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Stoops wants to see a Better Offensive Performance on Saturday

Mark Stoops got the chance to speak to the media today, ahead of Kentucky’s week two matchup against Eastern Michigan. It was a good week of practice for the Cats, according to Stoops. Despite the good week of practice and the Cats putting up 38 on Toledo, Stoops wants to see his offense get off to a cleaner and faster start against the Eagles.

Getting off to a faster start

Kentucky was tied at 14 with Toledo at halftime and that’s not good enough for Stoops.

“Offensively, we had too many three-and-outs this last week,” Stoops said. “We had a lot of possessions. Defensively, we had for stops of three-and-out or three or less, but offensively we had too many. Generally, if we do the little things right and get off to a good start, then big things can happen.

Keeping the Ball off the Turf

Despite the slow start against Toledo, it was still a good day for Terry Wilson especially as far as ball security goes. The guy who had been scrutinized for his turnovers in his first season at Kentucky committed zero turnovers in the season opener.

His teammates were a different story. Kentucky put the ball on the turf four times against the Rockets last Saturday, and that’s something Stoops wants to see cleaned up.

“(I’d like to be) More efficient, just cleaner,” Stoops emphasized on the one thing he’d like to see improve against EMU. “Obviously, ball security is a pretty big issue, we definitely want to see *that* cleaned up. Last week we were pretty efficient, we talk about first down efficiency generally, but it felt like a lot of our mistakes were on second down–they seemed to lead into a little longer third downs than we’d like. Overall, (I’d like to see) execution.”

High Praise for the Receivers

Stoops did, however, have high praise for his receivers.

“I  just want to see them continuing to improve.” He wants to see them continue to play aggressively. “Make competitive catches like they did a week ago. We didn’t have any drops–continuing to be good there, we didn’t have any missed assignments, so that’s a good sign, and continuing to block when they don’t have the ball.”

Two Guys Missing on Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, there is going to be a lot of eyes on the linebacker spot with the absence of Chris Oats in the first half. Most people are curious as to who will pick up Oats’ slack in the first half, but that didn’t seem to be a concern of Stoops. They’re just going to roll with the same three-man rotation they have been going with all year.

One aspect of Kentucky’s game that people seemed to be a little let down with was the performance of the D-line, which may be in part to another absent Cat in Phil Hoskins..

Kentucky’s front seven should be just fine against EMU, but keep in mind this isn’t a defense that still won’t have all of their pieces until next Saturday (barring injury) when the Gators march into Lexington next week.

For now, beat Eastern Michigan.

Check out everything Stoops said at today’s press conference ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the Eastern Michigan Eagles:


Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentWainscott_

9 Comments for Stoops wants to see a Better Offensive Performance on Saturday

  1. makeitstop
    8:10 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

    Not to nitpick but we didn’t put it on the turf 4 times, with none for Terry. Bowden fumbled, and Rodriguez fumbled, both were turnovers. Rodriguez’ other “fumble” should’ve been a TD but the box score says, fumble, so I’ll give you that. But Terry ABSOLUTELY put the ball on the turf, a backward pass, which rolled out of bounds. That’s a fumble. So yea, there were 4 legit “on the turf” moments but Terry owns the one that could’ve been most catastrophic, and Rodriguez may well hv gotten the TD if they had to decide if he broke the plane instead of just upholding the call bc we recovered.

    • Corder
      9:20 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

      Wow, you really hate Wilson don’t you?

    • makeitstop
      10:50 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

      No, I don’t hate Wilson at all, sorry if it came off like that. I like a lot about him. He makes me nervous w things like backward passes that Stoops and Gran both panned or bad RPO reads but I think he’s getting better and we need that. But we all watched the game… writing an article about the game saying we put it on the turf 4 times but Terry wasn’t one of them is just – to coin a phrase – fake news. Saying he didn’t fumble on a sack? Yep. Didn’t throw an INT? True. Encouraging. But I want kids – my kid included, bc she writes – to write fact checked articles, that’s all.

  2. mashburnfan1
    10:24 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

    If we punt 6 times and have 2 turnovers against teams like UF, UGA, Mizzou, UT, MSU, USC and maybe even Vandy and U6 our chances go way down. We got away with it vs Toledo, not going to happen vs many others. Gran must open up the offense, we have kids that can make plays so let them make the plays.

    • makeitstop
      10:57 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

      All true. They did seem to get better as the game wore on and they’ll hv to keep getting better as the season goes on, but for a first game, young backfield, young secondary, there was promise. And Stoops seemed just barely ok w it – not satisfied but said what they did poorly was “fixable.” Fair assessment.

    • makeitstop
      11:00 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

      Didn’t u come away thinking “ok they might lose 5 but they COULD lose 2?”

    • Corder
      11:05 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

      I am with you when it comes to Gran opening up the play book. I think that has been long over due. I also think when they feel comfortable with the QB we might see that more. Trust me I don’t want to wait, I’m more of a trial by fire kind of person but I kind of get it. Also don’t think we show our hand too much before Florida. Maybe save some things and open it up when it truly matters. We beat a solid team on week one and didn’t do anything crazy to beat them. A lot to work on but for the first game as we seen others ranked ahead of us take an L the first week against lesser or even matched teams than we played, I like where we are sitting right now. Lets see how we look come Saturday and if this team can fix those mistakes from week to week. If we take a good jump up this weekend I’m feeling a lot better going into the Florida game then I did to start the year. Frank’s is not the QB people have built him up to be but if our D line can’t get penetration up front and we give him all the time in the world he will eat us up or use his legs all day on us as we seen Toledo’s QB did.

    • Corder
      11:10 pm September 5, 2019 Permalink

      One thing that has scared me all offseason has been the fact that they have said they want Wilson to throw so much. I think he needs to throw more but if you are going to take away his running ability and not use his strengths I’m not sure that’s the best idea. We seen in game one him hesitate when it came to pulling it back out and running it on his own and that worries me a lot. Let him use his legs and his god given speed and make the D worry about both instead of trying to make him a single threat and a more pro style QB. You never want to hold back a kid that can bust it open like he did last year just so he fits your system.

    • KYjellyRoll
      6:27 am September 6, 2019 Permalink

      Completely agreed ^^^ Wilson can flat out boogie when he’s pressured I say let him run