Coker Addresses The Media

After the debacle Saturday in Miami's 31-7 loss at Louisville, coach Larry Coker met with the media Sunday morning to talk about the game and what to look forward to.

It was also learned that the rumors of a 3 p.m. Board of Directors meeting were just that: rumor. According to Sports Information Director Mark Pray there is no Board of Directors meeting scheduled for this afternoon and at present, Coker remains the head coach.

Coker's Opening Remarks
"To start off with, I think and know that the fan base and everywhere else is ready to give up on this team. We are not ready to do that in our inner circle and honestly, we've got work to do, but certainly this season is not over. We've got a lot of season left, a lot to play for. Again it's my job as the head coach to rally the troops and get this thing going in the right direction and we certainly expect to do that with our staff and we certainly expect that with our players. Our effort was not bad. We had good effort. I think if you look at the first half offensively, with the turnover that could have been a touchdown and you miss two field goals. We feel we could have been up 20-3 at the half. But we didn't get that done. For the second half, we made no plays on offense. We had no field position. We didn't switch field position at all. That is very disappointing. Defensively, we cannot give up big plays. We created a couple of big plays ourselves, but we gave up a couple of big plays to give them great opportunities. That's a good football team. We knew that before the season and they didn't disappoint."

On the problems in the second half
"We just haven't gone out with the edge in the second half, whether it's leadership or just the energy, or whatever it might because we had the energy to start the game. It just seems like in the second half, maybe it's the youth of our team, we've got to get it corrected."

On the disappointment of the loss
"Everyone is disappointed because we worked real hard to win. We had opportunities to put the game where we wanted it to be, especially in the first half. It got away from us in the third quarter and fourth quarter. It was a tough situation to watch. We felt we could make some plays. We did it against this team before, but we couldn't make the plays this time."

On the play of the offense
"We missed a couple of adjustments. Kyle Wright played pretty well. We've got to help him. Our route depths and adjustments have to get better to get to be the type of offense we want to be."

On the beating he will take on websites and in the media

"I've been in high profile football programs before. I understand it. We have great fans and they expect greatness from us. Believe me, no one wants to win more than I do and our staff does. We have high expectations. Our expectations are higher than that of our fans."

On job security
"I am not really concerned about job security. I am really not, not at all. I am concerned about getting our football back to where our teams needs to be winning games and job security will take care of itself."

On the potential that remains for the season
"Can we win an ACC championship? Yes. Can we get to a BCS bowl game? Yes. We are not out of it. I think you saw a lot of good teams get beat yesterday. But the thing we have to do is win one game. We have to prepare, get our minds alright, our bodies right and get on a roll."

On the players trusting each other and the coaches and some players comments after the game in the locker room
"We will definitely address that. We have got to trust each other. I don't know if we trust each other to do their job. The thing is after a difficult loss, people say things that aren't true. And you have to understand that."

On Kyle Wright's reaction to the loss
"I think he took it very hard. It was a game he really wanted to play well in and our team prepared hard and wanted to win the football game. We had opportunities in the first half that we didn't take advantage of."

On the mistakes that cost the game
"In a game like that you don't have a lot of margin for error. We knew Louisville had an outstanding offense we had to play well on offense ourselves, make first downs and score points when we had opportunities. We go into halftime and we think we should be ahead and we're behind and we really didn't rally mentally from that from missing the field goal late, even hitting the field goal would have been big for us."

On how the team changes the second half woes that have seen Miami score zero points in the second half of the last four losses
"We have to look at what are we doing. How do we respond in the second half? Trust me, as coaches we are not going into a shell. We are not sitting back and saying we hope we win this game. We are running an offense to attack, but we have to have that edge, that hunger to finish the game."

On the potential reaction of the Golden Canes and major donors to the program
"It's very disappointing for our players and staff. The Golden Canes are terrific fans and supporters and have done a lot and do a lot for this university. You want things to go well and for them to be pleased. Not for job security, but because they deserve that. It's very disappointing for them to be there and for us not to play as well as we can."

On the players potentially pushing the panic button with the 1-2 start

"I would hope not. We are three games into the season. The sky isn't really falling despite what you might read in some publications. It really isn't. It's up to us to really get tight and get it squared away and straightened out. If we do push the panic button, then we are in real trouble. We have to get our players back in that frame of mind to practice with energy and not panic."

On addressing everything players will read on websites and so forth following the loss
"We will talk about it and tell them not to worry about it. That's the thing that bothers the thing of the talk about me because it takes the focus off what we need to do. It's about us and the players. We've already addressed that. You are going to read things that you need to put behind you. Not as much about me, but about the entire team."

On Jon Peattie's kicking lack of confidence in converting field goals
"It's very frustrating. Jon is a very conscientious kicker. We do a lot of work in practice. We have to put more pressure on him in practice. The best thing about him is he self corrects, but we have to put more pressure on him in practice."

On what he thought of the offensive line's performance

"I thought all in all, the effort was good. We blocked well in the first half. We did see some looks that we had not seen from Louisville and it made a difference in how we attacked them."

On the running backs failure to block
"They know were to go and who to block, but they got beat. Sometimes, on a hot throw, then it will be more than they can block and then it's on the receiver. The play when we missed the field goal before the half, there were more than we could block, but the receiver didn't make the adjustment, but not as quick as he needed to."

On players quitting on him
"I am not really worried about that because they are part of the inner circle."

On if the players have a vote of confidence in him
"I haven't asked for one, but yeah I do."

On if the skills jobs are now up for grabs
"We are not going to start from scratch. Let's not go that far, but every job will be up for grabs. We are going to practice and get better."

On the jobs the coaches need to do for the players
"They want answers and it's our job to give them answers."

On whether or not the job has become too physically and mentally draining for him
"I am up for the task. I have a lot of energy and feel like I am in good health. It's part of the job. I am probably more excited today coming in today than after a big win. After a big win, there are not many issues. Where we are now, we have a ship to right. I got up early this morning and am ready to go. It's even more now than after a win."

On the quit in the team when they fall behind a score
"I am very concerned about that. We need to get the leadership of our team. We can pat backs and encourage, but they've got to play the game. Not to let themselves get down. That's the time to get up and be at your best when things aren't going so well."

On Darnell Jenkins' health
"I don't have an update. He'll be in today. The training room will be open and I'll get an update today."

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com


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