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October 31, 2015

Mark Stoops

Lexington, Kentucky

Tennessee - 52 Kentucky - 21

MARK STOOPS: It's not acceptable. It's not okay. And not very pleased. There's a lot of things that we need to do better that we will. It starts with me.

I got to do a better job of getting the team prepared, our coaches prepared, and not a very good effort.

Give them credit, they beat our butts in all phases. They were much more physical than us. And we got to play with a lot stronger attitude and mentality than that.

So, we'll get back to work. Again, very frustrated, very ticked off the way we played. We have got to play better than that, and we will play better than that, and we will go back to work. We're 4-4? 4-4.

The only way you make this feeling go away is to go get a victory and go prepare the right way and go in with a tough mentality and go get a win. Go get No. 5 and that's the only thing we have got to concentrate on.

I have no doubt that this team will do that. We will coach better, they will play better, and we will go put it on the line to get No. 5 this week.

Q. Did you sense they were as frustrated as you?
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, I'm sure. I'm sure they are. I'm sure the players are frustrated. They ought to be. They ought to be a little bit mad and upset. We need to play better.

Q. What was your message to them in the locker room after the game?
MARK STOOPS: Just that, that I don't want to see one person dropping their head or moping around. That's not going to be the way it is. It's clearly not acceptable, and we're not okay with it.

But we're not going to start pointing fingers, and we're not going to put our head down. The only way you make this feeling go away is put your head down and go to work.

Tennessee was in the same boat, right? And they just came in here and clobbered us. So give them credit. You can't hide. You go to work, you man up, and you go get better. You go coach better, and that's the way we're going to do it.

Q. Do you worry about this lack of effort tonight?
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, sure, I do. You know I do. But I don't think it's just that. I don't think it's just that.

Q. What's the status of Boom?
MARK STOOPS: He has an elbow injury, yeah, we'll see.

Q. What about Johnson?
MARK STOOPS: Garrett, I believe, will be okay. I believe. Yeah.

Q. What upset you the most, then? Other than the effort, what other things worry you the most?
MARK STOOPS: Just overall execution. Offense and defense and special teams. We got whipped in all areas tonight.

Q. The second straight week it kind of got out of hand there at the end of the second quarter --
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, end of the first half and right in the beginning of the second half, it got out of hand again.

We have got to face adversity better. We have got to be able to handle it and manage the game and not let it get out of hand.

So, there's things we have got to do better. We have got to put them in a better position.

Q. What were you trying to do by moving AJ up to the box tonight?
MARK STOOPS: Just let him see the overall picture better and just see -- this team has so much misdirection, and they did a nice job.

They were influencing us out and had some new plays and some things that were -- it's good to have somebody up there that you could see the whole perimeter and get better vision. And hopefully, with him being up there, have good eyes on the whole picture.

Q. When it's almost a hundred yards in penalties, they returned a kick for a touchdown, defense and offense, nothing is working. When you get deep into a game and every facet is sort of failing like that, is there some sense of resignation or hopelessness at that point, that this is not going to be your night?
MARK STOOPS: I don't -- you know that's not in my DNA. I mean, I don't know what you mean by that question.

I mean, I knew it wasn't going good. But we're going to just go to work, and we're going to battle every play, and we're going to get better.

And once it got out of hand, I told the offense to get a drive. We're not going to get desperate and start throwing the ball and trying not to fumble it and throw interceptions and all that.

We're going to put a drive together and go down and try to score and defensively try to stop them. But we just take every series and every play with an opportunity to improve.

Q. You mentioned physical, was that the biggest thing that stood out to you tonight about what went wrong?
MARK STOOPS: I think that's a big part of it. I think that's a big part of it. They were much more physical than us.

Q. Is that more mentality than physical will and athleticism?
MARK STOOPS: It's the whole thing. We have got to continue to bring guys along and develop our players and get them -- recruit big players and get our guys bigger and stronger and it's the whole package. Just got to continue to grow.

Q. It seemed like earlier in the year, tackling was pretty good on this team. Does that have to do more with who your playing or more execution on your part?
MARK STOOPS: I think it's probably obviously both. There's some very good players you're going to play in this league that are going to make people miss and then there's certainly things we can be in better position on.

Q. After last week, go through the week of practice where were you anticipating tonight might happen or was it a real surprise?
MARK STOOPS: No, I really felt like we had a good week of preparation and guys were locked in and I thought we would certainly go play better than we did.

Q. Do you think the turning point was when you cut it to 14-10 and then they had that long touchdown pass?
MARK STOOPS: That didn't help. That one play drive there and then the score at the end of the half was poor by us as well.

Q. Did you feel like maybe the wind kind got on some shoulders when Boom went down?
MARK STOOPS: I'm not sure. I'm not sure. They didn't need to be. Injuries are going to happen. We love Boom and all of our players and injuries are going to happen and we got to get back in there and go to work.

Q. Is there anything positive out of tonight? Can you take anything out of the way that Horton played down the stretch?
MARK STOOPS: Well, yes, I appreciate my article going in there when we need him and him and Jojo and they need to step up and play well and I anticipate they will.

Q. Sounds like you don't know but you anticipate that Boom's going to keep him out awhile?
MARK STOOPS: You know, I'm not sure. I'm not sure. Could be. All right. Thank you.

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