home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 3, 2012

Joker Phillips


COACH PHILLIPS:  All right, injury, E.J. Fields has a rib contusion, Neloms hamstring reaggravated, Quinn reaggravated his hamstring.  That is the injuries.  I was hoping, as they said, the audio was off.  I was hoping it would still be off.  That's the kind of year we've had.
It's a tough game, lot of mistakes.  Defensively couldn't get ourselves off the field on third downs.  8 of 10 in the first half and converted one of the fourth downs on one of those.  So that equals‑‑ that's what equals the points that they had in the first half.  I thought offensively we moved the ball some in the first half.  Our margin for error with the young football team offensively is very small.  You get a holding penalty after a big play, and then have a tough sledding after that, so had a couple of those.
Special forces was really bad today.  Lot of things that we hadn't seen all year, and that's one of the areas where we had been fairly good, fairly consistent.  Ran into the punt catcher twice, dropped a couple balls in the return game.  Just a very sloppy performance in the kicking game.  Any questions?

Q.  When you run and your guys are in the tunnel jumping up‑and‑down and you run out on the field and it looks like 20,000 people in the stands.  Does that affect you?
COACH PHILLIPS:  First of all, I appreciate the fans who were there.  That's the thing that I see.  I see the people that are there and I want those guys to know that we appreciate them.  Regardless of how it looks, you've got to play.  Regardless how it looks.  I've played a lot of games when it's like that.  Okay, you've got to play.  It shouldn't have any effect on how we perform.

Q.  Where do you think this team is at right now and where do you think you're at right now?
COACH PHILLIPS:  There are some hurt young men in there right now.  No doubt about that.  They are definitely not proud of the way they've performed today.  I shouldn't say they; I should say the way we performed.  It was not a very good performance by us.
What's kind of hurtful is how we played two weeks ago, and we haven't gotten to that level the last couple weeks.  Where I'm at, I get it.  I get this business.  I get the criticism.  Nobody in this program wants this place to have success more than me, but I understand.  I understand this is a business that is based on results, and we haven't gotten the results right now.

Q.  What does that mean you'll do, Joker?  Obviously Mitch wants to keep you and you're making it real hard on him.
COACH PHILLIPS:  Yeah, we are. No doubt about that, making it real tough for him.  Again, I think it's a young football team.  This place has won, and I've been a part of it.  You look at it, and it's been some upperclassmen‑‑ we're depleted up top in our upper two classes.  The last four years we've lost 49% of our signing class in the last four years.  We have 88% of our last two classes that are a huge part of this program.
Kentucky's going to win when you have veterans at the top.  When you're doing it the other way, it's going to take a little bit longer.  It's going to take a little bit longer.  But it's just hard.  I understand how hard it is to fight through what we're seeing today.

Q.  Pregame radio show they were talking about in practice the enthusiasm, energy, it doesn't look like a team that's given up or anything.  But how do you explain today?
COACH PHILLIPS:  It's hard.  A lot of it has to do with youth, but you see it.  You see the guys coming to practice.  They're fired up, a lot of chatter.  There is nobody dragging.  Again, a lot of it has to do with how young we are too.  If we were an old team, it would be hard for 46 juniors and seniors to show up every day understanding that you're out of bowl contention and those things.
But we've got 46 scholarship guys that are underclassmen that are playing.  So that is the reason why I think you see the excitement at practice.

Q.  Even with that, how does that not translate?
COACH PHILLIPS:  I don't know.  Again, we're making a lot of mistakes when we get to the field.  Making mistakes that we don't see on the practice field.  We're not getting people stops and then we just can't stay on the field offensively.
Again, we've moved the ball the first three series offensively.  Actually, every series except for the last series we had in the first half.  Again, it's hard for us to drive the football the length of the field.  Today when we got into the second half, we couldn't take advantage of the short fields.

Q.  Do you believe you still deserve another year?
COACH PHILLIPS: That's not for me to decide, but we've tried to do this thing the right way.  We've got to come up with ways of keeping our kids in our program.  We've put together some things that allowed us to do that.  There's a lot that's helped us to do that.
Again, we have a lot of young kids in this program, but that's not for me to decide.  The other thing, our last 12 games, we've played a true freshmen at quarterback.  There's no excuse.  These are facts.  I'm not making excuses.  I'm giving you facts.  Playing a true freshman or wide receiver at quarterback other than the Florida game where Morgan went in and played the start of that game.

Q.  Vanderbilt (Indiscernible)?
COACH PHILLIPS:  Vanderbilt is Kentucky, in my opinion.  That's a program that you have to continue to keep people in your program.  Defensively they have a lot of juniors and seniors all throughout their program.  Only four of their freshmen‑‑ the great class that you announced that they have, only four of them are playing, four.  We're playing 14 of ours.
I'm not here trying to sell me or whatever.  I'm just giving you facts.  These are all facts.  These are the facts of how you win here at Kentucky.  We have to‑‑ we've won here with veteran quarterbacks.  We don't have a veteran quarterback right now.

Q.  You'd like to be back though, correct?
COACH PHILLIPS:  I'd love to.  No doubt I would love to.  It's not for me to decide.  I understand Mitch's position and the things that go into.
We've got some good young kids here that are hurting worse than any guy that is associated with this program.  I'm talking about fans also.  Those kids are hurting.  They're hurting badly by the way we performed today.

Q.  What do you tell them when they're hurting that badly?
COACH PHILLIPS:  The one thing that I do not want our kids to do is try to shoulder the things that are happening there are coming at me.  I don't want them to do that.  I would be very disappointed, okay.  I also want our kids to do the right things.  One thing you see when you start going through this type of‑‑ when your program starts to go through things like this, you start seeing kids start veering off and not doing things the right way academically.  You start seeing kids not doing the right things socially and on the football field and practice field.  You see kids start to quit.
Our kids are not quitting.  Our kids are doing what they're supposed to do in the classroom and socially we're demanding they do the right things.

Q.  A statement we've heard all year is that this thing would be evaluated at the end of the season.  Do you have any reason to believe that will change?
COACH PHILLIPS:  No, I don't.  But here's the thing:  If there was a decision either way, I would think it would be important for me or Mitch to come out and make a decision, either way help either way.  Help get another guy or help us in recruiting.
So, we have not talked.  Again, it will be evaluated at the end of the season, like you said.  That's all I know about it.

Q.  What is your gut?  Do you think you will come back?
COACH PHILLIPS:  My gut was that we'd win this game today, okay?  That's where my gut was.  You can't go on your gut.

Q.  Talk about (Indiscernible) and how he impacted the game today?
COACH PHILLIPS:  Inexperience.  He's a freshman quarterback.  He's a freshman quarterback who tries to manage all the things that we ask those guys to do.  I thought at times he threw some really good balls.  The thing that Pat needs to do is continue to grow and understanding how to read coverages, and understand where his first, second and third reads are.  Sometimes he does get confused with coverages, sometimes he does get confused with where his reads are.  But when he knows where his reads are and cover, he has very good command of the football, stands in there strong.
I thought he made some really good plays, even one that we missed on the fourth down.  That was as good a throw as we've ever seen around here.
The play he threw to Legree, another outstanding throw and catch.  He's only going to get better.  He's a true freshman.  He's a true freshman that's probably played‑‑ what did he play, 16 snaps in that Mississippi State game.  16 to 19 snaps.  I bet he played 20 last week and maybe 20 this week.  So talk about a guy that's probably played 59 snaps of college football.  So he is only going to get better.

Q.  You have the bye week coming up.  Do you try to do something fun?
COACH PHILLIPS:  We're going to scrimmage some of the young kid that's haven't gotten a chance to play.  Again, I said this to the staff and I looked up and said all the young kids played.  Who are those guys?  Those guys will be the other 12 guys that are in this class that have not played.  There will be some young guys that haven't gotten a lot of reps also.  The young guys, we can't hit them.  We won't be able to hit them because we need them.  But we've got to try to get some of the young guys better.
Sometimes when you go throughout the season you neglect some of the guys that are red shirting.  You don't get a chance to coach them, and every chance we get, we want to coach those guys.

Q.  Were you going to play Williamson today?
COACH PHILLIPS:  Avery's a self‑made football player.  He's done an amazing job.  Self‑made meaning he's made himself a physically fit guy in the weight room.  He's made himself a good linebacker by film study, a guy that works really hard on the football field.  He's just a guy that plays his heart out.  You know, he's a guy that takes care of business off the field also.  He's one of the leaders on the defense.  I'm not surprised by anything that kid does.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297