All-SEC senior linebacker Travis Williams called a defensive players only meeting on their day off on Monday to discuss what the group needs to do to get better. Williams spoke to his teammates along with fellow linebackers Antarrious Williams and Karibi Dede plus senior defensive linemen Tommy Jackson and Wayne Dickens.
Williams says he and others who played last year on a team that led the nation in scoring defense are not satisfied with how the defense is performing through three games as the Tigers take a 2-1 record into Saturday's homecoming game vs. 2-0 Western Kentucky.
"It is true we just gave up just three points last week (to Ball State), but if it had been an SEC team we were playing we would have probably given up more points than that," Williams says.
"We have got to realize that the way we are playing now is not good enough," Williams adds. "We told everybody don't be satisfied with that.
"We talked about the need for the defense to improve at practice every day," Williams says. "We got a lot of stuff off our chest. We let everybody talk. A lot of guys getting tired of hearing something from the coaches time after time, but when they hear it from their peers they know it is true."
Senior noseguard T.J. Jackson, an All-SEC selection last year, says he thinks the meeting was a good thing. "We just wanted to talk to each other," he says. "This should help out. The guys on the team need to know where the others stand. We talked about eliminating mistakes and doing what we need to do to be a better defense."
Jackson says that although the Tigers have been productive the past two games, he and the other seniors expect more. "We want to be at a certain point and playing at a certain place," Jackson says. "If we keep working, we will get there, but I know we can play better than we are playing now. We are making too many mistakes. The good thing about it is that we know that and we can get to it and try to fix it."
The big noseguard says he thinks the meeting was a positive one and it showed at Tuesday evening's practice. "It was good to get back out there and the guys were working well together on defense. If we keep on going I think we will be fine."