After UK defeated EKU 27-16 at Kroger field players and assistants talk to the media.

Benny Snell TD (Photo by Brandon Turner)

All videos presented by Mingua Beef Jerky 

Stephen Johnson

Most interesting quote, “Extremely anxious, but I’m glad it happened, just to get Drew some snaps and let me see how it works from the sideline just to see the defense from a different point of view.” on wanting to get back in the game after Drew Barker played two series

Benny Snell

Most interesting quote, “I’m all Gucci” on his ribs

Eddie Gran 

Most interesting quote, “a huge deal” on getting Drew Barker some snaps.

Mike Edwards

Most interesting quote, “Him coming back it changes the whole defense and team.” on Darius West being back healthy, “He brings the whole defense together.”

Lonnie Johnson 

Most interesting quote,“This game I had no type of jitters.” on his 2nd game as a Wildcat, “This game I came out and just let loose.”

John Schlarman

Most interesting quote, “I’m really hoping some of those young guys start pushing to get into that rotation.”

Darius West 

Most interesting quote, “I just like running to the ball you know, doing what I can do to stop the runners. Yeah I know I had a lot of tackles but it is part of football.”

Courtney Love 

Most interesting quote, “I told him you know you just got to play your game. We know how great of a player he is.” On Jordan Jones keeping composure, “He just has to play his game and I think he’ll be fine.”

Dean Hood

 

More comments courtesy of UK Athletics

Kentucky Football Postgame Quotes

Kentucky vs. EKU

Kroger Field – Lexington, Ky.

Sept. 9, 2017

UK Student-Athletes

#15, Stephen Johnson, QB

On connecting with Blake Bone as his target…

“I mean just the cover zero and the different things they were doing we knew that we’d have some opportunity. Ball is form, so I’m just glad we were able to get him a few targets.”

On spending summer with CJ [Conrad] to gain connections and improve on last years…

“The whole summer. I mean just me missing them all last year, to have a target like that, you can’t do that. Like I said, we do work the entire spring, summer, fall camp just to get those through.”

On what changed going into the second half…

“I don’t think anything really changed, just anxious to get back in.”

#25, Darius West, S

On trailing for the first three quarters…

“It was disappointing, but we went into the locker room at halftime to regroup. We came back in the second half, changed up some things and executed.”

On playing after injuries…

“It means a lot to me and it means a lot to my teammates also. I just want to come out, do my job and get better every time.”

On doubts about playing after injuries …

“I just believe in God, myself and my trainers. My trainers told me that I was going to be able to come back so I never doubted myself. It took a lot of people to push me though. I had to get over humps. My trainers, parents and the motivation of having a child all pushed me and gave me extra motivation.”

#26, Benny Snell, RB

On the mentality when the team was down… 

“It’s frustrating, but football is a long game.”

On Stephen Johnson’s performance… 

“Stephen took control. He definitely took control. He let us know everything was OK. We needed to just calm down and play football like we do, and that’s what we did towards the end.”

#8, Derrick Baity, CB

On Kentucky’s defensive play overall…

“I think we started off a little slow and we had to respond to EKU coming out and hitting us in the mouth. We started off slow, but we responded well in the second half.”

On turnover margin this year in comparison to last year…

“That’s something we compete with in practice and it has to carry over to the games. There’s been a big emphasis put on it this year especially since we didn’t do it a lot last year and it’s showing. It’s helping us win games. If you have plus in turnover margin, you’re favored to win a game and we had plus-4 and we won the game.”

On how Lynn Bowden’s ejection affected the team…

“As a team, we were moving so slow and Lynn was moving fast. He was moving so fast that he got ejected out of the game and it set a fire to us. We knew that we had to back up our brother.”

#6, Lonnie Johnson, CB

On playing in the first game vs. the second game…

“I feel like I played better in the second game than the first game. I was kind of timid in the first game, trying to get all of those jitters out the first game. I came out here and played loose, trying to get back to my old ways. I feel like I did great and will do better. Watch some film and get better.”

On going into halftime behind…

”We go into the half wanting to come out stronger than we did in the first half. That’s what we’re focusing on a lot this year.”

On pushing forward…

“We’re going to pull each other up. When you see somebody down, tell them we’re good, we have a long game. We’re going to come out here and do better. We’re just being great.”

EKU Head Coach Mark Elder

Opening statement…

“OK, obviously disappointed with the outcome. We came with the intention to win the game, the belief that we could and the belief that we would. So, disappointed with that. I’ll say this, I couldn’t be more proud of this team and the effort that they displayed. We’ve got a damn good football team. It’s tough to be 0-2, certainly, but I am certain that we are a good football team. The guys fought hard and made a couple too many mistakes down the stretch. The penalty battle hurt us, so you know, we had too many penalties there late going into the third and fourth quarters. Those are on me. It’s my job to make sure we don’t have as many penalties as we did and that’s something I‘ve got to get corrected. I am extremely proud of our team. I’m excited for this upcoming week to have a bye week and get some of the things that we need to get corrected corrected, and then we are on to Tennessee Tech.”

On effort from two years again versus the effort we saw today …

“I didn’t ask for them to give the effort of a couple years ago. I asked for them to give great effort. This is the 105th edition. What happened last year is no bearing, what happened two years ago is no bearing. Next year, what we do this year is no bearing. Week in and week out, we are going to have our kids play hard. Not like any other team, but like this team. So, our kids did. I’m proud of this team for their effort, for their fight, their leadership. We’ve got guys that are leading. This is much more of a player-led team. Obviously, us as coaches, we set a culture and the expectation level. We have a team that has players that care a great deal and are holding that. They’re demanding from each other that they live by the standards that we’ve set, so I am excited about the leadership that we have that those guys are going out and they’re leading it. It’s not coming from me, it’s not coming from the coaches. Obviously, the direction the coaches, that’s what the expectation is, but they are the ones enforcing and it is great. That’s what good teams do. It’s hard to say we are a good team when we are 0-2, but I am certain of it. I’m 100 percent certain of it, that we’re a good football team and that positive things are coming.”

On the offensive and defensive sides of the ball …

“Well, certainly their offensive line, they did a great job protecting the quarterback. We had a couple hits but we got the ball off timely. Only one sack, so that’s a real positive. I mean those have 35, 40 or more. I mean those dudes can rush the passer. I mean you saw it last week they got after Southern Miss a week ago. They did it last year and those guys are veteran guys now, so they have some guys that can really rush the passer and we protected our quarterbacks well. It is great to see that. We were well aware, as discussed earlier in the week, that we were going to have a hard time running the football. It was two reasons and one’s schematic based. I mean they run that bear front, put more guys in the box than you can block. They make it very difficult. They’re big and physical up front so schematically, and also personnel wise. As I said they’re big and physical. Their two inside linebackers are really good football players. Their two outside guys are really good football players. We knew that was going to be a bit of a struggle. We had our plan for how we were going to run the football. We had our plan for how we were going to get the ball out quickly and be able to move the ball up and down the field despite that. We had some success doing that obviously for 318 yards. Solid day. Obviously not enough to win, but I was pleased with what our offensive line did. Our defense, I mean they’re big. They’re big and physical up front. We had two concerns: No. 1, we had the Wildcat package. I thought our defensive staff did a really nice job with game planning that and got them out of it. I mean they didn’t run the Wildcat a whole bunch and I know this, I mean watching their film. I watched TV copy of every game that I could watch last year and I know this, when their back is against the wall they went to that. That was kind of their deal, and I thought that we had them backed up a couple times where they felt like, ‘Hey we gotta do something here.’ And they didn’t go back to that because we were able to stop it. I was pleased with that. They did rush for 207 yards and they rushed 40 times. Their quarterback got out on a couple scrambles. I mean the run defense wasn’t good enough but I thought our guys fought their tail off against a big, physical football team. When you look at that running back again, I watched every TV copy I could of YouTube stuff from a year ago and that kid’s a ball player – a big, physical guy. You see him dragging SEC teams after first contact from multiple yards a year ago and I thought that we kept them somewhat in check in that regard. Not good enough, obviously. We didn’t win, but I was proud of the way that those guys fought.”

On two red zone chances …

“At halftime, the thing that we talked about was that there’s going to be two things that are going to determine this game. One, defensively we gotta keep the ball inside the front. We can’t let them have any big ones. And they got us on a big one that set up their first down of the second half. That was one thing, then it was 0-0 at halftime as far as turnovers and we had two turnovers. One of them obviously was pretty costly. We were down in the red so we were in a good position to score and we had a turnover there. We just gotta protect the football a little bit better. To finish a day down two, we gotta do a better job at creating turnovers. We gotta do a better job at protecting the ball. Timmy [Boyle]’s interception probably was not the best decision of the night, but we are at a point where we gotta press a little bit. When there is four minutes to go, they get into four-minute offense late in the third quarter. Watching all their games, they get in four-minute offense late in the third quarter if they’re up. So, we knew that it was going to be extremely difficult to get another possession. We were going to need to drive the field there. We weren’t going to get more than likely two possessions. So, probably took a chance on one that we maybe shouldn’t of. By and large, our quarterbacks played well. Our quarterbacks went out there and managed the game. They did a good job.”

On whether his team prepared for Drew Barker …

“He wasn’t out there a whole bunch. Not really. I mean, they’re not a huge – I don’t think that they drastically changed their offensive between the two. Their other quarterback, he is more mobile. He extends plays better, you know, he is harder to sack because he can scramble around in there. He is pretty elusive, but they’re both throwing quarterbacks. It’s just one probably extends plays a little bit better. They’re not out there, like Josh Dobbs, or the kids from West Virginia a few years ago. They’re not out there running him a whole bunch. He is scrambling for the most part. Occasionally they keep one on his own read or something like that, but no. We just did a better job of wrapping up in the backfield. We got a couple sacks against him, but we are seeing the same actions and the same routes and so forth, so we weren’t expecting a whole bunch different.”

EKU Student-Athletes

#7, Tim Boyle, QB

On getting off to a great start…

“We had a specific game plan to attack the weaknesses. We stuck to it. We executed well, which lead to us moving this ball on offense which is encouraging. So, when we’re executing well, we’re a pretty good offense. When we shoot ourselves in the foot, the defense executes us then.”

On whether it was the defense or shooting each other in the foot in the second half…

“We shot ourselves a lot in the second half, a lot of penalties. That’s a really good defense. Their outside linebackers are two really good players. Their defense in general is a really good defense. We knew it was going to be a challenge and we were facing a good defense.”

On back-to-back red zone chances…

I think one was a turnover, one was a field goal. Fumbles happen. We try to prevent them, but it’s football, it’s part of the game. But yes, when you’re in the red zone twice and you only get three points that’s unfortunate. We feel like we played well enough to win.”

#2, Kobie Grace, DB

On guys feeling disappointed just like last week with fighting hard…

“This one hurts worse than the last one because we definitely should’ve won it. But a few plays, penalties and turnovers… They beat us in the end, so got to give them props for that.

On EKU’s play in the first half…

“There were some things different that we did in this game, now we have to just learn to finish the game. The guys on the other side of the ball were pretty good. To be ahead, then have them take it back from us – they did their job. They did what they were supposed to do and we didn’t finish it.”

On the height advantage of UK wide receivers…

“We never feel that we’re in a disadvantage. We game-planned it all week. We didn’t give up any big plays until the fourth quarter, with the deep ball and going into the half, which was just based on the call. The corners did excellent, except for a few big plays. So, just got to tighten up all the way around.”

 

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