LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) With a rivalry game at Neyland Stadium on tap next week for the Cats, the message was clear following Saturday's 34 to 17 loss to Georgia.
“We can’t make this loss turn into two," said Coach Mark Stoops.
Kentucky failed to slow down a Bulldog rushing attack that rolled off 331 rushing yards on 50 carries (6.6 yards a carry).
Missed tackles allowed running backs D'Andre Swift (156 yds.) and Elijah Holyfield (117 yds.) to get to the second level of the UK defense early and often.
“Really have to give credit to Georgia. They beat us in all phases. We’ll learn a lot from this." said Stoops. "We did not execute at times, at times we got outmanned. We missed more tackles than I can remember.”
A question going into the game was how would middle linebackers Kash Daniel and Jordan Jones adjust to playing with casts? Daniel injured his hand against Vanderbilt while Coach Stoops announced Jones' injury following Thursday's practice.
"We don't want to miss a second with our brothers because that's who we fight for. That's our sole purpose," said Daniel following the game. "That's the whole reason why I'm playing. It's because there are those ten other guys behind me."
Anticipation was high with the Big Blue Nation as an SEC East Title was in sight. The game was a sellout for about a month and Coach Stoops made sure to let the fans know how much the team appreciated the support.
"It was a great atmosphere. Wish we had given them a few more things to cheer about but really appreciate it," Stoops said.
At the end of the night, a trip to SEC Championship might be out of reach, but another door could be knocked down by winning at Tennessee. That's a place Kentucky hasn't won at since 1984.
Next up: Tennessee at Neyland Stadium
Saturday, November 10
Game time: 3:30 p.m. on the SEC Network