Simmons Talks about Louisiana Tech

Willie Simmons won't grade himself on how he performed in the season opener at Georgia, but he will tell you that there is room for improvement across the board. Hear what the Tigers' signal caller had to say about his first game, as well as the Tigers next opponent in this report.

How can you improve on last week's performance?
Well, I need to work on getting the offense back together and improve the unit as a whole. Me personally, I just need to work on the same things I've done in preseason camp. Be smart with the football and take what the defense gives you. You get in a hostile environment like that where you don't have a lot of opportunities to make big plays you try to take it upon yourself to make them on your own which can get you in trouble sometimes. I just need to take what the defense gives me.

What do you remember about Louisiana Tech?
They talk a lot. They talk a great deal. We were talking yesterday about how they talk more than anyone else we played last year. They are a real intense bunch. They are a very hostile group themselves. They are used to playing a lot of big time opponents every year, so they won't be intimidated by playing in front of 83,000 screaming fans. It's all in fun; you really don't pay too much attention to it because you've got a job do. I can't pin point exact things they say, but you do hear it and try to make note of it.

Do you feel as though you could make better decisions on your sprint outs?
In preseason camp we didn't express the sprint out game as much as we did in past because we felt like we would be able to throw more from the pocket, but Georgia did a good job of scheming for us and sending a lot of blitzes straight up the middle trying to take away the pocket. That's the extra focus of my game this week trying to take the short routes when I'm sprinting out and throwing it away when I have the opportunity and pulling it down and trying to get some extra yards.

What would you say was the worst part of your game Saturday night in Athens?
The interception early in the game where I tried to make something happen. In a situation like that I probably should have tried to pull it down and run for a few yards or throw it underneath instead of trying to go for the homerun. There were some other instances where I took a sack trying to wait that extra second for the receiver to get open.

What about the best part of your game?
I think I showed poise, and I think I showed leadership. The offense as a whole never doubted ourselves. We never doubted that we could win the game, so I feel real good about that, and I feel real good about the chemistry we have.

Is it a relief to get your first start out the way?
Yeah it is a relief because it takes a lot of pressure off, not only off me but a lot of the other guys who made their first start Saturday. Especially the guys up front, Kevin and some others who haven't played in a while. It gave us all the opportunity to get out there and play in front a hostile environment.

Do you take away some extra confidence by playing how you did against a top 10 team?
Well, it really let's us know that we can be a really good football team. We had some chances to win the game and we had some chances to take the lead. We can look at the fact that we did it against a quality opponent like Georgia and know that it gives the opportunity to go out and work hard and prove that we can be a very good team.

How would you grade your performance Saturday night?
It wouldn't be a real good grade simply because we lost the game, you'd rather have a poor game and win than a good game and lose. Just because we lost the game you can't give yourself anything than higher than average. Coach doesn't grade us on an A,B,C,D, but every game we just try to learn and improve. The goal now is to go up instead of go down.

Would you consider playing in Athens a learning environment?
To play a defense that good, and for them to give you a little bit that you weren't prepared for, it's good that we saw all of that early. I don't think a defense can throw something at us now that we haven't prepared for. From last year Georgia sent a lot of outside blitzes, but they did a lot of blitzes to take away the pocket Saturday, so now we'll be better prepared for that. We'll be ready. Top Stories