Kentucky-Miami (Oh) Postgame Quotes

Sep 7, 2013

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Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops

COACH STOOPS: All right. Feels good to get that first one. Very proud of the team. I thought we prepared very well. I thought we had more poise about us early, at least the way we started the game.

I felt like the approach this morning getting up, we were focused, we were excited in the locker room, but not hyper. So I thought we were in good shape.

I like the way the team played early. Obviously there's plenty to get corrected. But we're excited about the win. We're excited about doing some very good things offensively and defensively. There's some real good things to build on.

Again, proud of the effort and the preparation. With the things we've got to get cleaned up, we'll go hard at work. Special teams was very good a week ago. A little bit sloppy here today. So there's a lot of things to get corrected. A lot of penalties. Very sloppy with the ball at times in our punt returns. Got to get that cleaned up.

Overall very proud of these guys, the way they worked. It's a start.

Q. Looking in their faces before and after the game, could you tell how badly they needed it?

COACH STOOPS: I could. They've worked awfully hard. That's why all these losses are tough at times because the guys worked hard since we've been here. We're not perfect, but their approach has been good. It was great to see some success for them.

Q. Did I understand you changed your defense when you saw what they were doing in warm-up?

COACH STOOPS: Yes, that's correct. They've been running the gun read stuff that we were preparing for all week, and they went to the double-slot option stuff. They didn't do much teamwork in pregame warm-up, which was odd, but they did do some handoffs and exchanges. We saw their alignments on some things.

Came in here, went over the double-slot option. Fortunately Coach (D.J.) Eliot and myself prepared for that in the ACC championship game. We had some basic rules we applied quickly.

It's nothing revolutionary; it's just what we're keying, what we're doing in some of our checks off of alignment. We stayed pretty basic. We worked on a lot of things.

With the offense they were running, we had to stay pretty basic and be disciplined with what we were doing.

Q. Talk about the play of some of your young play-makers.

COACH STOOPS: Haven't seen many statistics. Ryan Timmons, I saw him having some big plays. (Jeff) Badet had the big touchdown. Alex Montgomery was in there quite a bit of the game. Obviously with Demarco (Robinson) being out right from the beginning, that hurt us. He has an ankle. We'll see how bad it is. He rolled an ankle I think on the first kick return. But it was nice to see the other guys step up.

Q. What about Jojo Kemp?

COACH STOOPS: Jojo, yeah, it was nice to see him get the ball, get in the flow. We knew he was a play-maker. Good to see him getting involved.

Q. Can you recall a game in the past where you made an adjustment based on a pregame warm-up?

COACH STOOPS: Not to that extent. I mean, obviously you're always looking at things, getting a tip for things they're stressing, different alignments, things like that. But nothing that drastic.

Q. Three straight penalties, then you're facing second and 25 on your own 12, then an 88-yard touchdown pass. How happy were you about that?

COACH STOOPS: Very happy about that. You can imagine, we wanted to be aggressive this week in our approach, the way we coached them. We wanted to take some shots. That was good to see that.

When you're in predictable situations backed up like that, your O-line has to do a great job, everybody has to execute. To hit it for a touchdown, that was great.

Q. How does it feel to get your first win?

COACH STOOPS: It really does feel good. It feels great. To be honest with you, I was so involved in the game, doing everything you have to do to win, prepare, making sure you're taking care of everything... Same thing with after the game, talking to the team. Then Avery (Williamson) gave me the game ball. It hit me.

Like I told them, we're always going to value wins, no matter who they are, what they are. It's hard to get them. We appreciate winning today. We're going to go back to work tomorrow and prepare for the next week.

Q. How would you describe your defense today?

COACH STOOPS: We were better. We were better. Again, I felt like you saw some guys going backwards, you saw some guys being physical. That was good to see. We had to play things pretty straight because of the reasons why I just told you.

But overall I was happy with the execution. I was happy with their effort.

Q. (Question regarding Sanders not playing towards the end of the game …)

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, just to see other guys, maybe get a few guys tweaked up here and there. Nothing major. We should be fine.

Q. First few series, Max (Smith) and Jalen (Whitlow) back and forth. Is that what you had in mind?

COACH STOOPS: We don't know exactly how that's going to go. We have some plays for Jalen we thought we could hit. We hit one early. That was good to see.

You know, just like I've said over and over, we'll do what we have to do to prepare our team to win. If that's with one guy, then we'll stay with it.

But I think we have two good guys that are still feeling their way out through things. We have to be good around them. We do need some continuity and some leadership. We'll just see how that goes. Play it game to game.

Q. Were you better around them (the quarterbacks)?

COACH STOOPS: We were better around them. I thought we protected for the most part. We were better at receiver around them.

Q. (Question regarding Dyshawn Mobley).

COACH STOOPS: Dyshawn has done a great job. He works extremely hard. A big, physical back. But there's some other guys that are getting snaps ahead of him.

Q. (Question regarding Jon Toth at center.)

COACH STOOPS: This week we made that move, I want to say after Wednesday or Thursday, just went with him. We know we're going to go through some growing pains with him. But we wanted to give the young guy a chance, let him get out there and see what he could do.

Q. What did you like about him?

COACH STOOPS: His athleticism. He's big. He's done a nice job.

Q. Is that a result of injuries?

COACH STOOPS: Part of it. Part of it.

Q. (Question regarding TraVaughn Paschal)

COACH STOOPS: I feel good about TraVaughn. He gives us something in there. He's a big, physical guy. He has some twitch about him. He has good instincts.

Q. How long do you have to celebrate before the monster ahead of you?

COACH STOOPS: I have a lot of family in town. Celebrate tonight. Get back to work tomorrow. Big game next week. We'll be excited to play.

Q. Can you talk about Za'Darius and maybe his over-exuberance?

COACH STOOPS: I was going to put that on there if you didn't ask that (laughter).

Very excited about the way he's playing. There's a fine line there. We need to have some fun. We need to enjoy it. We need to play confidently. We expect him to make big plays like that.

The over-exuberance has to go. We have to be more disciplined as a football team. But he's a very good player and he's going to get better and better as we go.

Q. Talk about next week.

COACH STOOPS: Big rivalry. We're looking forward to it. It's going to be a big challenge. They're a good team, well-coached team. We're going to be excited.

Like I said, we're going to enjoy tonight and we'll be back at work hard tomorrow and ready to prepare.

Q. Any other special moments about today, coming off the field?

COACH STOOPS: No, I enjoyed it. But I really didn't think too much about it before or after or anything until I was wrapping up with the team, giving them the send-off for the night. Again, I want them to enjoy it. They deserved it. They worked hard for it, so it's fun to see.

Q. Second half seemed kind of slow.

COACH STOOPS: Even the second quarter.

Q. At what point did you feel you need to get this game to the finish line?

COACH STOOPS: We wanted to work our operations late into the fourth quarter just because we need the work. That's where we're doing some ball control passes, letting Jalen get out there and throw it a little bit, just operate our offense. We didn't want to take any shots at that point in time. Just wanted to run some plays.

Late in the fourth quarter, then it was time to run the clock and get out of there. We need to use as many opportunities as we can to work young guys and just get better.

Q. (Question regarding Neal Brown’s offense)

COACH STOOPS: I think you all know what the offense is, what he's done at Tech, other places, Troy. That is our offense. But you got to understand with Neal and with all of our offense coaches, they always run the ball.

Sure, we could have done things better in the opener, we know that. Like I said, anybody that doesn't say as a coach that you wouldn't change something here or there is probably lying here and there.

So we know we can do better. We know that. We're going to always work to put him in a position to be successful. If it's a bunch of runs one game, that's what we're going to do. If it's taking shots in the pass game, that's what we're going to do.

That's what I said after last week. I have great confidence in those guys. They have toughness and physicality about them. That's what I like about them.

Q. (Question regarding offensive yards record.)

COACH STOOPS: I didn't know that till you just told me that. But that's great. You know, that's a good sign. There's been some very good offenses around here. We expect to play well on both sides of the ball. We expect to improve every week. That's what we're trying to do.

Q. Were you happy overall with your approach this week with the way the players executed?

COACH STOOPS: I really was. I believe I mentioned this a time or two after practice, but I felt like we were more poised this week. Still focused, but more poised.

A big point that I tried to make to them all week was, you know, that's my job. I admitted it after game one. You have to get them ready. I felt like we wanted to go from play one to the end of the game real quick.

It's one play at the same time. That gets so boring to hear. We need to improve and focus and do the best we can on every play. That's what we talked about, just trying to be perfect at one play, then stack another one, then get another one. That's what we're trying to do.

Q. Your first win, kids give you the game ball. Take a deep breath. Pretty cool. You have tears in your eyes.

COACH STOOPS: You're trying to get me to choke up (laughter). I tell you, I could have in there.

It did, it meant an awful lot to me. It really hit me at that moment. That was like a 'wow' moment for me. You're so busy in the moment, trying to take care of things, operate things the right way.

But I hadn't been there before as a head coach to win it. When he did that, it did mean an awful lot to me. I'm very proud of it and look forward to many more.

Q. What did you see from Max after the first quarter and how do you feel about that decision?

COACH STOOPS: Max is going to be fine. He's a good quarterback. So is Jalen. We said that all along. It's been a tough decision. You all can see that, they both do good things and they're both not perfect.

I thought he rushed things a couple times. He started rushing some throws in trying to get the ball off too quick. Made a few poor throws here and there.

They're going to learn. They're both doing some very good things. There's plenty to learn from.

Q. Are you concerned about the punt returns at all?

COACH STOOPS: Yes, very (laughter).

When Demarco went down, he's been so solid back there, once he went down... I make light of it, but that's very aggravating. It's not very good. We need to get that cleared up.

There are some simple rules that are applied that most people in college football know, that you don't back up behind the 10 and catch it, secure the football on a punt safe. We made some plays that we're not very proud of. That's what we got to constantly do. We need to be a smart team.

I thought we played harder tonight and we need to continue to be more disciplined and play smart.

Q. (Question regarding the positives coming off the win.)

COACH STOOPS: It's always good when you can win a game and be not happy about a lot of situations. So there's plenty to improve.

Again, we're always going to appreciate wins. That's the bottom line. We're in a bottom-line business: you need to win. So that was good. But there's plenty to learn from.

I thought we were very sloppy. I don't like the penalties, the ball security. Again, on special teams, I thought we were out of whack. We weren't always on the same page with some substitutions that we need to get better at, things like that. So there's plenty to learn from.

That's the great thing, is you can learn after a win.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#2, Jalen Whitlow, QB, So.

On switching out positions throughout the game…
“It is what it is. I’m just playing my role on the team. I’m doing whatever I can to help the team win.”

On how big of a win this is…
“Every win is big. You can’t take anything for granted. Every win is big, especially in college football where everyone is well coached.”

On how alternating QB’s affected Miami’s defense…
“I could kind of tell that they were on their heels because they didn’t know who to expect sometimes. When I came out there, they expected me to run the ball probably, but I ended up faking the run and threw the pass, so it’s hard to adjust to that. We are two different quarterbacks with two different styles so it kind of reminded me of high school (and how we did it). It makes it hard on the defense.”

On using a mixture of run and pass plays…
“We just want to keep the defense off balance and keep them guessing.”

#6, Jason Hatcher, DE, Fr.

On facing his hometown team next week…
“This is home. They are going to be coming to our backyard so we have that edge on them. They are a great team so there will be a lot of preparation that goes into this week.”

On getting the first win of the season…
“It was a great feeling. We worked hard and had a lot of corrections to make from last week. We came out with better energy and focus and everyone played assignment football. We got the ‘W’ and it was a great feeling.”

On how the defensive line played…
“I think we did a lot of good things. We came out and they gave us a look that we weren’t ready for. We came to the sideline and were coached up and went out there and stopped the triple option. We have a lot of experience down at the tackle positions. This is Bud Dupree’s first year playing end and he brings a lot to the table. Za’Darius Smith is just a technician so I have learned a lot from him as well.”

#41, TraVaughn Paschal, LB, Jr.

On what they will take from this game and use towards next week’s matchup…
“I’m not really sure. We just ended this game, so we will start to get into Louisville tomorrow. We don’t really know as of right now. We will definitely bring the intensity, I’ll tell you that much.”

On how his foot is feeling…
“I just got a flat tire. I’ll be all right. I should be out there tomorrow or Monday. It’s nothing serious at all.”

On getting his first reps at a new position…
“It felt just like practice to me. I was prepared from practice so it was nothing different. The scout team gave us great looks so I was able to piece together everything just like if it were practice.”

On how much of a challenge practice has been playing a new position…
“For some reason it felt natural. I really haven’t messed up on too much.”
#1 Ryan Timmons, WR

On making plays in Commonwealth Stadium...
"It feels great, a great experience. My first game in Commonwealth Stadium, I think I played good, but I can play a little bit better."

On the young players stepping up to be playmakers...
"We have a lot of playmakers on this team as you have seen. We have freshman scoring and first year guys scoring, I'm very excited about the week coming, we won today, so we have great confidence for this next game."

On the next game against Louisville...
"I'm excited, I mean its Louisville vs. Kentucky. It's my first UL vs. UK game being in it, so they are a great team so we just have to prepare."

#4 Raymond Sanders, RB

On how QB Max Smith played...
"He played well. He slung the ball around, threw some touchdowns, and a lot of guys made some plays. He found the open guy, I think he played really well getting the tempo going and I think he's going to play well next week also."

On the way Coach Neal Brown calls the running plays...
"I think it mixes it up for the defense, it makes it difficult. We have the pass and the run so it makes it difficult for them. We are going to keep mixing it up and we have a strong group of running backs and we want to be balanced and catch teams off guard."

On how the sweep play opens up the big plays...
"It plays out a lot because we were able to get guys open, we were able to use the play action and use Jonathan (George). We feel like that was a play that was going to be successful for us this week and those guys did a great job running it and the guys upfront blocking for it. We just need to get those guys the ball and get them around the edge because Coach (Stoops) always wants to get the ball in the playmakers hands in different ways and I think that was another way to get the ball around the edge."

#8 Javess Blue, WR

On coming out and playing well...
"It felt really good, I caught a touchdown pass. At the same time, I have to worry about the next play, so I have to act like I've been there."

On the 88-yard touchdown catch...
"I didn't even know it was 88 yards until I scored and came back to the sideline. I had to think about the penalties we were getting so I thought it had to be pretty long. It was pretty big, those stats are adding up."

On the leadership emergence from Max Smith...
"He came up to me and we had some one-on-one talks so it was a great connection that we have picked up. I think it showed out there on the field today."

#94 Za'Darius Smith, DE

On how much of a confidence booster this game was...
"We needed this game a lot, and you know we got it, so we have to put that in the past and worry about the future."

On his excitement level after big plays...
"Somewhat, yes sir. Just by making that sack, I know I have to get back to the next play."

On his goal of getting 12 or 13 sacks this season...
"That's motivation. It's a mindset thing. If I keep working on it, I'll get it."

#11, Maxwell Smith, QB

On how much better this week’s game felt..
“Much better. Much, much better. That’s how it’s supposed to feel. We got the win. We got that monkey off our back.”

On how much confidence he felt the team needed…
“It wasn’t really looking for confidence. We just needed to come out and do what we knew we could do, and we did that. I thought we played very physical. We were excited and we just kept talking about our motto this week, next play. Doesn’t matter what we do. Whether it was an 80-yard touchdown, a kick return, a fumble, an interception. Doesn’t matter what it was. It was the next play and just go to next play after next play and put things together.”

On what switching quarterbacks throughout the game is like…
“It’s obviously something I’ve never done before. But, I’m doing it. We won the game and we played pretty well so let’s keep doing it, right?”

On whether it’s hard to stay in rhythm when switching quarterbacks often…
“I don’t know, I don’t think so. I think you just always need to be ready. Coming off the bench in the first game I had to be ready. Whether it’s Jalen (Whitlow) running five plays. He had that one series all to himself where they had a great drive. Unfortunately we couldn’t punch it in the end zone but we were just going fast and he was driving us down the field, so why take him out? And, I thought he did a really good job there.”

#2, Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE

On how the team stayed more focused through practice this week…
“We weren’t as tight as last week. At practice, everyone was loose, ready to ride, ready to roll and ready to show that we’re a different team than we were last week.”

On what the message was from the coaches after the game this week…
“They were happy. Just keep the train rolling for Louisville next week and come out and play another good game.”

On how tough it was to make changes so close to kickoff…
“Just seeing that they changed the offensive style, we had to just go in the locker room (and make changes). He had to basically just teach us what to do in the locker room because we had prepared for totally different than they ran it. He did a great job with that, getting us prepared for that offensive style and we did pretty well, I think.”

#3, Jojo Kemp, RB

On how it felt to see all of the fans even after last week’s loss…
“The very first game, I felt like everybody was just too intense. There was a lot of minimal mistakes, small mistakes, and they probably were more physical than us. But, this game, everybody came with their heads on straight, ready to get that first win at home. You could tell how everybody was focused at practice. We came ready for this game.”
On his performance today…
“Today, the first half I only had a few carries, but like I said back then, I was going to wait my turn. Whenever I got in, I was going to make the best of it. And then, they put me in, so I had to make every carry count.”

#40, Avery Wiliamson, MLB

On whether Coach Stoops knew he would be receiving the game ball…
“I don’t think so. They told me in the fourth quarter that they wanted me to give it to him. So, I don’t think he was even expecting it.”

On whether today felt like the “New Day” that they’ve been discussing…
“It did. We adjusted to what they brought out. We switched around some personnel from week one and stabilized the game plan that let us play. I really like what they let us do. They let us play. I felt comfortable out there and it was good. I felt comfortable.”

On what it says about the team that they could adapt to Miami’s offensive changes…
“That definitely speaks a lot. We weren’t expecting them to run the formation that they did. We weren’t expecting them to do that at all. So, when we came out, Coach [Stoops] told us to get ready for it and we expected a few snaps of it. But, then they ran it the whole game so that speaks to the attention to detail and guys paying attention on the sideline.”

Miami Head Coach Don Treadwell

Opening statement …
“We’re learning a lot more about our team now that we have two games under our belt. Certainly for us as coaches, the thing that we’ll continue to do before we come up with any season focal point will be how we evaluate the guys, once we see the tape. We don’t really get too high or too low other than the fact that we are very disappointed in a loss. Other than that, we really want to find out with the guys that we’re playing how they perform now that we have two games under our belt. I think this is probably, very seldom do you like a bye week coming up, but for us, I think it will be a good thing because we need to internally look at some things, which guys are really performing at a certain level for us and then we can make some adjustments as we go and have another week in the gameplan to get ready so it’s coming around to a good week for that. Give a lot of credit to Kentucky, coach (Mark) Stoops, as we know, is an outstanding coach. His team was certainly prepared to play. A lot of big play guys, we knew that coming in, we’re playing an SEC team so for us to play the kind of game we need to compete with a team at this caliber we have to play flawless and that obviously did not happen today. But, at the same time, we give a lot of credit to the team we played because they were a very explosive football team on offense. They presented a lot of trouble as you saw early, I think, in the first half because they did a good job of mixing their quarterbacks so we couldn’t really get a beat on one guy. I thought coach Stoops and them had a great gameplan and they kind of really just freely mixed those guys in and that presented some problems for us. I think we settled down a little bit defensively in the second half as we made a few adjustments but at the end of the day I think our guys just settled down and stayed locked in on their keys and that type of thing. We’ve got to get a little more production, needless to say, out of our offense. We had unfortunately some drops, we had some issues with protection and so those are the things that we’ll go back and evaluate the film and see if it was a personnel mismatch against an SEC team or is it structural and then we’ll go from there.”

On if they expected Kentucky to use both quarterbacks …
Yeah I think we did because when you watch the tape from their first game you saw both of them being effective so that wasn’t a surprise. I just thought they did a good job this game where they rolled them in pretty regular throughout the game.”

On not throwing down field being caused by Kentucky’s defense or play calling …
“Defense because we probably called about six deep throws and we only got about one off just because of protection and you give credit to their defense.”

Miami Student-Athletes

#3 Dayonne Nunley, DB, Sr.

On his thoughts about today’s game:
“Kentucky came out and played great today. At the end of the day the scoreboard showed it.”

On giving up so many yards on defense:
“We need to come together as a team. We came out a lot better in the second half and only gave up 10 points. We started clicking and started playing football. We started having fun like you’re supposed to do.”

On what changed in the second half:
“We loved that defense we were playing. We were out there having fun. We had fun on defense, got to the ball and made tackles.”

On almost getting an interception:
“I had that ball. I’ll tell you right now.”

On what instruction he was given in the second half:
“Go out there and be a playmaker. Just go out and make plays. They wanted me to go out there and do what I do best. That’s what I tried to do today.”

On the team’s mindset heading into their bye week:
“Going into the bye week we need to get (our) minds right, get everything together and get ready for (the University of Cincinnati).”

#16 Austin Boucher, QB, Sr.

On what went wrong today:
“Kentucky is a good team. I’m pretty mad. I don’t have much to say. The better team won today. They executed and we didn’t. We need to get some things fixed.”

On whether Kentucky’s defense or their own execution caused the most problems:
“It was more on us. They did exactly what we thought they would. We need to execute. We need to get back, look at the film, make adjustments and get back to the drawing board.”

On if he feels more comfortable in the pocket or on the run:
“Either—I’m a quarterback. You stay in the pocket and run when you have to. I tried to get our offensive line to step up. I have no problem with calling them out. I need to have confidence stepping up but we’ll get that fixed so we can be a unit and stay together through a game like this.”

On if the upcoming bye week will help the team:
“Yeah, absolutely. Anytime you experience a game like this it’s good to come together. When adversity hits it’s easy to point the finger and say you did this or you did that but there’s still 10 games to play. We’ve got to stay together. We’ve got a whole season ahead of us. It’s just a matter of us staying together and getting things fixed.”