Video: Mark Stoops says “we were too cute”

At his press conference today, UK coach Mark Stoops was asked about the opening kickoff Saturday at LSU.

Kentucky tried a short kick that LSU’s Terrence Magree returned 58 yards. In hindsight, Stoops said that was something the Cats shouldn’t have tried.

Videos after loss at LSU

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Running some SEC football numbers


Running some numbers on last Saturday’s football games in the SEC:

* Missouri’s 119 total yards fewest by an SEC team this year, replacing Vanderbilt’s 137 yards versus Kentucky.

* Missouri’s 20 yards passing was 40 yards less than Vanderbilt threw for in a 41-3 loss to Ole Miss back on September 6. That was the league’s previous passing low until Missouri on Saturday.

* Missouri averaged 1.11 yards per pass attempt.

* Florida’s six turnovers were not the most by an SEC team this year. Vanderbilt turned it over seven times in its opening-night loss to Temple.

* Florida has turned the football over 15 times in its last four games.

* Missouri had gone three straight games without creating a turnover until Florida’s six.

* Florida gained just 283 yards on Missouri, the third time in six games this year it has failed to gain 300 yards.

* The 283 total yards was a season-best for the Missouri defense, replacing the previous best of 338 at by South Carolina.

SEC football game-by-game results, schedule and leaders in Excel

* Alabama did not have a turnover or a penalty in its 59-0 win over visiting Texas A&M.

* Alabama is the first SEC team to not have a penalty enforced this season.

* Alabama held Texas A&M to just 31 rushing yards, the sixth time in seven games the Crimson Tide has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing.

* Texas A&M gained just 172 yards on Alabama, by far a season-low for the Aggies. A&M’s previous low was 455 yards against Ole Miss.

* Texas A&M’s defense gave up 602 total yards to the Tide, the third time an SEC defense has given up over 600 yards this season. Florida gave up 645 yards to Alabama. South Carolina gave up 680 yards to Texas A&M.

* Tennessee gained zero net yards rushing in 28 carries in the Vols’ loss to Ole Miss.

* The zero yards replaced the previous rushing low for an SEC team in 2014, which was also held by Tennessee. The Vols rushed for 29 yards on 29 carries against Florida. (Remember that in college football, sacks count as rushing yardage.)

* Ole Miss held Tennessee to 191 total yards, the third time in seven games the Rebels have held the opponent under 200 yards total offense.

* Georgia has rushed for at least 200 yards in all seven of its games this year. The Bulldogs have averaged at least five yards per rush in six of the seven games. Missouri was lone except. Mizzou held Georgia to 3.62 yards per rush, but still lost 34-0.

* Arkansas had rushed for at least 153 yards against its first five opponents, and rushed for 200-or-more against four of the five. The last two weeks, the Razorbacks have rushed for 89 against Alabama and 126 against Georgia.

* Kentucky did not turn the ball over at LSU and still lost. SEC teams that have not turned the ball over are 16-4 this season.

* LSU’s 303 yards rushing against UK was the 11th game this year in which an SEC team rushed for at least 300 yards. LSU has done it three times.

* LSU’s 303 rushing yards was the most in an SEC game this season and just the third time an SEC team has rushed for 300-plus yards in a conference game. Auburn rushed for 302 on Arkansas. Mississippi State rushed for 302 on LSU.

* LSU ran the football 51 times, the fifth time in seven games the Tigers have run the football at least 50 times. No other SEC team has done that more than twice. Georgia ran it 53 times against Tennessee and 58 times against Missouri. Kentucky ran it 52 times against Ohio and 50 times against Vanderbilt. Mississippi State ran it 57 times against UAB and 50 times against Texas A&M.

* Though South Carolina beat Furman by 31 points, the Gamecocks allowed 211 yards rushing and an average of 5.41 yards per rushing attempt.

* Over its last two games (UK and Furman), South Carolina has allowed 450 rushing yards on 75 carries, an average of exactly six yards per carry.

Photo of Missouri’s Marcus Murphy scoring a touchdown against Florida by John Reaux/AP


Related link: SEC is rife with bounce-backs, so why not Kentucky

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One big thing from Mark Stoops’ MSU preview

Here’s one takeaway from Mark Stoops’ press conference today previewing Saturday’s game against No. 1-ranked Mississippi State:

The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs lead the SEC in total offense, averaging 529.7 yards per game. The Bulldogs are fourth in the league in pass offense, averaging 265.4 yards per game, and second in the league behind Georgia in rushing offense, averaging 264.3 yards per game.

State running back Josh Robinson is second only to Georgia’s Todd Gurley in rushing yards per game. Gurley, who has missed Georgia’s last two games, is averaging 154.6 yards per game. Robinson is averaging 114.8.

Here’s the thing: Misssissippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is fifth in the SEC in rushing, averaging 96 yards per game. Prescott is not only fourth in the league in pass efficiency, he’s also averaging 16 rushing attempts per game.

Meanwhile, Kentucky is coming off a game when the Cats allowed 303 rushing yards to LSU. That’s the most rushing yards given up by the Kentucky defense since Florida rushed for 405 yards on the Cats in 2011.

Yet, Mark Stoops insisted Monday that his team played the run better Saturday at Tiger Stadium than the numbers showed. That was especially true, he said, from a physical standpoint. In that area, the Cats were not as bad as the numbers might suggest.


Indeed, as Stoops pointed out, LSU’s numbers were padded by some long runs late in the game. Throuogh the first two quarters, LSU produced two three runs of double-digit yards – Terrence Magee’s 12-yard run on a first-and-10 from the UK 22-yard line in the first quarter; Leonard Fournette’s 11-yard run on a second-and-seven from the LSU 28 in the first quarter; and an 11-yard scramble by quarterback Anthony Jennings on a first-and-10 from the UK 37-yard line just before the half.

Full transcript from Mark Stoops’ Monday presser

Judging from his play selection, LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron wanted to establish freshman running back Leonard Fournette early. After all, Fournette was coming off a 140-yard game at Florida. But Kentucky held the heralded rookie to just 40 yards on 15 carries.

Most of LSU’s big runs came in the second half. In the third quarter alone, Magee rushed for 107 yards on five carries. He had a 38-yard run, a 35-yard run and a 23-yard run for a touchdown. Kentucky made some technical errors on those runs, which Stoops considers correctable. The coach also said the staff needs to do a better job of getting some guys some rest.

“We were not as fast later in the game as we were early,” Stoops said Monday.

Final stats from UK-LSU

Mississippi State has rushed for at least 200 yards against every team it has played this year. Dan Mullen’s club gained 302 yards on an LSU defense – in Baton Rouge, no less – that allowed Kentucky just 71 yards on Saturday night.

Plus, Prescott’s dual threat capability helps MSU’s rushing attack. A year ago, Prescott completed 58.4 percent of his passes and averaged 7.27 yards per attempt. This year, the Haughton, Louisiana native is completing 61.5 percent of his passes and averaging 9.47 yards per attempt. Defenses have to account for that.

So if stopping LSU’s running game was a tough challenge for the Kentucky defense, stopping Mississippi State’s figures to be even tougher.


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UK takes a fall in most NCAA stats

As you might expect after a 41-3 loss, Kentucky has dipped in most of the NCAA statistical categories. An exception is pass-efficiency defense, where the Cats are now ranked in the top 10.


Related link: Follow John Clay on Twitter

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Updated SEC football standings


Related link: SEC football results 2014

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SEC full of rebounds, so why not Kentucky?


If you missed it, my column for Monday morning:

It began with the first game on the first night, in Columbia, S.C. on Thursday, Aug. 28, when Kenny “Trill” Hill and his Texas A&M Aggies unexpectedly slammed the Steve Spurriers, 52-28.

Two weeks later, South Carolina rolled up its sleeves and atoned for its sins with a huge win over East rival Georgia.

We saw it again two weeks ago, when LSU was buried at Auburn, 41-7, dug itself out of its deep hole the next week and kicked a 50-yard field goal at the buzzer to snap the Gators’ spirit in The Swamp.

Continue reading

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Video: Mark Stoops after blowout loss at LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. — Kentucky coach Mark Stoops talks to the media after his team’s 41-3 loss to LSU.

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Video: Patrick Towles on being humbled at LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. — Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles says “you can get humbled super-quick in this league” after his team’s 38-point loss at LSU.

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Les Miles: “This was best overall game we have had”

BATON ROUGE, La. — Les Miles’ comments after LSU’s 41-3 win over Kentucky.

Opening statement

“First of all, I would like to commend Kentucky. I felt like they came in, and Coach Stoops had them prepared. I think they are a very quality football team. I thought they played hard. We ran into an opportunity to make a play on special teams. We got the short field on the first drive and we got seven. We are running the football and throwing the football more efficiently. The defense is playing the style of defense that LSU is used to playing.

“Special teams took a stride. We had Tre’Davious White return a punt for a touchdown, and his punt returns were instrumental in the positioning of the field. We are improving. We are in a position to play better, and I think this football team is looking forward to that. I think this was the best overall game we have had this year so far from start to finish. How wonderful was it to be in Tiger Stadium? That was a great venue tonight. Beautiful weather and bunch of Tigers fans.”

On performance of special teams

“I think Tre’Daviuos White is just coming of age as a returner. He is continuing to push the envelope there. He is incrementally improving and getting better. I think he is a very dangerous return man, and he showed that tonight.”

On the performance of Jamal Adams, son of former UK star George Adams

“Jamal Adams is playing so much on defense and special teams and is really an instrumental player and a contributor for us. It was nice to see number 33 playinig tonight.”

On the experience of the football team

“I think what is happening is this football team is coming together. I think there is a want for all three phases to complement one another and play like we played tonight against some of our best opponents. I think the timing is right for that.”

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Video: Neal Brown says “we got beat one-on-one”

BATON ROUGE, La. — Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown says his unit did little right in the 41-3 loss to LSU, which held the Cats without a touchdown and to a season-low 217 yards.

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