Shannon recaps UCF game

Read on to see what head coach Randy Shannon was saying today about yesterday's game, as he breaks it all down -- everything from what went right, what went wrong, who stood out, who needs to step up, his thoughts on the 2-point play, and much more.

Opening Statement:

"Reviewing the film, we did some good things. I thought the defense played tremendous. They didn't give up any big plays. They chased the football, really played sound run defense, pass defense. The quarterback scrambled a couple of times, but then we corrected those things and played phenomenal on defense to win the game."

"Special teams was up and down. Sometimes we covered the kickoff great, and the last kickoff we didn't cover very well. That was guys taking for granted that the game was over with. Watching film guys didn't cover like they're supposed to. As far as our punt team, Bosher had a rough day. He didn't punt the ball very well. His kickoffs were fine, but his punts weren't. We just have to go back to basics, and it's hard for him because each week he corrects something and now something else comes up. In the game this week it was his drops. His drops weren't down like he was supposed to. For some reason his drops were off. Kickers are funny if the drops are not right they tend to punt the ball very differently than what he expected and what we needed him to do. I thought the punt block team did a tremendous job. They came up with a big play, turnover. We worked on it all week long. As far as returns they did a nice job trying to contain Travis Benjamin. As far as our kickoff return, we got the ball at the 38 and 40 all the time, which was tremendous field position for us."

"Offensively we struggled. We ran the ball pretty decent and didn't stick to the run game, but we were trying to get big plays. A couple of times we had a chance for big plays and Robert Marve overthrew Travis a couple of times that would have given us what we wanted and the big play factor. We have to keep working on it because we have playmakers on this team to get the big plays."

"Overall we got a win, and that's the only thing that matters. We came off two tough loses at home. This is a big win because it's a home game and it gets you back going on a winning track."

Q: What did you think of Robert Marve's performance?
A: He had three interceptions that were uncalled for. He shouldn't have thrown those balls, but he's young and we have to keep coaching him. Coach Nix is going to keep coaching him. He will start on Saturday.

Q: How do you think Jacory Harris played?
A: He did a nice job of just running the offense. He took a sack late in the game that was pretty smart. I said, `Why didn't you just throw the ball away?' He said, `Well, I was thinking about keeping the clock running. He was thinking as far as clock management, and he has a good head on his shoulders.

Q Why did Adewale Ojomo not play on Saturday?
A: No school, off the field stuff, none of that, just within the team. He'll play Saturday. I don't know if he'll start because Andrew and Marcus Robinson did a good job.

Q: Why didn't Khalil Jones play?
A: Sam and Khalil, what they did yesterday was phenomenal. Sam only played special teams, but he did a tremendous job on special teams for us. And Khalil, if you watched him on the sidelines cheering the team on, that showed that you have a lot of heart. My hat goes off to both those guys because they're veteran guys but they found another way to help the football team yesterday.

Q: It was another poor performance on third downs for the offense.
A: We're getting ourselves in bad situations on second downs and that's killing us on third downs. We'll get a second and six and convert it. When it's second and six and we get a sack, a hold, now it's third and 10, third and 12 and it's hard to convert. We have to concentrate on our second down offense to give us that chance to convert on third down. We have to evaluate those plays on second down and go from there.

Q: You talk about evaluating your second down offense. Will there be a major overhaul?
A: It's minor, nothing major. We're getting ourselves in third and 13, third and 14, third and 15, so we have to look at the season - we've been in second down and converted third down, what are we doing then? So you have to evaluate the whole season - third down and 10 plus, what was all our second own calls? Then you go third down and eight less, what was our second down call? So those are things you have to look at to see if you're changing what you're doing.

Q: Is there a predictability factor?
A: No, it's not predictability. It's just we have to evaluate. I just noticed it. You know how you evaluate everything you're doing? As I'm watching the tape we're in good position on second down, but then when the next play comes it's third-and-13. Now you have to say to yourself, `What are you doing on second down?' Early in the season we were pretty good. Now we have to go back and evaluate the first three games on third down and the last three games. Because the last two games on third down we have not been very good. We'll see what we were doing and then come up with an answer from there.

Q: You were taking away their quarterback running with Glenn Cook spotting him?
A: We did a lot of defensive line games. Guys were coming free but running right past the quarterback. They weren't expecting it. Sometimes we did spot Cook on him a couple of times. Him and Sean were a bracket on the quarterback.

Q: What did you think of Allen Bailey's performance?
A: Bailey came around and got a couple of sacks. He's just starting to get into the flow. He missed camp. This is about the second game of the season for him because the first part he was just getting in shape. He's still a little rusty as far as learning what we're doing. He missed a lot of time. Sometimes he plays hesitant, but when he's not he goes full speed.

Q: How much did missing fall camp slow him down?
A: You know how you miss something for a while? I can't say it's like riding a bike. He missed so much time in camp. He missed the first game, then the next three games were like camp for him to get him back going.

Q: And he's still basically learning a new position after moving from linebacker, right?
A: It's still a new position for him no matter how you call it. And sometimes on third down we put him inside at defensive tackle. Sometimes he's at end and on third down at defensive tackle. So he's kind of learning two things to get accustomed to.

Q: How important has Spencer Adkins been as a rush end on third down?
A: We try to find something for everybody to do to help this team. That's his niche for this team right now. He played a little at linebacker. We have to get something out of him. He's a fast kid, strong kid, so we have to do something with him. That's his niche for right now of helping us out on third down. If he can get us some sacks we're happy. If he can get pressure on the quarterback we're happy.

Q: How has the season been for the veterans?
A: They're still hanging and going out with each other, communicating with each other all the time. It's different. We have our veterans. Our offensive line is a veteran group predominantly. The defensive line, Dwayne Hendricks and Dixon - everyone else is young. Linebackers is a veteran group. Secondary is semi-veteran, 50/50.

Q: Anthony Reddick is stepping up as a leader?
A: He's starting to come into his own. Yesterday he played sound defense, did his job and didn't try to create any plays, make any big plays. He played well. That's a tremendous factor of him understanding you don't have to be the guy to make the plays. You just have to be sound and plays will come to you. We had opportunities yesterday to get two to three interceptions that we dropped. Joe Nicolas had one, Brandon had one that hit him right in the hands. That shows the secondary is playing more aggressive. Also they tackled well. Brandon came up and had a nice play on a quick out to a receiver which he missed a week before for a one or two yard gain. It shows improvement.

Q: Is Shields' role now only on special teams?
A: No. We're never going to give up on any of these guys. We're not giving up on anybody. We're going to keep coaching them. Injuries do happen. Guys get nicked. And Sam takes all the reps in practice like he's a starter. That doesn't change. And he knows it.

Q: Why do there seem to be so many changes on the depth chart and rotations throughout the year?
A: I've got patience. You give guys chances and opportunities like anything in life. I try to make these guys understand about life opportunities. You look at Van Dyke. Last year he was a starter, then he tailed off. This year he was off and on, off and on. No matter what you see, Van Dyke still plays even though he's not where we want him to be, but he's still coming back and coming around. We have to make sure as coaches, `No, I don't have patience for veteran guys still making the same mistakes.' We say `We'll back you off, will give you another role, but we're going to coach you still and when we call your number again have you ready to go.'

Q: Talk about Sam's penalty on the punt return by UCF.
A: He hit him too early. The refs did a good job. It was being too aggressive. That guy wasn't fair catching the ball at all. That was his demeanor.

Q: Was that an impact on the fumble later on by Joe Burnett?
A: It was. Because Sam on another play went down and tackled him almost the same way, and I think Burnett was expecting that that time. He kind of glanced for the hit before trying to catch the ball.

Q: Shields showed so much promise as a receiver early in his career. What happened?
A: Don't know. It happens. It's like all of us. Me being in the NFL, there's no science on draft picks. You're going to get lucky on a draft pick. You can draft a quarterback that everybody thinks is the best quarterback in the world. But he may not play, and then four years later you're cutting him. In high school it's the same. We think Sam has tremendous upside, big talent, and we still feel that way. But it's what you do on the field, productivity. That's how we judge. You look at us right now. We know Sam should be productive. But he's not right now. Does that mean we did a bad job evaluating, that Sam is a bad football player? No. He just hasn't come around yet. And that's how you have to look at it all the time. Guys just haven't come around the way you wanted to.

Q: Has Shields' confidence wavered at all because of the talented freshmen receivers?
A: No, because he was starting early this season. The only thing you want is productivity, and his productivity is not doing well right now. We have to coach him and get him to be productive. The guys that are productive you just have to go with.

Q: Can the fumble recovery get Shields going now?
A: It can get him going mentally. When we go out Tuesday Sam will be with the twos getting the reps. He just has to stay focused, that's all.

Q: The two point conversion you went for, you don't get it it's an 11-point game. Why did you go for two?
A: It was an 11-point game. We go for two, they had to score two touchdowns. On the card it says if you're down by this you go for two. It may be the first quarter, two minutes left to go, are you going to go by that card and go for two at that point in time? That card, that's what it says. Football is all about what somebody wrote down thousands of years ago, and you go off it.

Q: So you went off the card?
A: No, we just added up the points. That's what we did, said, `Okay, this is what we need to get done.' We wanted to make it a touchdown game.

Q: Did Travis Benjamin play more snaps than the other receivers?
A: All of them played. They all played the same amount of reps.

Q: Why did Ryan Hill see a lot more time at safety versus UCF?
A: He played a lot more safety. Ryan is coming along now. He's doing a great job. His speed is tremendous for us, and he's doing a good job for us right now. It's helping out in the secondary. We play Ponder just on third down situations. We're trying to find a role so that everybody doesn't screw up. That has helped out as far as giving up the big plays. You have Ponder on third downs, and that's all he's concentrating on so he can organize the secondary. You see Hill in a little more. It helped us out a lot this week.

Q: How was the run defense able to perform much better against UCF than they did versus Florida State ?
A: A whole lot better. Those guys did a good job on defense of stopping the run.

Q: Duke has normally been an ACC doormat, but they are playing well this year. What are your thoughts on that game?
A: We won't take anybody lightly.

Q: How was UCF able to stop your passing offense?
A: Central Florida did a nice job of taking away the slot, the wide side of the field. And Robert kept getting greedy. He'd never seen that coverage before, but you can't be greedy. Jacory came in and went backside and you got your plays in. That's why it helps a lot when you have a guy like Jacory who sits on the sideline and sees it, now he just goes in and connects. He didn't do anything crazy trying to force balls. He took the ball and ran it and moved on.

Q: What has been the problem with Robert lately?
A: He knows what he's doing wrong. They threw some things different at him, but that's part of being a quarterback. You have to accept what they're giving you. He doesn't have to be the guy to make the plays. You have playmakers around you. It seems like he's trying to be the guy. F he does what he has been doing all year long and let guys make plays it will be fine. If it's third-and-10, if everyone is covered throw for five yards and see if Cooper or the tight end can make someone miss. You can get a first down that way. If not you punt the football and move on. He's going to adapt.

Q: Are teams running different schemes than you expect week to week?
A: It's going to change every week. You just have to recognize it.


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