Stoops Points to Lack of “Edge” in Loss to Georgia
Effort & Energy High for Cats, Yet Lack of Extreme Focus Costly in Loss
Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops spoke to the media Monday and discussed the tough loss to Georgia Saturday night in Commonwealth Stadium. Stoops explained that he was proud of the energy and the effort, from preparation all the way through the final snap put forth by the team. The difference, he said, was maintaining their “edge” for a full 60 minutes of football.
“Well, edge is not about just an attitude,” Stoops explained during his weekly press conference. “Edge is disciplined and execution in the face of adversity. And we didn’t always have the execution that we needed. I never faulted their effort. I don’t know if there is a team in the country that has worked harder than us the last seven weeks.”
From Jeff Badet’s bobbled bomb that led to an interception, to critical turnovers and penalties, to the inability to find the stop necessary on a key drives, the lack of consistent edge was the missing ingredient Saturday, according to Stoops. While the effort and energy were there, the relentless, disciplined focus was found lacking in critical moments against the Dawgs.
“Yeah, in a big moment … I talk about it all the time,” Stoops continued. “In extreme pressure, your habits are going to come right to the surface. We are getting better habits. We wouldn’t be in position to win that game if we didn’t do some things right and didn’t have a great attitude and effort. But with that disciplined execution in the face of adversity that I talk about, without having an edge … You talk about purposeful preparation, our team did that. We were relentless in our preparation. We watched film, we got recovery, we got sleep. They did what they had to do. Exceptional energy. Again, I cannot thank the fans enough. That is what it takes. That is an SEC football game at home against a quality opponent and it was great energy and our team had great energy. The last thing is fanatical focus. All of it is part of the edge thing that I talk about. And the focus in big moments we missed a couple of opportunities. You watch football, nobody is perfect.
We gave ourselves a great opportunity to win that game. Our coaches did a great job. It was the exact right recipe to win. Our players did the things necessary, we just got to keep that focus for 60 minutes and continue to put ourselves in positions like this in big games and we will make those plays. Look at where we have come and look how far this team has grown. We have played six games with one bye week in seven weeks and this team has come a long way. That doesn’t come without an edge and an attitude. They have done that. Their effort is right. If I have told you once I have told you 1,000 times that their hearts and their minds are in the right place. Have I not? So when I talk about edge, I am not talking about the effort. It is all those three things that I talk about.”