Scottie Montgomery (© James Guillroy/USA Today)

ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery addressed Members of the media following loss to SMU

Greenville N.C. -- Coach Montgomery says the difference in the game was turnovers, and the inability of ECU's defense to stop the Mustangs on third down and get the SMU offense off the field. That and more from his postgame press conference.

After a disappointing 55-31 loss Saturday to SMU, ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery discussed his thoughts on the game and pointed out where he believes his team needs to improve.

Montgomery said that ball security issues and the inability to get the SMU offense off the field were big reasons why the Pirates lost.

"The turnovers is really what changed this game," said Montgomery. "As I went through everything and the game kept going on, the difference in the game to me was third downs for them; no ability to get them off the field. That combined with the turnovers made it a hard, rough day for the Pirates."

On the day, SMU had three interceptions,  two of which were returned for touchdowns. 

Montgomery also mentioned that a team evaluation is coming swiftly, however, he was vehement about staying loyal to the seniors.

"The evaluation of our team starts tonight," said Montgomery. "People ask me, "Are we going to the next page and start playing new people and do this?" I'm never, ever going to turn the page on these seniors. They've been here every morning and every evening. We're going to do right by the people who have done right by this program"

He also talked about the status of senior quarterback Philip Nelson.

"Big-time evaluation of that situation," said Montgomery. "Today, he felt good, but things just didn't go his way. Especially today, we felt like we had some major throws that could've gone our way."

Acknowledging all that went wrong in the game, Montgomery commented that these hardships can define coaches.

"The difficult jobs is exactly why I'm here," said Montgomery. "If you can't handle these difficult situations -- this is what coaching is all about." 

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