Mark Stoops has been much more distraught after losses, even though they haven’t been much uglier than this one.
“Let me tell ya, I felt pretty rough after the 3-point loss and the 5-point loss too. I’ve felt a heck of a lot worse than I do right now,” Stoops said with his chin held high.
His defense gave up an absurd amount of yards, there were plenty of dumb penalties and multiple turnovers, but they simply got outplayed by a much better, more experienced team and will not allow it to ruin their season. “It’s not like we don’t care,” Patrick Towles said. After all, it is only one loss.
It’s tough to swallow because they were hanging in tight, with a chance to take a lead heading into halftime. Then, the wheels began to fall off.
“I think the game got away from us very quickly at the end of the first half when it was 14-10,” Stoops said. “I really wanted to get out of that half, and I think we threw three straight incompletions and missed a field goal. The rest really was history.”
The incompletions stopped the clock, giving State another opportunity to score. Then Stoops second-guessed himself. Questioning whether or not to go for it on 4th and 3, it took too long and he needed to take a timeout to prevent the play clock from expiring and earning a delay of game penalty. MacGinnis made the field goal as the timeout was called, making many believe that he was trying to ice his own kicker (which is absolutely ridiculous).
Stoops thought about going for it on 4th down, in hindsight he would have, but the hesitation cost the Cats. MacGinnis missed the ensuing kick. “I was very frustrated with that whole sequence,” Stoops said.
Kentucky had another chance to get it down to one-score late in the game, but a 15-yard penalty pushed them too far back. Regardless, Stoops knows the opportunities were there, but once again they didn’t capitalize. Now, it’s on to the next one.
“There’s not one bit of panic. That’s a good football team that beat us. We’ll go back to work, believe me.”