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Stoops Does Not Question Eddie Gran’s Playcalling

The Kentucky offense cruised at the start of the second half to build up a 13-point lead over Florida.  After that, not much worked until the final drive.

I was one of the first to question Gran’s playcalling.  Whether he became too conservative is a debate amongst fans that will not end anytime soon, but it’s not a debate in the locker room.

“I don’t really ever second-guess that with Coach Gran and our offensive staff,” Mark Stoops said during today’s press conference.  “I think they have a really good feel for that and it’s difficult because you can always second-guess yourself after the fact.  We all do.  I do more than anybody….believe me, we beat ourselves up quite a bit, but I have great trust in Coach Gran and Coach Hinshaw and what they do offensively.”

The offense used a formula that got them many wins last year: let Benny Snell carry the team to a victory.  However, on one drive Kentucky went to the air and it failed miserably.

“That’s a tough call, because earlier we took points off the board when we threw it three straight times because we couldn’t block them.  We took three points off the board because we went incomplete, sack, sack.  I bet you on that situation we wish we ran the ball three times.  So it’s hard to second-guess.  I never would.”

Stoops has no issue with what the offense did schematically Saturday night and he has no issue with his coaches moving forward.

“I have great confidence in our offense and what they do.  We’re not always going to be perfect.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

29 Comments for Stoops Does Not Question Eddie Gran’s Playcalling

  1. secrick
    1:43 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    If that field goal had gone no one would, yeah i know it didn’t.

  2. Han
    1:49 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    We tightened up too much in the 4th qtr, for sure. But the loss was on the defense and coaches for giving up two uncovered TDs. The offense did enough to win that game, even if it wasn’t great the whole game.

    Of course, all of the penalties hurt us too, including that last one. But you can’t let them waltz into the end zone twice, not to mention continually lose track of the hero from their hail mary the game before, and blame anything else for the loss.

  3. Duff86
    1:55 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    This loss is on the Defense. They lost the game. The offense did its job!

  4. helixvortexv2
    1:58 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Should demote defensive coordinator. No excuse for two open wide receivers. Should have ran out on field and taken a 15 yard penalty rather than allow them to score two touchdowns on those plays. Stoops has shown many times that we sometimes have lapses of focus on getting the right amount of players onto the field and making sure they are lined up correctly. This is UK football and I like Drew will never by into the hype until we prove it on the field. 31 years wow.

  5. luke_emberton
    2:03 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    are you serious? there’s a difference between being wrong and just plain stupid if you don’t question him not playing Sihiem King more who averaged 12 yards per carry and taking the ball outta SJ’s hands then you’re stupid

    • Peas and Carrots
      2:15 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Ur stoopid

  6. Jack Nicklaus
    2:10 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Good grief…Johnson, King and Conrad were dominating…and Gran essentially took all 3 out of the game in 4th quarter. Blindingly stubborn.

    • InigoMontoya
      3:12 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink


  7. inside info2
    2:36 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    This coaching staff is terrible. They don’t learn from their mistakes and always give coachspeak answers, which as a fan is infuriating. When you lose a game you clearly should have won, show some damn passion! This was 60-70% Stoops fault and the rest on Gran. The players did EVERYTHING they could to win the game and the coaches let them down.

    How many times do we have to see Stoops mess up before we realize he may be a great DC, but he’s a mediocre HC? If he didn’t have Morrow recruiting for him he would have been fired already.

    Again, the team played fantastic football and they should hold their heads up high and be excited to get back onto the field.

    • fairweather
      3:42 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      This coaching staff is far from terrible. Would you say our defense has improved since Stoops has taken charge going back to last years Fla, game? where you complaining about coaching last week. How about the Louisville game. Who was the better coach in that game? True there were some unbelievably poor oversights but these are good coaches.

    • TBW3011
      4:38 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Game management is terrible would be a more accurate statement IMO.

  8. EastKYCAT
    2:40 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    I agree Jack Nicklaus. I was going to comment saying why in the world would you stop utilizing C.J. Conrad. Conrad is special, he gets yards after catch (YAC). He fights for extra yards and plus with C.J. getting the ball more that would open up the middle for the running backs to do their thing. It would keep the other team humble. If you are saving him for the depth of the season for games against Georgia, then you are being injustice to him and his future. GIVE HIM THE BALL.

  9. BluKudzu
    2:57 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    “I have been doing this for over 30 years, coaching defensive backs. It (leaving receivers wide open) has only happened three times. All three were here at Kentucky.”
    -Mark Stoops

    Yup, twice in one game. How often has that ever happened, anywhere? Never.

    Just here, on national TV, at home, in the biggest game of the year.

    I think Eddie Gran did his job, he got us into a position to win the game, after the defense, giving up 14 points, in the fourth quarter, basically leaving the opposing receivers uncovered.

    This is not about Gran. This is on the defense, their coach, and still not hving the center snap down, 1/3 of the way into the season. And please, don’t even bring up player personnel management, at least 4 plays where we had too many or not enough on the field.

    • TBW3011
      5:14 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      3 times in 30 years? Let’s me more accurate 3 times in 4 years and 4 games as a head coach.

    • bosshogg24
      5:35 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

      I questioned Eddie Gran all last year and every game this year, he acts like he has no experience as an OC. 3rd an inches with the best power back in the SEC and he lines up 6 yards deep and comes up short. Will not play King or get him outside in open spaces, tries to run him between the tackles! Gran starts to get conservative in the 3rd quarter trying to run out the clock. Play the 4th quarter like you did the 1st quarter, attack be aggressive. Stoops is a figure head has no control over his team or the coaches!

  10. Catsby80
    3:07 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    a lot of blame to be thrown around. players played hard, but made mistakes. center made countless number of poor snaps. the holding call as time was running out was an inexcusable error (whether you agree it was holding or not). the lapses in focus on defense were atrocious. they scored 4 touchdowns in the game; 3 of which were easy enough for a middle school caliber player to score on. and the missed 48 yard field goal before half. the players played hard, but in a game like that where you’re trying to finally get over the hump, you have to play a near-perfect game and our boys played about a 90% perfect game. 91% would’ve won the game. cats come up short – this is kentucky football.

  11. TWhite
    3:17 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    If Gran had called more passing plays and we had lost, you all would be complaining asking why we didn’t feed it to Benny and run the clock out. 2nd to last possession we had with 8 minutes to go in the game, we threw it on 2nd and 3rd down, ran no time off the clock, and sent an exhausted defense right back out on the field.

    Yeah the two wide open TD’s are inexcusable, but we also had three missed tackles on a 3rd and 9 that could have been huge as well. The coaches deserve fault for this loss for sure, but calling for the heads of Gran and Stoops is just absurd. Keep in mind where this program was when he got here and where it is now. I don’t think there would be a long line of premier coaches beating down the door if Stoops were to be fired.

    Bottom line is, the players, coaches, and fans were already celebrating 4-0 when we went up 27-14. If you say you weren’t, I say you are a liar!

    • Luether
      12:30 am September 26, 2017 Permalink

      If the Queen had balls, she’d be the King…

  12. RackEmWillie
    3:19 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    The offense thought they had enough points and tried to bleed the clock. Had they kept going at their plan from 3 quarters, UK would have won the game. SJ was having a great game, Conrad was having a great game. The receivers were having a very good game.

    None of them were factors in the 4th.

    Ride the horse that got you there.

    Defense should have covered, but the offense should have been able to do more in the 4th and that is 100% on Gran and Stoops.

  13. catsby90.1
    3:26 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Too conservative when we had the lead and didn’t give Bowden the ball enough. This might sound crazy, but you can bleed the clock without running it up the middle every play.

  14. TWhite
    3:40 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    I guess I’m in the very vast minority of folks who don’t think we bled the clock enough in the 4th quarter. Before the last possession we ran 7 offensive plays, SJ dropped back to pass on 4-7 of them. 2 incompletions, a sack, and a scramble for 2 yards. The other three plays were runs by Benny for 11 (1st down) 3 and 2. (puts you in a 3rd and 5). Just putting this out there.

  15. fairweather
    3:43 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Florida was a 1.5 favorite. They didn’t cover.

    • Luether
      12:32 am September 26, 2017 Permalink

      But they won the UK game – for the 31st consecutive time…

  16. TBW3011
    4:37 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Not surprised at all by this. Stoops likes to try to survive and hang on for dear life with the lead. Has never shown the mentality of burying an opponent when their back is against the wall.

  17. DennyC
    5:28 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Final Stats were slightly in favor of Florida and they were MINUS 10 players!! I keep hearing Magyars and commentators say the talent is ‘even’ now between KY and FL!! Wake up!! This was THE game THE STREAK should have been broken but now it won’t be for a long, long Embarrassing time!!

  18. runningunnin.454
    6:29 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    If Coach Stoops agrees with Coach Gran, then nothing is going to change. We will continue to play 3 quarters, and the opponents will play all 4 quarters. It will be up to the defense to stop the other team cold.

  19. jaws2
    6:42 pm September 25, 2017 Permalink

    TWhite you either haven’t watched KY football long enough, or you just didn’t think your response through calling people liars.
    I’m not a liar, and I’ve been a KY diehard football fan prior to Commonwealth stadium being built. When we were up 27-14 I turned to my wife and said “we better get at least 1 field goal because I’ve seen this movie before”. It really pains me to say it, but it’s true.