Here is a look at the first part of Kevin Wilson's weekly press conference Monday where he gave his opening statement looking back at Bowling Green and ahead to Missouri. Part 2, with media questions and Wilson's answers, will come later in the day.
"Going back to the Bowling Green game, again, to me it was a pretty solid win. Wasn't complete or perfect, but it was a sound win. Lot of things didn't go our way. But our guys kept battling and kind of hung in there and persevered, played hard and made some plays. We've got a lot to work on though.
"It's evident when you watch tape, just fundamentally, both sides of the ball, kicking game, there is a lot of work to do. We've got three games under our belt and with two open dates, there are still 11 weeks of the regular season still left, so we have a lot of work to do.
"Defensively, I think we did show some improvement, which is good to see. Got a lot of young guys playing, but there is a lot to work on there just for communication, alignment, just executing our schemes, our fundamentals, getting off blocks, tackling. There is a lot of youth over there. We have some experience, but there is a lot of important positions with those linebackers, safeties, and some of those kids up front that are freshmen.
"In this day and age, you're going this week they'll change gears now to a team that is completely different with spread, space, and quarterback run game, big receivers and good mix of run and pass. College football defense is, I think, very, very difficult because you have to adjust week after week to all the different styles that are still going on in college ball.
"I do think a good thing for our defense was they had a good response. I don't think just responding that I think you would say, okay, we didn't play well the week before. I thought during the game the way they responded, because there are some things that didn't go well. We started out with some errors on offense where you don't execute, you can lose momentum.
"We have two kicking blunders with the punt block, then a fumbled kickoff after they had scored where the game could really get out of hand. Again, some things early didn't go well. Set up for those guys really to maybe not get off to a good start or play a good game and keep those guys out of the end zone which they did.
"They were really good in the red zone, third down. I think two things that needs to be noted, they were really good after sudden change. It was twice that things didn't go well and they had to come out and get a stop. That was a great response for those guys. Not just coming off the week before but during the game. Just ebb and flow of games, good and bad, things go for you and against you, but you've got to keep playing, and I thought that was a very, very positive sign for those guys.
"Offensively, we've got to work on a few issues we didn't like. We've got to look at our package, execution, and play calling, making plays, so little disappointed there. We've got to keep working for balance consistently. We can get the run game going, got to keep pushing for that each week. We have a lot to build on. But we still have some glaring errors.
"We had two center quarterback issues in a couple games where under center where that cost us on the goal line there and hurt us the week before on the 4th and short. We have a lot of work to do offensively as we keep moving forward.
"There are some stats that's look good for the offense, but there is a lot of work to do.
"Special teams we have to improve there. We have two turnovers this year on kickoff return. We had a punt block for a touchdown the other day. We analyzed this defense. This defense has given up on your stat paper that you look at 28.7 points. If you take the pick six and the fumbled kickoff return they scoop and score a punt block, that's 21 points in three games, that's 7 points less, that gives us 21 points. As a team we're giving up 28 points a game, not as a defense.
"Those errors in the kicking game are going to haunt us this week playing a tremendous team in Missouri, and when we get into Big Ten play.
"Returns have got to get better. We're not getting much out of kickoff return at all, cover units keep improving. Again, good win, offense got hot late, defense battled early. But in all phases, we've got to continue to improve this crowd, and this will be a big week for us.
"Players of the game, for defense, Nick Mangieri, had a sack, two batted balls, an interception, very active playing both inside and outside.
"Offensively, Cody Latimer over 130 yards, touchdown. Did a great job blocking in the perimeter. Really helped our run game get going, some of those plays that were not just on the offensive line, but those guys on the perimeter getting us going. And Cody is doing a great job in special teams play for us in his coverage unit.
"Special teams player of the game was Mitch Ewald, had four touchbacks in six kick opportunities. He's been perfect on his extra points. Doing a great job for us in there.
"Good win against Bowling Green. Same time we'll continue to advance here with Missouri coming in, stronger opponent. Thought Bowling Green was a very good team last week coming in. We had a good week, played well, we'll get a better skill set this week, bigger, stronger, faster in all areas, more talented, a very, very successful program.
"Missouri shows up 2-0. Last year they're 5-7 in their first year in the SEC playing probably thee toughest schedule, no matter how you want to look at it last year. I think they lost to five teams that finished the year rated 1 through 9. Played some strong teams. Also had the injury bug last year. Quarterback got nicked up a lot. Had an outstanding running back that was injured, and I think they had some unusual things not go their way. If you look at them, seven previous years, all bowl games, winning 10 plus games.
"Coach Pinkel's the winningest coach in the history of Toledo, and he's close to being the winningest coach in the history of Missouri. His staff has been together. Shoot, there are coaches on that staff that when I was an assistant in Miami we were recruiting against them and they were at Toledo. Same guys, they've been together forever. The players know what they want to practice and coach. They'll respond off last year, not doing as well as they want. They're sitting at 2 0 coming off a bye week, and they'll come in ready to roll.
"Offensively, they're led by James Franklin. Fifth year player at quarterback, and he's a dual threat guy. Most of the time you say dual threat, you're saying a guy that can run. Their pass game, and he's a guy who would rather pass than run. But I think their cup of tea, they're averaging 270 some yards in the pass game, 260 some yards in the run game. Very, very balanced. He's the guy that makes it go.
"He's a fifth year guy. Know him out of Texas, his father played at Oklahoma, actually recruited him and one of his teammates when he was coming out of high school. Great player, he's had a great career, off to a great start in his senior campaign. Got size, play makers on the perimeter, big outside, 6'2", three, four, five, six, big kids.
"Ball's going to get in space. They're fast at back, several backs playing, including their quarterback who is a run around guy.
"Defensively, very, very active up front. Will be the best front we've seen, and their ability to make plays, make plays one on one, get pressure on the quarterback without having to blitz. At the same time, their defensive staff that we know very, very well, has been together a long time. They've got a great way of pressuring you and how they do that. Great way of multiple coverages, making your quarterback work to recognize coverages and reads and distributing the ball. Solid defensive group.
"They've got six interceptions on the year, great on third down. Those coaches have been together a long time. They've got a lot of confidence on O and D, and it's a good football team.
"Special team wise, their kicker, I think he's had one kickoff return this year. Everything else has been out of the end zone, big leg. Punt returner is a really good guy. Some regular punt, some rugby, and they've got good skill guys in the return game and we've had issues in kicking. So we'll get challenged in all three phases. Talented offense that's going to make you play in space, good skill guys, excellent quarterback, defensively very active up front. It will be a good challenge for our guys.
"Our guys will be up for a great week of prep, and it will be an awesome opportunity to go play Saturday night. So with that, questions.