The Monday media sessions with Stoops were eventful this week, as the coach called out his defense that got lit up by the winless Vanderbilt Commodores and gave an update on his Ray Guy Award-winning punter.
While UK did defeat Vanderbilt 38-35 Saturday, their defense struggled as they allowed the Commodores to run a whooping 80 plays, total 407 yards, convert 11/17 3rd downs and both 4th-down attempts, the latter resulting in two Dores touchdowns.
“I think the urgency needs to be greater,” Stoops said. “The attention to detail for an entire game needs to be greater. I know defensively, for me, there’s no excuse. I sit there and watch us and at times I see a group of young men that just wants somebody else to make the play. They want some miraculous call to stop the play. ‘Coach, you call something good so we can stop this play because I don’t want to stop it, I’m not going to make a play. I want my neighbor to make a play but I don’t want to make a play, or I want to do my own thing. I don’t want to execute the defense, I just want to do my own thing so I can get a stat.’ That’s what I see. It’s pissing me off, to be honest with you.”
The selfish play from the defense came as a surprise, as the team allowed just 14 points to a then-top 10 Georgia team their last time out and had not allowed more than 20 points since Week 2 against Ole Miss when they allowed 42.
In other news, Stoops said it is unlikely star punter Max Duffy will travel Tuscaloosa this weekend.
Duffy was a surprise scratch against Vanderbilt, and Stoops admitted he could not comment on why he was out.
Stoops did praise Colin Goodfellow, who filled in and delivered a strong performance.
“Nope. Unfortunately do not anticipate getting him (Duffy) back. Really impressed with Colin (Goodfellow), ended up with a 46-yard net. Max is my man. He’s a great guy and I love him, but he better watch it. He’s going to lose his job [laughs].”
Field-goal kicker Matt Ruffolo also missed the Vanderbilt game for what Stoops said was an issue he could not comment on but was on the sideline in street clothes.
In his absence, Chance Poore stepped in and won SEC Special Teams’ Player of the Week honors.