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Kentucky-Mississippi State Postgame Quotes




Oct. 6, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Joker Phillips

Joker Phillips: Our injury situation continues to mount. (Ashely) Lowery, head, again. (Patrick) Towles has an ankle. We will look at it tomorrow and see if it's a high-ankle sprain or whatever. So we will look at that tomorrow, and (Martavius) Neloms pulled a hamstring.

After the fast start that Mississippi State got, I thought our guys competed hard, only gave up one touchdown in the second half. Had a chance late after receiving the on-side kick with about seven minutes. We felt we could get the onside kick, go down, score, be down six and just couldn't convert it.

Injuries continue to mount and we continue to get younger and younger. We have now played 14 true freshmen, at one time it was four or five true freshmen competing with our defense and numerous on special teams and it's starting to show up on special teams more than anything.

It's not an excuse. It's just facts and we've got to get these guys better. We've got another tough road game next week versus Arkansas. We have to go back to work tomorrow.

Q. Do you feel a little bit snakebit with all the injuries …

Joker Phillips: Somebody mentioned that the other day. I've been through it before, okay? I've been through it before. It does help depth down the road because you have to play so many people, someone has to step up, and our saying is the next guy out.

Somewhere in the season we are not going to have to say that, but that's the way it is, the next guy has to step up and make plays. We didn't make plays. I thought our guys completed hard and gave ourselves a glimmer of hope in the second half.

Q. Joker, how do you think the two guys played?

Joker Phillips: I thought both of them played hard. Last year they were playing hard and they're playing on the SEC Network. Playing hard. I thought both completed well.

Patrick Towles went in and got us the first touchdown and looked good doing it, completed some balls, stood in there on the touchdown pass and took one in the lips, which is sort of what big-time quarterbacks should do, and he looked good doing it.

Q. What play did Towles get hurt on …

Joker Phillips: The sack, he took the sack I think maybe in his second series, he only played two series.

Q. Question regarding the sack on Towles …

Joker Phillips: Yeah, and, again, that's -- a lot of that has to do with youth. You're not going to break tackles when the guy has both arms wrapped around you, just go down. That's how competitive he is. That wasn't my advice to him. This year he's not going to break a tackle, go down. I like how he completed, let go down and live to play another play.

Q. If Towles is healthy, will he play moving forward …

Joker Phillips: You know, if he's available, but if he's not we won't.

The rule reads if he's unable to come back after this injury then he can apply for a medical hardship, so we will see how it goes.

Q. Question regarding third-down conversions being a problem defensively …

Joker Phillips: You know, yeah, it was. Defensively it was 10 of 18, so they continued -- and a lot of them -- we had some third and longs that they converted. You've got to feel good about getting off the field on third and long. At halftime, the time of possession was almost 20 and a half to 9 and a half. So that's not getting yourself off the field on third down, not playing good on "O" line defense and it's not staying on the field on offense. The offense went three and out first two series and they got the ball back and they were able to grind that long series.

We have to make sure that we are doing our job offensively also. All of them are involved when they are able to possess the ball that long.

Q. Question regarding the team’s misfortune and injuries …

Joker Phillips: You have to run out, the next man, yeah, it's just a game, it's a game. Similar to 2005, we don't have the surgeries, but we have a lot of different injuries like we did in 2005 and you continue to get younger each time somebody goes down, because it's been the older guys more than it has been the younger guys.

Q. Did Towles do anything that you weren’t expecting …

Joker Phillips: We expect him to go in there and to play well and he did. The series that we scored I think maybe there were four or five plays and we did a good job of pulling it down and running the ball; and then I think that was third down also that he completed to La'Rod on the deep comeback. He went to the right guy which was backside, you took whoever is the softest corner and we had a corner on the front side and he went backside which was perfect and we completed it.

Then we actually double moved -- La'Rod did a double move on the outside and they brought pressure and he stood in there and let the outside rusher -- outside rusher was coming. He stood in there till the last minute and got rid of it. Really pleased with the way he played.

Q. Talk about the play of Jalen Whitlow today …

Joker Phillips: You know, when he continues to extend plays but, again, when you've got young guys and there were some mistakes made by both, whether it be motions or shifts, and they are talented enough to make plays. But they're going to make mistakes and they both made mistakes but they give you a chance with their abilities that they have.

Q. Where do you go from here?

Joker Phillips: We go back to work tomorrow. When we get ready for an Arkansas team, go on the road, and it will be a tough environment. That's where we go. We head to Arkansas.

Q. When you think back the last couple of years and this year with injuries, do you feel like there is less control over this team than usually?

Joker Phillips: It is a little frustrating that you don't -- because we thought we were going to be really, really good on offense, especially after what you saw the first couple of games we thought we had a chance to be a really good offense and our defense if they could continue to improve -- and they have, but we thought we could put it all together and have a pretty good football team -- it's still out there. It's still out there. We've got to get the guys that are available ready to compete and continue to work to have that same type of offense that we thought we could have.

Q. On Towles injury …

Joker Phillips: We will look at it tomorrow, but today he couldn't get up on his toes, and it's unfortunate. You're talking about a team that hasn't taken a lot of sacks. We have not taken a lot of sacks, taken one the last three weeks so both of our quarterbacks -- two of the four played go down, but we have not been a team that's given up a lot of sacks.

Q. Question regarding if there is a different offensive package for Whitlow …

Joker Phillips: A little bit. We had more of an option getting the ball on the perimeter with him than we did with Towles, and both of them the passing game was similar, we had a little bit more running game for Towles.

Q. What was the rotation -- what would the rotation look like?

Joker Phillips: It's hard to say, I wish I could sit here and tell you -- you could be criticizing me for the rotation that means both of them was healthy, meaning that one didn't get more -- I wished that was the question today everybody was asking because I would have both of them healthy but we didn't so we will never know.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Players

#9, Demarco Robinson, WR

On how he played today...
"I think I played alright, could have made a little bit more plays than I made. I'm not all the way satisfied as you can see because we took another loss. We are going to have to come back to practice and work hard."

On if the offense is frustrating with many moving parts...
"It can be a little frustrating because we have to keep getting used to somebody, but we are all going to stay on each others side. Whoever is playing we are going to work hard to get it right."

On how (Patrick)Towles and (Jalen) Whitlow played today...
"I actually like how they played. They are young guys, so they have a lot of adjusting to do. I'm getting a little confidence in them, I think they played good overall. It's unfortunate we got an injury to Towles but I think Whitlow is going to be ready to step up."

#13, Jalen Whitlow, QB

On how he played today…
"There we a couple good things, but too many bad things. Can't have too many bad things. I left a lot of plays out on the field today."

On his frustration level after the game…
"I'm pretty frustrated, but we can't hang our heads. We have to move on, the 24 hour rule. We have to pick it back up, focus on the positives, and just move on."

On what frustrated him the most…
"Probably my throws. I also took some sacks that I shouldn't have taken. I couldn't really throw the ball into the ocean today, so that's not good."

On the plan coming into the game using two quarterbacks...
"I knew we were going to rotate, but I didn't know how much. I just had to be ready to play at all times."

#7 Daron Blaylock, DB

On how the game was played…
 “We had a few injuries on defense. We just have to toughen up, play our own game and get better for next week.”

On playing with a lot of freshmen…
“It is a great experience, and we are young right now. We just have to get better for the next game. We don’t talk as just the freshman. We talk as a football team and its really just next man up.”

On playing on the same field as his brother Zack Blaylock…
“It was pretty cool just like High school.”

#40 Avery Williamson, LB

On the injuries in the last few weeks…
“We just have to say next man in.  Next week we are going to have some young safeties working in, and the secondary is going to be young.  It is the middle of the season. We are going to have injuries.  We just have to help the young guys with their learning curve, and have a good week in practice.”

On what started to click defensively toward the end of the game…
“We adjusted well.  Over the week I just studied a lot.  I was telling the linebackers what they (the next plays) were going to be.  We just have to keep studying harder.”

On how the defense played…
“We played solid.  It was a few touchdowns that we wish we could’ve taken back.  We have to keep improving on the run defense.”

#9 Landon Foster, Punter

On striving for consistency…
“Consistency is difference between high school and college, and college and pros. Everyone can hit the same ball, a 50-yarder with 5.0 hang time, but in college you do it five out of 10 times and in the pros you do it nine out of 10 times.”

On his redzone punting…
“I wasn’t too pleased with how I did in redzone punting because I like to get it inside the 10 yard-line.”

On the difference between the high school and college level punting..,
“The returners and the blocking scheme. In high school, we just zone protected and got it out in plenty of time. In college, you have a lot more blocking schemes. Before the Florida game, we spent three hours in the film room going over their nine or 10 different schemes. Also, the get-off time between hand and foot is a lot quicker between high school and college.”

On having consecutive punts of over 50 yards with good hang time…
“Those please me, but the other ones don’t. Hopefully I can get more of those and less like the others.

#16 Cody Quinn, Cornerback

On having so many true freshmen playing on defense…
“That’s a positive you can take out of it. We are young. Coach always says, ‘next guy in’, so Daron (Blaylock) and Zack Blaylock came in and did an awesome job.”

On the changes made to give up just seven second-half points…
“We just manned up and did what we have been coached to do.”

On the toughest part of playing as a true freshman…
“It’s different but it’s slowing down now. I just want to win, that’s all I am about. We are going to turn it around soon. I know Joker has good things going and he is getting our game plan together.”

#14 Patrick Towles, Quarterback

On his emotional day…
“Football injuries are a part of football. I am going to fight to get back on the field as soon as possible.”

On how much fun he had on the field...
“I loved it, I loved every minute of it. It’s what you dream about when you grow up and having it come to fruition was awesome.”

On his confidence elevating after his 5-for-6 day…
“I try to stay even keel the entire game and not get to high or low but the game went well when I was in there but we just have to get better from it.”

On what he was thinking when he got injured…
“It’s happened before. In high school, I hurt my left ankle but I know it’s not too serious so I am just going to do my best to get on the field.”

On whether he wants to continue to play even though he would lose his medical redshirt eligibility…
“Yes, Coach (Joker) Phillips gave me the opportunity to play and I want to play. If that wasn’t apparent when I came out here and burned my redshirt now, I want to play. This medical redshirt stuff is great if I can’t get back on the field, but I want to get back on the field.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen

On how he felt about the game …
“I was pleased, one of the big things coming in was we wanted to start fast. When you get on the road, a team playing with some young quarterbacks that is facing some adversity, they wanted to feed off that, the home excitement. We talked to our guys about a fast start; I think we certainly had that. Had a really solid first half on both sides of the ball. One drive we gave up, defensively, I think three different times our guys were out of alignment, misaligned. Making mistakes, to me, that’s a focus. You’re playing for three and a half hours, I know they say 60 minutes, you’re out there for three and a half hours and you have to have complete focus for that entire three on doing your job on every single snap. I think we lost that a couple different times during the game in different people. Whether it be misaligned on defense, not rocking off the ball on the offensive line and missing a couple protections, a turnover, shanking a punt, those type of things that I wasn’t real pleased with. Overall, you look at our performance for our team; I think we did a lot of very good things on top of that. We have a lot of happy guys and they are excited about it.”

On Kentucky’s inexperience in the secondary …
“It certainly helped; I think we threw for a bunch of yards today, especially on third down. Once we started getting that confidence it really gives you time and patience in the run game. Even though they are crowding the line of scrimmage it gives you a lot of patience in the run game.”

On the importance of the field goal at the end of the half …
“(It was) huge. It was one of those, we were looking at the situation, our defense came up with a big sack down there. We pinned them in, used a timeout. I tell you what; their punter did an unbelievable job today. He was booming those, I don’t know what his average was but I mean, he was booming some and that was another boom. He came up clutch at some big times. That was one we were hoping, we had the wind, I felt comfortable going probably close to a 50-yard field goal attempt for Devon Bell there. We made the plays we needed to, to make it a much more high percentage kick. I thought he came out and performed well today, you start to see his confidence starting to grow.”

On the running game …
“They started to load the box on us a bunch so we were out there; there you go, we’re balanced. I thought LaDarius (Perkins) ran the ball well, it’s great to get him 100 yards and he had that big one. I thought we might, when they started to crowd the line of scrimmage, have a shot at getting another one, a big hit. Give them credit, their kids played really hard all day long. That team, records don’t always show everything that’s out there. Look at the records of the teams they’ve played and it’s pretty darn good. They played hard, especially facing some adversity. You can see their kids played hard for four quarters and made plays. It’s a good thing we started fast because it was 7-7 in the second half.”

Mississippi State Players

# 9, Darius Slay, DB

On stopping UK quarterback, Jalen Whitlow…
“We pressured him, manned up. You see different stuff out of him so we kept putting pressure.”

On getting the win…
“It’s good to get a win even though we didn’t cause any turnovers. We at least had about seven or eight 3-and-outs so it put the offense in a good field position a lot and we were out there competing.

On the upcoming game with Tennessee…
We’re ready for them. Tyler Brigg is a real good quarterback. They have one of the top receivers and we feel like we have one of the top DB’s so we’re ready for that challenge.”

#97, Josh Boyd, DT

On is Kentucky tired of going against you…
“Yeah, I do seem to have a pretty good game against them. I just come out and play hard every game and it is starting to pay off for me.”

On did Patrick Towles coming into the game mess with the defensive scheme…
“No, not really they told us that they were going to play two quarterbacks. We just had to stick to our keys all day.”

On his sack on 3rd down after the onside kick …
“We took it to heart that they did that to us, and so we took it upon ourselves to play the best possession we played all game.”

#1, Chad Bumphis, WR

On becoming the school record holder in receiving touchdowns …
“It’s a big deal to get it out of the way finally. I mean I can’t say I wasn’t thinking about it, but there are bigger goals. What we want to do this year is get to Atlanta. This is just one step.”

On executing on third down …
“It was the way they were playing us. I would run a choice route either inside or out. The way they were giving us the inside, I had to take it. Tyler kept putting it there and we were just executing.”

On the toughness of quarterback Tyler Russell…
“It shows a lot about him and how tough he is. I kind of expect it though based on how hard he worked in the offseason and watching everything he has put into it. He is going to go out and fight and give you everything that he’s got.”


 

 

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