After Leary again struggled to find and hit open receivers, Stoops voiced his displeasure with the former ACC Preseason Player of the Year at NC State.
“I was a little disappointed myself. Usually, I don’t say a whole lot during games to a quarterback to not get him off, but there’s no excuse to not hit some of those passes,” Stoops said. “I mean, we had some guys wide open.”
At Monday’s press conference, Stoops re-iterated his disappointment with Devin Leary, who certainly has not been the same quarterback he once was at North Carolina State:
“Sometimes it is his feet or his footwork, and sometimes him maybe expecting a receiver to run out at a different angle,” said Stoops. “There’s some, there’s some little things, and there’s some that just have to make. He doesn’t need me to sit here and make an excuse for him. He’s a big boy, and he owns it. Just like everybody else on our team, you have to have the courage to see the areas that you need to improve on, and you have to own it.”
Stoops is hoping that one blowout loss to the No. 1 team in the nation doesn’t lead to two or three consecutive losses, all at crucial moments in the season. Stoops did admit that there was adversity amongst the team last season, noting that they did not handle it well during a somewhat disappointing 2022 campaign.
“I wasn’t very proud of that, and I need to do some things differently and make sure we’re prepared and just handle any and all situations the right way.”
Later during Stoops’ Monday call-in show, he gave a few more remarks on Leary.
“I don’t need to beat a dead horse. He’s no different from a lot of our players: Doing some good things and some things I can’t make an excuse for, and he doesn’t want it,” Stoops said of Leary. He can’t miss certain throws when they’re open and there. We don’t take advantage of them, you’re not going to win.”
Missouri on Saturday will be a call to action to the Wildcats’ roster, but none more so than No. 13 under center.