Kentucky-Florida Postgame Quotes

Sept. 28, 2013

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Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops

COACH STOOPS: Give Florida credit, they did what I was worried about going into the game. They really controlled both lines of scrimmage the entire game. Very physical team. Right from the opening drive, they kind of set the tone of what the night was going to be like. It's a very good football team, very physical football team.

We had a few opportunities to make it a game, and didn't make them. It was going to be hard. We knew that going into it. Felt like we had a few opportunities here and there. Just didn't capitalize on the plays.

We were leaving a lot of plays on the field, but that has a lot to do with Florida and the way they play. Give them credit. They beat us. They physically beat us. We need to get back to work.

Q. Was it the line of scrimmage that maybe kept you guys from getting any kind of rhythm offensively?

COACH STOOPS: That's a big part of it. Said that going into the week where they can get pressure. They can control the line of scrimmage. They make it very difficult to run the ball. They outnumber you all the time with big, physical dudes. Then you have to beat them outside. They have some very good talent outside.

You saw in one-on-one situations, they made most of them. So they put you in a bind where you have to make plays and you have to beat them.

Q. Jojo’s (Kemp) first carry, 11 yards. Don't see him again until the fourth quarter. What happened there?

COACH STOOPS: I'm not sure, to be honest with you. In the rotation there. We got guys coming and going so much, really didn't pay attention to that until I get to the film.

Q. What did you make of the way the quarterbacks played tonight?

COACH STOOPS: We knew it was going to be tough on them. There's a lot more to it than just the quarterbacks. We've said that throughout the year, that we expect them to play better. We need them to play better. We also need the guys around them to play better.

So it was going to be a difficult situation for whoever was playing quarterback for us tonight.

Q. Did you see anything you liked tonight?

COACH STOOPS: I mean, I've said this over and over. Our guys are going about their business the right way. They're trying to prepare. They're going about their business the right way during the week.

There was some fight in us. We're going to continue to fight. We're going to continue to get better. That's what I just told them in there. That's the way it is. We're going to get back to work on Monday and we're going to prepare to win next week. We expect everybody in there to keep on grinding to get better.

Q. The faked field goal something you saw on film?

COACH STOOPS: Yes. It was something we worked all week. We've been greasing it up. We felt like we had an opportunity where they had one guy and we had the option to run or throw that depending on what he did, whether he covered the guy that leaves for a pass. We felt if we could get the handoff or the toss, then we would have them in a bind.

Q. Do you know what happened on the play that looked like a throw-back?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah. We should have thrown it. Was set. That's where I say we saw some opportunities. That was one.

Hey, that's a good football team. They were beating us from the start of the football game to the end. That was an opportunity to get some good yards on that play. It was set up right like we wanted it to be.

Q. They were 8 of 13 on third down.

COACH STOOPS: What was disappointing was some of the third-and-longs they created. There were a lot of third-and-shorts that were under a yard. They were going to be tough to stop on that as big and physical as they are. But the third-and-longs were discouraging.

There was one we were screwed up on a call, busted one on a third-and-long in the first half that really hurt us. We've been pretty good on those. Had a pretty good third-down package going this year. They created a four-by-one set, motioned it over. We just got off track there.

Q. Were you more aggressive than you would be against a normal opponent?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, out of respect for their defense, knowing that we were going to have a hard time moving the ball consistently. So we had to take some shots.

So the fake field goal we thought was there. I wanted to call it when we had an opportunity. I wasn't sure if they would play it any differently because it was such a long field goal to try. That was the only thing I was worried about at that point.

Then with the trick play there, the throw-back to the quarterback, it's just something we had greased up. Again, it would have given us an opportunity had we executed it. But we didn't. It takes us right out of another opportunity.

So, yes, we did feel like we had to take a few shots here and there.

Q. (Question regarding Josh Forrest’s interception.)

COACH STOOPS: That was a nice play by Josh (Forrest). We were doing some other things. They were picking us apart at times with certain looks. So that was a change-up, different personnel grouping. Put Josh in there, it did work. He made a nice play. Again, it gave us an opportunity.

I was really hoping Bud (Dupree) would get out there and get that block. I thought early Bud had a chance to see Murphy and get that block. Then as the play went on, he was going to outrun Bud.

But I thought had Bud turned real quick, I was just watching it on the field, but had Bud gotten that block, then we score, that pulls it to within 7 I believe at that point.

So it was a nice play by Josh. It was a good change-up.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH STOOPS: He was frustrated. We knew it was going to be a hard night. I'm sure, just like any of us. I was frustrated, too. I was frustrated on the first drive.

They do a nice job. They get you a little bit off balance. They're physical. They put a bunch of personnel groupings, more than people watching them on TV once a week. You study them, they put you in some positions that are hard to defend.

Q. Injuries. You've been very honest what you're facing here about what a long-term project this is.

COACH STOOPS: One or two guys don't make a difference. We were there. I was there a year ago. We lost the best player on our defense the first game. It didn't affect us one bit.

They got a lot of good players. They have very good coaches. They're good at what they do. That's what we're aiming to get to.

Yeah, we know it's going to be a process. Again, I'm not discouraged. We're going to go back to work. Our team's going to go back to work. I've been happy with the way we're preparing, going about our business. We know we're not there yet but we're going to keep on trying.

Q. What have you found out about your team the last two games?

COACH STOOPS: Well, I just felt like it was uphill from the beginning. Again, give them credit. I thought they were in control of it. But had we made a play or two, you don't know what's going to happen. You don't ever know.

But I like this group. We know where we're at as a program. But we're going to keep on banging. We're going to keep on working. We're going to keep on preparing to win. One of these days when we make enough plays to win, we'll win.

Q. (Question regarding Joker Phillips.)

COACH STOOPS: Joker has done a lot for this program, worked very hard for this program for a long time. I think most people have a lot of respect for what Joker has done, the person, the player, the coach he's been for this university. I'm glad to see that.

We're disappointed in a loss. But I went over and said hi to him, as well, congratulations. He's done a lot for this program.

Q. Talk about trying something different on the offensive line. Have you not been satisfied with that?

COACH STOOPS: It's tough. Like I said, you know, at times within this offense you try to eliminate some pressure off of them with getting rid of the ball and all that. But in this league, I mean, they're going to get up on you.

We talked about that. We know that. They're going to get right up in your face. They're going to outnumber you in the run game. They're going to make you beat them outside. They've got some good players to cover you up out there.

We've got to continue to get better, keep on working, get more skilled in what we're doing.

Q. What did you think of the way your defense hung in, especially during the middle stages of the game?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, y'all can tell me better, it's running together for me, I thought at one point when they were getting some drives on us, we were off balance defensively, we had a couple three-and-outs, put us right back out there. That's hard to do.

We know that. That's not blaming either side because it's going to take a group effort to beat Florida. We would have needed to play good in all phases, the best of our ability in all these phases.

I faced that team for a while. You give them a lot of opportunities, yes, it wears you down. You know, they're physical.

Q. Are there things players can still take away and they can use when they go against South Carolina?

COACH STOOPS: I think we'll go back, watch the film, look at the things we did good, the things we did bad. We'll keep on building on the things we did good and try to eliminate mistakes.

That's what I like about this group. We'll get back to work on Monday and they'll be ready to go. They're prepare to execute the offensive, defensive and special teams game plan and we'll just keep on working.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#11 Maxwell Smith, QB

On what he thinks the team needs to do to improve…
“It’s just going to take more practice. We have a lot of young guys. That is what it’s really all about. We need more repetition. We are going to get better every week.”

On the strength of the Florida defense…
“Louisville was good, but these guys were really good and super fast.”

On the growth the offense has made this season…
“Coach Brown and I and the other quarterbacks have talked about how we have too many negative plays. We had a couple runs that were negative and I missed a throw earlier in the game that could’ve been big on third down. We just aren’t executing.”

#45 Josh Forrest, LB

On how the defense played overall…
“We played okay. We could’ve been better and we still have a lot of work to do.”

On defending a running quarterback…
“It wasn’t too bad. We kind of knew what to expect. We’ve been planning against that all summer. “

#75 Zach West, OG

On Florida’s defensive line…
“We knew they were a talented line going in, even without Dominique Easley, we knew they would be a good line. They are one of the better lines in the SEC and that’s proven by the line of stats they have and how well they did tonight.”

On not completing plays…
“These past couple weeks, it comes down to one person not completing their job all the way. It’s never multiple guys or multiple players, just one guy on a different play. That’s what we think happened tonight.”

On improving over these past weeks…
“The hardest thing to see is improvement through failure. That’s what we feel like. We’re improving every week even though the scoreboard may not show it, but we feel like we’re definitely improving every week.”

#1 Ryan Timmons, WR

On Florida’s performance…
“I give them their credit. They’re a great team. They’re physical up front, very quick in the secondary and things like that, but we had our opportunities and we just didn’t capitalize on them.”

On if losing effects future game performances…
“It’s a factor if we let it bother us. If we go into next weekend at South Carolina thinking about this Florida loss, it’s going to hurt us when we play South Carolina on Saturday. We just have to learn from our mistakes on Sunday and just keep moving on.”

On Mansour’s performance…
“Mansour is pretty fast. That’s probably something you guys didn’t know, but he’s a very fast kid on our team.”

#3 Jojo Kemp, RB

On having a large time discrepancy between his first carry and his next one …
“No, I wasn’t hurt at all. My coach said that I wasn’t in the play call. So, I was just on the sidelines. Whenever it was my time or my turn to get in there I’d go rock and roll.”

On if there is frustration not getting touches …
“I just stay upbeat as I can and I’m on the sidelines cheering on my team. That’s the type of guy I am. I’m not one of those guys that holds my head down. I’m going to keep fighting, keep giving my all and at practice. Whenever my number’s called, I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”

On if he was frustrated with not getting carries …
“I mean yeah, just a little bit. It’s part of the game. I still have faith in my coaches. So whenever I get a chance I’m going to make the best (of it).”

#2 Bud Dupree, DE

On how frustrated he is …
“You know it’s always frustrating (to lose), but you’ve got to go to practice next week and take it one day at a time and learn.”

On what gave him the biggest problem …
“Making plays. We just had to make the right plays at the right times. We had to stop them a couple times. When we didn’t get stopped on them we did a good job with that. We’ve just got to keep working.

On how frustrating it is on third down to not be able to get off the field …
“Yeah you know we got to get off the field on the third down, one that’s the key to our defense. We stayed on the field entirely too long and we played too many plays. Our defense shouldn’t want to play that many plays. To be a dominant defense we just need to get off the field.”

#88 Joe Mansour, K/P

On his touchdown…
“We executed perfectly. We practiced it and we went out on the field and they gave us a perfect look like we have been working in practice and we executed. We got a perfect snap from Kelly Mason and a perfect toss from Jared Leet and I ran for the touchdown.”

On his thoughts on the field…
“I was thinking I want a touchdown. I knew that he took their wide receiver so I knew I could beat him to the end zone and I did.”

On the reaction of the touchdown…
“It felt unreal. I heard the crowd and everyone piling on me. It was great. It was loud and the extra point afterwards was awesome.”

#2 Jalen Whitlow, QB

On tonight’s performance…
“We need to get better as a unit and take advantage of their negative plays. We need to capitalize on those. The good thing is there is always next week. So we come back Monday and get better.”

On improvements the team has made…
“Yeah, we’re getting better for sure. I think it’s night and day compared to a couple weeks ago. We’re going to keep chipping at it.”

Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp

Opening statement …
“Very proud of our football team, it’s been a long week for us, psychologically and mentally as much as anything. When you go through Jeff’s (Driskel) situation and then Domonique’s (Easley) situation on Tuesday night, they are very frustrating but you can’t always control your circumstances in life but you can control your vision. I told our players, ‘no excuses and no regrets.’ That’s just who we are, we have an expectation level here at the University of Florida in what we’re going to do and where we’re headed with our program. I’m very pleased with how our guys pulled together and the Gator Nation pulled together and came up here and did what we did. Very proud, obviously you start the game with a 13-play drive, 93 yards. Proud of Tyler Murphy, 11-for-11 in the first half, 15-of-18 for the game, just made really good decisions as much as anything throwing, the ball but in the run game. He got us in and out of the right runs, we had a great surge all night on the offensive line. Every play seemed like three or four yards, getting them off the line of scrimmage and the two guys they have inside are big guys and the two edge guys are good players, just really proud of that. You know you have scoring of 93, 79 and 62 yards; our field goal drive was 15 plays and 64 yards. We were really good on third down defensively, didn’t start the game as well defensively. They had a week off, they gave us some new stuff, we adjusted to it in the game. We have to clean up our field goal block team a little bit as far as some responsibilities there; we needed to have somebody on the edge to make sure that that doesn’t happen to us as we move forward. We’re very proud of our offensive line, thought we played extremely well up front, getting a hat on a hat in the run game. They started, especially in the second half, giving us a lot of different looks and creating some problems in the run game. Really proud of our football team, they just came out there and worked hard.”

On Tyler Murphy’s decision making and composure …
“Outstanding, I mean really good. Again, he’s a very cerebral kid and he’s very smart, he gets the game. I think we’ve done a good job, I think (offensive coordinator) Brent (Pease) did a really good job of putting him in some good situations. We checked everything at the run game based on the look that they were a three-down and four-down team. Just really proud of his performance, he continues to improve and gain confidence in his play. Our football team has always had confidence in him, this coaching staff has always had confidence in him but he really played well.”

On running back Matt Jones compared to where he was weeks ago …
“Well I think it just takes some time, I think we all knew that a little bit and you don’t ever want to admit it because Matt is a good football player and a guy we were really counting on coming into the season but when you miss four weeks, maybe a little over a month of exercise and activity, I don’t care how old you are, it’s going to shut your body down a little bit, it takes some time to respond, especially with some of the physicality, holding on to the ball and doing some of that stuff. Real proud of Matt, I pulled Matt in Monday and I said, ‘man, you need to cut it loose and play. You’re very tentative when you run it, you look like last year at the beginning of the year. If you make a mistake, put it on me, I don’t care, everybody else does. So just run the ball hard, run the ball hard, cut it loose and go play.’”

Florida Student-Athletes

#3 Tyler Murphy, QB

On his comfort level going in to the game…
“I had a few nerves just like every game. I was able to hand off the ball to Matt Jones and throw a swing route to get the offense going. I was then able to settle down. I felt really calm as I had the support of my teammates. They made my job real easy.”

On how he was able to be successful against Kentucky…
“Coach (Muschamp) always tell us to focus on one play at a time, so that is what I did. The offensive line did a great job, as well as the wide receivers. Matt Jones was able to make some nice runs. Anytime you have long drives to start the game, it’s always a plus for your team.”

On his tackle after he threw an interception…
“The defense made a nice play, but I tried to force it. I will get in the film room to evaluate the play. He made a good play, and I made a bad decision. I just need to learn from that. I can’t make mistakes like that against Arkansas. It was a big tackle for me and it prevented them for scoring. We have a great defense and they stopped them after I threw that interception.”

#8 Trey Burton, WR

On how tough it was losing two leaders and having to perform …
“Extremely tough. It would have been worse if we would have came out with a loss. So we knew we had to go take care of business and get a win for those guys.”

On the importance of opening the game with a touchdown …
“Yeah it was a good start for us. (Tyler) Murphy did a good job running the ship. It felt like we had the ball forever. I don’t know how many minutes (it was) but it felt like we had it forever and that it was our job to keep the ball and keep the defense off the field and ready to go.”

On how much last week helped him perform this week …
“It helped him a lot. I don’t think he’ll ever be in a tougher situation than what he was last year, coming off the bench. You just really saw him grow up in front of your eyes. I’m just really proud of him and excited for the future.”