The biggest thing is we got the win. We got an opportunity to play a lot of guys. I think we're really going to draw some valuable experience from having played now. A lot of the things that we can study on film. As I told you yesterday, one of the things I'm most proud of is how they handled some adversity, being down at the half and really exploded there in the second half -- defensively, offensively and special teams. Then, also, just the discipline that our team played with. We only had two penalties for 10 yards, versus eight for 61, and no defensive penalties, which I thought was really good. One of the big things you look at is the turnover margin and big plays. When we can win the turnover margin and have at least two big plays on an opponent, we have a chance to win. That was the case yesterday. Seeing all the freshmen gain some experience was good. We had a few records set. There's definitely a lot we can learn from. I will say this, playing 24 young guys, I want to credit the coaching staff, because I really thought it was a better opener this year than last year, versus a better team. I'm really pleased from that standpoint. From this point on, it's about getting better and seeing if we can go get this one next week.
How is the team, health-wise?
We're pretty good. The only questionable is Rashard. He actually said he felt good today. He said he did some running, said it felt good. I don't think we're going to know for sure on him until they check it out thoroughly tomorrow. He's the only one right now that I'm still concerned about. There a couple of others here and there, but it's a physical game.
|"There's definitely a lot we can learn from. I will say this, playing 24 young guys, I want to credit the coaching staff, because I really thought it was a better opener this year than last year, versus a better team." |
Definitely, because you can only practice so much. You can only accomplish so much. At some point, you've got to play somebody, to really get a true gauge. That was a good thing for us. To get the win was even better. Defensively, I thought we got better as we went. We forced some field goals and we held a good quarterback to 57 percent. In that offense that they run, that's outstanding for us -- had six three and outs. We really did a good job versus the run, except for that long one that they had. On the offensive side, Tajh looked poor in the first half and got better. He really played well. In fact, he got player of the game. I think that's going to be good for him, moving forward.
What did you see from Boyd that led the staff to give him player of the game?
Well, he was 20 of 30. The way he responded. He played well in the second half. To be honest with you, if he didn't play better, we were probably going to have a hard time winning that game. He really got us going and made some nice throws. He showed some real good composure in that second half. I don't know what it was...he settled down. I give him a lot of credit. That's what good players do. That's what winners do. I'm proud of him for that.
How did the offensive line perform, after looking at the film?
We did OK. We had three sacks, but really only one. Two of those were on our quarterback, which is disappointing. Protection was pretty solid. Probably the biggest thing was we didn't score down there on fourth and inches. We've still got to get a little more physical, at times. Just OK, first game. You've got to give Troy credit. They did a lot of things, some moving, different stunts. I thought they did a good job picking that up.
How would you assess how Phillip Price did in his first start?
Price played well. In fact, he was the o-lineman of the week for us. He got that award. I thought he did a really good job. Those first five guys, they graded well. There are definitely things that we have to improve upon. Price was o-lineman of the week. It was good to see him get off to a good start.
Surprised by the freshman?
I expected them to play well. I don't know if I expected three of them to have 260-something of our 400 yards. That's pretty impressive. That's on the offensive side. Then, you look over and see Stephone Anthony with a sack, he's covering a guy on a wheel route out of the backfield. You look out there and see Grady Jarrett, DeShawn Williams, Tavaris Barnes, a bunch of young guys playing early -- Tony Steward. We had a lot of guys play early. I knew they would be a factor. I didn't really have an expectation. I just wanted them to play well and try to get better from there.