Postgame Full Transcript: Coach Rod

Coach Rod on what happened, the things they tried ... and on injuries.

Question: Defensively, you guys made changes that it seemed earlier on didn't have the results that you wanted?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah it didn't. Until we watch the film and see what happened, I know they executed well, you got to give them credit. It didn't seem like we did a real good job of getting off some blocks and we missed some tackles. They cut back a little and I'll have to check our backside pursuit, but it is unfortunate because didn't execute offensively either in the first half, but I thought there were enough plays offensively that we could have got a few spots here and there and got a little momentum. That's what you got to do when you play in this kind of environment to get the crowd out of it, you get some momentum going offensively but the way they kept moving the ball offensively, they kept their crowd in it the whole game."

Question: What happened to Mike Martin, the ankle?

Coach Rodriguez: "It was a different ankle. That's a blow because no question. Mike makes a difference when he's in there, but the next guy in has got to step up and make it happen."

Question: At one point, it looked like you gathered the defense on the field with you and had some words with them; what did you talk about?

Coach Rodriguez: "We were at the point where we had a little momentum going in the game, needed a key stop and needed a key stop and was talking to the guys a little bit. We've got a few upperclassman that are really trying as hard as they can defensively and some times are youth gets picked on somewhat, but our young guys got to grow up in a hurry. You try to accelerate the maturation process. You look out there and there are five or six first time starters and three or four true freshman out there. At some point, we got to grow up and be aggressive and roll with it."

Question: Offensively, it looked like the hurry up offense, went no-huddle, that seemed to work for you guys.

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah. I was disappointed in our execution. I thought our guys were ready for that and at times we did it and other times we missed a few things out there. Again, I got to watch the film. From my vantage, it is hard to say where some of the breakdowns went but there are some that were there that we missed, particularly the first half. Our guys know that and we'll try to fix that this week."

Question: On defense, it is the same sorts of things that have been kind of going wrong the last few weeks…?

Coach Rodriguez: "The frustrating part is that it's not just one person. It is usually a different thing. The inconsistency I think is a little bit frustrating for everybody including our guys and our defense. Sometimes you get a little bit more of that inconsistency with youth, but we just got to play better. They didn't quit though. I challenged them at halftime. I said I look closely see what you all do in the second half and they kept playing hard in all three phases. Again, you're in a tough environment against a pretty good football team, you got to make some plays and we've got to put him position to make some plays. It seems like forever since we've gotten a turnover or a fumble on kicking game or on defense. We've got to somehow try to get a few of those plays to spark us somewhat."

Question: The decision to go with Will Hagerup on kickoffs is that something that evolved.

Coach Rodriguez: "Seth Broekhuizen has struggled with that a little bit and Will, we practiced him quite a bit this week on kickoffs and he was doing pretty good and I thought he kicked pretty well today."

Question: Any other injuries? Obviously, Mike is a big one, anyone else you can think of have an injury?

Coach Rodriguez: "Perry Dorrestein didn't play with a knee sprain. So he didn't play at all. I don't know I'll have to check and see. Of course, Denard (Robinson) got banged up, but he felt good after he got going, loose a little bit there."

Question: Jibreel Black?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah I think he went back in. I don't know if it was a knee or what it was, but he got back in later."

Question: JT Floyd also?

Coach Rodriguez: "His was a stinger, so he was back in the next play."

Question: Talk about your struggles on third down, a lot of third of longs that were converted?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah that is the most frustrating part. Usually third and long you can limit, they are going to be a little limited on what they do, but the most frustrating thing probably for everybody is third and long and you know they are going to run it, you got to kill the clock and they still get a first down. Those are frustrating to everybody. I'm sure it is frustrating to all of our fans and to our guys too. I don't know. If don't know if we're getting overpowered or just not getting off blocks or what the case is. We've got to play better certainly, in all three phases. Those third down, I didn't think we were real good in third down offense today either. We work on them an awful lot, we just got to get better at it."

Question: Did you consider kicking an onside when you had it at the 45 after the personal foul penalty?

Coach Rodriguez: "No. There was plenty of time and we had a couple of time outs left. Again, you let them start by midfield, again I couldn't see what happened there and it took me a while to get the number of the guy. I guess it was unnecessary roughness or whatever was called."

Question: Jeremy Gallon, a bright spot on kickoffs?

Coach Rodriguez: "Yeah except the one. He was losing his balance there and all that, but he's a talented guy and I thought he did a pretty good job. I don't think we've blocked for him particularly well. It looked like he had to make a few people miss. Our return game has been disappointing at times. We'll keep working hard at to get better."

Question: How much of this on defense is youth?

Coach Rodriguez: "Some people said, he's just making an excuse. I think there is more of a difference, I'm more of a realist, it is reality. There is a true freshman, another true freshman and a redshirt freshman that is playing, it is different. I think Ray Vinopal, he had his first start as a true freshman and I thought he did okay, but there probably was some mistakes made too. I can't scream and berate these guys when they are doing the best they can when six months ago they were in high school. We got to do all we can to grow them up in a hurry. We know where we're at right now and we got to try and do what we can defensively so they can play at a higher level."

Question: (James) Rogers, was that a performance issue or an injury?

Coach Rodriguez: "We just tried Terrence (Talbott), he had been playing a little bit better. I don't know exactly when they went in and out. The secondary, we're making a lot of quarterbacks look pretty good. We've got to do what we can as coaches to try to get these guys in position to make more plays."

Question: How do you think Denard looked?

Coach Rodriguez: "I think he competed pretty well. I don't think he was his sharpest in some of the pass games. There are a few of the throws that he wanted to have back. His shoulder, it is not 100%. It is capable to do what we wanted to do for the most part. He competed very hard. He does. He's a great competitor and I thought he competed all the way to the last minute."

Question: The injury that knocked him out briefly?

Coach Rodriguez: "He landed on his hip on the sideline and he just had to get it loose again."

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