Notes And Quotes: Kentucky Wildcats Win Against Ohio Bobcats

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  • MARK STOOPS: Excited to be 2‑0. Maybe wasn’t as pretty as we’d like it to be, but we’re always going to respect wins. That’s a good thing. We did some very good things, and then we did some things that we’ll get cleaned up on film, so overall very pleased with the effort.

Q. Six takeaways, zero turnovers in the last two games; how big is that to you right now?

  • MARK STOOPS: It’s most important probably. If you’re just going to look at statistics, that’s a good one to start with. Very encouraged with the way we’re taking care of the ball offensively. Creating some turnovers, and today there was a couple gifts in there, but we’ll take them. That’s a good place to start.

Q. Was the game plan to run Patrick so much?

  • MARK STOOPS: A little bit, and then some of it late in the game was just trying to milk it down a little bit. There were some opportunities there.

Q. Do you worry about him, 22 rushes?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, is that what it was?

Q. Yeah.

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, we might have to back off that a little bit. No, but we’ve got a big game next week, obviously. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but we’ll do whatever we have to do to try to win games, so if that’s what it calls for, then Patrick will be glad to do it. Some of that he pulled it down and ran it, and he made some very good decisions pulling it down and running it.

Q. What do you like about him when he’s able to lower his shoulders?

  • MARK STOOPS: He’s just a big guy. He’s sneaky fast, and actually we’re rubbing it in with some of our guys with our GPS in practice and in games. He actually hit the highest number a week ago. I’m not going to tell you what that number is because then it’ll tell you about our other guys. But no, he ran ‑‑ he’s sneaky fast. He’s making good decisions. Wasn’t perfect in all of his decision making today, but I liked the fact that me being a frustrated defensive coordinator all these years, when you have a quarterback wrapped up and they scramble out, it breaks your back, and that happened to us today defensively quite a bit, and very aggravating, especially at the end of the first half. But Patrick is doing that to people, too, which is good to see.

Q. How do you think you guys played overall defensively?

  • MARK STOOPS: Okay. Okay. Again, it wasn’t just lip service; we have a lot of respect for that team. They’re a very good team. They went to five straight bowl games. I imagine they’ll go again. They’ve got good players. They know what they’re doing. They put stress on you, and they make you defend plays. You have to add numbers to their run games. They’re very good at their shots. They know what they’re doing, and they make it difficult for you. So overall I’m pleased. Are there things we can get better at? Absolutely.

Q. Talk about the importance of getting off to a 2‑0 start.

  • MARK STOOPS: Very important. It feels good. That’s what I told the team. I was worried about that going into the game. We talked and talked and talked about one play, just truly one play at a time and stacking it on top of another. Your guys get excited and they want to do well and they want to go out and prove themselves. You can’t go from 0 to 60; you’ve just got to stack plays on top of plays. With a young team they want to get out ahead of themselves a lot, and we’ve just got to learn to control what we can control and focus on each and every play.

Q. Was there maybe a lack of focus on the offensive end in the second half today?

  • MARK STOOPS: I don’t know if it’s a lack of focus. Some missed opportunities I would say. There’s really ‑‑ I was a little frustrated, but if you really look at it, if we get the ball on the 2, we’ve got to do a better job there. I’ll take that and we’ll get that corrected. We get the 1st and 2 (again), we’ll give a better effort than we did there. But outside of that, then you miss two field goals and you drop one. Even with the stop on the goal line, that frustrates you a little bit. If you just catch the touchdown, then we’re sitting here at 27, and it’s something more to build on. But it is what it is. It’s a victory, and I just don’t want our players getting down about victories. We’ll take them any time, any way, and we’ll do what we have to do to try to get those Ws.

Q. How concerned are you about Austin MacGinnis going forward and the misses in the last two games?

  • MARK STOOPS: I’m not too concerned. He’ll be okay. He’ll be fine.

Q. Do you like us sitting here nitpicking your 17‑point win?

  • MARK STOOPS: I feel probably like you do. That’s okay. That’s a good thing. We want it that way. I want to continue to strive to get these victories and look pretty doing it, but again, all that matters is winning. But progress; win or lose, progress. And we still made progress today. It’s good to be in a tough game, things not go perfect and win.

Q. Did Timmons’ unsportsmanlike cloud what was otherwise ‑‑

  • MARK STOOPS: I don’t know if it clouds it. It was a silly mistake that I don’t anticipate that he would make again.

Q. He was just talking?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, that’s the way ‑‑ I didn’t see it but that’s the way I understood.

Q. Is Zach West hurt?

  • MARK STOOPS: He was. He had a weird injury late in the week. I don’t know, it was ‑‑ maybe he got banged at practice, maybe he slept on it funny, but he just had like a nerve issue that should be worked out I’d imagine here in a day or two, but he didn’t have full range in his neck so he couldn’t play.

Q. Did you guys scout and see both of their quarterbacks, that second one they brought in?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah.

Q. He’s pretty shifty.

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, he was. We had a little issue there. He was escaping the same way, and it was different guys all the time. He was thinking he was coming back through the pocket so they were trying to retrace and he kept on going out and losing contain, so we’ve just got to get things fixed. Last week it was some other issues. This week it’s some of that and just fundamentally we’ve got to do things right and continue to improve and make guys understand things. That’s why these games are so valuable to come out with a win but still get all this teaching and all that learning.

Q. We’ve been asking you about those gray uniforms for two years now. Why this game?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah. We’ve never had those uni’s until this week. I don’t know what you guys are talking about. (Laughter.) Did you like them? I liked them.

Q. Any reason you went with them this week or ‑‑

  • MARK STOOPS: Just no reason. No reason. Just felt like it was the right time.

Q. You’ve got such a young team. Do you think that they understand the step up they’re going to have to take next week, or is that something you focus on in practice this week?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, I do. I think they understand that, and we’ve just got to keep on putting our head down and going to work and getting better, coaches and players and everybody, and we will.

Q. Anybody tell you this is the first time that a Kentucky team has two consecutive first half shutouts since 1988?

  • MARK STOOPS: You know my man Tony (Neely) got me right off the field telling me that. I think he was trying to cheer me up telling me that. I got a smile out of that. That’s good. It was good. You know, the defensive effort I thought ‑‑ there were times out there where, again, they were scratching us, moving it a little bit, and the guys buckled down and made some plays, and they put together that drive to start the second half that was good for them, and give them credit, they executed and they moved it and got a field goal, and our guys settled down and made some plays. Again, you know, some of that there were some missed opportunities. I think we had a sack, we had a clear sack and just missed him. We had a good pressure called on 1st or 2nd down and we’re going to get a 10‑yard loss, instead they scramble out and get a 10‑yard gain. That’s a possession.

Q. What was the message to the team after the game?

  • MARK STOOPS: The guys were a little ‑‑ they were excited. Once we cranked the music up and they got their dance on, they were having a good time. They enjoy it, and I wanted them to. I told them to enjoy the victory and not be sulking around. If things didn’t go the way they wanted to individually, then go back to work and change it. We can’t have any selfishness. It’s about the team, it’s about everybody getting better and everybody pulling for each other and doing the right things, so we’ve got to get rid of anybody that might have any individual thoughts. It’s important that I want them to think about playing well for the team. They were excited, and we’re glad to be 2‑0.

Q. Do you anticipate getting Blue and Badet back for next week?

  • MARK STOOPS: I don’t know. Badet, no. Badet, no.

Q. What is the No. 1 thing that needs to be fixed? You said you needed to fix some things from last week and now this week.

  • MARK STOOPS: When I was talking about that I was talking about contain on the quarterback. That’s one that jumps out at me right away. Again, it’s just about being disciplined in all phases and that takes a lot to be disciplined and focused and the game changes and there’s many formations. They do a lot of good things that you have to be locked in on. So we’ve just got to continue to focus, and the big thing is do each individual job.

Q. Was Bud cramping?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, he was.

Q. And before he cramped, did you feel like he played better this week?

  • MARK STOOPS: Yeah, he did. Guys, he did some very good things a week ago, and those guys, all of them up front, they want to make plays. They want to be active and all that, so they’ve just got to play within the defense, and the plays will be there. It’s a long year.