Mark Stoops spoke to the media after UK’s spring game. Video by Drew Brown. Follow him on twitter @BigBlueDrew33
Transcript from UK Athletics
Head Coach Mark Stoops
COACH STOOPS: Obviously good for one side of the ball, I don’t know what I put myself through. In the spring, you get a little bit thin. You’re thin in general. Your roster is low. Then when you split the teams up like that, you could leave one team shorthanded. And I think you saw that tonight. But still I saw some good explosive offensive plays. I was pleased to see that. We’ve been working hard all offseason at trying to improve and converting opportunities and shot plays.
You saw us convert some of those today. That’s good to see no matter who is out there and what you’re playing against. So that was good.
Our overall offensively I thought we were obviously very good with the Blue team. White team, we’ve got a lot of work to do. And the same with the defense. I thought the Blue defense looked very good. Depth is an issue but it’s an issue with everybody this time of year.
So you kind of — that’s kind of what you are putting yourself up against when you try to split up the teams. You could get a little bit thin. That’s why we all try to get a little bit unique in the scoring system for offense versus defense and so on. So trying to split it up, you get a little bit thin and I think that’s, as a result, you saw some sloppy play at times out there today.
Q. Have those explosive plays been there throughout the spring?
COACH STOOPS: Yeah, we’ve been hitting them. We’ve been working hard and getting the ball down the field and we’ve been converting on quite a few.
Q. Was there anything particular defensively that you saw that you like whether it was scheme or activity level?
COACH STOOPS: Scheme-wise we knew what we were doing going into it and we were very base and very vanilla. But I was not pleased with just the competitive nature of some of our players and that needs to change. I don’t care who you are, what team you are, what you’re doing, when you go out on that field you better have a competitive spirit about you and a competitive nature. And I didn’t see some guys competing at the level that we expect.
Q. You credit some of that to being, in their minds, an exhibition?
COACH STOOPS: No. I mean, I talked all week and I talked to them before the game, I talked to them at halftime about respecting the game. And every time you put the pads on you’re to play it one way. And there’s never an excuse to fundamentally not play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.
Q. Is it a case where you’re looking for an emotional guy out there or somebody to kind of take charge of the game?
COACH STOOPS: No, I think it’s individually they need to take it upon themselves to be responsible for their own outcome. And there’s no cheerleaders out there. When you’re working like we work and grind it through the spring and out there in practice they need to take it upon themselves to individually play the game the way it’s meant to be played. And if you can’t do it, then you can’t play at this level.
Q. Question regarding Bryce Oliver …
COACH STOOPS: Yeah, Bryce has showed up all spring. He’s been solid. I’ve mentioned him. He’s one of the young guys that can emerge as a playmaker. He’s a big, strong guy that can run and catch. So he’s got to continue to work really hard and put it all together.
Q. Question regarding the biggest area he has seen Terry Wilson improve in this offseason …
COACH STOOPS: Just fundamentally continuing to work on a few things that we watched and really studied in the offseason. He and Coach Hinshaw have worked hard to fundamentally be in better position to deliver the football. And I think he and Gunnar Hoak have both worked hard and improved.
Q. Chance’s kick probably would have been good from 62 yards. How is that going to change the way you approach that?
COACH STOOPS: That was nice to see. Obviously no pressure. I didn’t think we got good pressure on that, did we? (Laughter).
But it was good to see. He hit it, he hit it, put a good thump on it. I was standing right behind it. You could hear it come right off his foot. It was good to see.
Q. Looked like Kavosiey Smoke and Christopher Rodriguez caught the ball a little bit out of the backfield. How much more will that change this year compared to last year?
COACH STOOPS: I think we want to continue with that and along with A.J. (Rose). A.J. is also very good, can catch the ball out of the backfield all those guys can do that and we want to continue to work on that and get the ball to them.
And as we create shots in getting the ball down the field, you know, as we start seeking out under things, there’s going to be outlets there that we need to get the ball to them when we can. The quarterback’s gotta be on time and deliver that football and those checkdowns and we can get good yardage on that.
Q. Question regarding Davonte Robinson’s physical play.
COACH STOOPS: Davonte did? The game is what it is. So it’s a physical game. And as long as it’s clean and you take the head out of it, sure, you want to be as physical as you can.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports