Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, center, argues with referee Reggie Smith, left, during the first half of the TaxSlayer Bowl NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops explains yelling at Georgia Tech bench

“I was upset with somebody saying something to me,” Stoops said. “I have great respect for coach (Paul) Johnson, but nobody else over there is going to say a word to me.”

Stoops was seen shouting at the Tech sideline early in the game as he went on the field to check on an injured Kentucky defensive player. It was widely presumed that Stoops was angry for Tech’s use of cut blocks on Wildcats defensive players, but Stoops clarified that that wasn’t the problem.

Asked to elaborate on what specifically had happened, Stoops declined.

“I will say this,” he said. “I care about my players, and I’m going to check on them. I didn’t accuse anybody of doing anything illegal. I have great respect for coach Johnson.”

While cryptic, Stoops’ comments suggest that perhaps someone on the Tech bench may have issue with Stoops being on the field after the injury. The episode’s meaning was unclear to Johnson.

“You’d have to ask (Stoops),” Johnson said. “He didn’t say anything to me after the game or whatever. I wouldn’t have any idea.”

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