UK FOOTBALL | Should expectations change after Kentucky's 40-33 victory over UL-Lafayette?

09/08/2015 04:31 PM

LEXINGTON — Despite winning its season opener against Louisiana Lafayette on Saturday, the Kentucky football team found it still has plenty of things to improve if it wants to go bowling by the end of the year.

After jumping out to an early 21-0 lead, the Wildcats stumbled down the stretch and needed a late touchdown run from sophomore running back Mikel Horton in the final minute to pull out a too-close-for-comfort 40-33 victory.

Head coach Mark Stoops spoke about UK’s second-half struggles during his weekly press conference on Monday, saying the team needs to play better on both sides of the ball.

““Well, it was a combination,” Stoops told the media members in attendance. “Certainly, there were some plays that the young guys need to do better, but what we need to do better is play better as a team. When things were going bad, the defense had to do their part and didn’t until late — getting that three-and-out was huge in a tie game. But prior to that when things were getting off balance … they score, and then we go one-and-out. That is a bad combination. We need to play better as a team.”

Despite the second-half let down, Stoops emphasized that a win is a win, and while the UK staff will still press its players to strive for perfection, the team accomplished what it needed to do with by getting the victory.

“Again, I am glad we came out with a victory,” Stoops said. “Win or lose, there are always things to go back and get better at, and that is what we are anxious to do. It is a heck of a lot more fun for us to go into our meetings on Monday and get things correct [than after a loss]. We are always going to be hard on our players and strive for perfection, but it is nice to come out of there with a victory.”

Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to South Carolina on Saturday, looking to defeat the Gamecocks for the second straight season after a 45-38 victory in Lexington in 2014.

Click below to watch KSTV’s discussion on why despite the second-half slump, expectations should still remain high for Kentucky this season:


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