Stoops isn’t happy; Brown also meets with media

MARK STOOPS
“All right. Make this rather quick. Very unacceptable practice today. Just very frustrating. Preparation wasn’t good enough, effort wasn’t good enough, attitude wasn’t good enough. Not good. Very frustrated. Some guys looking for a rock to hide under. It’s going to be a very difficult and tough game, and I don’t know if we’re ready for it.”

ON HOW TEAM RESPONDED TO STOOPS’ DISPLEASURE: “Didn’t give them a chance. Hopefully they’re restarting practice. Hopefully we’re restarting practice. I see offense has run a few plays up there. But just not tough enough. And the bottom line is this is not – it’s just the way it is. It’s not acceptable, it’s not all right. We’ll do our best to get it out of them, but we got to coach better, we got to play better and it’s not OK. We’re here to get better every day and reach the most potential we have and if we do that, I’m OK with it. If we don’t, I’m not. And the way it looks right now, we’re heading in the wrong direction.”

ON WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN GUYS ARE LOOKING FOR A ROCK TO HIDE UNDER: “When guys are looking for a rock, it means that it’s always ‘I just missed it. I should’ve made that play. I blew that assignment.’ It’s whatever. Finger-pointing. Losing attitude. Looking to hide.”

IS IT A LACK OF EFFORT OR MENTAL? “I said, yeah, it’s mental. It’s effort, it’s mental, it’s preparation, it’s coaching, it’s everything.”

ON THIS BEING ANGRIEST HE’S BEEN SINCE HE’S GOTTEN HERE: “It’s not all right. Like I said. It’s our job to perform, to get optimal performance every day. If we do that, I’m OK with it. No matter what the results. Today was not as good as we can do.”

WORST PRACTICE THEY’VE HAD HERE? “This is the most frustrated I’ve been, probably, because we’re right in the middle of a tough stretch and we’re getting ready to play a tough game on the road in a hostile environment and with that attitude, we’re gonna get rolled. And I believe that happened the last time we went down there, right?”

BEING HAPPY WITH TWO PRACTICES THEN WHAT CHANGED OVERNIGHT: “I don’t know. I don’t know. If somebody knew that, I think they’d be winning more games than they already. Coach Spurrier and Coach Saban and all those guys, you might ask them. I don’t know. Right now, it’s not good enough. I don’t know. Like I said, the bottom line is, we’re going to hold them accountable. It’s not all right. And I’m not OK with it.”

DO SOME PLAYERS JUST NOT KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO GET TO A HIGH LEVEL? “No, they don’t know. They don’t know what it takes. They don’t. South Carolina’s been doing things right for about, what, 14 years now? Minimum? Two Hall of Fame coaches for 14 years? Those are some grown men. And they play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, ’cause they’ve been doing things right for 14 years. At least. We’ve been trying to do things right. I can’t speak for other times. I know I’ve been trying to do things right, our coaches are trying to do things right, and I told you and I told them: I’m gonna tell them like it is. I’ll tell you like it is. There’s no games with me. There’s no, ‘This day I’m gonna get upset.’ It’s not like that. I’m frustrated and the bottom line is, like I told you, we’re gonna get it out of them. When I don’t know. But it’s not OK. It’s not all right.”

ON WHETHER, WHEN BOTH QBS THEY’VE PLAYED STRUGGLE, HE THINKS ABOUT LOOKING AT ONE OF THE OTHER TWO: “We always do. We do. We do. We look at them. We practice, we get a lot of snaps, and we look at them every day. If we thought that was a viable option, we’d do it.”

BUT IT’S NOT NOW? “Not right now.”

ON WHETHER IT WAS OFFENSE, DEFENSE ISSUE TODAY: “It was everything today. So we’ll go back, again, we’ll get it corrected. We’ll coach ‘em hard and see if we can get more out of them tomorrow and see if we can get this turned around, because whatever it was, 21-point spread, ain’t enough. Because we ain’t even close to that right now.”

ON WHETHER THURSDAY PRACTICE WILL STILL BE A DIALED-BACK PRACTICE LIKE MOST WEEKS: “We’ll have a Thursday practice. We’ll look at it and do what we need to do to get ‘em ready. I haven’t thought about a Thursday practice yet; just got off this one.”

ON HOW HE’D RATE THE PRACTICE, 1-10: “I don’t know. Not good. Not good at all. It’s just, like I said, you can tell when guys are looking for a place to hide. There’s no easy way around it. This is a brutal game, brutal schedule. We’re right in the middle of it. Can’t run from it. If we go give it everything we got, prepare every day to win and prepare to play, then I can live with the results. But this was not part of our journey today. This was not a good day. You’re not getting any better today.”

NEAL BROWN

“How is everyone?”
“I’m doing better than I was the other day.”

(apologizes for knocking someone’s microphone down)

DID IT NOT GO AS POORLY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE BALL? STOOPS SEEMED PRETTY MAD: “It was a little bit better. It was a little bit better on our side of the ball today. We had pretty good focus until we went into our blitz segment of our practice, then we had a couple of miscues there. Yesterday we were slow starting, but picked it up toward the end. Questions?”

WHERE IS THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION? “Well, we gave one guys most of the reps — when I say most of them, I don’t think we’re in a position where we can go like 90-10 or 95-5 we’re more in that 70-30, 65-35 because there hasn’t been as much separation as I would like. But we did the same thing today. The one that got a majority of the reps did perform much better today and to be honest, Tuesdays are — we throw a lot at our guys on Tuesday, try to put our people in the worst case scenarios — so sometimes our Tuesdays are slow, especially to start and then we usually pick it up as the week goes.”

SO TO BE CLEAR, THE GUY WHO GOT MOST REPS ON TUESDAY WAS THE SAME ONE TODAY? “Yes. Yes.”

AND THAT’S STILL A MYSTERY? “Still a mystery.”

WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DECIDE WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO? “I’ve got a plan. I’ve really had a plan since Monday. The thing about it is, I’ve got a plan going into it. We’re going to give that quarterback an opportunity, but then the other one’s going to be ready. Like I said, in a normal situation basically, what I’ve done in the past — because I’ve been a one-quarterback guy most everywhere I’ve been to be honest with you — and we’ve been about 85-90 percent rep wise to that one individual. Here we just haven’t had the separation that we needed to and neither one of them have taken the job, gone out and earned it. So we’ve been splitting reps and this week, we’ve added reps to one individual, but it’s still not overwhelming, you know what I mean? So if the guy that goes out doesn’t perform well, the other quarterback comes in and he’s gotten plenty of reps in practice where he’ll be able to perform.”

STOOPS SOUNDED FRUSTRATED THAT NO QUARTERBACK HAS EMERGED YET. ARE YOU FRUSTRATED AS WELL? “It’s frustrating. I think we’ve got to play better at that position. If we play better at that position, the whole unit plays better. I don’t think there’s any question about that. I’m not discouraged because there’s bright spots. It’s kind of like the whole unit. Frustrated? I was frustrated after the game. Y’all could tell that. But I’m not discouraged because I do see bright spots. I’m just not seeing it consistently.”

ON RUNNING SO FEW PLAYS VS. FLORIDA: “I think…I don’t know – John (Clay) will put something on his blog later. I don’t know. I cannot remember running that few plays. OK, I cannot remember running that few plays. It’s a combination. They were converting third downs and fourth downs and then we weren’t. We had seven possessions, and I think three of those were three-and-outs. Three of them were really productive as far as plays against that defense. We need to finish better. But it was. That was…I think if we had a few more at-bats we could have done a few more things.”

ON HOW MUCH STRUGGLES CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO GUYS AROUND THE QUARTERBACKS: “It contributes. There’s no question. We’re a timing passing offense. Last week we had difficulty getting open. Now, we won’t be the only ones during the year to have a difficult time getting open against those people. I think they were very good in the secondary, and I think everybody’s well aware of that. But it is. We’re playing three freshmen and a junior college kid, and they’ve got to keep getting better. But our timing is still a work in progress.”

ON IF THEIR PLAN IS TO PUT SEVEN GUYS ON CLOWNEY LIKE STEVE SPURRIER SUGGESTED: “If they’d let us play with 15, we’d do that for sure. You have to account for him. There’s no question. He’s a dynamic player. Any adjective you want to use, it’s accurate. He’s big, he’s strong and explosive. You have to account for him because he’s so disruptive. And I think his numbers are probably down a little bit, but it’s really a credit to him because people are accounting for him with two or three people. We’ll have times when our tackles have to protect him one-on-one, but for the most part we’re going to give those guys some help.”

IS CLOWNEY IS ESPECIALLY WORRYING AFTER OFFENSIVE LINE ISSUES AGAINST FLORIDA: “That was poor. One complete mental mistake on Darrian (Miller)’s part, and then another one, communication by our center and our right guard. So, that was frustrating because we really did a pretty good job in protection then we gave Fowler those two gifts. Maybe he’ll send us something in return. But yeah, that won’t be an issue. We’ll get those corrected. I don’t think you’ll see those. We may get beat in one-on-one situations, but I don’t see us blowing those calls again.”

ON IF THAT WAS PARTICULARLY SURPRISING FROM DARRIAN MILLER

“Yeah, it was.”

ON IF RUNNING BACKS HAVE TO CHIP A GUY LIKE CLOWNEY: “Yeah, we have. We did it a little bit against Florida. I think you’ve got to do several things, because he’s so good if you give him the same look all the time then he adjusts. He adjusts whether you put two on him, you help with the tight end, a fullback, you chip with your running back. I think you’ve got to mix it up, and we will.”

ON BALANCING THAT YOU DIDN’T DO WHAT YOU WANTED VERSUS THE FACT THAT IT WAS AGAINST ONE OF NATION’S BEST DEFENSES: “You take it into account. I think what you’ve got to do in our type of situation, and I think Coach Stoops did a good job of talking to you all Monday about it, is you’ve got to take the positives. Here’s the good news for us, OK? And it’s not what I want it to be, but it is: Against Louisville when we didn’t execute in critical situations, we had three and four people on those short-yardage situations—we had three and four people that didn’t execute, all right? It’s still not good, but it’s better: We only had one this time. It was one person, whether it was a receiver that didn’t win in one-on-one coverage or the quarterback made a bad throw or, like, our O-line—one person messed up a protection. Now we’ve got it down. Instead of three or four, it’s one person. We’ve got to continue. We’ve got to take the positives, because we did some good things. We had, I think, three really negative-yardage plays in that game that really hurt us and kind of made our stats than even they would have been. But we’ve got to take the positives and build off those.”

ARE THERE ANY GUYS WHO STOOD OUT AGAINST THAT DEFENSE: “Yeah. Our stats, I’m sure, because we had those negative-yards plays and we didn’t have that many plays—but we actually ran the ball pretty effectively. We blocked much, much better on the perimeter. And we played the game, really for the first time all season, we played how you’re supposed to play as far as from a physicalness standpoint and from an effort standpoint. We played how we teach our guys to play.”

ON SWITCHING UP STARTERS ACROSS THE OFFENSIVE LINE: “We’re just—we’ve got to get better production. I mean, that’s it. We went with (Jon) Toth at center, because we felt like he was more athletic. He’s not where we want him to be, but he’s getting better. I’m encouraged by how he’s getting better. At left guard, we weren’t getting the production. That position was hurting us. We gave (Max) Godby an opportunity, and he was more productive in the game Saturday, and he’ll get the start again.”

QUARTERBACK ISSUES: “We’ve got to find somebody that can step up at that position, no question. Moving forward, and I try not to get ahead of ourselves—I’m trying to worry about South Carolina and not necessarily next year yet—but moving forward in the future, we want to be a one-quarterback system. I think that’s the way Coach Stoops and myself would like for it to be.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.