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October 15, 2015

Mark Stoops

Lexington, Kentucky

Auburn - 30 Kentucky - 27

MARK STOOPS: Okay, as you can imagine, a very difficult loss for our team. I felt like our players played extremely hard. But like I just told them, when you have a bunch of tough games it comes down to making some plays and give them credit, they made the plays to win the game and we did not.

We made a lot of good plays and some plays and some things we need to do better. So, very proud of our team\\\'s effort, felt like we knew it would be a tough, another tough hard fought, close game. And it was. Our players were prepared for that. They practiced hard and had good preparation and we came up short. Need to make a few more plays in critical situation, need to start a little better, they kept us off balance in the first half, don\\\'t feel like we weren\\\'t quite physical enough early in the game. We made some adjustments, played much better in the second half. Had plenty of opportunities to gets the game tied or go up. Never could do that and get that momentum. But, again, it comes down to the end, I thought we had a good chance to complete that pass right down to the on the third down to Jeff Badet down the boundary and Jeff went up and was fighting to make a heck of a play and their DB made a heck of a play as well to strip it. I think right at the very end at the bottom of that route as they were coming down to the ground he got it out. That\\\'s how close it gets.

So, like I said, I\\\'m proud of this team, they worked hard and played hard and there\\\'s plenty of things we can do better and we will. And we\\\'re excited to go back to work. I think this team knows that we prepare and play to win each and every week and we\\\'ll go back to work on Monday.

Q. What kind of adjustments did you make on defense there in the second half?
MARK STOOPS: We got lined up better and had some adjustments to where we were moving the front to what they were doing and had some success. It was in our plan all along, a couple things happened, and they go so fast they get you -- that\\\'s the thing that early, that things go fast and there\\\'s things we can do better.

But, basically, getting lined up and adjusting our front to something they were doing.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, since it didn\\\'t work. So, yeah, I would definitely do that over. Yeah.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: Melvin looks like he has a fractured fibula, so he will be out for some time.

Q. Was there an effort at halftime to get moving the ball more and after that first drive, when he was so good, he kind of went away in the first half. It seemed like y\\\'all got him the ball a lot in the second half?
MARK STOOPS: I\\\'m not sure. You can talk to Shannon when he gets in here.

One thing about the first half is, there wasn\\\'t a lot of possessions. They were moving the ball on us, and we were moving it on them. Again, a critical play is the interception because we were moving the ball, had a chance to tie it at 14, and I can\\\'t fault Patrick for that. I think the DB made a heck of a play.

I would like to see it a little higher and back of the end zone, but I thought that their DB made a nice football play, a nice play.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: Of course, we have known that -- we think that we have known that for some time. He\\\'s very important. But he\\\'s also important -- it\\\'s also important that we do a lot of things right.

Q. Have you ever been in a game where it seemed like there were so many missed opportunities and does that give you hope going forward?
MARK STOOPS: I can think of a couple games in particular that stick out to me, that were missed opportunities. Several in the last two years.

That\\\'s what I told the team is that is the glass half full or is it half empty? We know we can make those plays, and I don\\\'t fault our team, they\\\'re prepared, they know -- they believe they can make them, they know they can make them, and it comes down to a few plays here and there.

We\\\'ll continue to work to make those plays to make a difference to win some games. We have and as the competition gets better with certain people, we got to step it up as well.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, phenomenal. Really they\\\'re playing really good football.

Garrett is a special player. He\\\'s stepping up, making some good plays and so is Dorian. I know he slipped out of his route once and had a tough catch and in a critical moment and thought he had a chance in the end zone again on one of those ones where we went for the field goal, he almost came down with it.

But, again, they were fighting and scraping and clawing, both teams were. They were competitive plays. And we made some and they made some. And they made one more than us to win the game.

Q. What\\\'s your biggest regret or frustration about what happened tonight?
MARK STOOPS: We didn\\\'t win. I don\\\'t know how to answer that. Regret or frustration? I don\\\'t know. Right now, I don\\\'t know what I would do different or anything like that. Is that what you\\\'re asking?

Q. A specific thing maybe that got under your skin that you thought you would do better or expected to do better?
MARK STOOPS: No, yeah, there\\\'s a lot of things we can do better and will do better. I think that I was frustrated. I think because we didn\\\'t get off to the start that we wanted to.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: A big difference. It makes a big difference. We\\\'re behind the eight ball because they\\\'re getting too good a field position because we\\\'re not kicking the ball very good. Punts or kickoffs. In games like this, it\\\'s huge.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: There was some moments where we were not good enough and there was some things he did very well. But there was some head scratchers in there. That\\\'s going to happen against a good defense, a good team, mixing up their coverages and doing some things.

But I thought that, again, he gave us a chance to win. And if we pull down that ball on third down on the 2 or 3 or whatever it was, then we\\\'re all sitting here talking about how great he was to lead us back again. So, it\\\'s a fine line.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: I don\\\'t. I don\\\'t remember. No. There was a couple moments -- I don\\\'t remember exactly what you\\\'re talking about there at the end of the third.

No, I think that -- no. No. I don\\\'t remember. I thought there was always enough time. There was one time before that I was going to go for it, and we had it down to the 43, but we didn\\\'t get any more yards, 44 or whatever it was, and we didn\\\'t get -- we punted it and punted it into the end zone. We had an opportunity to pin them, but we missed that one and got it in the end zone. That was one that is I was wanting to go for it on fourth down, but we didn\\\'t make any yards on the second or third.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: He would have been good. We had tried it from 50. He was definitely good from 45. So, I don\\\'t know what situation you were in, but we played it right as it turns out. There was nothing I could have done differently and that -- I wouldn\\\'t -- let\\\'s put it this way -- I wouldn\\\'t do anything different. We had the ball at the end of the game with plenty of time to win the game. Or tie it.

Q. Was everybody aware that you didn\\\'t have any timeouts at the end with that running play? Was there no confusion?
MARK STOOPS: What\\\'s that?

Q. That you guys didn\\\'t have any timeouts at the end when you ran that ball:
MARK STOOPS: No, no, no. We knew absolutely. You\\\'ve seen us before run the ball on third down and 15 and get the first down and you praised them. Right? Didn\\\'t work.

So it\\\'s real easy to second guess him. I don\\\'t. We were playing too high, and we thought we could split them. If we split them for 12 yards, then we\\\'re sitting in here saying, well, that\\\'s a genius call, so, it didn\\\'t work.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: We still had two more opportunities to get the first down.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: I thought it was great. It was great. Really special night, fans were up, I saw them standing.

And again, we just were so close, we just could never get that momentum and get on top and that\\\'s probably what\\\'s going to bother you, is we have had opportunities to get the game tied or get ahead and just couldn\\\'t do it. Couldn\\\'t get the fans really juiced up and really into it. But they were, but we could have really done our part, so. But really appreciate the atmosphere and the effort, it was fantastic environment.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, Matt will step up and play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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