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November 21, 2015

Mark Stoops

Lexington, Kentucky

Kentucky - 58, Charlotte - 10

COACH STOOPS: Last couple weeks I felt like our team has been practicing and doing the right things to put ourselves in a position to win. We just need to play better. We need to execute better. And we need to continue to work on that, to do the little things to win games.

But I've been proud of their effort, their attitude and doing the right things. So, it was a good team victory, got to play quite a few people, which was good. Got some starters out in the middle of the third quarter there which was good.

Hopefully, give us a little rest, give us a little boost for this very important week, this week. So, overall great team victory.

Q. You'll take any win at this point. But how important was it to win the way you did as opposed to against that opponent, may not impress you as much?
COACH STOOPS: It really was important. It was very important to win that way in a good fashion, because we just need to improve. And our team needed that. Our players needed that.

So, even in the first half, I felt like I was a little frustrated at half and I looked at the statistics there and we really controlled the ball. We had the ball just about the whole first half. We gave up one play that was aggravating on defense we let a screen slip out that set up the field goal. But, other than that, played great defense most of the game.

And offense, we really kept the ball and it was good to see us getting some -- get some tough yards early as well, with the fourth and one in particular. Getting a big set and running the power in there for a touchdown. It was just good to see.

Q. You were talking about a big week this week. Talk about that, playing your rival next week. One win away from a bowl berth. How exciting will this atmosphere be next Saturday?
COACH STOOPS: I hope it's electric next Saturday. I appreciate the fans that were there today. I know it was a dismal day playing again at 7:30 again in bad weather most of the day and cold and greatly appreciate the fans that were there.

And next week we need everybody in those seats and we need it filled and to come root for this team because we're going to put everything into it. But it will be a very important week and it will be a great atmosphere here next week, I'm sure.

Q. Obviously, big days by Jojo and Boomer. Did you -- what did you see from those two, getting all those yards today?
COACH STOOPS: It was just good on the whole offense. I thought the offensive line really did a good job and they had some explosive plays. So, it was good. We had some good run game. I thought we mixed it up pretty well.

Q. How do you feel Drew performed tonight?
COACH STOOPS: I thought he did a good job under the circumstances, his first start and a pretty sloppy day, cold, overall, but he did some good things. It seems like he made good decisions for the most part. And a few balls got away from him, but it was hard to throw it there, once the ball was getting very wet.

Q. You talked about those short yardage situations all week and then it looked like you had Jake Hyde in there on a couple of those. How much was there a game plan change in those situations?
COACH STOOPS: There was a game plan change some. And we need to. It's no mystery, the frustrations that we had from the week before and those are things we have to get better at. And so we looked at all options again and had Jacob in there and again, I thought that there were some good, physical runs in there. And we need to build on that.

Q. Even with a big lead it seemed like the defense was playing with a lot of energy and creating some turnovers, how encouraging is that to see?
COACH STOOPS: I think it's very encouraging to see that. And it goes to the past several weeks. I thought that they really played that way. That was the best I've seen us play with that kind of passion and energy at Vandy, even in the losing effort, and then to carry that tonight, no matter what the score was. And we played quite a few guys. We had a lot of guys in there at the end. So it was good.

I think there's a lot to build on with that. And we talked about that all week: Let's build on the good things. Even in a -- even in the, whatever, I don't want to keep on going back to frustrations, even with the loss, there was a lot for us to build on. And we came into this week talking about that. We need to do the same thing as we move forward for this last game.

Q. C.J. Johnson's interception, have you ever seen a defensive lineman make a play that athletic before?
COACH STOOPS: That was an impressive play. It really was. Yeah, he's an athletic guy. So, it was fun to see him make that play.

Q. Austin MacGinnis was that, did you sit him?
COACH STOOPS: No, he could not go. He was, he was not good most of the week. And he's been like that, as you know. It's come down to a game-time decision and even through some of our games it's been hit and miss with him. Depending upon how his groin was feeling. And he didn't feel good today. He couldn't go today.

Q. It looked like Miles was still able to --
COACH STOOPS: Miles did a heck of a job. He did a heck of a job. He really was consistent. He made every kick. He made the long, what, 46, 47. And he was good on his kickoffs, he gave us some hang time. So he did a heck of a job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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