A visibly upset Mark Stoops abruptly left his post-game press conference after Kentucky fell to Florida, 29-21. The Kentucky coach was irritated at the targeting call against T.J. Carter as the defensive lineman slammed into QB Kyle Trask.

“Just to have a game decided in that moment, guys, what am I supposed to tell my, my guys are fighting, crawling, scrambling, trying to get him down,” Stoops said. “Giving everything they’ve go and get that call. … I don’t know what we’re supposed to tell a kid to do.”

It was a second and 10 play near midfield and the Gators later scored to take a 22-21 lead with 4:11 remaining.

Carter was the second Kentucky player to be ejected for targeting.

Here are Stoops’ other comments:

  • Really tough loss. Did a lot of good things, but in the course of a game you don’t know which handful of plays will change he outcome. “It’s a game of inches.” Cited inability to convert a couple of first downs as possibly the difference.
  • We’re already thin in the secondary, and we lost Taj Dotson to an injury and Yusuf Corker to an ejection. Got to get some more guys up to speed.
  • Something’s got to be done with that (targeting) rule.”
  • On Sawyer Smith: Did some really good things, some things he needs to do better, and some things the wide receivers can do to help him. I was proud he gave us a chance to win this game.
  • It’s going to hurt when you invest what we have invested. Just man up and look at yourself, how can we do better, and move on.
  • It was an unbelievable atmosphere. We tried to play hard for (the fans). Thank them for me.