UK back to the drawing board after third straight loss

Published 11:47 am Friday, November 3, 2023

By Larry Vaught

Contributing Columnist

Kentucky has now lost three straight games and the defense has allowed 122 points in those losses to Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina.

Junior linebacker Trevin Wallace said “part of life is going through adversity” after last week’s 33-27 loss to Tennessee.

“Playing basketball, football everybody goes through that (adversity). Everybody had their head down but there are leaders in there telling us to keep our heads up. It is a part of football,” Wallace said after the loss.

“We’re in the SEC, it could go either way, teams are good no matter what. They recruit as well. Everybody was in there saying that we could keep going and could keep striving.”

Kentucky plays at Mississippi State Saturday night, a place Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has never won.

Kentucky linebacker  D’Eryk Jackson said missed tackles against Tennessee were “frustrating” and there was no excuse for that happening as often as it did.

“As we said in the locker room, we have to keep building. In this league, people are losing and winning, and you never know who is going to win,” Jackson said. “The league is crazy, and we just have to keep building and be grown men who keep going.”

Stoops knows fans are disappointed in the team but said no one needed to feel sorry for him.

“I don’t need any motivation to get back to work tomorrow and neither does our team and our staff,” he said after the Tennessee loss. “It hurts because we invest a lot, our players invest a lot, and our fans invest a lot. And so, it hurts. And very disappointed. But not discouraged one bit.”

Quarterback Devin Leary had his best statistical game against Tennessee but was just as frustrated with the loss as fans.

“The overall goal is to win the game. I’ve always looked at football that way, whatever coach needs me to do, whatever the team needs me to do, I’m willing to do it,” Leary said.

“Walking away with a loss puts a sour taste in your mouth a little bit but now it’s back to the drawing board, you can’t praise yourself too much for coming off something that ended in a loss, there’s still room for improvement and we gotta get back to work and build off this.”