LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mark Stoops spoke on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday afternoon and one thing the coach brought up was turnovers.
The Wildcats have lost 10 turnovers through three games — only Kansas is worse in that category in the FBS. The problem is twofold for Kentucky: Turnovers keep the offense from scoring and they put a defensive already lacking in depth back on the field.
Stoops brought up a specific streak from the last two quarters of the Southern Miss game through the first half of the New Mexico State game.
“We had way too many turnovers and we weren’t playing consistent on both sides of the ball if that makes sense,” Stoops said. “So I want to say — between a stretch there when you look at when I look at things — there was a turnover every 8.5 plays for a period of time. When you’re struggling already, you can’t do that.”
Here are other highlights from the teleconference:
- South Carolina named Brandon McIlwain as the starter for Saturday’s game. The true freshman adds the dual threat dimension that has given UK’s defense fits: “The way their offense is headed, and I’m sure there’ll be more plays implemented this week for Brandon as he gets more comfortable but he’s definitely a guy that can hurt you with his arms and legs,” Stoops said.
- Stoops and South Carolina coach Will Muschamp went the defensive coordinator to head coach route. Muschamp’s Florida teams were strong on defense and Stoops keeps an eye on Muschamp’s schemes: “There are some similarities to each of us and maybe one or the other is featuring more of a different front. But we both have the abilities to do an odd front or the four-down looks,” Stoops said. “So there are some similarities and I certainly do watch them a lot and see what he’s doing.”
- Stephen Johnson passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns without turning it over against New Mexico State. The performance was a surprise to many, maybe even to his coach. “He’s a very consciences kid, he works extremely hard, he wants to perform well for his team and he has some talent. So you knew he’d be good, but to see him play that well, I don’t know if I saw that coming,” Stoops said.