Kentucky-Mississippi State Postgame Quotes

Oct. 25, 2014

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Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops

COACH STOOPS: We got beat by a better football team. Give Mississippi State credit. They're a very good, strong, tough football team. Deserving of the No. 1 ranking that they have.

I appreciate our team's effort. We did not play well enough to win, to beat the No. 1 team in the country. Again, I felt like our guys, they went about their business. Their minds were right. Their hearts were right. They tried the best they could. They were a better football team.

As always in a loss, we all can do better. We will do better. We'll get back to work. But give Mississippi State credit, they made the plays when they had to. They were a very physical football team, as you saw.

So we've got to continue to work and get better. But that's the bottom line. They were a good football team and they beat us.

Q. (Question regarding UK’s missed tackles.)

COACH STOOPS: I think you have to credit them. Obviously, we have to do things better, be more physical, make tackles.

Yeah, we need to do better. But you have to give them credit for what they did. They made us miss. We had guys bouncing off them a couple different times. That's what I said earlier in the week. That's what you look like when you're a big, strong, physical football team. They broke tackles and made plays when they had to.

Q. When it comes down to closing the gap, your kids competed. Is it just consistency?

COACH STOOPS: For the way we're closing the gap?

Q. How do you close the gap where you're at now and...

COACH STOOPS: We were one on-side kick of going in and getting the ball. Pretty good. Those aren't great odds getting on-side kicks, but we were within 7 points of the No. 1 team in the country.

Certainly we need to do things better. But I think they're very good, very well-coached. They put a lot of stress on you. There's a lot of things we could do better, but again, that's not that far.

Q. Comment on Patrick Towles’ play today.

COACH STOOPS: I thought Patrick threw some good balls. We were inconsistent. He was inconsistent. He really threw some big-time throws. Our receivers made some big plays.

With a game like that, we had some big plays. I said it all week, we really need to play good in all three phases. It's hard. They put so much stress on you, their offense. That's why they're the No. 1 offense in our league. They put a lot of stress on you.

Obviously we didn't hold up very good. We needed to play better all the way across the board. But I thought Patrick did some good things.

Q. (Question regarding Demarco Robinson’s TD catch)

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, when he tiptoed in there. I didn't see it. It was on the far sideline. Obviously they reviewed it, so it was close.

Big-time play. I thought they really did some good things. Again, it was good. It was big to get that excitement early in the game.

Q. (Question regarding Ryan Timmons)

COACH STOOPS: Ryan did some really good things. Had some big catches. Javess had the long catch. We moved Javess a little bit inside this week.

They stepped up and competed hard, made some very big plays, really gave us an opportunity to win the game offensively and receiver-wise. Patrick throwing it, the receivers a making some catches. We just needed a few more stops.

We were behind the chains. It was an uphill battle the whole way. Just need to make some plays.

Q. (Question regarding quarterback runs)

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, we had to design a few quarterback runs in there, yeah.

Q. (Question regarding Bud Dupree’s strong game)

COACH STOOPS: No, he's a really good player. Plays extremely hard. As I've said over and over, he's very versatile and explosive. You could see him when it's a predictable pass, he can get a great pass-rush as well. Just love the way he's playing.

Q. (Question regarding bouncing back from loss at LSU last week)

COACH STOOPS: Somebody asked me how far off. I don't know. It's always week to week. You have to play good. That's what I told the team. We have to play our very best to beat the No. 1 team in the country. We didn't, and they had a lot to do with that. They're a very good football team.

But even though it was an uphill climb most of the game, we were in the game and had an opportunity. Need to get a few more stops. With the fourth down, Ryan almost comes down with it, then we score, might have been a tied ballgame at that point. I don't know. Would have, could have, should have.

But we had some opportunities. Not as many obviously because it was an uphill climb.

Q. (Question regarding being in the game late)

COACH STOOPS: We had some opportunities to win the game, we did. Even getting the onside kick. Again, I don't like those odds, that's tough to do. But it's a longshot at that point to get the onside kick. With the 15-yard penalty, gave us a chance.

Even if it bounced around down there, we still had two timeouts if we could have got it down the field. Of course, they catch it clean. Sometimes it happens that way. It just bounced perfectly right to him. If it short-hops him, you never know. But it bounced right to him. That's the way it went.

Q. What do you need from your run defense?

COACH STOOPS: We need to play better. They have a lot to do with that, with the dimension of their quarterback run game, how powerful they are, their running backs, they're very good.

The 77-yarder, whatever, we had a desperation call on there. They split us. The rest is history. I'd like to have that one back. But, again, they ran it pretty well all night. I think we're getting better.

But that's a good, strong, physical team. Again, that's why they're the No. 1 offensive team in our league, the No. 1 team in the country.

Q. (Question regarding Dorian Baker)

COACH STOOPS: I really don't want to go there too much. I mean, that's a conversation between me and the league.

Q. Can you give us a sense of the mood in the locker room?

COACH STOOPS: I think the mood is what it is. We got beat by a better football team. We had some opportunities. We can play better. We need to play better. Nobody's going to give you any victories. Nobody's going to feel sorry for you.

It's time to get back to work and go prepare for the next game.

Q. No concerns going forward?

COACH STOOPS: No, no, not at all. I mean, our team is strong. They're strong in the mind. They're strong in the heart. We're not perfect. We're a work in progress. I have no problem with their attitude or what they're doing. These are pretty good football teams we're playing.

Q. (Question regarding Josh Robinson)

COACH STOOPS: Seeing him in person, he was very, very tough. He was compact, low to the ground. He was very strong. Great balance. Very tough runner.

Q. What does it tell you about your kids every time they get down, they fight and crawl back?

COACH STOOPS: It's good to see our team being resilient, fighting. I like their attitude, I like the way we're working, trying the best we can. We're fighting.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#9 Demarco Robinson, WR

On the attitude of team...
"We are disappointed, we left a lot on the field. I feel like we left a lot out there. So any time that happens we kind of feel down on ourselves, but we are gonna get it right next week."

On the team’s play late in the game...
"We wanted it. Everybody wanted it bad, it just didn't happen for us. Sometimes things don't go our way, and we didn't make as many plays as we should have."

On his tip-toe TD catch...
"That is something we practice all the time, just catching the ball and getting straight up field as fast as possible."

#70 Jordan Swindle, OL

On the outcome of the game and if it will be tough to sleep tonight...
"Yes, for sure, but we have to get back to work on Monday and I am definitely going to try to motivate our team. I’m going to tell them the good things that we did and the bad things that we did. I have to motivate them to get better."

On hanging in there with the top-ranked team...
"I think that we didn't come to play last week and this week we came to play, but they are the No. 1 team in the country for a reason. We have promise, we have upside, but we have to get better."

#1 Ryan Timmons, WR

On practice this week and tonight's game...
"I played okay tonight, but I could have done a lot more to help my team win."

On how he played...
"I can do a lot more. I can give offense more energy and boost up the confidence.  I tried to give the crowd and offense some energy so we could move down and score some points."

On putting up points against the No. 1 team...
"It showed that we can put up points and score. Last week was disappointing but this week it showed that we can do a lot, especially against the No. 1 team in the country."

#24 Blake McClain, DB

On playing the No. 1 team...
"They're the No. 1 team for a reason. They played well and we didn't play our best, and when the No. 1 team in the country comes to your house, you have to play your best."

On the team’s resilience...
"We're never going to give up. I don't care if we're down by 50 we're never going to give up, we're going to keep playing. That's one thing we take pride in."

On what hurt the team the most...
"They made more plays than us. That's all it was."

#2 Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE

On the loss being frustrating...
"It's really frustrating. We had a lot of chances to win but sometimes we got a little carried away. We just have to get corrected for next week and just make sure we finish in the SEC East."

On the missed tackles....
"If everyone is trying to rip and no one is trying to tackle then we just have to get that corrected."

On UK’s quarterback keeping the team in the game....
"Pat is a great quarterback and he stood up big and put on a show. I just hope Pat just keeps doing that."

On bouncing back from last week...
"Even though we got blown out by LSU, they blew LSU out. So, we went out with the mentality that we wanted to win and we had the chance, we just couldn't pull it out, so we have to correct everything."

On forgetting this loss...
"Being the No. 1 team, we don't want to forget it. Just thinking about all of the opportunities we had, we just need to take all of the momentum we have and take it to Missouri."

#14 Patrick Towles, QB

On the dropped passes…
“It’s a whole combination of things I’ve got to throw the ball better, there’s no getting around that. We’ll get better and we’ll improve and be ready for next week.”

On them keeping up with MSU…
“We knew that we could be here. We knew that we could play with anybody in the country. I’m not sure the country knew that we could play with anybody in the country but we fought like I knew we would. We just didn’t make enough plays.”

How this game was different from LSU…
“A lot less mistakes for sure. I really just went after it. There was a little timid play down in Baton Rouge, with the whole offense and that was absent today. We ran into a really good football team who is going to win a lot of football games. They have a great quarterback and obviously really good defense. We played alright but we just didn’t play good enough.”

#8 Javess Blue, WR

On what went wrong…
“I mean when it comes down to it we just got to make plays and be that playmaker. We need to come out there and try to win a game. Basically, we just have to work on that.”

On Patrick Towles…
“Pat Towles came to play this game, he really stepped up and made big plays that kept us in the game the whole time. It’s something that we expect up out of him so he’s really taking that leadership role.”

On the next game on the road…
“We just got to step it up and practice harder and focus on what we got to do through the rest of the season. So, it’s just going to be a further step that we have to take but at the same time we just got to come back and make things work.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen

Opening Statement…
“Really proud of our guys today. Obviously, coming into a tough environment here at Kentucky against a very good football team that gave us everything they had out there on the field. They made plays all day long on both sides of the football and I don’t know if people are giving Mark [Stoops] enough credit for what he’s doing here with this outfit and what type of team Kentucky is. You give them a lot of credit. Their quarterback carried it 23 times and threw for 390 yards; one heck of a day by him. I’m really proud. We had guys step up and make plays when we needed to make plays. We’ve been doing that all season. It’s not just one guy. Josh Robinson does a great job carrying the ball and a great job carrying our team on his back and even carrying their team on his back. Christian Holmes, on the onside kick, made the play to seal the victory for us. All season long it has kind of been someone different and that’s one thing I’m really proud of. I thought we played a little tight in the first half. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, ‘This is the first time you’ve ever played as the No. 1 team in the country.’ These are young kids and I think they played on the end a little tight at times during the game today, but we continued to find a way to make plays and continued to find ways to win a game. Hopefully, we can get all of this ranking stuff behind us. I don’t know where we’ll rank. You can drop us if you want or you can raise us, I don’t really care on any of that now. I think our kids are going to be over it now. We’re 4-0 in the SEC after playing a tough road game in a tough environment. We’ll enjoy this win tonight and on to Arkansas tomorrow.”

On Josh Robinson’s 200-yard performance…
“He had a heck of a game, 23 carries for 198 yards. He had 203 (yards) and lost five and he was yelling at me when we were in the victory formation because he was two yards away and I told him he should’ve got two yards earlier in the game. He had 59 minutes to get that done, but he’s done a great job of running the football for us all season long and making some big plays. He got some tough yards, got big plays, he did it inside, and did it outside. I thought he ran the football really well for us today.”

On Kentucky being a different team…
“They’ve played us tough in the past. I’ll tell you something, I think that was two very good football teams out there on the field today. You watch that team, the plays they’re able to make, the players they have, the quarterback and some of the throws he made, runs after catch and stuff like that. They’re a very dangerous team. I think you’re going to see that team and Mark (Stoops) continue to grow with the program. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have a fantastic rest of the year and land a great bowl game this year.”

 Mississippi State Student-Athletes

#13 Josh Robinson, RB

On goal of 200 yards…
I just gotta make it happen.  It was a great team win is all that really matters.  We came out with a W.  We faced adversity early and the fourth quarter, but we came out on top.”

On breaking tackles…
“I mean you can call me a human bowling ball if you want.  You guys gave me that name, so I try to live up to it and fit it the best way I can.”

On Kentucky’s defense…
“They were a good defense, and they had great schemes, but we just took consideration and did what we do and played Mississippi State ball, so we came out on top.”

#15 Dak Prescott, QB

On opening tightness
“Yeah, a little bit.  I don’t know if tight’s the word, but something was different about us.  We weren’t the same.  We didn’t have the same vibe, the same attitude, but we got back to it…we got the win so that’s really all that matters at the end of the day.”

On Heisman…
“We are 7-0, 4-0 in the SEC, and that’s all I’m worried about.”

On turnovers…
“The defense did a good job, and I don’t think they got a touchdown off of that.  The defense responded, but yeah I’m mad.  I don’t like turning over the ball and even the two potential turnovers I had…I mean I’m upset about it but just gotta get better and learn from that and move on.”

On sideline environment…
“It was crazy.  I mean it was fun, excitement, kind of funny because it was Turtle, and he made a great, great play and took off and made some people miss and showed some athleticism.“