Mark Stoops exhaled after a last-minute win over Missouri thanks to a roughing the punter call on Missouri gave Kentucky a victory.

“Very proud of the team,” Stoops said on SEC Network. “We knew obviously we had a tough loss a week ago, coming on the road, Coach Drink got these guys playing exceptionally hard, very physical football team. We knew it’d be a defensive battle both sides, feel very fortunate to come out with the win.”

Stoops’ message to his players was to keep fighting.

“They did that, we found a way, some way some how,” he said. “Together with all sides contributing. Again, we’ve got to regroup, get better, got a lot of things to go home and work on, it’s obviously a lot better after a victory.”

While Kentucky’s offense struggled at times, it delivered late.

“When we had to, we really had some good drives,” Stoops said. “We knew with a guy like Will (Levis) they were doing a tremendous job getting pressure. We have to continue to improve and protect him. But we started throwing the ball and mixing it up on him, and he hit some passes on first, second down and that really helped us.”