Mark Richt

FSU Post-Game: Mark Richt

Read on to see what Mark Richt was saying following his team's 20-19 loss to Florida State on Saturday night.

Opening Statement...

“First of all, congratulations to Florida State for doing a good job winning the game and doing what they needed to do to win it. Tough one, to finish the way it did. Obviously getting what looked to get the score to tie it up and not being able to protect well enough to kick an extra point is tough. Tough for everybody. But, to their credit, somebody cared enough to blast through and get it. It was a great effort on their part.

“I’m very proud of our players’ effort overall. I’m sure there are some moments where it wasn’t just perfect. But I saw guys fighting their guts out. The defense played extremely well most of the game. Very few times did they struggle. They gave up a big play on the long touchdown pass, but other than that played extremely well.

Offensively, just very inconsistent. We had a couple of bright moments, but just not good enough tonight to win, offensively. Special teams overall did pretty good. That return by [Braxton] Berrios was outstanding and gave us a lot of excitement and a lot of life. It gave us an opportunity to have a really short field to go ahead and get the touchdown. You turn it over deep in their territory like we did, had the one touchdown called back which hurt, obviously...those kinds of things, you can’t do. I told the guys the margin for error is going to get less and less as we go. You can’t make those types of mistakes and still win. It definitely starts with me. Just didn’t do a good enough job as the head coach. We’re just going to have to get it better.”

On the holding call that negated a Mark Walton touchdown run and a targeting call on Jamal Carter...

“I didn’t see it. I didn’t see the holding. I don’t have the vantage point the officials have. All I saw was one of the greatest runs I’ve ever seen. It’s a shame that run went for naught, because it was a phenomenal effort by Mark [Walton]. It was a game-changer type of run. Then the targeting [call], I guess I can respectfully say I didn’t think it was targeting. I thought he hit with his shoulder and I don’t think he tried to hit him above the neck. Even on the replay it didn’t look like it. I was shocked on that one.

Everybody has a job to do, and I don’t know every detail of what everybody is talking about, what constitutes a target. From my vantage point, I thought it was a pretty clean shot. It’s hard to play defense nowadays, because you can’t hardly hit anybody. We do want the game to be safe, but you also want to be able to play ball.

“It’s a physical sport. You tackle. I was very proud of the effort of our guys. Somebody asked a question at the end of why not onside kick. I felt like if we knocked it down in there like we did and get them deep in their territory, we had three timeouts, if we got them out on three-and-out...I didn’t think they’d throw the ball, which they didn’t. We probably would have gotten the ball with 1:10 or so [remaining] if we could have got that three-and-out right there. They did a good job of putting it away.

Even if we did kick an onside and didn’t get it, they wouldn’t even have to drive and kick it way deep. It’s hard to go 90 [yards]. We probably would have had the ball just in field goal range if we could have gotten a stop there. Strategically – I’m not pointing the fingers at the defense at all – but from my strategic point of view, that was my thinking.”

On the struggles of the running game and if he would have liked to see more from it earlier...

“We do throw a lot of RPOs – the run-pass option - and the looks were there to throw, so you throw it when that happens. We’ve had a lot of success doing that all year long, so we kept going with that same strategy. There’s times when we just have to call it and run it and get after it. That’s what happens sometimes when you have that option, one way or another. We’ll probably look at a lot of tape and say, ‘Hey, if we had handed it, look what might have happened’ type things.

On the third-quarter interception by quarterback Brad Kaaya...

“We moved the ball well. We got it down in the red zone and had a chance. I think it was second down...it wasn’t third down. Just a ball that if it’s not there, launch it out of the back of the end zone. Go play another down. From a quarterbacks coaching point of view, I must have planted some kind of seed in his head for him to go ahead and make that throw. I put that on me.”

On penalties...

“It’ll be interesting to see. I’m looking forward to see the TV copy to see what happened. The ones when the plays are over and someone pushes or shoves or grabs, or this or that... that’s the very worst penalty in football. It’s a lack of discipline, and we treat that one different than the rest of them. The other ones we may do something during practice or after practice. That one we get them up at 5:30 in the morning and try to wear them out enough where they do want to do that. Maybe we’ll have to give them two mornings.”

On getting the team refocused for North Carolina next week...

“There’s a lot to play for, no doubt. It was not a Coastal Division game - it was an ACC game obviously, but not a Coastal game. Everybody is still in the race right now.

Everybody has a lot to play for, and we’re one of them. We have North Carolina coming up and a few more Coastal Division opponents pretty quick. We’ll find out how we fare on that side. Hopefully we can get back in the race. I think we will. I think we’ll have a good plan, I think we’ll get after it and we have a chance to come back here at home and have our fans help us out.”

On the blocked extra point...

“Usually if you get penetration there’s something going on up front. I couldn’t see the trajectory of the kick. If you get the kick up, sometimes it cures some of your issues if you have issues inside. If it’s a low kick, you can block it perfectly. If they come through and you get a high trajectory kick, sometimes you can get away with it. I really don’t know what happened, but it looked like our left side, my guess it was probably a guard or tackle...but I’m not sure. I didn’t see that part of it [low snap]. We’ll look at that. I think the ball got put down. The best copy of that is TV copy because you watch our coaches’ copy and you just don’t see it close enough. So we’ll see it closer and have an idea of what the deal is. It’s just a shame. It would have fun to still be playing.”

On the time of possession battle and if it affects the defense...

“It might. If you go with tempo, you’re not going to have as much time of possession. If you hold the ball another 20 seconds in between every play, the time of possession will probably be closer to equal. Some of our most successful drives have been using the tempo. We’ll always look at that and try to make a determination if we’re putting our guys in a bad way. But right now, that’s how we feel is our best shot of moving the ball well.”


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