  11. ColoradoCat
    11:18 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Also, what did he say about the play with 8 players?



  12. excuses
    11:19 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    excuses excuses excuses excuses. AUBURN IS NOT A GOOD FOOTBALL TEAM. Own up to your mistakes.



  13. Elmer Skaggs
    11:19 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Looks like Cats is headed for a losing streak. How about the rubes that was talking about winning the East



  14. aaron
    11:28 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Tired get all of us excited then continue to implode again. The wide outs and play call at end cost them game
    I don’t know if cats get 6 wins.



  15. C.A.T.S.
    11:28 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    HATERS!!! All of you would have been happy with 4-2 and a 3 point loss to Auburn at the start of this season. You’re spoiled and bad fans like you will end up running a good coach like Stoops out of town. How can you call yourself fans??



    • Real Talk
      11:32 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Yes we would be satisfied with 4-2 with a 3 point loss to auburn. The problem is WE SHOULD HAVE WON THEM ALL



    • Thenamerobdigity
      11:39 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      I am happy with 4-2. To “Real Talk” , we could have lost them all too! 4-2 in 1 score games. This ship is headed in the right direction. The team is young too



    • WeareBBN
      12:40 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Real Idiot…the fact you think we should have won them all is proof what this staff has done at UK. In no way with the talent the coaches before Stoops had brought in would we be 4-2 this year and everyone be upset. The talent is there, on the field and the sideline, but it is young and learning and making mistakes young players and staffs make. No staff and players turn programs from pitiful, which is where we were when Stoops got here, to Champs in short time frames in the SEC. We went from pitiful to you and many others being upset and thinking we should be undefeated……That my friend is one hell of a job by this staff and group of young men in less than 3 years.



  16. tippytoe
    11:29 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    One stat UK always leads its opponents in is dropped passes.
    Also, not having a special team coordinator is killing this team. Even McGinnis and Foster do not look like the same kickers.



  17. Hal
    11:30 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Q: Who is the defensive guru Stoops or Muschamp?

    Go back and read all your silly posts this week.

    Towles in ATL? LOL



  18. Bobby knight's good eye
    11:30 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Starting to worry that attrition to a not so good defense keeps us from bowling this year. Having flash backs of last year’s run at a bowl.



  19. Tony
    11:31 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Please drop the smirks – Towles, Dawson, etc. you don’t smirk when you haven’t won anything. You just look arrogant and unlikable. Here’s an idea: change your face, keep someone in the teeth and go wo the football game.



  20. Tony
    11:33 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Please drop the smirks – Towles, Dawson, etc. you don’t smirk when you haven’t won anything. You just look arrogant and unlikable. Here’s an idea: change your face, kick someone in the teeth and go wo the football game.



    • Katya
      11:39 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Towles has probably been treated like a god his whole life because of his grandfather’s last name. He’s an awful quarterback at any rate, I’d be really dishearted if I had to back THAT up.



  21. Thenamerobdigity
    11:36 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Anyone who is jumping off, please don’t come back. Sure there were a few miscues, but not everything will be perfect. We are now 4-2 in 1 score games. Stoops needs to tie up a few things, but this young football team is competitive. They weren’t at all 2 years ago, and last year they showed up some of the time.

    Auburn was favored by just about the same amount they won by. This program is headed in the right direction, and I am excited to see what the future entails. Understand where we cane from, and get excited about where we are headed!



    • Katya
      11:39 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      This program needs a damn special teams coach and a quarterback.



    • BallEater
      11:58 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

      Pardon me for a year or two….but I have heard this same bullcrap for near 59 years now. we are young, headed in the right direction, tidy up a few things, excited about the future, bla bla bla. Frustration seems to come with UK football… we have experienced it so much, we make excuses for the it.

      If Stoops thanks that run was a good play call…. no wonder we can’t get the punt return team on the field. The absent minded play caller would probably call the 8 man punt return team a good thing…it worked didn’t it.

      Someone needs to take towels to the med center and have someone check his football IQ. His decision on that last play was mindboggling. How can a starting QB in the SEC make such decision is beyond me.

      Also take the play caller with him to the med center with him….



  22. Real talk
    11:46 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    If I had called a double reserve instead and it worked I’d be a genius



  23. pithuahua
    11:47 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Dawson said Towles made some critical mistakes but he will get better…WHEN? Dawson said he is learning from his mistakes and will continue to get better…What? He is the OC of an SEC team, he was supposed to already be a capable play caller, that’s why he makes the big money. Quit making excuses and admit you screwed up.



  24. Cooked
    11:48 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    KY should have won that game only because AU is not that good. Those running plays with little time is stupid. That last call to Boom was horrible, but they called it earlier in the drive as well. Earlier they didn’t call a timeout until several precious seconds clicked off on them. Message to Stoops: Don’t do running plays after 2 minutes left in game!

    Bad things happened on offense, but the game was lost because the defense can’t stop the run on 3rd down. Teams don’t have to pass the ball, because they know they can get the yards running up the middle. Mack Brown early in the game that we should be patient because help was on the way. He saw that UK was going to get hammered because of weak defense. I don’t know about what is coming, but right now every game is going to be a difficult win.



  25. Hal
    11:55 pm October 15, 2015 Permalink

    Eight home games. No conference games with Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M or Ole Miss. Last year 5-1 turned into 5-7. Time to print the 40-0 t-shirts?



  26. MustangCat
    12:00 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I’m all in for UK football, and Stoops. He’s not at the Brooks level yet, but I believe he will get there. He needs to “clean up a few things” in the coaching area, that is very true, but he will make it. This isn’t politics, where if your wrong, your answer is to insult your opponent. I see improvement in a lot of areas, and a lot of areas that need improvement. Time management at end of half/game is crucial, and we have a consistent pattern – THIS YEAR. I was more than glad to see Brown go. Dawson is much better. Don’t think he needs full control at crunch time. Major warning signs. Florida was awful at the end. Stoops needs to take control more of game decisions and calls. We will win 6, maybe 7,, and win a bowl!! Our O-line is a head scratcher. And I don’t understand our d-line point of attack. We don’t try to push the line? We try to hold the line. We have HUGE guys! They should be exploding off the snap? I see some coaching that needs cleaning up.



  27. Frustrated
    12:04 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    If Stoops only wins six games this year he will have the same record Joker Phillips did through his first three seasons as the head football coach at UK. I’m not sure about the direction of this team. The Mississippi State game will be huge. It’s just frustrating to say the least.



    • WeareBBN
      12:45 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

      And Joker took over a team that had far more talent than what he left it with. We were in horrible shape when the Joke left, maybe 5 SEC capable players. We are 100 times better today.



  28. Wildcat4life
    12:56 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    That call to run the ball in the 2 minute offense took us out of the game. This is the coaching staff’s decision and they failed their team. Can’t understand how we don’t get 11 guys on the field during that punt either. Again on the coaching staff. I think Shannon Dawson’s playbook needs adjusting. Lots of dropped balls, Defense played awful in the first half and Not real Happy with Towles but at least he was getting us down the field until that stupid call. Been watching my Cats for 40 years and I had high hopes for this team this year but come to realize that it’s normal for our football team to shoot themselves in the foot. Thank Goodness that Big Blue Madness is tomorrow to take my mind off from this!



  29. wickedgood
    2:35 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    we need one win besides Charlotte and we get a bowl game so we must play hard my problem will be it will not be at vandy at nashville .



  30. Hack
    5:38 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Has Stoops heard of this guy? : http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2830660/tyler-pack



  31. Doug
    6:59 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    We suck. Plain and simple. Move on to Basketball…….



  32. Same story
    7:06 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Anyone else happy they stayed up to watch UK lose another game because of bad play calling bad players and loser mentality. It will never change. Stoops will leave soon and they will be even worse. He seems like he can only win if he had much better players. And they wonder why fans don’t blindly support the cats. Because they are a joke. No one supports we just laugh and cringe.



  33. RC
    9:14 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I guess it’s progress when UK starts beating themselves instead of our opponents, right? We beat ourselves last night against at very mediocre Auburn team. We also beat ourselves in a winnable game against FL.

    Look at our resume’- Beat Lafayette. Beat a terrible SC team whose coach just quit midseason. Beat an overrated Mizzou team. Struggled to beat EKU in Lexington after getting pushed around all game. Lost winnable games to FL & AU.

    Dawson should be FIRED for that play call last night. It’s literally indefensible. An SEC coordinator should know better. Period.

    Baker has developed a case of the yips. You could argue his drops cost us both games. Matt Elam is unimpressive. Kicking game gave AU tons of yards but couldn’t generate any for us.

    Like I said- progress that we’re beating ourselves. Maybe?



  34. MustangCat
    11:31 am October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Stoops isn’t going anywhere. Thankfully. One bright side of two tough losses to teams we should have beat, is that both losses were on coaching. Good coaching produces something called “production”.
    We aren’t seeing that yet, and that’s on the coaching. We forget, that this is Stoops FIRST head coaching job. He’s still learning that trade. Most don’t get their first HC job at a major SEC school. All in all, I grade Stoops out at a “C”. But he has the potential to be an “A” coach. Make no mistake about that. If he was already ironing out all of HIS wrinkles, it would be much harder to hold onto him. 2-3 years from now, we will be glad for that. UK football has FAR more talent on the field then I’ve ever seen at CWS before!! And I’ve been watching for 35-40 years. And we have probably our best class coming in next year! The problems are fixable, as long as we learn from our mistakes. We may not quite be ready for prime time yet, but we are about back to where Brooks left things. Thanks to Joker. I honestly think the thing holding us back most this year, is inconsistency, especially at QB. Towles, and Stoops, right now, are basically a teaser. Good enough to see real potential, but wildly inconsistent. Good thing about Towles is that he won’t take the program down with him. We will get to a bowl this year, and he will have a hard time holding Barker off next year. They need to start giving Barker some snaps. They have got to start grooming him! It’s nuts that he hasn’t seen the field this year. We will be ok, this year, and we will break that ceiling. In 2-3 years, we will be a perrinneal top 20 team, and we’ll be able to hold on to our coach.



  35. sardiscat
    1:36 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    What bothered me a lot more than the run call (UK lost because it ran out of downs, not out of time) was what the defensive staff was doing with the DL. What were they hoping to gain by having defensive linemen sprinting onto the field at the last second, sometimes barely getting set before Auburn snapped the ball? Auburn’s first two TD drives, the DL got zero pressure on the QB. Possibly because they were sucking wind from the 50 yard sprints they were running immediately before the snap? Were they fooling Auburn? No, Auburn was dissecting them like it knew in advance what UK was going to do. Watching that time after time reminded me of the LSU game last year when the coaching staff came into the game already psyched out before the first kickoff.