Q: Without Brandon Warren did it limit some of the field from being effectively used in the passing game?
A: Well, no because Caz (Piurowski) can do that and he can handle that. We have got to make sure that the quarterbacks think of Caz like they do of Brandon. He may not penetrate as fast but (he) penetrates a lot bigger. I have said from the beginning that Caz's advantage is his height and the size of the target you are throwing to. In fact, I had some underneath routes to Chris Davis and they were new to this game and we hit Chris Davis on them but there were some where Caz was clearing down the middle. I think the next time that if we grow with those types of plays that (the quarterback) will learn to check for that tight end to Chris Davis coming underneath. It was just one of those things where you put something new in for a game and you can't build three different looks for your quarterback. We knew Chris Davis was going to be there but had you allowed your quarterback to check maybe there would have been a 15-yard gain to your tight end. Caz will get it done. They are two different players though because Brandon is much faster and penetrates much more quickly but Caz can do that too.
Q: Was it promising to see Chris Davis have such a good game after having such an up and down season?
A: We all felt like, No. 1, that our pass protection would be good and for the most part it was. We had a couple pressures, we got beat one time by just flat out getting run around up front, and one or two times a back protection where he was on the right guy but just didn't physically do it because of fundamentals or whatever he just didn't get his job done. But our pass protection was good for the most part and we felt like we could protect him. It was a matter of patience and that was what I said going into this game that we had to have patience in our passing game. We were guilty a little bit of what Virginia Tech did, which was thinking about pushing the ball down the field. When we finally started to find our tailback … I kept calling deep ball, I must have called 10 of them, it was because the tailback was continuously open. He was open for nine or 10 yards and we hit him about three times on that call.
Q: What does Maryland do defensively?
A: Well, right now we are trying to iron out all of their headaches. If I were to give you from a coverage standpoint they are very similar to Boston College. I am not sure their corners might not be a little better but they are definitely a little more physical. They will come up and play a little bit of bump and run. Not a big dose of it but for the most part they want to keep everything underneath. Now they are much more multiple up front than Boston College was, there is a lot more twisting, a lot more stunting and a lot more blitzing. They are a three-down team so you are not sure where they are coming from. They are much more confusing to your offensive line. People have run on them. A lot of what I have seen … you watch Georgia Tech and there is some hidden rushing yardage when you talk about (Reggie) Ball pulling that ball down and running like he does. Even the quarterback for Virginia. We were studying that game a little bit, he had some pretty big runs. He had about a 30-yard quarterback draw that scored for them.
Q: How far behind is Antone Smith as a blocker?
A: Well, right now that is Antone's weakness. You have to look back and say three years ago that was Lorenzo's weakness. Antone, he needs to improve. I talked to him about that after the last game because he had some tough blocks where the quarterback took some shots. It is an area that he must improve. I have confidence that Antone will do that.
Q: It is not a matter of him being physical?
A: No it is not a matter of toughness. It is a matter of getting his body right down the middle. A big back can block the edge of a guy and get the job done but that is a glancing blow when you are small. The small guys, they have to get right down the middle of a rusher and Antone right now is on the edge and that is what is hurting him a lot.
Q: Was the lack of rushes against Boston College part of your gameplan?
A: No. 1 like I said I felt like our protection was good. No. 2 I felt like we were moving the ball pretty good. There was no reason to panic with what we were doing but all of a sudden at halftime we have a fumble, interception, boom and all of a sudden I wasn't willing to do that and I wasn't willing to abandon how we felt was a great way to move the ball against these guys. We had some at bats. They didn't make us check out of many runs but the disappointing thing is that we had some run checks where we had some missed assignments right at the point of the attack but the tight end did the wrong thing and all of sudden you get what it looked like to me was going to be a big gain … eight, nine, or 10 yards. And all of a sudden it ends up being a zero or a one-yard loss play. That happened. I thought the receivers blocking on the edge … to say we are average blocking receivers is about a compliment right now to us. We are not physical and we do not block defenders long enough. We are going to continue to push, push the discipline, and show them and they will never be as good as they want to be until they are willing to do that and commit to that. It is hard to simulate that blocking against the scout-teamers like you are talking about in the game but it is just an area where we have got to improve.
Q: Is there frustration with the coaches after a loss that was probably sustained because of mistakes?
A: To me, that is exactly what I feel. I know the kids feel the same thing because that is what you are talking about - one play here or one play there. Now, the question is how do young kids respond to that? We just have to do a tremendous job as a staff of No. 1: pushing them harder and yet getting them over the disappointment of where they are and what they must be feeling right now. In this game, in football, you can't look back. It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, you can't look back. You have to correct, you have to demand, and sometimes you have to demand more and you move on. You worry about that.
Coach Q&A: Jeff Bowden Part 2
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