Kentucky-Charlotte Postgame Quotes

Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops


COACH STOOPS: The last couple weeks I felt like our team has been practicing and doing the right things to put ourselves in a position to win. We just need to play better. We need to execute better. And we need to continue to work on that, to do the little things to win games. But I've been proud of their effort, their attitude and doing the right things. So, it was a good team victory, got to play quite a few people, which was good. Got some starters out in the middle of the third quarter there, which was good. Hopefully, give us a little rest; give us a little boost for this very important week, this week. So, overall great team victory.

Q. You'll take any win at this point. But how important was it to win the way you did as opposed to against that opponent, may not impress you as much?
COACH STOOPS: It really was important. It was very important to win that way in a good fashion, because we just need to improve. And our team needed that. Our players needed that. So, even in the first half, I felt like I was a little frustrated at half and I looked at the statistics there and we really controlled the ball. We had the ball just about the whole first half. We gave up one play that was aggravating on defense we let a screen slip out that set up the field goal. But, other than that, played great defense most of the game. And offensively, we really kept the ball and it was good to see us getting some tough yards early as well, with the fourth and one, in particular. Getting a big set and running the power in there for a touchdown. It was just good to see.

Q. You were talking about a big week this week. Talk about that, playing your rival next week. One win away from a bowl berth. How exciting will this atmosphere be next Saturday?
COACH STOOPS: I hope it's electric next Saturday. I appreciate the fans that were there today. I know it was a dismal day playing again at 7:30 again in bad weather most of the day and cold and greatly appreciate the fans that were there. And next week we need everybody in those seats and we need it filled and to come root for this team because we're going to put everything into it. But it will be a very important week and it will be a great atmosphere here next week, I'm sure.

Q. Obviously, big days by Jojo (Kemp) and Boom (Williams). What did you see from those two, getting all those yards today?
COACH STOOPS: It was just good on the whole offense. I thought the offensive line really did a good job and they had some explosive plays. So, it was good. We had some good runs in the game. I thought we mixed it up pretty well.

Q. How do you feel Drew (Barker) performed tonight?
COACH STOOPS: I thought he did a good job under the circumstances. (It was) his first start and a pretty sloppy day, cold, overall, but he did some good things. It seems like he made good decisions for the most part. And a few balls got away from him, but it was hard to throw it there, once the ball was getting very wet.

Q. You talked about those short yardage situations all week and then it looked like you had Jake Hyde in there on a couple of those. How much was there a game plan change in those situations?
COACH STOOPS: There was a game plan change some. And we needed to. It's no mystery, the frustrations that we had from the week before and those are things we have to get better at. And so we looked at all options again and had Jacob in there and again. I thought that there were some good, physical runs in there. And we need to build on that.

Q. Even with a big lead it seemed like the defense was playing with a lot of energy and creating some turnovers, how encouraging is that to see?
COACH STOOPS: I think it's very encouraging to see that. And it goes to the past several weeks. I thought that they really played that way. That was the best I've seen us play with that kind of passion and energy. At Vandy, even in the losing effort, and then to carry that tonight, no matter what the score was. And we played quite a few guys. We had a lot of guys in there at the end. So it was good. I think there's a lot to build on with that. And we talked about that all week: Let's build on the good things. Even with the loss (at Vanderbilt), there was a lot for us to build on. And we came into this week talking about that. We need to do the same thing as we move forward for this last game.

Q. C.J. Johnson's interception, have you ever seen a defensive lineman make a play that athletic before?
COACH STOOPS: That was an impressive play. It really was. Yeah, he's an athletic guy. So, it was fun to see him make that play.

Q. Austin MacGinnis was that, did you sit him?
COACH STOOPS: No, he could not go. He was not good most of the week. And he's been like that, as you know. It's come down to a game-time decision and even through some of our games it's been hit-and-miss with him depending upon how his groin was feeling. He didn't feel good today. He couldn't go today.

Q. It looked like Miles (Simpson) was still able to --
COACH STOOPS: Miles did a heck of a job. He did a heck of a job. He really was consistent. He made every kick. He made the long, what, 46, 47. And he was good on his kickoffs. He gave us some hang time. So he did a heck of a job.

UK Student-Athletes


#7, Drew Barker, QB


On his initial thoughts leading up to this game …
“I was just trying to stay after practices and watch as much film as possible. I was trying to handle everybody and the anticipation. I tried to block out the social media. It was exciting, I was looking forward to it and I’m just glad we got the win.”  

On handing off to the running backs and them performing exceptionally well …
“No doubt, that definitely helped. It felt really good handing off to those guys and watching them go. It’s awesome seeing them break out like that and give them some confidence going into next week. It was definitely good.”

On any butterflies leading up to starting for the first time …
“No, I wasn’t nervous at all. The only time I was nervous was in the Mississippi State game. When I got in, I was a little nervous, And the Georgia game a little bit. But ever since then, I haven’t been nervous at all.”

On Stoops telling him to focus on the good and block out the bad …
“It definitely is hard to focus on the good. Everybody’s talking. They want you to start pointing fingers at each other and they want to break each other up. But really that’s just the stuff we do in the offseason. We build team relationships. I think that’s a really big part of how we all stay together and how we got this win tonight.”

On thoughts during third down plays …
“Coach Dawson stresses that in the quarterback room. Maybe it’s not going to be the perfect play calls every third down, but it’s on your shoulders. You have to know it’s third down and you have to make a play. I tried to do that to the best of my capabilities.”

On winning the way they did tonight …
“It was definitely very big. We need to get this win against Louisville to go to a bowl game. That’s all it comes down to. A one-game season again like last year. It was definitely big to have a confidence booster going into that game.  

On how he felt out there …
 “I felt really good. It was definitely cool to get the first start in Commonwealth Stadium. I really wasn’t nervous. It was fun to be back out there since I haven’t played in a full real game since high school. I have to get use to the rush. It’s going to take a little time but I felt good out there.”

#95, Miles Butler, K


On not knowing if he was going to start or not…
“It has kind of been that way for like four or five weeks now so by now I’m kind of used to it, I guess. 

On how he is going to prepare for future games and if he knows if he is starting next week…
“No, we haven’t talked about that yet. Same week, just come in, be prepared every week, same mind set every single week.”

On his first-career touchback …
“It definitely gave me some confidence. Just any game experience that they let me get every week is giving me a little more confidence week by week, so I appreciate Coach Stoops and all they’re doing for me to help me out.” 

On the importance of getting a win …
“I thought last week, defense, offense, everybody played really well. We just didn’t execute the way we needed to and so this week we have to come out and execute and stick to the strategy I thought was a big for the team as a whole. 

#45 Josh Forrest, LB


On today’s win …
“This is defiantly a special win. We needed this one. It continues our journey to a bowl game so we needed this one. It gives us a lot of excitement going into the Louisville game.”

On the journey to a bowl berth…
“This is a special week just because has so much riding on it. This is my last game as a Wildcat, Senior night, and it’s a chance for us to make a bowl game, which we haven’t done since I’ve been here so it’s defiantly going to be a big night.” 

On facing Louisville to become bowl eligible for a second straight year …
“This is my last year so we are just selling out. We have a week to think about it and prepare for it so we are just going to try to make it different from last year. The expectation is a win.”

#3 Jojo Kemp, RB


On the confidence of the team after the game …
“Yes we needed that confidence booster. Now we just have to go back to work come Monday and prepare ourselves for Louisville.”

On the performance of Drew Barker …
“Drew seemed like he had been there before. Confident, and I think he played a great game.”

On the offensive line’s performance tonight …
“The line was great, awesome. When you have that many backs rush for that many yards, those guys did a heck of a job.”

On being able to put the struggles behind them ….
“Just stay positive, keep your head up. There’s always better days. You always want to be better than yourself the day before. You want to continue to work and work on details. Everything will take care of itself.”

Charlotte Head Coach Brad Lambert


Opening Statement… 
“Yeah, I’m just real disappointed defensively in the second half. We got out of our gaps, we weren’t gap sound and we didn’t take care of our responsibilities. We did some good things in the first half. I thought we even dominated the line of scrimmage at some points and got them in second and long, third and long. In the second half, we just didn’t put forth a very good effort. I just didn’t like the way we came out with out gap control and all that in the second half. We gave up way too many rushing yards.”  

On what he’ll tell his players following the game and where the team goes from here…
“Well, we got beat by a better team tonight. Give Kentucky credit. We had a hard time blocking that defensive front. That’s the biggest difference when you make these jumps to the SEC is blocking those guys up front. Their defensive line, we were just having a hard time blocking them. So, we’ll go back to work and try to win our last game. Our guys are fighting hard. It wasn’t a lack of effort, we just didn’t gap control real well. So, we got to come back, go to work, and beat Rice.”

On Quarterback Brooks Barden’s performance… 
“I thought Brooks played pretty well. I was real proud of him. He had a little shoulder injury at the half. I thought he played pretty good. The one pick he had was a tip ball so I thought he was doing some good things out there.” 

On how he thought the offensive line performed against UK’s defensive front… 
“Yeah, I didn’t think we played real well. Losing Jamal Covington – that just killed us. Eugene German has a cast on his hand so it got a little uphill for us trying to block those guys. They’ve got a good defensive front. I thought it was going to be an uphill battle coming into the game and I think they played well.”

Charlotte Student-Athletes


#7, Andrew Buie, RB


On this being the first game against power-five team in school history …
“I feel like as a unit in the first half we came out and handled ourselves well. We just didn’t come out in the second half and execute the way we needed to be able to beat a good team like this.”

On the message to the team after game …
“I think the message has been the same every week. We have to keep pushing. We’re trying to get a victory. Nobody wants to finish the season with a losing record. We’re just trying to get a win and trying to find any way to get a win. We’re trying to keep guys confidence up and find a way to get a win.”

On how to move forward …
“Just keep chipping away. We’re right where we want to be. We played against a good team tonight. We’ve just got to keep pushing, and hopefully next weekend we get a brick and get a win.”

#24, Daquan Lucas, LB


On what the team is going to take from this game…
“We can’t just make little mistakes playing this big of an SEC opponent. Just one little mistake can take it the distance. We have to keep coming and eliminating the little mistakes and playing gaps.”

On any surprises during this game or was it what they expected …
“Everything was what I expected. Nothing really surprised me personally and I do not think anything really surprised our team or our defense much. We were in the first half and we just came out in the second half sluggish and not in the right positions.”

On moving forward after tonight’s game …
“We can take how hard we played. I can’t doubt that my guys on defense played their hearts out. We can take little things from tonight’s game like playing hard and we have to make sure in the future we play a whole, complete football game.”