Oct. 4, 2008
Box Score |
"We're certainly happy to win, but we also put on a clinic today on how to keep the other team in the game. We had 253 yards in the first half, so you can't really say we didn't play well. We didn't finish drives. We fumbled the ball inside the 10-yard line, we missed a field goal, so we left 10 points on the board. The defense did a good job in the first half and scored on defense, which was good. We had a season-high number of penalties, 10 for 92 yards, which is not indicative of our team. I think all those things lend itself to the fact that this was our first chance to go out and play after the team had been recognized on a national level, and that's a different kind of psychological management to handle success, and I would say that we didn't handle it extremely well today. When you get satisfied you lose your intensity, you lose your focus, you get more penalties, you miss more assignments, you don't finish things and you don't do things exactly right. When you don't do that you don't play as well, and we didn't play as well today, because we didn't finish things and we didn't put the other team away. I think it's outstanding that Glen Coffee had over 200 yards rushing. I think the offensive line had to do a very, very good job. There's a lot of lessons for us to learn today, and it's great to be able to learn those lessons and not have to lose. Our focus needs to be on how we can get better as a team and how we can play with more consistency, but I don't want to take anything away from Kentucky's team because their defense did a great job and they kept competing in the game, and they never gave up, and we never put them away."
On Kentucky's late touchdown:
"We were playing zone. We were playing two-deep zone. You really try to re-route the inside guys running down the seams; they run four streaks which is their most common pattern in two-minute, and we didn't do a very good job of re-routing the guy down the seam. The quarterback looked at the tight end so the safety kind of bit and the guy ran over the top. It was a mis-execution by the half safety on that side, but it was also a mis-execution by the re-routers and the people underneath. In a case like that you have to play over the top of everything, tackle and make them drive it through. It's not the points; it's the clock. If they score on the last play of the game to make it 17-14 then it doesn't matter, but to give them an opportunity to get an onside kick and maybe run a few plays, because you didn't play properly is not what we want to do and certainly something we need to correct."
On going for it on fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter trying to put the game away:
"When we were on third down, we already said that we were going to go for it on fourth down. I wanted to go for it. A lot of people were saying, `Let's kick the field goal,' so that created a little doubt, but the decision got made like it got made on third down and we went for it. We were fortunate that we made it, and I think two things: the clock, as well as the fact that it's not a gimme kick from where we were and if you miss it you give them the ball there anyway, so we went for it."
On getting the last score of the game:
"We had to have a score there at the end of the game to win it. We were able to run the ball right up the middle and pound them up front. The offensive line did a great job for us."
On the play of Glen Coffee
"Glen (Coffee) has consistently showed his speed and has been able to stick it up the middle as well. He has been powerful and can do it all for us. He is a really good back and was obviously a big part of this win."
On the importance of the special teams play today:
"It was definitely a defensive game. I knew I had to step up my game especially now that we are in SEC play. With how the game went, field position was an important factor."
On getting the win:
"It was great to get the win but obviously we have some room for improvement. Every SEC game is going to be a grind, and we have to come prepared in all aspects of our game every week."
On the defense's performance today:
"It is the defensive's job to stop them as an entire unit. We played hard, but we could have turned out a better performance. We have a bye week coming up, so we will take advantage of the time to fix our mistakes."
On holding Kentucky's running back to under 100 yards:
"I feel like we have a great front seven. It was our job to stop the run and take care of business. I felt like we did a good job of that today. Anytime you can take the run away, it is going to make your defense as a whole more successful."
On his fumble return:
"I blitzed, saw the ball, and just went for it. I knew it was a big play and my first touchdown. I was happy more for my team than myself."
On the interception:
"Coach told us when our man comes out to take him on that particular play. I took my man and saw the ball coming. It was a big play for us to get off the field and get the offense back on the field to gain more momentum."
On the play of the defensive line:
"Our guys on the front are real physical. We have a lot of leadership on defense. They are doing really well for us this year."
On his performance today:
"I'm thankful the offensive line was able to block and control the line of scrimmage the way they did. I can't enjoy this as much as I want to because I put the ball on the ground. I still have things to work on."
On the success of the running game:
"We want to be able to go out in any game and control the running game. When we can establish the run it sets the tone for us. The offensive line has been a huge factor for us all season long and they played great again today."
Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks
"The disappointing thing is we knew we were playing a really good football team and we knew we needed to play our best game to have an opportunity to win. Offensively, in the first half, we weren't very productive. We didn't get much of anything going and I thought we started the third quarter slowly again. We got a little spark throwing a couple wide receiver screens. We got a little continuity late in the third quarter. We had a hard time running the ball against a very stout Alabama defense. They obviously ran it against us. There were two plays that made the game, one was the 78-yard touchdown run, and the other was (UK quarterback Mike) Hartline's fumble when we were backed up on our end zone. I think we had a legitimate shot at them but they made those plays and we didn't. I was proud with the way our players went in there and battled back. I think we have a very good football team and I think we showed it at times. I also think we have some growing pains we need to work through. Now we'll have two home games at Commonwealth Stadium. Obviously, we have to get back on track and find a way to win a game next week after a very disappointing loss here." On playing the No. 2 team to three points in their home stadium:
"I'm just disappointed that we couldn't find a way to win this game. We're a good football team and we've been a good football team for a few years. They ran the ball on us better than I thought they would. Overall, I thought our defense did a good job. We got a few takeaways but, unfortunately, they were on the wrong side of the field and none really put us in good field position. Their takeaway, other than the interception, resulted in seven points. You can take everything else and throw a blanket over it but that play was the difference in the game. That ended up being the difference in the game." On David Jones not getting possession of the late fumble:
"I saw it on the replay and he went right down on top of it and I think his shoulder pads just squeezed it out from underneath him. We had it and then we didn't. That's kind of the way the game went for us. There were a lot of plays that a little something here and there and maybe the result is different but they (Alabama) were the ones that made those for the most part today."
Wide Receiver Dicky Lyons, Jr.
On the mood of the team after the game:
"I was walking around the locker room just now and everybody was like, `It's my fault, I should've done this, I should've jumped on this ball, I should have picked this ball up, I should have caught this.' It just shows you how many missed opportunities we had in this game that we could have easily won had we made some of those plays that we usually make. We're going to get this corrected." On What Can Be Learned From This Game:
"I learned from this new offense that they can still come back on teams. Last year, we came back from bigger deficits than 14-0. We were down 17-0 versus LSU. That's just how Kentucky is really, is a comeback team. Just to know that none of these guys got their head down when it was 14-0. They still wanted to make plays; they still wanted to get going. That's what we can take out of it, it just wasn't enough. Usually, we are a second half team that can come out and make adjustments and can come back on anybody if the defense gives us the time, we were just one play too late."