"But overall you look at the performance of our team I think we did a lot of very good things today on top of that. And we've got a lot of happy guys there. They're excited about it."
After the on-side kick it seemed they got some momentum, Josh Boyd had a big sack, what did you see? "We live on those guys, and they knew…it's kind of been the deal all year, a lot of times we put ourselves in the position. It's not like the other team jumps on momentum. We shank a punt, it gives them momentum. They do a surprise on-sides kick, Jay Hughes is right there to catch it and it hits their kicker and kind of ricochets. It wasn't like he wasn't ready, he was right there to recover the kick, it took a weird bounce and he misses it."
"But we needed our defense, at that moment we gave them life and we needed them to step up and make a play. And they certainly did. Our defense made the stops they needed to. Overall, I guess I'm critical but I think our defense played very, very well throughout the course of the game. There were a couple of brain-farts in there…so you can put it in your article!...of miss-alignment. But overall we played pretty well. We would have liked a couple more scores."
Chad Bumphis had the touchdown catch, but he also had big third down catches to eat up the clock? "Overall third downs I thought we did pretty good on this one. That was a big thing where we had been struggling, 10-of-18 is pretty good. It keeps your offense on the field, also flips field position. We didn't give them great field position much of the day, it's important to do that."
"And it's great Chad Bumphis broke the school record for touchdown receptions. I think that takes some pressure off of him because anytime you have that stuff out there you're sometimes thinking about it. You see him a couple of times I think trying to catch and look to break a tackle, how can I break a long one? And once he got it I think he'll be a little more relaxed."
How much does it help Russell when he's getting hit to have Chad open? "It was big. It was big. We've got to look, protection-wise were getting beat a little too much. That's not going to cut it. And Tyler hit a couple too many times. There's a couple of times it's going to be OK he's going to be hit and you've got to hold the ball to the last second and step and deliver and make the throw is big. But there are a couple of times he got hit when he shouldn't be getting touched, they weren't bringing pressure, we should be protecting and get rid of the ball. And I'll look at that to get some of those things cleaned up."
In two SEC games Bumphis has come up big, do you see more confidence? "I think our guys have played a bunch of ball. And maybe there's more confidence as a team. There's more confidence with Chad but even him, these guys know this is it. They expect to make the plays. They've played a lot of SEC games. Coming here, any time you're on the road in this league it's tough. And our guys responded and played pretty well and got a pretty good win."
Tyler seemed comfortable today, some of his throws were second and third reads? "Yeah. And I was laughing at him; I said coming into the locker room today you missed some throws. He said yeah, I missed some of the easy ones and I made the hard ones today! That's a good thing with a guy that's experienced, he knows and he's going to be critical looking at himself and saying boy I can't miss those easy throws. I guess that's what you want out of your quarterback. Instead of almost coach-like he's not patting himself on the back at all the great throws that he made today. He's looking at hey, how can I get better at making these throws."
Did it help Kentucky having four new secondary starters and you having senior receivers? "It certainly helps. I think we threw for a bunch of yards today. We were able to throw, especially on third down. And once we started getting that confidence it really gives you time and patience in the run game. Even though their crowding the line of scrimmage it gives you patience in the run game to be able to do that."
How big was the field goal drive before halftime? "It was huge. It was one of those that we were looking at the situation, our defense came up with a big sack down there. We pinned them in, used the timeout. I tell you what their punter did an unbelievable job today, he was booming some and that was another boom. I'm thinking OK, I thought maybe we'd get a little better field position than that."
"But we felt comfortable, we had the wind and I felt comfortable going close to a 50-yard field goal attempt for Devin right there. We made the plays we needed to to make it a much more high-percentage kick. But I thought he came out and performed well today, you're starting to see his confidence starting to grow, too in all those situations."
LaDarius Perkins had another 100-yard day and some big power runs? "They started to load the box on us a bunch. We're balanced. We were 23-of-39 with 39 run attempts, too. That's a pretty good balance."
"I thought Perk ran the ball well. It's great to get him 100 yards and he had that big one. When they started crowding the line of scrimmage, I thought we'd have a shot of getting another one, a big hit. But give them credit. Their kids played really hard all day long. That team, I mean, records don't always show everything that's out there. You look at the records of the teams they've played is pretty darn good. They played hard, especially facing some adversity. You can see their kids played hard for four quarters and made plays. To me, it's a good thing we started fast because it was 7-7 in the second half."
What option was Adrian Marcus on the touchdown play? " He's (Russell) got the option to read it front side but it's a screen called up, set up screen on the backside. If they cover it off the front side, he can throw back the screen to the back side. We had called a sprint-out earlier in the drive and saw them really kind of rotate over to the sprint-out and we did it again. Was it Blaine (Clausell) out there who had a really nice block? He took out two guys with a block and got us into the zone."
It was a big moment for a walk-on fullback? "It's huge. It's huge. I know (Sylvester) Hemphill was mad because I saw Greg Knox took Hemphill out and put Adrian Marcus in for the play right there. There will be some discussions, I'm sure, in the running back meeting room this week. There will be some animosity going there! Those guys don't get the ball very often, so when one is about to come their way, it's a pretty rough fight to get that football."
You were able to mostly rush just three or four linemen and make it work? "Well, we did blitz some. They did a nice job picking up our pressures even when we did blitz. It was good to see. We got some pressures today. We got a couple of sacks today, which certainly helps. A couple of times we lost contain and let their quarterback get out, but, you know what? I'll take the aggressive mindset of us going out and trying to create some plays. We had three sacks. I like that aggressive play out of our guys."
What did you expect of Kentucky's rushing defense? "We came out thinking they're going to put some guys on the line of scrimmage. We wanted to be balanced and we were able to throw the ball and that really helped us. And it helped the run game throughout the course of the game. Especially the third downs to let us convert on third down to let us run the ball some too. That was a big part of it."
"We didn't cause a turnover today. That happens. We've lived on a lot of big plays and you're plus-whatever we've been with the turnover ratio so far in the season, that big, that's a stat. The problem with the team is what happens when you don't get all those turnovers in a game. What happens when other team protects the ball or doesn't make those mistakes? You're still going to perform and win the game, and I was happy to see our guys do that today."
You had no penalties in the first half and just two for the game? "That was good. When you go to a bye week, you don't always know in a bye week how it's going to play out. Is it good or bad for you? The bye week was good for us. You don't know until after the game but sometimes you can come out sluggish or sloppy. It allowed us to get healthy and I Like the focus we had today. The one turnover, the kid made a heck of a play. Chris (Smith) has to be tighter with the ball for us. We didn't hurt ourselves today. A couple of mental mistakes and missed alignments and missed blocks and a missed tackle--some of those things--but we'll get those fixed."
On next week's Tennessee game at home? "It's a primetime game, a national TV game. Our stadium is going to be rocking, our guys are going to be pumped up. They know it's a big game. It's a really neat game. Nobody on our team has ever played Tennessee before, so for them it's kind of a big game for our guys with the opportunity to go play them. They are an explosive, high-scoring, very talented football team. They're 3-2 but their two losses are to teams ranked in the top 10 in pretty close games. In my mind, I don't think I get a vote, but I'd vote them as a top 25-type team. They've got that potential and that ability. It'll be a good battle for us."