Golden: Florida A&M post-game

Read on to see what head coach Al Golden was saying after the team's win over Florida A&M.

On how important it was to get a number of players more reps…
“It was good. It wasn’t perfect, but I think we got better in a lot of different areas, and in some other areas we have to continue to make progress. We played a lot of guys, which was great. I thought a lot of those guys played really soundly when they got in. I thought they lined up really well, tackled well, ran to the ball well - I was pleased with that. Obviously we have to look at some guys on offense - the second offensive line, Joe Yearby, Trayone Gray, Tyre Brady, [Christopher] Herndon, just to name a few. There were a good group of young guys – a lot of freshmen, probably 12 or 13. A good number.”

On his team playing with aggression…
“That was a long week. That sounds weird…but it was one of those deals where we were physically managing the team and trying to get better at the same time. That was tricky. I was afraid we weren’t going to have our legs. We landed at 5 a.m. on Tuesday. We basically did it on two days’ preparation. To be quite honest, FAMU - the looks they give you on defense - are very difficult. We were coaching right through the day today because of how intricate their zone pressure package is. We did a good job of picking that up. We turned it over a couple of times on offense - one was on a snap when we thought we had them offside and the other the kid made a great play on a deep ball. A lot to fix, but we can grow from this for sure.”

On his satisfaction level with the offensive rhythm…
“I don’t know if I’m satisfied in anything right now. It’s hard to judge, to be honest with you. It’s two games in five days, and now we need to take a deep breath and look at everybody’s body of work in those two games. We have a heck of a football team coming in here next week. We have a team that knows how to win and is aggressive. We have to get healed up and healthy tomorrow, and go back t work on Monday. I can’t wait to get back to work on Monday. I really can’t. I think we’re going to learn a lot about a lot of different guys, kind of set the team moving forward here and get ready to go.”

On which key players missed the second half…
“We held Stacy [Coley] out, we held Duke [Johnson] out, we held Denzel [Perryman] out. From there, we took out guys incrementally as the game progressed.”

On his evaluation of freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya’s performance…
“I thought Brad made some really nice throws. I think it was unfortunate we snapped the ball three times thinking we had them offside and all three were incompletions, one was an interception. We have to go back and take a look at the tape on that. That wasn’t good there. We liked to keep the ball outside the numbers on the go route. He brought it inside, brought the corner in to play. There were some heck of [good] throws there too. I thought we did a better job protecting them against all the zone pressure we were getting. I think Brad ‘s going to keep making progress and grow. I’m excited about Brad.”

On the defensive line playing with more confidence…
“I don’t think there’s any question. The biggest thing was last week, we had 72 or 73 plays, so it’s probably 800 reps, and out of those 800 reps on defense, we only had 15 mental errors. They challenged each other this week to have less than that. They’re really cohesive right now. Everybody is fitting in the right gaps. We let up a couple of deep ones. We have to do a better job playing the ball down the field, but we’re keeping the quarterback in the pocket, we’re tackling better. In both games, I think we tackled better. [On] the defensive line, we’re playing more of those guys and we’re getting more production, for sure.”

On the offensive execution on third down…
“I’m going to go back and look at it again. I’m going to go back and look at first and second down again. Protection wasn’t an issue today, clearly. We have to go back and look at the first two games and analyze everything about it. Don’t make any excuses. See what our first- and second-down efficiency is, see what the actual third-and-distance is, what our average is on third down. Are we in too many long yardages? And then go from there. There’s no question we need to improve that.”

On if the playbook was opened up for quarterback Brad Kaaya…
“Because we had such a short timeframe, we didn’t really change the playbook. It’s just the way it unfolded. Perhaps if we had gotten down to a lead last week or had converted on those two [drives] inside the 10 [-yard line], it would have looked like a different playbook, but it didn’t. We didn’t add anything really. We just moved everything forward and I think he got a little bit better at some of the things we called.”


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