Shannon: We Gotta Get Better

Read on to see what Randy Shannon is saying about last week's halftime adjustments, the special teams unit, the field conditions, and more...

On special teams:
Missed field goals have been a problem lately. We've changed our kick off team around and we are doing a good job, but all of a sudden we got one side doing a good job and the other side doing a bad job. So, we have to reevaluate what we have to do to get better.

We put six starters and some other players on there, but the players we need, we don't have right now. We don't have all of the linebackers, we are missing a bunch of linebackers that are guys that are fill those positions. We are missing the fullbacks on this team, those are guys are used a lot on special teams.

Right now we are playing with two and a half tight ends, because each week they have an injury. One week it is Zellner, one week it is Epps, when you are missing your tight ends, your fullbacks and your linebackers, special teams ain't going to be the way it should be. But like we always say, you can't trade'em, you can't cut'em, you can't go off the waiver wire, you have to coach the guys you got and get it done.

On Francesco Zampogna:
No (he there isn't a change at kicker). We are going to put a lot of pressure on him though. He won't just sit back there and say ‘well, I missed a field goal.' That is two weeks in a row.

On the current play of the linebackers:
Defensive linemen are the big guys they will make mistakes when they get tired you can't tell them – you can't give them too much information.

Linebackers are the guys who have to cover up everything if defensive lineman make make mistakes in technique. The linebackers job is to cover up mistakes, because they are athletes, they should be able to do that. We aren't getting that from our linebackers right now.

The play isn't consistent. One week is great, the next week is average. There is too much back and fourth. Bu our limited number of guys right now at linebacker it is starting to take a toll on us right now. I am not a guy make excuses, we just need to find guys that will get it done.

For years we've played with four linebackers the entire season, we just need to find someone to do.

On the teams road struggles:
I don't focus on last year, I only focus on this year. It is the trust factor. We played Oklahoma and it seems like it was always one person that prevented us from making scores. You come back to this game – and there is no way the first half and the second half that you run the same exact plays…I think it is the player's mental aspect that they don't understand home or away it is the same. If you believe it is the same way your executing will be the same way. If you go on the road, and you get in this lull – and it isn't the whole team, only some of the team – get's in this lull, and that is when it gets you. We have to find a way to get them out of it.

On the fourth quarter of the UNC game:
We had a chance to make a play.

The two biggest plays we had were:
- We had field position and we just scored, we were down by seven, and Bruce Johnson missed a tackle and came into the middle, and we stopped them for a field goal. You make that tackle and its 2nd down an 8, if Kenny makes that tackle, its 2nd down and 6.

We were doing good on defense so we probably would have stopped them we got the ball back in field position and time would have ran off on the clock. That is the biggest thing. UNC took 4-5 minutes off the clock. The one big run, we stopped them and they made the field goal.

If we stop them like we are supposed to stop them with tackling, you never know what can happen.

- Then, when we're going into the end zone when Kyle threw the interception. Those were the two biggest in preventing the comeback.

On second half kinks:
Yup, just two in the second half and they were big in the second half.

On the offensive line:
First half or the second half? First half bad, second half great. That is how the whole team was, it was everyone.

On the half time adjustments:
We went into the locker room, and I told them we aren't going to change what we are doing today, we were beating ourselves.

We started off and the first play of the game, we called a hitch and the ball went straight into the mud. That is us.

Second play, we call a run and it should have hit but the guard comes around and falls down. It was a big hole. It should have gone for 15-20 yards. The guard falls down, that is on us.

Third down, Darnell comes around and falls down, that is on us.

That is how it started off. The same thing on defense. With a couple of plays, we should have stopped them, but we didn't, it was on us.

In the second half, we run the same exact plays. In the first half we threw a deep ball to Sam, and we missed it. We come back in the second half with the same exact throw and it worked. The same running plays and we started gashing them.

We needed to start taking it one play at a time and not in bundles and they did, one play, one play, touchdown, one play, one play, they weren't trying to get it all at once.

That did show some character. I will say, they did show some character by the way by playing the way they did. But still, we should have played better.

On the field conditions:
The fields were mighty wet. During the warm ups we couldn't get a real feel, you are only allowed to be on certain parts of the field then, but, we eventually got on track against them.


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