Gene Chizik Post-Kent State Presser

Probably not the debut Gene Chizik and most of Cyclone Nation had in mind. Nonetheless, there's still a lot of football to be played this season. Find out what Coach Chizik said afterwards about the disappointing loss.

Q: What did you see out there?

Chizik: I thought there were times out there where we showed flashes of what we hoped to be, but I thought there was a lot of first game blunders. It was, in some sense, a comedy of errors on everyone's part. Those are the things that we have to work through as coaches. It's a first game…there's a lot of things that are very correctable. Today was a day where we see how the players respond and they get to know us. It was a hard day. There were a lot of things learned out there. This is a hard way to start out the season, but our guys are very resilient. We were very clear in the locker room that we have 11 more and we have to figure out a way to solve the problems. I thought a lot of the problems that we had tonight were very obvious so we'll regroup in the morning and bring them back and go to work. We won't learn back.

Q: At the running back position and the way JJ played…were you happy with it?

Chizik: We'll look at it and see. I thought there were some things he did well. There were times where we thought we could run the ball, but we were very inconsistent at it. We would have liked to run the ball better than we did tonight. I don't think we're anywhere near where we need to be. I thought JJ did show some flashes of some good things…it being his first major college football game, but we'll look at the film and evaluate him and the game and go from there.

Q: (can't hear the reporter well) Talk about those plays.

Chizik: It happened really quick. We'll see. There were bootlegs where he was getting out of the pocket on one of them that I remember anyway. The DB that made a great play cut in front of the ball for a quick second. Bret saw the receiver open and at the last minute cut in front of him and picked it off. It was a great play by him. I think we did all of the things that are 200 years old as far as winning and losing football games. We were sloppy with penalties…we turned the ball over…we couldn't stop the run at certain points in the game. It's all out there for everybody to see. But with Bret, we have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that we protect the football which we didn't do tonight…we've got to get better with that.

Q: The best drive your offense had was right out of the gate there in the second half with Meyer throwing to Blythe. How much effort did it take to get that in the second half?

Chizik: We said at half time that we had to get everyone excited. We had to throw Todd some deep balls and see what happened…just try to loosen him up a little bit and sprint out and get the ball to him…see what he could do with yards after the catch. I think that it was…in the second half…better in the drive coming out just trying to get him the ball.

Q: Do you think your impression is intensity…before looking at tape?

Chizik: My first impression is it was a typical first game where it's a new offense and defense. You can call it focus…that might be a good word for it. You can call it lack of concentration. There's a lot of things you can call it, but I know we will work very hard in the next couple weeks to get this thing running now. Let me tell you something. It's all coaching…starting with me. It's not the kids…they played hard and they never quit right down to the last minute. There are some things we have to get corrected. I thought it was all the mistakes that you make in an opening game…we made them. It was punts, we couldn't cover a kickoff right there before the half that cost us points, saw a new kickoff return in the second half that we had to make an adjustment…those things happen in first games, but I believe in our kids and we will work hard to get those things corrected. It was a whole plethora of things on both sides of the ball.

Q: Obviously giving up 200 yards rushing on the game…talk about that.

Chizik: I know it was the defensive line, the secondary and the backers all combined. 200 yards rushing is obviously way more yards than we need to give up…that's where we have to start. We're going to start figuring out tomorrow what we have to do to stop the run. We have been trying to develop a d-line, but saying that 200 yards rushing is because of the d-line is not correct. It was the whole defensive – front 7, safeties, corners…the ball bounced out of sight a couple times. Until we look at the film, I won't know exactly what the problem is. Defensively I thought we were catching a lot in there…I don't think we played very physical and we have to work on that.

Q: (couldn't hear reporter)

Chizik: It was a new deal for me…going back and forth between defensive, offense and special teams. It was different. It's obviously…this isn't the way I wanted this night to turn out, but I'm going to wake up in the morning, God willing, and I'm going to go back to work and start again. I'm not going to let anyone see us sweat so we're going to go back and work. I've been doing this a long time. It hurts…I don't like it…I'm not used to it. But, I've got to find a way to go get better.

Q: What positives can you take from tonight?

Chizik: A couple positives…our kids on the sidelines never gave up. I thought they responded. I was looking into their eyes the whole time making sure they were always into the game. I didn't see anyone quit. I thought there were some execution things that were good. I thought our red zone defense was outstanding for a lot of the night. We got put in some bad positions down there. Two or three times we had some turnovers on defense that were big. On offense right now we had a running back rush for over 100 yards…that was a positive. I don't know if it could have been more or not…we'll see. There were some things that we did on offense…we had some spurts where we moved the football…that was a positive. So, there were glimmers in there of what we can be, but we didn't have any consistency tonight on either side of the football.

Q: Can you talk about Jason a little bit?

Chizik: He's a very talented athlete. We got him in the game to carry the ball a couple times tonight. He's got a small package that he knows and understands. He played a few snaps tonight.

Q: (couldn't hear)

Chizik: We talked about it and felt that right now the way the game was going Bret needed to catch a hot hand because he never got one…never seemed to get in a true rhythm. So, we just stayed with Bret.

Q: (couldn't hear)

Chizik: We'll see this week. It's day by day.




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