UK offense working for faster starts

first_imgOct 3, 2015; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Jeff Badet (13) drops a pass against Eastern Kentucky Colonels defensive back Tyrell Curry (31) in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium.Oct 3, 2015; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Jeff Badet (13) drops a pass against Eastern Kentucky Colonels defensive back Tyrell Curry (31) in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium.LEXINGTON, Ky. – Even Kentucky offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was left looking for answers after Jeff Badet’s fumble against Eastern Kentucky marked the team’s third turnover on an opening drive in five games.“It’s not that we’re doing a terrible job with ball security,” Dawson said. “I think that’s the first fumble we lost all year. It’s just those situations are just, you know — It deflates you. It hurts our whole team.”At South Carolina Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles threw an interception on Kentucky’s third offensive play of the game, two plays after a drop by wide receiver Dorian Baker on a potential long gain. A week later against Florida Towles threw another interception on the offense’s opening drive – this time two plays after Baker dropped a possible touchdown pass in the end zone.The Wildcats made it through the first drive against Missouri without any drops or turnovers, but against Eastern Kentucky the problem returned when Badet fumbled on a 9-yard gain while trying to stretch for a first down.UK backup receivers looking for more snaps“It’s not like the kid was trying to fumble,” Dawson said. “The kid was trying to get extra yards. He was playing hard. There’s times where the ball just gets hit perfectly and gets knocked out. Obviously we’re going to teach ball security and we do. We teach and preach and coach ball security. It sucks when it happens at that time.”Badet’s reception marked the third consecutive 9-yard gain for a Kentucky offense that appeared to find an early groove before the fumble. After that turnover much of the offensive success disappeared with the Wildcats punting on each of the next two offensive drives.Asked if he felt snake bit after the third opening-drive turnover in five games, Dawson said he didn’t think much of anything after the play.“I’m just like, ‘Well, that’s interesting,’“ Dawson said with a laugh.He did admit the early mistake affected his play-calling on subsequent drives and could have contributed to Towles’ early struggles against EKU.“The first drive we’re being patient, we’re getting 10-yard chunks and we fumble, and the second drive I say, ‘All right we’re going to get big and be big boys out here.’“ Dawson said. “Then we get like a yard. So then I just start throwing it down the field. It probably has to do with my patience”Email Jon Hale at jahale@courier-journal.com . Follow him on Twitter @JonHale_CJ .last_img read more

JUCO QB John Franklin III commits to Auburn

first_imgEast Mississippi Community College quarterback John Franklin III left Florida State and is now a three-star QB prospect with two years of eligibility left.East Mississippi Community College quarterback John Franklin III left Florida State and is now a three-star QB prospect with two years of eligibility left.AUBURN – With their newest verbal commitment, Auburn has hopes they’ve found their dual-threat quarterback for their offense in John Franklin III.[tweet https://twitter.com/jf3_5/status/662011887903768576%5DThe former Florida State quarterback, who spent this past season at East Mississippi Community College, announced his verbal pledge to Auburn on Wednesday afternoon on his Twitter account. Franklin is eligible to sign with Auburn in the early junior college period starting on Dec. 16 giving him the option to enroll in January and be eligible to participate in the upcoming spring drills.“The wait is over,” Franklin tweeted Wednesday. “Ready to start my new journey and soar with the War Eagles on the Plains come January.”Franklin had 16 total touchdowns (nine rushing, seven passing) and 1,184 total yards (733 passing and 451 rushing) this year as he was lined up at quarterback and wide receiver in his one season at EMCC.Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee was on the sidelines for EMCC’s game against Mississippi Delta on Oct. 22 when Franklin III had six scores (five rushing and a passing touchdown) in a 48-0 victory.“Our system is about going as fast as we can and getting the football out of the quarterback’s hand as quickly as possible,” East Mississippi Community College head coach Buddy Stephens said. “The system is so similar to what Gus Malzahn wants to run at Auburn that it’s a perfect fit for both them and for John.”Franklin announced his intention to transfer from Florida State 10 days after the Seminoles accepted former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson to the team this past summer. Franklin, a 6-foot-1, 183-pound prospect was a three-star dual-threat quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class.“This wasn’t a kid that needed to go to junior college because of academics because we’re talking about a kid with a 3.5 GPA but he came here with the objective of wanting another opportunity at a big school,” Stephens said.Franklin is the fourth EMCC quarterback that has been signed to play at a Southeastern Conference school since Stephens brought his wide-open, tempo spread offense to the program in 2008. Former EMCC quarterbacks Randall Mackey, Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly are signed with Ole Miss.“This is a long time coming for me today because Huntsville is my home so I’ve tried to get a great player to Auburn for years,” Stephens said. “I’m thrilled to death John Franklin has a chance to go there and work with Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee with what they do.”Franklin has been working with EMCC quarterback Clint Trickett, who was the former starting quarterback at West Virginia, on his throwing mechanics.Franklin’s skill set has the chance to remind fans of Nick Marshall’s two-year tenure at Auburn as Franklin was a member of Florida State’s Atlantic Coast Conference champion 4×100 relay team and advanced to the finals in the 100-meter dash at the ACC Outdoor Championships. Franklin was timed at high school camps at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash.“He’s got that world class speed of an athlete that we played at quarterback, wide receiver and even safety,” Stephens said. “He’s without a doubt the fastest players I’ve ever had at quarterback.”last_img read more

Derrick Henry: Alabama’s 200-yard man

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-18:ffa5a0beb17e967ceae24c97 Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-376088-4613428430001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry ran for 200 yards for the third time this season as he went for 204 and two scores in Saturday’s 31-6 win at Mississippi State. Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUNDlast_img read more

Missouri AD: Replacing Pinkel about finding the right fit

first_imgCOLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s athletic director wouldn’t tip his hand about who might replace retiring football coach Gary Pinkel, but said Houston’s Tom Herman, Memphis’ Justin Fuente and Tigers defensive coordinator Barry Odom are quality candidates.Mack Rhoades said Wednesday that the decision will come down to finding the right fit.“I’m not into the hottest names out there,” Rhoades said. “(Herman and Fuente) are certainly two of them, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically come here, be a great fit and win games here. I’m more about winning games, winning championships and finding the coach that can really do that over the long haul.”Rhoades hired Herman last December at No. 13 Houston, which is 10-0. Memphis was 10-3 last year, won its first bowl game since 2005, and is 8-2 this year. Odom is in his first year as defensive coordinator at Missouri and spent three seasons in the same position at Memphis.Odom also was on Pinkel’s staff in a variety of roles from 2003-11.Pinkel will coach his final home game Saturday when Missouri (5-5, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) plays Tennessee (6-4, 3-3). The 63-year-old has been diagnosed with lymphoma and says he wants to get away from the grind of football.The team is trying to focus on the next games, needing to get to six wins to be bowl eligible.“I’m worried about these next two games,” wide receiver J’Mon Moore said. “Whatever happens, happens, and we’ll move forward from there.”Offensive coordinator Josh Henson said he told the players that, “As a staff, we’re going to coach our tail off until the very end.”Rhoades said he has discussed the future with players.“The message was, ‘It’s going to be all right.” He plans to sit down individually with each member of the coaching staff, too.“Certainly, we’re empathetic to what they’re going through,” Rhoades added. “This isn’t an easy time for them.”Pinkel abruptly announced Friday that he will retire at the end of this season, ending a tenure in which he revived a program that had largely languished for more than a decade.It was a stunning turn during a most unusual week in Columbia, Missouri, that started with Pinkel’s players on strike because of racial tensions on campus. Pinkel stood by his players and kept his team unified through a couple of difficult days, but his decision to step down had nothing to do with the team’s boycott.Pinkel is the winningest coach in school history with a 117-71 record over 15 seasons. After winning two straight SEC East titles, Missouri is out of contention this season.last_img read more

Playoff Simulation: Oklahoma the favorite to win it all

first_imgUSA TODAYRanking Reaction: College Football Playoff couldn’t have been more clear .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } Prediction Machine’s Director of Research and Analytics, John Ewing, takes a look at how the College Football Playoff could shake out through 50,000 simulations. This year’s field has Clemson at the No. 1 seed facing No. 4 seed Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl and No. 2 seed Alabama facing No. 3 seed Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. Follow John on Twitter @JohnEwing for more notes from his analysis and to let him know what else you may like to see with these projections.How this worksThe Predictalator uses current rosters and strength-of-schedule and efficiency-adjusted team and player stats (weighted slightly more toward recent games), to play every game 50,000 times before it’s actually played. For this analysis, we are tracking how likely a team is to make it to any level of the College Football Playoff.We finally know who is in, but who will win? With the College Football Playoff set, which team is the most likely champion?The most likely champion is …Clemson, Alabama and Michigan State all won titles on college football’s conference championship Saturday, but it’s the team that didn’t play that will win it all.Oklahoma is the No. 1 team in our Power Rankings. The Sooners have won seven consecutive games, including three in a row against ranked teams. Two of those three were on the road. Coach Bob Stoops’ team has the most efficient offense in the country. Oklahoma averages 543 yards and 45.8 points per game.Follow the road to the 2015 College Football Playoff at The Football Four, our home to rate and debate the nation’s best. After 50,000 simulations, the most likely national champion is Oklahoma. Oklahoma wins 44.6% of all the simulated tournaments. In the most likely national championship game, the Sooners defeat Alabama 54.8% of the time by an average score of 29-28. Stoops-coached Alabama teams are 3-0 vs. the Crimson Tide.Of the four teams in the playoff, Michigan State is the weakest. The Spartans have four wins against teams that ranked in the top 12 at the time of their matchups, but Mark Dantonio’s squad doesn’t rank in our top 10.Ohio State lost one game that cost them a shot at the Big Ten Championship and an opportunity to defend its crown. If the Buckeyes, who are No. 4 in our Power Rankings, switched places with Michigan State, Urban Meyer would have a 7.5% chance to win his fourth national championship. In that hypothetical scenario, Oklahoma would still be the most likely champion. Based on the analysis, here is the projected College Football Playoff bracket:Semifinals No. 1 seed Clemson vs. No. 4 seed OklahomaOklahoma wins 69.2% of the time and by an average score of 36-29.No. 2 seed Alabama vs. No. 3 seed Michigan StateAlabama wins 82.6% of the time and by an average score of 30-18.National ChampionshipNo 2 seed Alabama vs. No. 3 seed OklahomaOklahoma wins 54.8% of the time and by an average score of 29-28.The likelihoods for each team to win the championship are 44.6% for Oklahoma, 40.3% for Alabama, 12.8% for Clemson and 2.3% for Michigan State.last_img read more

QB highlights what to watch during MSU’s bowl practices

first_imgMississippi State quarterback Elijah Staley (left) and Nick Fitzgerald are the favorites to take over for Dak Prescott.Mississippi State quarterback Elijah Staley (left) and Nick Fitzgerald are the favorites to take over for Dak Prescott.STARKVILLE – Mississippi State begins bowl practices on Friday. The Bulldogs will hold nine workouts before breaking for Christmas. They’ll hold six more — including a walk-through — in Charlotte before the season ends in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 30.Bowl eligibility often judges the success of a team’s season, but it also supplies two weeks of extra practices.For veteran squads, seniors can sleepwalk through the practices until workouts at the bowl site resume. Mississippi State loses Dak Prescott, its best player, and turns to unproven quarterbacks in 2016. The extra workouts are vital to MSU’s progression heading into spring workouts.The first five practices are open to the public (Dec 11-15). Here are the positions fans will want to focus on. Quarterbacks Two-sport athlete Elijah Staley plans to travel with Mississippi State’s basketball team this weekend for its trip to Kansas City. The quarterback will rejoin the football team to close out bowl practices. He’ll also travel to Charlotte for the game. Immediately following the Belk Bowl, he’ll become a basketball player again.Staley and Nick Fitzgerald are the favorites heading into 2016 to take over for Prescott. Fitzgerald played in seven regular season games, completing 11 of 14 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns. In two games, Staley completed 3 of 5 passes with a touchdown.MSU coach Dan Mullen has already said it will be an open quarterback competition heading into next year. Fitzgerald has the most experience among the freshmen. He arrived on campus early in 2013 and participated in bowl practices. He then experienced spring workouts in 2013. Staley has yet to be healthy during the spring. Last year, a knee injury limited his workouts.Damian Williams has the most game experience of any quarterback expected to return next year. The junior is the only signal caller on the roster that has started a game other than Prescott.Williams redshirted this season, but played in 12 games in his first two seasons on campus. He completed 37 of 70 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns.True freshman Nick Tiano also redshirted this year. Prescott has said Tiano is far ahead of where he was as a true freshman. Cornerback The Bulldogs lose two senior corners in Taveze Calhoun and Will Redmond. Tolando Cleveland got a jumpstart on next year’s competition by starting nine games this season. Cedric Jiles tied a career high, playing in 11 games.The future is bright behind those who saw the field this year. Chris Stamps was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports out of Warren Central. Maurice Smitherman may be just as talented as a three-star recruit.Both redshirted this season, but will see a lot of time during the next three weeks with the first-team defense. Running back A solid running game is a quarterback’s best friend. Without Prescott, the Bulldogs will need one. MSU returns 11 of its top 12 players who carried the ball in 2015. The issue is that Prescott, who led the team with 541 yards rushing, won’t be back.Redshirt freshmen Dontavian Lee and Aeris Williams had success as bruising backs that complemented Brandon Holloway. Lee averaged 6.4 yards per carry, while Williams averaged 4.5 yards.Neither carried the ball more than 37 times this season. The coaching staff said the duo wasn’t ready in all aspects of the running and passing game to demand more carries. Williams and Lee enter their third years in the program in 2016. They should be ready to handle the responsibility that comes with a greater number of carries. Ashton Shumpert will be in his final year with the program in 2016. The former four-star prospect has rushed for 665 yards in his first three years.Contact Michael Bonner at mbonner@jackson.gannett.com. Follow @MikeBBonner on Twitter.last_img read more

Italy’s Pagliuca becomes first keeper to see red

first_imgIn the 21st minute of this group match, Pagliuca became the first goalkeeper to be sent off in a World Cup finals match. The straight red was shown after he touched the ball outside the penalty area as he raced out to meet Norway’s Oyvind Leonhardsen. Since it lost its opening match against Ireland, Italy faced the prospect of an early exit from a tournament it was tipped to do well in. Coach Arrigo Sacchi substituted his star player Roberto Baggio to bring on replacement keeper Luca Marchegiani. The gambit worked. Dino Baggio, no relation, scored the winner in the 69th minute and Italy survived, eventually making it to the final, where it lost a penalty shootout against Brazil after a Roberto Baggio miss.last_img read more

Brazil defense a concern ahead of World Cup opener

first_imgCoach Luiz Felipe Scolari spent part of the team’s training session on Monday making adjustments to the defensive setup, stopping practice several times to reposition players until he was satisfied.Although Brazil didn’t concede a goal in its two warm-up matches before the World Cup, Scolari said he was not completely satisfied with how his squad played defensively. He didn’t even like how the team practiced at times, and publicly said his players were giving up too much space for counterattacks.Right back Daniel Alves acknowledged that Brazil’s defense isn’t perfect, and said they are working to improve it before the opener against Croatia on Thursday.last_img read more

USC Loses Season Opener, 52-28

first_imgCOLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kenny Hill looked more than ready to replace Johnny Manziel on the field. He is still getting used to the attention that goes along with the job.Hill broke Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards and No. 21 Texas A&M beat No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks’ 18-game home win streak.SPANNING THE SEC: Coverage from Around the LeagueHill looked poised and confident in his first start, leading the Aggies (1-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) to the most total and passing yards against South Carolina. The sophomore completed 44 of 60 passes with three touchdowns.The hardest part of his night came after the celebration on the field.“I just wanted to get the first press conference over with,” said Hill, who hadn’t spoken with reporters before. “I get nervous up here.” South Carolina Gamecocks running back Brandon Wilds (22) runs the ball.That’s a far cry from Manziel, a lightning-rod personality quick to speak his mind and gesture to crowds and opponents. Johnny Football rode his flashy style all the way to the Heisman Trophy in his freshman year, and one of the Aggies’ biggest worries was if they could find the same rhythm with a different leader.Hill made it clear they could.“We aren’t a one-trick pony,” Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said.But Hill would like a different nickname: “I don’t really like ‘Kenny Football.’”Hill helped Texas A&M to a 31-14 halftime lead and finished up with the most passing yards allowed in Steve Spurrier’s 10 seasons with the Gamecocks (0-1, 0-1).“I think we all had a chip on our shoulders,” Texas A&M defensive lineman Julien Obioha said.The Gamecocks played their first game since the departure of star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney — and it showed. South Carolina gave up seven TDs on A&Ms first 11 possessions.Tra Carson ran for three touchdowns and receiver Malcome Kennedy had 14 catches for 137 yards. The Aggies piled up 680 yards of offense, the most South Carolina’s given up since Arkansas went for 650 in 2007.Manziel held five of the Aggies’ six best single-game passing marks, topped by his 464 yards in a loss to Alabama last season. Hill moved past them all with his flawless showing on the road.“That team was so much better than us, it wasn’t funny,” said Spurrier, trying for his 200th victory as an SEC coach. “They out-coached us, out-played us, they were better prepared and they knew what they were doing.”Hill’s 44 completions were also a single-game school record, moving past Jerrod Johnson’s mark against Oklahoma State in 2010.Hill and the Aggies essentially put this one away in the first half, scoring on five of six possessions. Hill, who played just four games last year in mop-up duty, looked at ease against the Gamecocks and their young defense.Hill completed passes to 12 receivers, most of them running free in a rebuilt secondary.South Carolina, coming off three straight 11-2 seasons, had hoped to kick off a run to the conference title in a Thursday night showcase game on the startup SEC Network.Manziel, taken 22nd overall by Cleveland, was among three Texas A&M players picked in the first round last May. And the Aggies showed they could still operate without last year’s standouts.“We were ready to prove everyone wrong,” Hill said. “We were ready to show we could play without Johnny.”Malcome Kennedy had 10 catches for 85 yards in the first two quarters, allowing Aggie fans to rest easy about star Mike Evans moving on to Tampa Bay.The offensive line provided plenty of time for Hill despite Jake Matthews heading to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.The Aggies got going on their first possession, and Carson finished a 67-yard drive with 1-yard TD.South Carolina stayed close on two long scoring throws of 69 and 46 yards by new starting quarterback Dylan Thompson, the second to Damiere Byrd that helped the Gamecocks close to 17-14.But Hill and the Aggies were relentless, pressing forward through South Carolina’s Clowney-less defense.Hill, the son of ex-major league pitcher Ken Hill, led TD drives of 75 and 80 yards in the final nine minutes before the half.The 393 yards of A&M offense at the half were more than South Carolina’s defense had allowed in nine of 13 games a year ago.Thompson passed for 366 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Davis, the Gamecocks’ 1,000-yard rusher, had 15 yards in the first half before re-injuring his ribs and sitting out the rest of the way.last_img read more

Q&A: Mark Stoops previews UK-Mississippi State

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-18:9988fe7d3aa68f8aa2c0abfe Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-116303-3849427192001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.“They ran the ball, what, 51 times, something like that. And a good portion of some of that yardage came late and it came on some finesse runs, some 11-personnel Q run, and things like that. So if you look at the power run game we actually improved quite a bit in that game and had some good plays and some good stops and did some good things. And, again, I know you can write it how you want, I’m not crazy. I know what good run defense looks like and does not, so certainly we all know we need to get better and improve in certain areas, but like I said, I think some of it was improved.”On Stanley “Boom” Williams condition: “Things look better, not cleared to play yet, obviously. I’ll wait until the doctors tell me he can get on the field but, I think, yeah, things are looking better. When he will be cleared to practice or play I have no idea.”On if the run defense improving make things better with a positive even in the blowout loss: “I think that was part of it. We all knew going into that game that was a big, physical football team that wanted to run the ball and they certainly did, but, again, I thought there were quite a few plays in there where it wasn’t, just constantly getting pushed around, where I thought you know, just right at the start, again, there’s a lot of mistakes we can look at in that game but we start the game with the poor kickoff return and get the penalty.“Then we get a zero-yard gain on first down, incomplete pass on second, and get the penalty. That’s just the discipline we need to continue to work and get better and get more disciplined on this team, but that penalty hurt. If you look throughout the first half, when we get the punt return for a touchdown, but we were hanging in there. We knew it was going to be difficult, not an easy task, but physically defensively we were holding up pretty well and doing some good things. Then it gets to be a little much when you’re on the field that long, and obviously some big plays that we can and will get corrected.”On if they just need more players: “Well, I’m not going to make any excuses, but we just, you know, need to find a way. As I said, going into that game you really need to play well on all sides and we certainly didn’t do that. We didn’t play good enough on any side but I thought we had a chance defensively.”On if he’s saying when he looked back on the film they were not just physically dominated: “Yeah, that’s fair to say. I don’t think we were physically dominated on the field and, again, you just look at, hey, they ran the ball for 300 yards, you’re not generally going to win a lot of games when teams run for 300 yards. We know that’s not acceptable but there are a lot of good, physical plays in there by our defensive guys. But when you make mistakes, they’re magnified. Mistakes are going to cost you games, they’re going to cost you on the road at LSU, making mistakes we did early in that game, it’s going to cost and you it’s going to be magnified. It gets out of control at that point. We can’t have that and we’ve got to coach ’em better and be more disciplined across the board.”On how Mississippi State’s corners compare to LSU: “They’re different, a different style of play and they’re just different guys.”On if the film showed any common theme to the special-teams mistakes: “Well, there’s mistakes. There’s mistakes that can and will be corrected. We’ve all made our mistakes this year, offensively, defensively, special teams. Again, they’re magnified against a very talented team on the road, and when you open the game that way, it doesn’t set the tone. That’s not what you want. So they’re magnified but they’re things that can and will be fixed. The punt return, same thing.“A little unfortunate that we hit it so good. He kicked it so well, outkicked his coverage a little bit. We had guys down there. We had, honestly, five or six guys clean, and we’ve got to do a better job of closing that gap, spreading the net and gettin’ ’em down. Once you get a talented guy started and give him some space, bad things are going to happen to us. So those are things that we can get fixed and will. We all take responsibility for that, and we’ll make the corrections and we’ll move on.”On the opening kickoff and if they intended to kick it short: “That’s something that in hindsight we would do differently. (Laughter.) So, you know, I told you that at one of my news conferences, anybody that tells you they wouldn’t do it differently in hindsight is lying. (Laughter.) It was poor execution and poor call, and we didn’t kick it where we were supposed to, either. So what we were supposed to do on the kick wasn’t there. Therefore, it magnified it. So, sure, we would do it differently. That’s one instance where we were too cute there. Again, I take that responsibility. We take that and we move on. The rest of it is just fundamental things.”On if he would have believed Mississippi State would be No. 1 when they faced Kentucky: “I wouldn’t have put no thought into that, I would have no idea. I would be going on a limb and I don’t like to do that. If you look at their quarterback and their team it’s not a real big surprise. They’re a very talented football team. You could tell they had a lot of confidence coming into the season just by the way they carried themselves at SEC Media, just listening to them with their quarterback and leadership. Dan is sixth year in the process and they have a good-looking team.“I noticed that a year ago. I noticed how big they were and how long and just, you know, they’re developed. They do a great job of coaching, and good things are – it’s coming together for them. They’re playing red hot, and it starts with their quarterback. He’s as talented of a guy as there is in the country. He can run it, he can throw it. He’s making great decisions and their offense puts stress on you. Like I said at the beginning of the statement, they’re well coached, they put stress on you across the board.”On if he remembers anything specific about Prescott from last year’s game: “Physically, good-looking guy, strong, leader, tough, just everything you want in your quarterback and in particular with what they do, with the dual-threat and putting that stress on you.”On if Dan Mullen’s success at Mississippi State is sort of the model for what he wants to do here: “Certainly anybody that’s having success in your league and guys you watch, certainly you look at them and see what they’ve done. I think they’ve done a nice job of recruiting and a lot of times – give them credit under the radar with some of the guys that they get out of their state, that maybe not a lot of people know about. But they have that great length and size and you gotta give them credit for developing those players. Yeah, they’re a good-looking team top to bottom.”On if he has any fear at all about the confidence of his team after a loss like that during a rebuilding process: “Yeah, you worry about it, and we need to address it, because, you know, you’re going to go through ups and downs, you’re going to lose some games. When you self-inflict against a good team – and I’m not taking anything away from LSU because they flat beat us across the board – but when you make a lot of mistakes, you can have a tendency to lose confidence. I told you, other times, speaking to you and to our team, we’ve gotten beyond the belief. Then it’s about execution and doing things and then we go out and don’t do it very well, so now we got to make sure they don’t slip back and start doubting, and it goes back to preparation and work and controlling the things we can control.”On if this is unfamiliar territory since they haven’t had a loss like this yet: “Yeah, it is this year. It’s a new team, first time we have gone through that, it is new to this football team and every team is different. So, yeah, we’ll see how we respond.”On what he hopes young wide receivers learned from LSU game: “I hope they learned how to get open versus press. That’s a physical bunch that doesn’t give you a lot of space. You have to beat ’em, you have to make plays. We can compete at a higher level. We need to be more detailed on some of our routes, and there is a lot of things we can all do better.”On if he has to guard against guys getting too psyched to play a No. 1 team: “As I have said many times I would rather say “whoa” than giddy up, so if we have a good practice and I got to hold ’em back, that will be a good thing. But the emotion, I’m only looking forward in our preparation. You certainly don’t want ’em flat walking into the building, you don’t want ’em being “down” and all those things but the excitement level and how we prepare and as long as they’re focused and they go through preparation and are mentally ready to practice every day and putting ourselves into a position to win a game that’s what I’m looking for.”On importance of a fast start for confidence: “I think it’s always important. It was important last week on the road and we fought it uphill the whole game this week, even though we were at home, we’re playing the No. 1 team in the country, you can’t fall behind, I think it’s important. If we do, we got to learn to face adversity a little better than we did last week.”On what Demarco Robinson did differently than other receivers: “He did do better, you’re right in saying that. Number one, he’s a senior. That helps. So he’s got a lot more experience playing against these big dudes that are up there locking ’em down but Demarco has done a nice job of beating people and playing one-on-ones.”On if they gain confidence from playing well at Mississippi State last year: “I think every team is different but I think, you know, I hope it helps us a little bit and we’ll see how we prepare and how we go through the week.”On if in his experience coaches tend to set the same tone after a lop-sided loss: “I’m not sure if everybody takes the exact same approach every week. I don’t know what other people do. It’s been different from the coaches I’ve been around each week. As I’ve said before, I think, you know, you have to have a good plan, but I go on my instincts and my gut a lot and they’re, sometimes right and sometimes wrong, even in making decisions on the field, you know, and that’s where that hindsight comes in. But I think, you know, with this, definitely I put some thought into the message.”On if he almost has to be an actor in that situation: “I don’t think it’s ever an act. I would never use that word to define it. It’s about making sure that you clearly define the message that you want them to hear. That really doesn’t change much for us a lot as well. Maybe how you deliver it and in those things it does, but the bottom line is we’re all going to accept our responsibility and we’re going to look at things, get it corrected and move on. So, again, we’ll see how well we respond this week.”On if he can take away anything from moving the ball at 17-3 and appearing to weather the slow start for at least awhile: “No, I don’t know if you could take much from it, because I felt like, as you know, from watching the game it was an uphill struggle from the first kickoff of the game. But I do feel like we were battling there. That’s what I was commenting on defensively for a while there. We were hanging in doing some things. And offensively we were moving it. We had 3rd-and-1, a long drive, and we missed that opportunity. That was part execution and part would you do it over? Well, yeah, because it didn’t work you would do it over.“So there are things that we can and need to do better in that situation. The bottom line is we didn’t make it happen, we didn’t deliver, they stopped us and that was a big turning point, because I believe there was roughly five minutes in the half there. If we get a first down, obviously that’s time off the clock and even when we got the ball back after that I believe we stopped ’em right after that, maybe a three and out. They hit a great punt and backed us up, and even then I’m trying to get out of the half. That’s what I want to do at that point. It’s been an uphill climb, it’s 17-3 on the road, we haven’t moved it well, we’re backed up, I want to get first downs and get out of the half, unless we make big plays and get movin’, of course, but I’m really trying to cut our losses at that point. And then, as we know, they get 10 more points from there and that was impossible for us to catch up from that point on.”On importance of playing well in a nationally showcased game vs. No. 1 team: “I think it’s very important. It’s important for us to play well. Anytime you’re playing a No. 1 team in the country, you’re going to have great exposure. We want to play well and represent our program and what we’ve been doing and all the hard work so it’s important for us to go out and play well.”On what Jabari Johnson has done to work his way into rotation after not playing at all last season: “He gave us size, and he’s been doing a nice job at that position, what we call the ‘Jack’ linebacker there. He’s big. He has a nice feel for it. He’s good on his feet, and we felt like we needed more size in that game. So he’s done some good things, he’s earned the right to play. So we’ll continue to rotate between Bud and Jabari and Hatcher at those spots.”On how Johnson played against LSU: “He did good. He played well, he really did.”On Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith having discipline issues playing containment on the outside at times and how they stop an athletic quarterback like Prescott: “It’s not always on them. I mean, it’s always team defense. Sometimes he may step up and then get out as well so they’re trying to get speed rush and our inside guys have to be disciplined. Thing of that sort. We’ve had our discipline issues but containing on the pass rush is not always one of those with them. It’s not always with them, let’s put it that way.“But it does bring up the point that you’re making here, that we need to have great team defense and great discipline with our pass rush. They have disciplined runs and plays where he ad-libs and makes plays. He’s very talented. Anytime it’s tougher on defenses and it’s frustrating at times anytime you play a quarterback that has the experience and feel that he does of making plays. That’s why they’re No. 1 in our league in total offense.”On if he can see the comparisons between Dak Prescott and Tim Tebow: “I could see that. I could see people making that comparison. I never played Tebow but just as a fan and watching him I could see people making it, just with Dan coaching them both. The stress that he puts on you with that offense with a guy that could do both run and pass. They’re both physical. I could see people making that comparison. Obviously that’s a great compliment to Dak, because, you know, Tebow won quite a few games.”On Mississippi State having a bye week before playing Kentucky for the fourth season in a row: “Really? We better talk to somebody. (Laughter.) Well, it is what it is. Nothing I can do about it. It’s above my pay grade.”On if he thinks the state of Kentucky could eventually have the same football success with UK and UofL as Mississippi has with Ole Miss and Mississippi State this season: “I don’t see why not. I really don’t. I feel like we’re both working extremely hard to build our programs, we both have great support, and they’ve been a very talented and good football team and we’re working our way toward that.”On if the long, explosive runs came from a specific area: “It did, and I think some depth issues hurt us as well. In fairness to a few of our players. We got to get ’em out and get ’em spelled as well. We’re certainly were we’re not as fast later in the game as we were early. That’s coaching. We’ve got to develop guys and get some guys in there to help. Give them credit. If they’re going to run it 51 times with those dudes, they’re going to break some, too. It’s not like going into the game that you didn’t think they were going to have any explosive runs. I think I guess the point I was trying to make with the power-run game if you take those explosive runs, it wasn’t that bad. We had a good dose of some good people in there and we played more physical than we had been.”On if he expects Zach West back this week: “I do expect him back but I don’t know how at this point he will respond but I do expect him back this week.”On what they need to do to get the run-game jump-started: “It’s important, just like last week. You know, that’s where the run game is always important. We all want explosive offense, and we need that and want to throw it and will throw it, but you gotta have some balance. Look at Mississippi State, what are they, 264 to the run and 265 to the pass. Try to defend that. Makes a difference. It’s very important to be physical and to have balance. It puts a lot of stress on teams. We’ve done that well at times, and against some teams it’s a little more difficult for us because we’re trying to physically get to where we want to be. So to answer your question, it’s important to get the run game going, at least be able to have those aggravating runs, three, four, five then break one here and there. We’ll continue to work on that.”On if he’s surprised at the run game struggles considering all their explosive backs: “Like I said, it’s been good at times. Wasn’t so good last week, and you have to give credit to LSU for that. They beat us. They played more physical than us and didn’t give us much room.”On Mississippi leading the SEC in sacks per game: “Well, they have an incredible front seven, number one, and number two, they’ve been ahead quite a bit and scoring some points, so teams are going to have to take some chances and maybe drop back and pass more than they want to.”On if passing game struggles were because of LSU DBs or is Patrick Towles could have done some things better: “Certainly Patrick can play better and needs to play better. We missed some opportunities and that’s going to happen. Again, not to make an excuse for Patrick because he doesn’t need me to do that, but there are going to be some times where maybe they’re covered, then maybe they’re open and we miss ’em, either way it’s not good. So when you are off and not playing your best, again, it’s going to get magnified against a great team, especially on the road down there at LSU.”On if in a game like that he has to make those plays when given the opportunity: “You have to make those throws, yeah, you do, and we gotta catch ’em and get open and all those things and we definitely were not at our best.”On the play where Ryan Timmons appeared to not see the ball: “I’m not even sure, to be honest with you. I didn’t ask him yet or couldn’t tell.”On Ryan Timmons’ struggles: “Ryan needs to continue to improve. He needs to compete at a higher level and needs to step it up. We need him to. If we’re going to win games at LSU or if we’re going to win a game at home against the No. 1 team in the country, some of our playmakers need to step up and compete at a high level and make plays and win some one-on-one’s and make some plays. That’s what he needs to do. Again, you asked me specifically about him, there’s others, there’s all of us. We all accept the responsibility and, again, accept the things that we need to do better and that’s something that he needs to do better.”On if film showed what happened on the squib kick: “We addressed it before they went on the field. We had a good idea they were going to squib it. We had a player make a poor decision.”On if having young players in a situation helps because they can forget a loss like that more easily: “I think that goes back to Alan’s question. You know, we’ll see. I think because we got whooped and had because we made some mental mistakes, sometimes that can shake somebody’s confidence, and we’ll see how they respond. I have no reason to believe that, though. I have a good feel we’ll bounce back and prepare well and play well.”* For instant updates on the Wildcats, follow me on Twitter @KyleTucker_CJ. Email me at ktucker@courier-journal.com. Check out the link below for quick-hits from Mark Stoops’ Monday presser. Read on for every last word, as Stoops reviewed the LSU debacle and looked ahead to Saturday’s home game against No. 1 Mississippi State.5 Takeaways: Stoops on bouncing back, Dak and more.MARK STOOPSOpening statement: “Anxious to just get back to work today and get back on the practice field with our players after a disappointing loss. After reviewing the film, as I said in the postgame, you have to give credit to LSU. They outplayed us, outcoached us, but there are certainly a lot of things that we need to get corrected and can get corrected, so looking forward to getting back out there. Another great challenge that week, playing the No. 1 team in the country. We will have our hands full and need to play a whole lot better. So, again, need to get back out there and improve this week on the practice field.”On stopping the run vs. Mississippi State after struggling at times in run defense this season: “Well, it’s very important. Another physical football team, but not only physical, just, it’s a numbers game as well. Very well coached, puts you in some hard predicaments. Obviously the way Dak (Prescott) is throwing the ball as well, they stretch you constantly. So it is a concern. If you look back at last week, I think we did – believe me, I’m not crazy, I’ve coached defenses that were pretty darn good against the run – the good news is if you take away some of the explosive runs that can get corrected in certain spots, just physically we actually did some very good things. Story continues below the video Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUNDlast_img read more