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Stoops on UK’s defense: “What a difference a week makes”

Coming in to tonight’s game vs. Mississippi State, Kentucky’s defense had zero turnovers, tied for last in the country. Through two games, the Cats’ secondary allowed over 550 passing yards and seven touchdowns, and with Mike Leach and the Air Raid offense coming to town, fans feared the worst. Instead, Kentucky’s defense produced SIX interceptions, the most since the Cats picked off Chris Doering seven times in the infamous loss to Florida in 1993. Mississippi State’s two points are the fewest scored by a Mike Leach-coached team EVER. As you might expect, Mark Stoops was thrilled.

“Really proud of our team. As I mentioned to them, what a difference a week makes. Last week, I was not very proud and not very pleased with the way we played defensively. I thought we were in total control offensively. We ran it. Like I said, I thought we could have thrown it more. We did what we needed to do, but we couldn’t get the stops defensively. That was very frustrating for us for all week, knowing you’re going to prepare for another explosive high-scoring offense that can throw it around and move the ball if you’re not ready. I felt like our team really responded all week.”

The fun started with Josh Paschal’s almost pick six, a fantastic rumblin’ stumblin’ run to Mississippi State’s two-yard line. After a Chris Rodriguez touchdown run, the defense did it again, Jamin Davis intercepting a pass on 2nd and goal. In the third quarter, Kelvin Joseph got in on the fun, as did Boogie Watson to start the fourth. With 6:25 left, Jordan Wright’s pick six made it 21-2. D’Eryk Jackson’s interception with 0:49 left was icing on the cake.


What was the difference from last week? The easy answer is, more opportunities. Mississippi State threw it 70 times compared to Kentucky’s 21. Stoops also credited his team for improved execution, noting the impact those first two picks by Paschal and Davis had on the game.

“We were obviously in good position and we had the opportunity to make plays today and we did. We tell the players that all the time and again, I don’t want to be beat up over cliches, but it’s like when technique and opportunity meet, you’re going to have an opportunity to make plays. We had good technique, our coaches had them in good position.”

“Everybody’s got to own their part, and today, we were in good position and guys executed very well and they used good technique, and when they had the right opportunity, they made plays. We dropped two, at least two as well, but maybe we got picked on the same possessions, I don’t know. Obviously, some of those came late when it was a bit of desperation for them and so, the last one or two. But the first couple were major because you know it’s hard to just stop them completely from moving the ball. They’re going to move the ball. But you’ve got to clamp down, you’ve gotta play good in the red zone, you’ve gotta create some turnovers when you have the opportunity. Obviously it was a big, big piece of the game tonight, the turnovers.”

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.

4 Comments for Stoops on UK’s defense: “What a difference a week makes”

  1. bigbluebg
    12:40 am October 11, 2020 Permalink

    “Two points are the lowest amount scored by a Mike Leach offense EVER”

    Mike Leach’s offense scored 0 points. The special teams technically scored those 2 pts lol.

    I feel much better about the Defense after seeing Alabama give up 48 points to Ole Miss. We got pressure on the QB and our DBs looked great. It always starts up front.

    Happy to see Bossman Fat getting in on the interception party.

  2. CJKAssassin123
    12:40 am October 11, 2020 Permalink

    That was exactly what we needed to see from our defense and it didn’t even rain!!! That is how we should play defensively the rest of the season if we do then we will have a chance in every game we play to pick up a win. (Except ñ