Kentucky-Louisville Postgame Quotes

Sept. 14, 2013

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Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops

COACH STOOPS: Disappointed. Disappointed with the loss. I was proud of our guys' effort. I felt like we fought, played tough at times, had our opportunities. Disappointed that we didn't make the plays when we needed to.

Give credit to Louisville. They made the plays when they needed to. So that's where we're at.

We're going to continue to fight and get better. I thought we made some improvement in certain areas and we need to keep on working and keep on grinding.

Q. Was it a little shocking to come out and play that well on defense, maybe think it's going to give you a chance to hang around, the offense can't make a play?

COACH STOOPS: I was proud of the stops. I felt like we had a good plan. I felt like our guys were starting to play more aggressive, make them earn their yards. Had a few wrinkles here and there.

But overall, yeah, I was happy with the effort. It was disappointing that we had a couple turnovers. We had the ball down there even at the end of the first half. We had our opportunities. We needed to score. Going into that game, you know you're going to need to score some points.

Q. Maxwell Smith's status?

COACH STOOPS: I'm not sure of Max's status right now. He got banged up. Banged up his shoulder. We'll see where it's at.

Q. Can you talk about what you did with your line?

COACH STOOPS: We just wanted to mix things up a little bit, get a little bigger, have some different looks, get Jason (Hatcher) on the field.

I said it all week, that they could run the ball when they wanted to. Late in the game, they ran it on us.

But, yeah, it was just a different look, different defense. Gave us a chance. I thought it gave us some stops early.

Q. How tough was it for the defense not to get much rest?

COACH STOOPS: I think it did hurt us a little bit. It's always like that. We understand that. Sometimes it's going to go your way that way, where the offense is going to have long drives, kill some clock. Sometimes it's not.

That obviously didn't work in our favor today.

Q. How do you feel about the first two drives in the second half?

COACH STOOPS: We talked about that. We knew they were in there talking about coming out strong in the second half. We were talking about coming out strong in the second half.

I thought they moved it on us. They ran it a little bit. We had some mistakes that are correctable, again, that we just need to keep on working. There were some things that we could do better and we will.

Q. How would you evaluate Jalen (Whitlow)?

COACH STOOPS: Jalen did some good things and obviously made some critical errors. He's not unlike a lot of our players. It's hard to swallow when you're the quarterback and he's very visible. He can't afford to make those mistakes. We need to get that corrected.

I thought he did some good things. He stepped up. We had to go with him for a good portion of the game. He gave us a chance. Again, we got to play better around him, as well.

Q. Reese (Phillips) was warming up a little bit.

COACH STOOPS: We were into the next guy. If he got banged up, we would have had to go to the next guy.

Q. What would have been the preference there if Max was out?

COACH STOOPS: We would have went with Patrick (Towles).

Q. Some of the drops by your receivers, youthful mistakes, inexperience?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, it was disappointing. Those are drive killers. There were some shots in there early, even a screen, I forget who dropped it, but we had a screen. That was a big play at a critical time.

The next thing you know, instead of hitting that you're third-and-10. That's not good against a very good team. You can't do that. That's what we talk about. Neal (Brown) has talked about that. It's so true.

Until we start making the routine plays, we're going to have a hard time beating a top-10 team. But had we made routine plays, then we have a chance, better chance than the way it turned out.

Q. Do you feel like you did a good job of containing the quarterback?

COACH STOOPS: I thought we did a nice job. He's very hard to contain the whole game, as you know. I mean, that's why he's a Heisman contender.

We did have some stops early. You saw it. We did have an opportunity. We got some pressure. We had some different looks. We had a ball hit us in the chest.

For the quality of player that he is, I thought it was good to get some stops. Then you just got to hang in there and you got to finish.

Q. What are you seeing on third downs?

COACH STOOPS: Just a lot of things. Poor decisions, time, not manageable third downs. We were fighting it most of the day, whether it be behind the chains early, then late in the game having to score and things like that.

It's a lot of things that we need to get cleaned up on our third downs.

Q. Six guys dropping passes. You said it had gotten better. Have you been seeing that in practice?

COACH STOOPS: No. It has not been that bad. We just got to keep on working. I mean, unless Coach Brown and Coach Marrow can go out there, we got to keep on working.

I believe in our players. They'll get better. We've got to continue to fight. They can do it. Again, that's something that we've got to do, we've got to make routine plays.

That goes back to the third-down question. He can't drop second-down plays and get third-and-longs all the time. We wouldn't have had so many third-down plays had we made plays on second down.

Q. (Question regarding defensive line.)

COACH STOOPS: We're not as deep as we'd like to be. That's a fact. In the second half they rushed it a little better than they had been. I'm sure not having Donte (Rumph) is a factor. I haven't seen the tape yet.

Q. (Question regarding Jojo Kemp.)

COACH STOOPS: Jojo has got to see more time. He does. He's good. He's been coming along. We have to continue to bring him along.

Q. (Question regarding Jason Hatcher.)

COACH STOOPS: Jason is going to continue to play as well. We love Jason. He's going to be a very good player. He's a young guy. He's out there. He went through some growing pains a little bit. He did some very good things, but he did some things that he'll get better at.

Q. (Question regarding Louisville balanced offensive attack.)

COACH STOOPS: We talked about that all week. That's a big part of it. You could see the big play receivers that they have that can make plays. So when they get the run game going, then the play-action off it, it's very hard.

Q. (Question regarding the defense from week one to week two, week two to week three.)

COACH STOOPS: We made some steps. Like I told the team, we're never going to accept losing and all that. I could give that whole same speech and everything like that.

It's hard for me to say that. When you look at it, it's all said and done, there were probably a bunch of yards in there. But we had a bunch of stops against a very good team. I think there were five or six stops against a very good team.

We have to continue to fight, finish, learn how to win, make plays when the game's on the line, so...

Q. (Question regarding Cody Quinn.)

COACH STOOPS: I thought he did some nice things. He made a nice play down there. We left him man-to-man down there at the end against a very quality receiver. He made a nice play.

That's the bind you're in sometimes. Hey, let's go. We got to tighten up, play man coverage. He made the play on third down that gave us a shot.

Q. Was experience showing in some of these games when he's (Javess Blue) able to make plays?

COACH STOOPS: He's a big-play guy. Again, I think he's getting better and better. He's so new here, he missed all summer. He's getting better. He's definitely got the skills that we're looking for.

Q. How much further do you think you are from the opening game?

COACH STOOPS: I think we're quite a bit better. I do. I think we're better. Same thing I told them. If we continue to do that, just go to work, just get better, next week is a bye week, we'll watch the film, clean things up on Monday. We'll practice hard Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to get better.

They'll be off for the weekend to heal up. Only long break they'll have. We got to get better. Next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we got to get better. I believe they will. We're going to continue to make strides and move in the right direction.

Q. Do you feel this bye week comes at a right time knowing you have Alabama, Florida, South Carolina in the next three weeks?

COACH STOOPS: I guess so. I think we're a little banged up. I think most teams in the country are. It would be nice to be at full strength during that stretch.

Q. Seemed like a lot went wrong in the offense in the second quarter.

COACH STOOPS: Sure. I may get knocked for saying it, but I think it's fair to say. Honestly, I think we're getting better, I do. We have a ways to go. We're going to continue to fight.

That's what I told them. We're going to hit the reality of this situation head on. That's what it is. We need to learn how to make plays when the game's on the line. We need to learn how to make stops.

I don't care how many stops you need to make, you got to make them. You need to learn to catch, secure the football, all the things necessary to play good football. We're going to continue to work at it.

I'm not discouraged, but obviously disappointed with the loss. I'm not discouraged with these players, their attitude, their work ethic. We just got to keep on getting better.

Q. (Question regarding UK's fumble.)

COACH STOOPS: I couldn't even tell you, to be totally honest with you. I didn't see it or listen to it. I don't know.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#3 Jojo Kemp, RB

"In reference to how well the offensive plays were executed...
"Yeah we made a few plays out there, and a couple little mistakes.  That's just a part of the game of football."

On the progress made during this game...
"There were a lot of guys that came up and made some plays but we just have to get the small things down.  That's what keeps holding us back."

On how he feels he contributed to the game...
"Like I said, every time they give me the opportunity, I am going to give them my all, and that's exactly what I did.  Whatever the coaches want I am going to do.  If they want me to sit on the sideline and root for my team that is exactly what I am going to do.  It's not frustrating because I know the coaches know what they are doing.  I have faith in these coaches."

#2 Jalen Whitlow, QB

On how he thinks the team played the game...
"We have to take care of the ball and be more consistent.  We have to avoid the negative plays."

On if his pre-game focused caused the turnovers...
"Oh I was focused and ready to go. Coach is ready to go every game. The guy just got his hands on the ball at the right time.  It is a next play mentality you have to shake it off and keep fighting."

On how he played today...
"Not good enough.  Too many mistakes.  Not consistent enough.  As a unit we have to make routine plays.  Those plays win games."

#16, Cody Quinn, CB

On his performance...
"It felt good, a little rusty, but I made a couple plays.  I need to work on some things but, overall, I think we played good as a defense. We just have to finish and keep fighting through adversity."

On guarding receivers...
"That's what I have to do, it's my job to guard receivers, man-to-man. I know I'm going to be out there by myself but you have be able to make plays. I know coach preaches on winning one-on-one so that just what you have to do."

On guarding Louisville's DeVante Parker...
"He's a real good receiver. I'm pretty sure he'll be going to the NFL soon but I think we held him for the most part. The one touchdown he got, he made a great play. Fred (Tiller) went up for it but he just got the ball. Overall, I think we contained him pretty well."

#40, Avery Williamson, LB

On the defense's performance...
"At some points in the second half we had a few drives we should've stopped but that comes with being disciplined."

On Louisville scoring in the second half...
"I feel like we just didn't fit the gaps like we did in the first half. We weren't as tough. I feel like we have to improve on that."

On containing Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater...
"I feel like we did pretty good. He had a few runs where he broke loose but, for the most part, I feel like we contained him pretty good."

#1, Ryan Timmons, WR

On whether there was a reason for more drops this week...
"No, not really. It was just lack of focus. We had a good week of practice. Those dropped balls, we make in practice. Like I said, we have to try to be more consistent from practice into the game."

On whether this felt like a game with missed opportunities...
"Of course. The defense made a lot of stops for us. We have every right to feel bad about ourselves. We had chances. Like I said, on the offense it wasn't consistent enough. We have to do better."

On whether the drops hurt more due to the rest of the plays' strong execution...
"Of course. Our game plan was fine. It was just a matter of if we had caught those balls. It would have been a different game. We had a lot of guys open, a lot of holes that were there. We just had to finish.

#6, Jason Hatcher, DE

On how Louisville was having a difficult time blocking Hatcher...
"That was part of our game plan. We came out in some different looks just to throw them off. We didn't want to be sitting ducks out there. It worked in the first half."

On what Kentucky was doing right at the beginning of the game...
"We were playing our assignments. We were giving looks they hadn't seen before, as far as our defense, giving them something that they didn't really prepare for. It was kind of our game plan and they just came out in the second half and adjusted."

On whether Louisville seemed surprise to see Hatcher at linebacker...
"I think they were pretty surprised by it. Like I said, we only gave three points and then they came out and made some adjustments and made some big plays."

On whether he felt good about the game going into halftime...
"No, I mean I knew we had a whole other half to play. They came out the second half and put points up right away. The first half is just the first part of the game. I knew it was going to be a long game."

#8, Javess Blue, WR

On what coach said after the game...
"We have to keep working, take advantage of this bye week we got coming up. We have bumps and bruises we need to get healed up and come back fighting strong again"

On the dropped balls ...
"We have to get (it) back into our heads and get that motivation."

 On surprise of the dropped balls...
"Yeah I really was. We have to do tennis ball drills and it's something that we do everyday so it's really something we have to take control of. There shouldn't be any dropped balls."

#11, Maxwell Smith, QB

On his injury ...
"Well I could throw the ball but I didn't have enough velocity on it. When it happened I threw another pass in the series it just kind of died on me and didn't have velocity. I just felt like I wasn't the best choice for the team"

On fumble in red zone...
"I don't know I really don't know what happened. We will have to see on film. It was suppose to be a run play but I don't know what happened. It could be my fault it could or it could be his, but film will tell all."

On the offensive production...
"Very disappointing it all comes down to execution and we just didn't execute. We had a good game plan and there was a time when things were rolling a little bit, but certain plays and maybe one guy wasn't executing right and that's all it takes, even if it was me or someone else."

Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong

Opening statement ...
"It was a great team victory today and I knew coming on the road we had to play our best and we were coming into a situation where we were going to get their best. You have to give (Kentucky) a lot of credit. The first half, it was a tale of two defenses; their defense played well and our defense played well. We were able to mount a drive there right before the half to get it at 10-3. Then in the second half we made some halftime adjustments with our offensive coaches and we were able to take the ball for three straight drives and go score. Overall, very pleased, we could have played better, but you get a victory like this, you're on the road, you're very happy, it's a rivalry game."

On what made it hard for them to score in the first half ...
"Well, in the first half any time you haven't seen a defense before and they change it up, they did a great job of changing it up and mixing it up."

On their defense...
"Early in the game our offense wasn't playing well and defensively we were able to go out and get some stops. They were 0-for-13 on third down but I think they were able to convert three fourth downs with the quarterback using his legs. But, our defense, we were able to pressure and we were able to go stop the run. We wanted to make them one dimensional. They hit a big run there in the second half down the boundary but just very pleased with how we played on defense."

On how the run game helped them get going ...
"You want balance and any time you can get balance with your run and pass game it is so critical. We were able to go run the football, you look at Dominique (Brown), who made some big runs and then Senorise (Perry) was able to break the long one down the boundary. Even with (Michael) Dyer, he made some big runs. Our offensive line just grinded it out. The first half we weren't staying locked up on the blockers but also it's a combination of the linemen and the running backs. The running backs have to run through a defender, sometimes he may not get blocked but just run through him but it was good to see that happen."

On adjustments or execution being the difference in the second half ...
"A combination of both because in order to execute you have to make the adjustments so we were able to make the adjustments and then we were able to execute."

On wanting to be known as a strong defensive team rather than just offensive ...
"Well what happens when you have a Heisman quarterback you're going to get the notoriety there on offense but defensively we have some players on defense. This team on offense, has an outstanding quarterback, you have some receivers, a running back and then on defense you have some good players. I don't know what we're known as but I'd just like to be known as a team that plays together in all three phases."

On how big of a win it is ...
"Well, it's big but when you look at this game, it's a big game because it's a rival game and there's so much put into it. That's what I told our players, all games are big games but this game is a little different and that's why we had to go out and go prepare the way we did. Just make sure we had the focus and we had the confidence to believe that we could come in here and beat them."

On the momentum swing going into the half ...
"It was because they were driving the football. They actually had it down within field goal range. They could have walked out of there with three points and then you never know what could have happened at the start of the second half. But just to get that stop knowing that we were going to get the ball at the start of the second half (was big)."

Louisville Student-Athletes

#2 Preston Brown, LB

On the fumble return he recovered in the first half...
"I think it was great to get a little momentum going into halftime. It really got the guys hyped up and ready to go back in there."

On winning three in a row...
"It's good to get three in a row in a rivalry. They played their hardest. They did outstanding today. My hat goes off to them but it is great to keep the momentum going."

On if defense felt they needed to carry the load in the beginning of the game...
"Well we always go out there and try to play our hardest. We know that Teddy (Bridgewater) will get the guys right. We weren't really focused on them not getting touchdowns in the beginning. We know that Teddy will get them started eventually."

#10 Dominique Brown, RB

On adjustments to the line in the second half...
"Our run game coordinator did a great job on scheming things. We ran different runs than we did the first half. They came out with different fronts that we weren't prepared for. The second half we made adjustments and the offensive line came off of the ball. Our lead blocker did a great job and the tight end did a great job coming off the ball as well."

On being surprised by the Wildcats...
"Yes, we were pretty much surprised. They had five down linemen the whole game and we weren't expecting that. We were expecting three or something like that. So second half adjustments we came out and made. We just wanted to get physical and run and pass."

#5 Teddy Bridgewater, QB

On what changes were made at halftime to establish the running game…
“We just told the offensive line were going to line up and run it at them. Once your able to win the line of scrimmage your pretty much unstoppable.”

On what he learned about himself today in this kind of game in this type of atmosphere…
“We learned that you have to respect your opponent. Coming into the game we felt that we didn’t get any respect so we pretty much learned something from UK. We ‘re not as good as we think we are so we learned to stay humble and respect opponents.”

On his accuracy in today’s game…
“I just wasn’t as accurate as always. I’ll come back tomorrow and try to improve on every aspect of the game, but I’ll just need to look at the film and I’ll be able to critique myself.”

#9 DeVante Parker, WR

On his thoughts of Teddy Bridgewater’s performance…
“We started off kind of slow, but our running game picked it up in the second half enabling Teddy to throw the ball down field.”

On the impact of his touchdown catch in the first half…
“The DB played soft so I went up and got it. It gave us momentum going into the half.”