Stoops pre-South Carolina transcript - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Stoops pre-South Carolina transcript

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Kentucky started fast but had to score in the final minute to beat Louisiana Lafayette. Kentucky started fast but had to score in the final minute to beat Louisiana Lafayette.

Opening statement …

“Much like I felt in the postgame. It was a good night overall and I was happy to get the victory. I thought we did some very good things and obviously there is quite a bit to learn from and get better. I am looking forward to getting back out to practice this week and getting out to South Carolina.”

On if anyone stood out on film that didn’t during the game …

“I don’t know if anybody did, but I think across the board we did some really solid things. I thought the receivers were open quite a bit and that is what we anticipated and talked about. I don’t know if that was anything I didn’t anticipate or notice. I think some guys did some good things. I though Josh (Forrest) played well, but we anticipated he would. I thought he did after the game as well, and he missed a few things but he isn’t perfect and I think he is playing pretty good. We have some inexperience and we have some guys that we have to get better in a hurry. We are going to have our hands full this week playing a great South Carolina team. We will have our hands full that is for sure. With us beating them last year we have to go into their place and it will be a very, very difficult environment and they will be hungry to get after us with a very good football team, so we will have all hands full.”

On getting the run defense cleaned up after South Carolina run the ball well in week one …

“It is very important to get settled in and get things cleaned up. You certainly can’t give up big runs, that is how they won the game last week. They hit a big long run. We can’t be in a situation where we are playing 80-90 snaps on defense and 60 on offense, that is not the recipe that we need.”

On South Carolina’s defense improved from last season…

“I think they are going to be improved. Prior to last year, they had always played good defense. The last two, three, four years they have always had solid defense. Last year probably wasn’t up to their standards. I know Jon Hoke and what he will do and have a lot of respect for Jon and his defensive players. I know they are working hard to get better and they played solid in the first game.”

On Patrick Towels....

“Not much, he knows he’s going to be held accountable like (the rest of) our team … I think the fact that he missed one (throw), he started with an overthrow, and then had an under throw. I think it does play into it a little bit. He put a lot of pressure on himself. I think he cares a great deal and wanted to play very well. That’s the only thing I’ll tell him, to settle in and be who he is. I don’t want to get too much in his head and over coach that. I’m very confident in him that he’ll make the throws but just like everyone else on our team he’ll be held accountable. At some point you have to go, you have to make those plays.”

On keeping the team focused when it has a big lead …

“We’ve got to do a better job with just focusing and being confident and doing our job. You’ve got to play with an edge, you’ve got to play with an attitude, but it’s also a long season with long games, you’ve got to be able to handle your business and play every snap, and that’s the big learning opportunity we have to take from this game. Defensively there cannot be one fraction of a let-down, or bad things happen, as we saw. It’s a great opportunity for us to learn, on both sides (of the ball). At 33-10 we had an opportunity to expand on [the lead]. You’d like to see us put it away right there.”

On containing South Carolina play maker Pharaoh Cooper…

“He’s a difference maker, he really is. I think you have to be well prepared for their wildcat package, and just wherever he lines up, whether that’s under center or at the different places they play him. He’s a difference maker, you have to be aware of where he’s at. He’s a guy that can definitely change the outcome of games, so you have to be prepared for him”

On how the team’s preparing for South Carolina’s offense …

“[Preparation] is no different. If we don’t do our job then everybody we face this year is plenty capable of hurting us. I don’t really think that [South Carolina’s] personnel is that different.”

On the importance of getting a road win in the SEC at South Carolina …

“It is very important. That has been well documented, our struggles on the road against SEC opponents. This is going to be another great challenge. A great opportunity for us. That is the big thing we will take from it. We have to worry about ourselves and our preparation. We have to go down there with a great mindset and try to get a victory in a very hostile environment.”

On what qualities are needed to be a good team on the road …

“You have to be a complete football team on the road and a lot of times you have to protect the football. It is a mentality. A toughness that you have to have to go on the road and be disciplined to come out of there with a victory.”?

On South Carolina defensive coordinator Jon Hoke …

“John is just a very good football coach. A good guy, good coach. Been around a long time, has a lot of experience. He is what you want in any great defensive coordinator. He is tough and very sound. You are not going to get a lot of easy things, or things given to you. You are going to have to earn them and he will limit big plays better than we did this past week.”

On South Carolina QB Connor Mitch …

“He looks like a guy that is going to get better with every snap. I was impressed, I thought North Carolina had a good-looking defensive team, they were very disruptive up front, had a good looking defensive line that created some problems at time for Connor. He is a very good quarterback and he has one of the best play callers that has ever coached calling plays for him. They’ll be ready. They have certain things, certain staples that he’s done for many years and then they’re doing a lot of creative new wrinkles with certain aspects of the run game and wildcat package. Different ways that the creativity and problems that offenses can create. We will always have our hands full.”

On the relationship with coach Spurrier since the win last year …

“It is good. I’ve only been in this a short time as a head coach but I am understand that what goes around comes around so believe me I am not one to be spouting off about anything. I just mind myself.

“We have a good relationship, but it’s not like we talk on the phone or anything like that. We played some golf during the spring meetings (in Destin, Fla.). (We) had a good golf match, me and Hugh (Freeze) lost to Gus (Malzahn) and coach Spurrier.” 

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