Kentucky-Clemson Postgame Quotes
Dec. 28, 2009
Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks
( opening statements)
What I normally do is give the injury report. Micah Johnson sustained an injury to the same knee that he had hurt earlier in the year. We think it's an MCI again. We will MRI it just to make sure when we get him back to Lexington . Danny Trevathan broke his left hand in the first half and played the second half with a cast on. Ricky Lumpkin also hurt his left knee. (I) don't know the extent of that. And Matt Lentz got his bell rung.
It's an extremely disappointing loss. We had quite a few chances where we cross midfield and couldn't finish the drive. Occasionally we had to punt it. (We) went for it on fourth on the last one after a fake punt got us down in there. And I thought that might spur us, get us into the end zone.
You got to give Clemson a lot of credit. They have a good, physical defensive front. They did a good job against our Wildcat. (They) had enough time to prepare for it and they took some of the things that we have been hurting other teams away.
Offensively, we gave up about four pretty good big plays in the first half and that was kind of the downfall in my opinion. The short field and the touchdown after the turnover was a very difficult play for us because we had just stopped them and got the ball. If we could have moved it out of there I think we would have been in pretty good shape. But, we fumbled it and they took full advantage and stuck it in the end zone and that was really the difference in the game. The first half the difference to me was us giving up some big plays and just not converting when we got across midfield.
( on play of quarterback Morgan Newton)
You know, I thought he did some really good things and he had a couple of chances with throws down the field that he could have been more accurate. But overall I thought he did some pretty good things. We, unfortunately, had to use a couple of timeouts that I would have rather not had to because we had called the play wrong, had broke out of the huddle wrong and we were running out of time on the clock. So we wasted a few timeouts and that is as much on me as anybody I suppose.
(on if he would have thought going into the game holding C.J. Spiller to 67 yards would have given his team chance to win the game)
I think so, but we didn't score. And that's what the frustrating thing to me is when we got possession at midfield we were three and out. We crossed midfield and getting down to about the 35 and couldn't finish that drive. On several occasions, we squandered opportunities to get points and the only touchdown we got was on the opening drive, really. Lonas (Sieber) kicked two pretty good field goals, but we never got close enough to give him another chance and they did a good job.
(on if opening scoring drive made his team over-confident)
I don't think so. I don't, no. I just think that was a good drive for us. We executed things well. We had stopped them on the next possession even though they moved it. We got the ball back and we moved it down into scoring territory again and then took a couple of negative plays that took us out of field goal range.
To me that was critical series as well and it happened on our second offensive series of the game. We should have come out of there with a minimum of three points in my opinion.
(on summary of now-completed season)
A lot of disappointment. We would have liked to extended our-non conference winning streak and won four straight bowl games. There are not a lot of the teams in the country that have been able to do that. I think we were one of 11 with three straight (wins) going in and Clemson gets their first bowl win and breaks our streak at the same time. They get their first one (win) in about four years, I think.
It's a disappointing season, but we were still able to do some good things, but not as much as we wanted to.
(on whether he is coming back as UK head coach)
I told my team that 80 percent I am probably not coming back. I am going to think about it. I got my family coming home with me and I am going to talk about it. I will decide in probably four to five days or a week.
(on what will factor into his decision)
A lot of things.
(on where program is today compared to five years ago)
Well, it's a lot better. We have a full complement of scholarship players. We have much better talent. It's been a program that has gone to four straight bowl games. I think it is in pretty good shape and can continue to go up whether I am there or not.
(on Coach Brooks' possible departure)
I thought it was kind of hard. I've learned a lot from Coach Brooks. He's taught me so much in becoming more than just a football player, but a man. Those are the kinds of traits that I want to get from a man of his status. It's going to be hard to see him leave if he does, but I'll be glad to have him back.
(on if Clemson did anything different from other teams, or did Kentucky just not execute)
I think it was a little bit of both. When a play is called, you've got to execute it. But I think that Clemson had enough time to really break down the Wildcat and see some things out of it. I just think they really schemed it up really well to stop it for them.
(on thinking about this possibly being Coach Brook's last game)
I could sense that Coach Brooks was really thinking about it, but you really don't want to ever think about something like that. You just want to go out and make sure you prepare and get ready for the game that is coming up.
(on how he could sense it)
You just get a feeling sometimes. I still can't say for sure what's going to happen. Because Coach Brooks is going to take this time off and realize some things. Maybe it's time for him to move on, and maybe it's not. I'd love to have him back, but if not, I'm going to make sure I keep in contact with him. I'll keep a personal relationship that I've had with him for the past two years.
(on Coach Brooks' possible leaving)
For me personally, five years ago he sold us on a dream and coming here and working hard and turning this program around. For me, I just want to thank him for the opportunity. I feel, like Randall (Cobb) said, he's taught us a lot of traits that are going to help us become successful in life. Not only on the football field, but in being a man and raising a family. For that, I'm thankful that I got that opportunity, whether he comes back or not. I think he's a great coach. He impacts young men in a way that a lot of them probably don't get a lot. I'm proud to have been a part of that and been under him for five years.
(on if Clemson showed them anything different than they saw on tape)
No, we had prepared all week. We knew what they were doing. They are a good defense, they are good team with speed. Like we said, they had a lot of time to prepare for the Wildcats and kind of knew what was coming. In terms of looks, we practiced it all week. We just didn't execute when we had opportunities.
(on Coach Brooks' possible leaving)
For me, it made the loss that much tougher to swallow. It's one thing for me to go out on this note in the senior class. A lot of the guys are going to get an opportunity to do other things and kind of have a chance to rebound. Finding out that this is possibly the last game for him, it makes it hurt that much worse. You want to get the win for him, especially being that it could be possibly his last game. That's when it hit me that it was really over and just made me regret a lot of things.