"Recapping the last game, it was a game of length, one that was the longest in school history. There were so many different ways to win that football game. Again, when you play a quality opponent, some things that you normally get away (with) usually don't come to light until you are in the heat of competition with two quality opponents. We have to play smarter and can't make mistakes. Our execution was a little off. It is certainly something we have to address. I didn't enjoy the number of penalties that our football team had in that game. Those things come because of a variety of reasons. They come because of the game being close or the desire and want to make a block that you are not in position to make. We are going to coach them hard. Personal fouls will not be tolerated by me, not in our football program. We will coach that hard and it started this morning."
On the BCS rankings…
"We are currently ranked fourth (in the BCS.) We appreciate that position and understand that it puts us in a good position for the future, but we are paying little attention to it. What we have to do is be our best football team and prepare to play a quality opponent. There is no time to hang your head and look around and think ‘It was me.' You just have to get it right. That is what we are after. We started at 6:45 this morning and reviewed the film thoroughly. Our team is understandably unhappy and disappointed. The best way to get through that and move on to our next opponent is to work hard, put it behind you and point at the next opportunity for victory. Attention to detail is the call at hand by me and our coaching staff."
"On offense, Brandon Cox is a veteran signal-caller who makes a lot of smart plays with the ball. He does a great job of getting the ball in their playmakers' hands. Brad Lester has returned to action and he is a very capable back. He is averaging 83 yards a game."
"A year ago they had a tremendous
punter, and this year they have a freshman punter (Ryan Shoemaker) who is doing
a great job. He is averaging 44 yards a punt and
"We understand that our work is cut out for us and we like it that way. We appreciate the opportunity to be at home and play a quality opponent. I think beyond the game that we just experienced, we are looking forward to playing a very capable opponent because frankly, it is just what we need."
On any concerns he might have about his defense…
"I watched every play and at times the position and the call, critiqued by myself and coach (Bo) Pelini, I don't know if we could have had a better call in most instances. Certainly in the course of a game you would like to have some calls back. By and large, the position of our players and the calls were strong. At times, guys were thinking too much. They were in position to make really strong plays and they were trying to be in two places when they were only responsible to be in one. It makes them slow to react because they were thinking about another spot. It was with good intention, but it needs to be corrected. Once that is corrected, as you can see in that game, there were times where there was no place to run, pass protection was breaking down and the ball was covered. Within the plays it looked totally different. It is basically attention to detail on defense. Our staff and players certainly understand that and expect more from themselves. If there is anybody that wants to play better it is that talented defensive group that we have."
"He is a tremendous throwing
quarterback. We have faced some great quarterbacks here and he ranks up there.
He made some nice throws. At times, he threw into coverage but threw it in a
spot where it was hard to defend. He made all the throws. Give
On how he talked about players being in position but not executing…
"We are working at that. Our players are coming of age. We have a number of new guys. (Terrance) Toliver and (Demetrius) Byrd are very talented young receivers. We try to get them in the right spot and make sure they do the right things. A guy like Chris Mitchell, who was doing well in the game but got nicked and needed to come out of the game. We are trying to put together a play for a guy that hasn't done it yet. Those things don't come together very quickly for young receivers. It takes some time. There was some of that but there were also some protection concerns that improved as the game went on. I think our passing game is fine. With some coaching and time, our young receivers will eventually come of age."
On why Charles Scott only carried the ball twice in the second half…
"The ways we were using him in the first half, there was a defensive adjustment made by them that really took our formation and make it a much different call. We had an opportunity to give him the ball several ways but we didn't think they were as good as some other calls that we had. In hindsight, would I have liked to given him the ball more times? You bet. But I knew the reason why we were making those calls and felt that they were being made for the right reasons."
On the last play of the
"On the 4th and 2, I really wanted to scrutinize the call and I did. We had practiced it before against that defensive front. It was a great opportunity to get the first down but it wasn't successful. Any call that wasn't successful, I would like to have back."
On what goes into deciding who gets the ball on offense…
"There is a segment of our running game where certain guys run better then others. There is great overlap. It is not as clean as ‘He runs these plays and he runs those plays.' It is not like that. We have a number of guys ready to do our base things. On the throwing game, we look each week to see where we have advantages. We felt like our match ups on the corners were pretty good. How hard is it to leave, what you think is a potential touchdown call, in your pocket when you have the opportunity to run by guys, it is very difficult. I don't know when you do that. I don't know when I would do it. If you turn back and say ‘I wish I wouldn't have thrown that one deep.' Well I wish I would have completed that one when it was thrown deep. The long pass completion that was brought back by penalty, I would call that one again and again. That was an advantage that we knew we had."
On when he decides to use QB Ryan Perrilloux in short-yardage situations…
"We have the ability to use him as we see fit. We ran him a couple of times and the plays we wanted to use him with were not being cleanly blocked. We were not feeling like we wanted to challenge a numbers game, where the defense had us outnumbered. We also want to make sure we are throwing the football more with him. Certainly that is one of the points this week and is one of the things we would have liked to have gotten more in the last game but the game did not allow us to."
On if he thinks the coaches are ‘out-thinking' themselves…
"If we didn't practice it, coach it and describe it well, then I would think that. But we have operated the same way since I have been here. It appears to me that the game plans are put in pretty soundly and allowed to operate pretty efficiently. I think at times that the more familiarity you have with the defense allows you to cheat it some. If you are operating with just the information you have and just grasping at that piece and you don't know the weaknesses and the ins and outs, then you aren't operating as quickly as you should. At times when the game gets tight, there is a possibility of the thought ‘What more can I do?' creeping in. But our guys don't think that way. They are well-coached, they know what to do and know how to get down hill to the football. That is all we need out of them."
On if the number of injuries in the last game made it confusing to who was going in the game…
"No, we knew who was going into the game. There was no element of confusion there. I think when a guy in a backup position steps on the field and hasn't had the lion-share of the first-team snaps, he needs to get comfortable, and get his feet on ground and look forward to playing. That happens, but it takes time. There were some mistakes made but the guys that stepped in, understandably didn't play like starters but gave us a chance to win."
On if the fact that
"I thought our football team played
awfully hard. They gave effort, were relentless and played hard for the entire
game. If I had any misgivings, I would see it in effort, but I didn't see it.
Our team played awfully hard but I have to give
On how he talks to his players on limiting dropped passes…
"Those things happen. We have some great receivers that that has happened to. There is never a great time for it. I think our guys have a real care and want to play hard. They understand that it is important. They understand their roll is to catch the ball. They will work hard to do that. It is about attention to detail and commitment to the team. There are a lot of things that go into. Some times those things just happen."
On the possibility of anybody sitting out Saturday due to injury…
"At this point, I would say there is no one that is defiantly ruled out. There are some guys that will miss practice today and monitor how they are from that point forward."
On how the team was when he met them this morning…
"There wasn't a lot of smiling
going on. There wasn't anybody in that room who enjoyed how the game finished.
They all look forward to practice and improving. As a group, we all took
responsibility. They are a quality group of men. I look forward to getting back
on track and going to work to prepare for a quality opponent in
On how Auburn is different from last year to this year…
"I think that their defense is
somewhat better. They are playing sounder in some ways. I think they are really
good on special teams. They are running the ball efficiently and making some
good throws. Brandon Cox is not turning the ball over and making some wise
decisions. That is