KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop backed Butch Jones Tuesday while taking full responsibility for the final play on Saturday.
Before taking any questions from the media he sat right down and addressed the question on everyone’s mind.
“I guess I want to make sure I talk about last game, last play and all that stuff because I assume that’s what everyone really wants to talk about,” said Shoop.
He says he has always tried to be transparent and honest.
“First I think, I want to say this, this comes from my heart. I think some of the criticism of Coach Jones is unfair,” he said. “I made the call on the last play.”
“I don’t know if we deserved to win the game because I think we made a lot of mistakes but I don’t think this team deserved to lose in the manner that it did on Saturday. Our strategy on that last play was watch him come out of the huddle and if they come out of the huddle and it’s a Hail Mary-type formation call, call a timeout and reset the defense. They did not do that. We took away the play, we took away the play that they ran which is the irony of the whole thing right? Bituli, Gaulden, Mosely and Warrior were dead on the play.”
The loss hit him hard.
“I feel bad for our players, I feel bad for the people in this building and I feel bad for our fans because I would’ve liked to see that one go to overtime. I think that’d be a hell of a game.”
Shoop clearly didn’t game plan for a 63-yard Hail Mary play but with the loss to Florida in the rear view, injuries still a major concern to be addressed. Shoop saying today he’s moved Cheyenne Labruzza to safety to replace the loss of Todd Kelly Jr. Expect to see him getting reps back there on Saturday.