STARKVILLE, Miss. — A wall separates the visitor’s locker room and the room where Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was holding his press conference after the Wildcats were run off the field in a 45-7 loss to Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday.
That wall, and the door connecting the two rooms, wasn’t sound proof.
Tight ends coach Vince Marrow was yelling at Kentucky players, using choice language, for what a team spokesperson called “frustration” after a lopsided loss. The profanity from the locker room was clearly audible during Stoops’ press conference.
Words from the locker room spilled into Mark Stoops' postgame presser. pic.twitter.com/MF7Ss6E5g2
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) October 22, 2017
“Sorry I’m a little distracted,” Stoops said, as a spokesperson had to tell Marrow to be quiet.
The press conference continued, but the words were indicative of the result. The momentum brought by a 5-1 record came to a sudden stop in Starkville, Miss.
Cowbells clanged and the Wildcats had no answer for Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald. The quarterback rushed for 115 yards and 2 scores and was 18 for 26 through the air. Kentucky was outgained 441-260.
“You never think you’re going to get your face waxed,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said. “Not in this game.”
The Cats were waxed, as were their chances of being the SEC East’s darling dark horse.
“There’s nowhere for them to run and nowhere to hide,” Stoops said. “They whooped us. That’s the way it is. You’ve got to accept it. We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror and look at every aspect of our situation and see where we get better, starting with me.”
Kentucky returns home for a date with Tennessee next Saturday. The Vols are coming off a 45-7 loss at Alabama.
Kentucky’s loss to Mississippi State was a setback. Running back Benny Snell had wondered why the Wildcats weren’t ranked after their 5-1 start. Stoops had said coverage about the team was negative, and Saturday was prove-it day for the Wildcats.
Instead, it ended with less-than-warm words and a downtrodden locker room.
“You always have that feeling after the game, you could’ve did something better,” Snell said. “I had that feeling. Guys are helping each other up though. We’re all brothers.”