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October 26, 2014

Mark Stoops


COACH STOOPS:  We got beat by a better football team.  Give Mississippi State credit.  They're a very good, strong, tough football team.  Deserving of the No.1 ranking that they have.
I appreciate our team's effort.  We did not play well enough to win, to beat the No.1 team in the country.  Again, I felt like our guys, they went about their business.  Their minds were right.  Their hearts were right.  They tried the best they could.  They were a better football team.
As always in a loss, we all can do better.  We will do better.  We'll get back to work.  But give Mississippi State credit, they made the plays when they had to.  They were a very physical football team, as you saw.
So we've got to continue to work and get better.  But that's the bottom line.  They were a good football team and they beat us.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH STOOPS:  I think you have to credit them.  Obviously we have to do things better, be more physical, make tackles.
Yeah, we need to do better.  But you have to give them credit for what they did.  They made us miss.  We had guys bouncing off them a couple different times.  That's what I said earlier in the week.  That's what you look like when you're a big, strong, physical football team.  They broke tackles and made plays when they had to.

Q.  When it comes down to closing the gap, your kids competed.  Is it just consistency?
COACH STOOPS:  For the way we're closing the gap?

Q.  How do you close the gap where you're at now and...
COACH STOOPS:  We were one on‑side kick of going in and getting the ball.  Pretty good.  Those aren't great odds getting on‑side kicks, but we were within 7 points of the No.1 team in the country.
Certainly we need to do things better.  But I think they're very good, very well‑coached.  They put a lot of stress on you.  There's a lot of things we could do better, but again, that's not that far.

Q.  Comment on Patrick's play today.
COACH STOOPS:  I thought Patrick threw some good balls.  We were inconsistent.  He was inconsistent.  He really threw some big‑time throws.  Our receivers made some big plays.
With a game like that, we had some big plays.  I said it all week, we really need to play good in all three phases.  It's hard.  They put so much stress on you, their offense.  That's why they're the No.1 offense in our league.  They put a lot of stress on you.
Obviously we didn't hold up very good.  We needed to play better all the way across the board.  But I thought Patrick did some good things.

Q.  Demarco did a good job of staying inbounds.
COACH STOOPS:  Yeah, when he tiptoed in there.  I didn't see it.  It was on the far sideline.  Obviously they reviewed it, so it was close.
Big‑time play.  I thought they really did some good things.  Again, it was good.  It was big to get that excitement early in the game.

Q.  Ryan's game, especially after what he's gone through.
COACH STOOPS:  Ryan did some really good things.  Had some big catches.  Javess had the long catch.  We moved Javess a little bit inside this week.
They stepped up and competed hard, made some very big plays, really gave us an opportunity to win the game offensively and receiver‑wise.  Patrick throwing it, the receivers a making some catches.  We just needed a few more stops.
We were behind the chains.  It was an uphill battle the whole way.  Just need to make some plays.

Q.  (Question regarding quarterback runs.)
COACH STOOPS:  Yeah, we had to design a few quarterback runs in there, yeah.

Q.  (Question regarding Bud.)
COACH STOOPS:  No, he's a really good player.  Plays extremely hard.  As I've said over and over, he's very versatile and explosive.  You could see him when it's a predictable pass, he can get a great pass‑rush as well.  Just love the way he's playing.

Q.  To see them be in this game against this kind of team after what happened last week in Baton Rouge.
COACH STOOPS:  Somebody asked me how far off.  I don't know.  It's always weektoweek.  You have to play good.  That's what I told the team.  We have to play our very best to beat the No.1 team in the country.  We didn't, and they had a lot to do with that.  They're a very good football team.
But even though it was an uphill climb most of the game, we were in the game and had an opportunity.  Need to get a few more stops.  With the fourth down, Ryan almost comes down with it, then we score, might have been a tied ballgame at that point.  I don't know.  Would have, could have, should have.
But we had some opportunities.  Not as many obviously because it was an uphill climb.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH STOOPS:  We had some opportunities to win the game, we did.  Even getting the on‑side kick.  Again, I don't like those odds, that's tough to do.  But it's a longshot at that point to get the on‑side kick.  With the 15‑yard penalty, gave us a chance.
Even if it bounced around down there, we still had two timeouts if we could have got it down the field.  Of course, they catch it clean.  Sometimes it happens that way.  It just bounced perfectly right to him.  If it short‑hops him, you never know.  But it bounced right to him.  That's the way it went.

Q.  What do you need from your run defense?
COACH STOOPS:  We need to play better.  They have a lot to do with that, with the dimension of their quarterback run game, how powerful they are, their runningbacks, they're very good.
The 77‑yarder, whatever, we had a desperation call on there.  They split us.  The rest is history.  I'd like to have that one back.  But, again, they ran it pretty well all night.  I think we're getting better.
But that's a good, strong, physical team.  Again, that's why they're the No.1 offensive team in our league, the No.1 team in the country.

Q.  (Question regarding Dorian Baker.)
COACH STOOPS:  I really don't want to go there too much.  I mean, that's a conversation between me and the league.

Q.  Can you give us a sense of the mood in the locker room.
COACH STOOPS:  I think the mood is what it is.  We got beat by a better football team.  We had some opportunities.  We can play better.  We need to play better.  Nobody's going to give you any victories.  Nobody's going to feel sorry for you.
It's time to get back to work and go prepare for the next game.

Q.  No concerns going forward?
COACH STOOPS:  No, no, not at all.  I mean, our team is strong.  They're strong in the mind.  They're strong in the heart.  We're not perfect.  We're a work in progress.  I have no problem with their attitude or what they're doing.  These are pretty good football teams we're playing.

Q.  (Question regarding Robinson.)
COACH STOOPS:  Seeing him in person, he was very, very tough.  He was compact, low to the ground.  He was very strong.  Great balance.  Very tough runner.

Q.  What does it tell you about your kids every time they get down, they fight and crawl back?
COACH STOOPS:  It's good to see our team being resilient, fighting.  I like their attitude, I like the way we're working, trying the best we can.  We're fighting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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