Gene Chizik Post-UNI Presser

Definitely STILL not the start the Cyclones were hoping for under their new head coach, who is still searching for his first career victory with instate rival Iowa coming to town this week. Listen to what Coach Chizik said following the crushing defeat to Division I-AA (or whatever they're calling these teams nowadays) Northern Iowa.

Q:  Coach, give us your thoughts on the game overall.


Chizik:  I'm very disappointed as you might think.  I told our football team that I was very proud of them because I thought they fought to the end.  We talked about never changing what you look like and what you play like…play to the end.  If there are any positives we could get out of tonight, which there weren't a lot, there were some, our football team didn't quit and I'm proud of them for that.  Obviously, we did things two weeks in a row that make you lose football games.  Until we fix that, we'll continue to do that.  That's our job as coaches and that starts with me.  I got to get that done.


Q:  More or less disappointing than the Kent State game?

Chizik:  When you lose it's always disappointing.  I don't have a scale for that.


Q:  Special teams…what's causing some of those miscues?


Chizik:  Well, I don't know.  One of the turnovers was a young returner who we wanted to give another chance.  He had the same problems last week.  That was one critical turnover early in the game.  That was tough.  There was a comedy of errors with our snapper and holder again.  Again, we didn't hit any field goals.  We fumbled the snaps.  We have to go back and review the people in those positions and figure out what we can do to better ourselves because they aren't producing.


Q:  How do you go about…?  (Couldn't hear end of questions)


Chizik:  Well, we'll have to go back and look at all the reasons we are.      I mean it's the same thing.  We've snapped the ball over the quarterback's head.  We have to look at what we're doing at center and why that's happening two weeks in a row.  The interceptions right now are…we have to look at that really close.  I don't have a great answer for that right now until I see it.   I just know that if we continue to do that we can't win and of course the turnovers on the special teams.  Again, we're doing everything that you can possibly do to not win football games and that's my fault…not there's.  I have to get it changed.


Q:  Talk about the second quarter there.  You kind of saw the pose of the UNI quarterback…it was a fourth down play.  Talk about how that changed the game in the sense that they went for the seven points…both teams called a time out.  What were you ready for on that play?


Chizik:  I wanted to see what they lined up in and I wanted to give our defensive a sense of what was going on.  I thought the situation was right and if I had to do the same thing over again, I'd do it the same way.  He made a great play.  He scrambled, they went to an empty backfield and we had him covered, but we didn't have him covered long enough.  He got out of pressure.  We're having a problem right now with getting consistent pressure on the quarterback.  He's a very good quarterback.


Q:  Talk about the play before…the ball hit Alvin in the chest.  You were that close to interception.  That seems to epitomize your first two games so far.


Chizik:  I think so.  No excuses right now…we've got to make those plays.  They're trying hard we're just not having any luck with any plays.  It just boils down to they had a running back rush for 140 yards.  That's unacceptable.  That's us.  They had an 18 play drive in the second quarter and we couldn't get them off the field.  Let me tell you something…UNI did a great job.  I have to give Coach Farley a ton of credit.  He has a great football team. 


Q:  You brought Austen in in the third quarter?


Chizik:  I feel like we have to work our young guy in there.  I think you'll see a little more of that as we go.  We wanted to get Austen in the game. 


Q:  What did you think of his play tonight?


Chizik:  I'll have to review it, but I think he did some good things.  Of course, I think there are some things he can get better at, but he seemed to go ok.


Q:  (can't understand)


Chizik:  They do a great job.  They make their own calls and do what they have to do.


Q:  How much did your patience wear thin?


Chizik:  My patience isn't worn thin.  I'll tell you who I feel bad for right now is the players.  I saw fight all the way down to the end tonight.  No one likes to lose.  That walk into the locker room wasn't an easy one.  That's who I feel for.  They have to play better.  We have to coach better.  We've got to get this thing tied up.  There are too many loose ends out there that are causing us to lose football games.  I am in somewhat uncharted territory here, but losing the two opening football games…that's never happened to me.  It's not about the coaches though.  It's about the players.  I want to get this straight.


Q:  At this point, what is the identity of this team and what did you hope it would be at this point in the season?


Chizik:  After two games I just want to see improvement in something.  I wanted to run the ball more, but we got in a situation that we couldn't run the ball.  There are some good things happening.  I don't know what our identity is right now.  I think we've done some good things that we can build on, but as soon as we play good defense we turn around and turn the ball over.  It's a comedy of errors right now.  There are a lot of things that we have to pick up.


Q:  How can you get Todd involved more in the offense?


Chizik:  We had a lot of guys tonight that we spread the ball around to.  Todd's a very unselfish player and he understands right now that people do things to roll up on him and make it difficult for him to release off the line of scrimmage.  Obviously, if they're doing things to take Todd out of the game, you have to go to other people.  Again, Todd's an unselfish guy.  He just wants to win.  He'll get his catches as will everyone else.  We're going to get the ball to whoever we think can help us on that play.  Sometimes he gets it.  Sometimes he doesn't.


Q:  Was it the same mistakes being made today?


Chizik:  I thought there were some of the same ones, yes.  I really did.  If you look at it right now, throwing interceptions…that's the same thing you did last week.  When you snap the ball over the quarterback's head, that's the same thing that we did last week. When you fumble a punt return, that's the same thing that we did last week.  That's what is very disappointing that we didn't get any better in those areas.  As I said before, there were a lot of areas where I thought we did do some nice things, but there were some areas where we didn't.



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