UK-EKU Postgame Quotes

Kentucky Quotes


Head Coach Mark Stoops


COACH STOOPS: We just feel very fortunate. That's the word that jumps out at me right now. Give (Eastern Kentucky) credit. I feel like they coached better than we did, they played with much greater energy and enthusiasm and executed better than we did. Fortunately, we had some guys step up and make some plays late, I am very proud of our team and our determination to stay with it and to finish the game and somehow find a way to get the victory.

But overall, not very pleased with our effort. We’ll get back to work. We have a bye week this week to get some guys healed up that we need to do and get back to work and fundamentally get better as a football team. That's the good news, I guess. Again, to somehow find a way to get to 4-1, at the end of the year, it doesn't matter, nobody will know how or what it looks like, a victory is a victory and very fortunate to get that tonight.

I think Coach (Dean) Hood and his staff did a great job. Very good program that's very well-coached and their players played extremely hard. So I'll leave it at that.

Q. On how damaging it would have been to all the momentum to lose this game … 
COACH STOOPS: Pretty significant, I would think. Yeah. Definitely would be (damaging).

Q. On the team’s mental focus after a top-25 win last week against Missouri … 
COACH STOOPS: Yup, not very good. We don't respond to that very well. So, we can't be nice. At all. And so that's the game of football. You have to respect the game, respect the preparation, respect your opponent and you got to play with a toughness and a mental edge about you or else you won't look very good.

Q. On having younger players on the roster and contributing - and if that rotation needs to change … 
COACH STOOPS: I don't know. I have to do a better job of coaching.

Q. On Dorian Baker’s game-tying touchdown on fourth down … 
COACH STOOPS: Great individual effort. I mean, what can you say? He just went up and made a play. And, boy, that's, it's hard to put into context how important that was. So, just a great play. We saw it, we had some other options on the play and we saw him in one-on-one and he's a big guy, so we went to it.

Q. On if winning another close game helps this team in the long run more than a blowout … 
COACH STOOPS: I don't know. I would have liked to have seen us play and improve and move (and take steps) forward as a team. Not sure we did that tonight. But getting a victory was obviously very critical.

Q. On Eastern Kentucky controlling the line of scrimmage … 
COACH STOOPS: I felt like we were a little, to their credit, they took us out of it, but we weren't very comfortable all night with some of our run options. They were taking care of the line of scrimmage, we weren't getting very much yardage in the run game, and they were mixing it up very well and kept us off balance.

Q. On the last three drives not alleviating the less-than-average first three quarters of play … 
COACH STOOPS: Absolutely. We have to get better. We all have to do a better job starting with me and that's what we plan on doing.

Q. On what he was thinking when EKU went up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter … 
COACH STOOPS: I'll be honest, it wasn't looking good. It really wasn't. I'm human and we were certainly going to fight and finish that game. We had to get a spark offensively and we finally got that and got a little energy going. Gave the fans something to cheer about, gave our team a little bit of juice. We get the score, cut it to seven, the defense gets a stop. I just feel very fortunate to get the win. We get a couple stops, make a couple plays, but it wasn't looking good, that's for sure.

Q. On what Eastern Kentucky did well in the game …
COACH STOOPS: They did a nice job offensively keeping us off-balance. Defensively, they were getting too many yards, they were milking us, and we had to go to some bigger people even in the spread set and try to anchor down a little bit more. We started making a few more plays.

Q. On Cory Johnson’s performance tonight … 
COACH STOOPS: Cory been playing well for us. I have to see the film, but he's done, played very well the last couple weeks.

Q. On if he thought about putting Drew Barker in the game … 
COACH STOOPS: I did. I did. I thought about it. Thank you.

Q. On the status of running back Boom Williams … 
COACH STOOPS: He'll be back. He'll be back.

Q. On if Boom Williams was suspended for tonight’s game … 
COACH STOOPS: He'll be back Monday. He'll be ready to go.

#45 Josh Forrest, LB


On being down two scores and coming back …
“I heard some people chanting on the sides, but then I was like, “it’s not over, we have time, six minutes left.”

On what Coach Stoops said to the team postgame …
“He said he was disappointed, they played harder than us, but we’ll take it. A win is a win no matter how you get it. I’m just glad we found a way to win.”

On EKU’s performance …
“They had a lot of good skills. I can tell they like watching a lot of film, so they knew a lot of what we were doing and they were well coached.”

#2 Dorian Baker, WR


On what the team’s mentality was when down late in the game …
“Keep a positive attitude and just because you’re down doesn’t mean that you’ve lost. With us getting the ball, and with us having the momentum that we did, we’ve just had to make the plays, and we did.”

On what the team has to work on leading up to Auburn …
“We’re actually good, I wouldn’t say we have to work on anything, but we definitely have to come out stronger than we did this week.”

On what it means to be a reliable playmaker in close-game scenarios …
“The coaches know my abilities. They never doubted me for a second, even in the first quarter when things weren’t going so well. They just have to believe in me, which they did. They know I can make the plays and we do that a lot, and as a result I got the play done.”

#14, Patrick Towles, QB


On the win …
“We’re 4-1 and we’re ready for Auburn. We have to play a full game, a full four quarters. I have to play a full four quarters, no doubt about it. But we came back and won. We won the football game. We had more points than them at the end of the game and that’s what matters.”

On thoughts during the last eight minutes of the game, down by two scores …
“Not all the good stuff, I can promise you that. We just had to go out and make big plays. Our defense got big stops when we needed to and our receivers made plays when we had to.”

On Dorian Baker stepping up in the last few plays …
“He’s a man, gosh he’s a man. He’s just absolutely spectacular. On that 4th-and-3, we had a coach say that we were going to work on the left side. But I looked at Coach Dawson and said, ‘we got one on one and I’m going to take that 10 out of 10 times. The last two games I’ve done that, he’s roared me’. Anytime we can get him the ball in open space, that’s a good thing for us.”

#67 Cory “C.J.” Johnson, DT


On having 19 tackles…
“I had 21 in high school, but tonight really shocked me. I don’t pay attention when I’m in the game and then Josh (Forrest) told me at one point that I had 15 I was like, ‘I have to see how far I can go with this.’ Tonight 19 tackles meant something, but if we lost then it wouldn’t have meant anything.”

On if he was surprised how these past three weeks have gone…
“No. I’ve worked hard. I know every time I step out on the field I have to do big things for my team. I’m not surprised at all. I’m surprised that I got 19 today, but not surprised about the past few weeks.”

On how much damage it would have done if they didn’t win tonight…
“It would have hurt. At the end of the day you would have forgot about it and went on to the next one.”

#91 Farrington Huguenin, DE


On the atmosphere of the upcoming game against Auburn…
“It will be a great atmosphere. It’s a Thursday night game and one of the biggest games of the season, so it should be a great atmosphere.”

On how they need to change things for the next game…
“We definitely need to mature. Some situations we don’t handle well. We need to know how to handle success.”

Eastern Kentucky Quotes


EKU Head Coach Dean Hood


On EKU’s performance tonight …
“We talked NC State and wanting to do something great, but you can allow people to tell you it’s OK, you played well. So we emphasized hard to our guys that you will never achieve anything great if you allow that type of mentality that (it) is OK to lose. We talked hard about the mountain that you are trying to climb to do something great isn’t getting any bigger, but we can. We have to go to work and do things to get better. I thought our guys did that. It was a shame that it didn’t relay.”
 
On playing to win but losing …
“I’m proud of guys on how they played. They accepted every challenge; we just didn’t make enough plays and didn’t do enough things right, coaching and playing down the stretch. I have to give it to Kentucky – they had a great fourth quarter and a great plan. On the last two drives, I made a mistake; I should have called a time out on the drive before the last one. Our kids were tired and Kentucky was playing fast. But our guys gave everything they had and I am proud of them.”
 
On Joey Kraemer’s death surrounding the team …
“It was a tough break for our guys. The down time was difficult no matter what you are doing. My thoughts went to his father, Richard. Our guys thought a lot about him throughout the week. Practice became therapeutic for our guys.”
 
On Kentucky’s change of tempo …
“They did a nice job offensively. We tempoed them at times and were successful. They executed well on the last two drives down the stretch.” 
 
On last two trick plays …
“I thought they did well; good play and good call. I thought they did well on coverage. We have used that play before but it just didn’t work. What got us in trouble was the run that loss all the yardage. We got the pass interference and were down there in good shape and the first-down run lost a lot of yards that really hurt us.” 
 
On holding Kentucky to 55 rushing yards …
“That is what we had to do. There is no way you have a chance to beat somebody the caliber of Kentucky if you’re not stopping the run. So we committed to stopping the run and our guys held up, stayed away from the big play, especially the big pass play when Towles got inside the pocket on an edge pressure and beat us deep on that throw on the scramble. We were staying away from the big play. That’s what really gave us a chance. It all came down to one or two plays here. The fourth-down play, I would call it again. We had our best corner against Dorian Baker, which you can’t do any better than that with pressure. Baker made an exceptional play and Towels made a great throw.”
 
On Bennie Coney developing as a quarterback …
“He is night-and-day different from a year ago because he has had game experience. I have said several times that we did a disservice to Benny last year when we thought he was a older guy transferring who was going to come in and light the world on fire and he hadn’t played any football. He was redshirted and played minimal at UC. The fumble was the only thing that is a glare of him managing the game well or him taking care of the ball.”
 
On what this game did for your team moving forward …
“I am proud that our guys responded after NC State. We’re not in this to play somebody close nor to have the mindset it’s OK to lose, so I thought they responded to that and were a better football team than when we played NC State – and that’s the most encouraging. My team worked hard this week and through a lot of things and it was tough on our guys. The critical thing now is to show up against Tennessee Tech and to really lock in and focus. We want to win every game and we came here wanting to win this one. But it comes down to winning your conference that’s our goal starting against Tech.”

#7 Dy’Shawn Mobley, RB


On being able to run the ball and find gaps in the defense …
“It was just really a lot of film study. It was knowing what those guys were going to do before they do it and just run into the heels of my linemen and make cuts off of them.”

On being able to play that well against Kentucky …
“I feel like if we play Colonel football and just do our assignments that our coaches tell us to do, then we can play with anybody.”

On the difference-maker in the game for Kentucky …
“(Kentucky) just really made the plays down the stretch. They just had more plays than we had really.”

On the EKU defensive play tonight … 
“It just gave us a lot of confidence to see that our defense played good against those guys. It just really gave us confidence and the offense fed off of the defensive play.”

#88, Devin Borders, WR


On moving forward after this game …
“It gives us some confidence, but at the same time, it’s a tough loss. We’ve just got to keep going one week at a time and get back on the horse.”

On thoughts after going up two scores …
“There was still time on the clock. We were talking on the sidelines saying ‘It’s not over. It’s not over,’ and you saw who came out on top. We did a great job, credit to our whole team and everything but just couldn’t get it done.” 

On defense giving confidence to the offense during the game …
“There’s a fine balance between offense and defense, obviously, but if we can keep our defense off the field and we can make plays on offense, then we can stay in games like this.”

On Bennie Coney’s game …
“Bennie (Coney) was on fire today. Our whole team was on fire, really. Everybody was clicking and firing on all cylinders. Bennie was doing great. The whole team was doing great.”