Tonight’s game was a must-win for South Carolina and the Gamecocks played as such, completely dominating Kentucky all four quarters. After back-to-back losses, Mark Stoops told reporters he hopes the embarrassment will inspire a sense of urgency in his own squad, which desperately needs to regroup during the bye week.
“Very disappointed in the game and the way we played. Gotta give a lot of credit to South Carolina. They flat beat us, outcoached us, played better. Their backs were against the wall and they came in here and played a very good game. Very tough. Very physical. Beat us in all areas.”
“I expect our team to hit this reset button and fight our way out of this and battle our way as best we can. I mentioned that. South Carolina did the same thing. They’re sitting there, they’re 1-3 coming into this game and sat there and played like that. That doesn’t surprise me. Doesn’t surprise me at all. I know a lot of their coaches. I know Will [Muschamp]. And they’re sitting there facing that adversity and they come out and play lights out. And you saw them do that.”
Kentucky’s offense was horrid throughout the game, but the defense tried to give them a chance in the second half, which Stoops said gives him hope.
“The guys are playing. They’re fighting their way through this experience by playing and seeing things move and they need to continue to learn and get better. I do think that the secondary is fighting hard and competing and wanting to get better. All of them are. I still love this team and these guys are going to fight and we’re in the midst of a tough stretch right here. We need a bye. We gotta get healthy and hit the reset button and go back and find our way out of this. There’s only one way to do that and we’ll do it. We’ve been in worse situations before and we’ll continue to stick together and get better and find options. That’s all you can do.”