Dan Hawkins: That's living right there, huh? That's living.
Q: With two minutes left in regulation and Mason Crosby on your roster, why not be more aggressive than you were?
Hawkins: It was a question of being aggressive and being able to get to where we could kick a field goal, and what we would be able to do with the ball at that time.
Q: On B-Jack's interception in overtime, was that just a case of he underthrew the guy?
Hawkins: Yeah, a little bit.
Q: They were able to rush the ball pretty well.
Hawkins: Yeah, they hit us with a couple of traps up inside.
Q: How would you assess the play of your offense?
Hawkins: Kind of sporadic. Good at times. We had a hard time getting into rhythm at times. A case of a couple plays on and a play off. But we found some rhythm late, which was good.
Q: You said you've been getting better the last couple weeks. Was this a step back?
Hawkins: I don't think it's a step back. I think, again, the offense – we hit a little bit of a lull, but when we needed to get something going, we did, which was good. Probably for the first time, really, our defense didn't answer toward the end of the game, but our offense was answering. Definitely another learning lesson.
Q: Other than just keep fighting, what did you tell your team afterward?
Hawkins: Ultimately, life kind of comes down to some values and some morals and some principals. Whether life tells you you're a winner or a loser, it's really ultimately up to you. No matter what happens, that cannot affect our pride and our dignity and we're going to continue to do things right.
We don't know why sometimes in life, whether it's illness or loss of job or death or divorce – sometimes life keeps serving it up, and it doesn't always serve it up like we want it to serve it up. But we can predetermine what our response is going to be to that. We can continue to say, hey, you're not gonna knock me out. And keep getting back up.
Q: It looked to me like toward the end of the ballgame you were playing not to win, but not to lose. That last minute seemed like a crucial time.
Hawkins: Again, it's just a matter of having enough of the right plays and being able to put enough sequential plays (together) to get where we were on the field to a reasonable spot on the field where Mason can kick the field goal. Knowing that, worst case scenario, I'm not going to put our defense at bay. You know, you go win it in overtime. Which we did not.
Q: How much confidence do you have in Crosby?
Hawkins: Total. The ball he missed today was probably the first bad ball I've ever seen him hit in practice or in a game. Ever.
Q: On their 4th and 7 touchdown in overtime, what were you trying to do on defense?
Hawkins: Well, we had a guy underneath in the flat, coverage-wise, but we didn't get it.
Q: How do you think your defense handled their spread offense?
Hawkins: They ran the ball on us more than we'd ever want anybody to run on us. It seemed like we had a hard time blitzing at times. As your offense starts drying out, it becomes even tougher on your defense. So those two things kind of have to work well in concert. Once your offense plays well and your defense kind of backs it up you see some momentum.
Q: Did they run more than you thought they would?
Hawkins: They ran better than we thought they would.
Q: How was the play of Ben Burney and Lionel Harris?
Hawkins: I have to go back and look at the film. I know there was a couple of plays where they did a good job, and a couple of plays where their inexperience showed up.
Q: Is this as draining a loss as you've had this year?
Hawkins: I don't know if it's draining. It's another variety of life. It's another adventure you go through, it's another battle you go through. You chock that up and you learn to handle it and deal with it. You know when you go through this deal, it's not always wins. So, you have to learn to handle both sides of it.
Q: Do you get the sense that anyone's given up on this team?
Hawkins: No. Not inside (the locker room). Our staff, no; our team, no.
Q: Do you have to do anything as a coach to make sure you don't lose these guys at a certain point?
Hawkins: I think these guys …we put this all on ourselves. Win, lose or draw, we came close, and just like the game in Georgia, you have an opportunity to get your guys in the locker room and go, guys, let's not freak out here. There's some things we can get better at. Unfortunately, for them, we keep coming up 0-fer. But you just have to keep going back to the well and digging it up and looking for solutions and keep polishing it up. You just make a decision that you're not a quitter and you're not a frontrunner. You just continue to paddle the ship.
Q: During any of the three overtimes, did you ever let yourself think this is the time you're going to get yourself a win?
Hawkins: I don't know that I ever think that. I'm one of those guys, I think we're going to win every game. I really do. I kind of mentally visualize that, I see that, I put thoughts in my head of how we can do that. But at the same time, it's never over till it's over. I've just been doing this too long – you don't ever assume this is a game we're going to win, or this is a game we're going to lose. You just keep grinding and trying to make plays.
Q: How do you feel Bernard is progressing?
Hawkins: He did well. Obviously, he comes away from this game – it's tough on him. He makes the last interception. It kind of comes down to that one focal point. And he threw a couple other picks, which has not been characteristic of his play. And he made some nice plays with his legs, too. Again, playing quarterback, that's like being a head coach. You have to be able to stand up and be able to shrug both the praise and the criticism. Unfortunately, you look at the turnovers and those kind of show up as being the key point. But he also had a heckuva throw to Riar on the touchdown. It's not just a one-man deal.
Q: How do you feel your first-down offense is working?
Hawkins: It's sporadic. Our whole offense is sporadic. It's not red zone, it's not first down, it's not third down. It's just sporadic. And that really is a byproduct of when you have time getting a rhythm.