I guess as far as an opening statement and those kind of things is that we got back Saturday night, came in Sunday and watched the film and did some teaching and practiced for a short game, and maybe we took care of some mistakes that were necessary to get taken care of.
And we put the game on Sunday after Sunday night we put it behind us and we moved on, and you know, we'll get a practice today. It'll be interesting with the first day of practice and school, and I told our coaches that we need to approach this week like we're playing the Super Bowl. That's the way I feel about it. We need to get the bad taste out of our mouth, and we need to get a lot better, because we have a lot of work to do and a lot of room for improvement. So that's where we left it, so at this time I'll take any questions that you'd like to ask.
On what he learned from the USC game:
Well, I think the biggest thing we accomplished is that we kind of know where we're at playing USC because they've got a very talented group of young people, and you know, I think we found out some things about our kids playing in that situation, playing against some very good people, and we found out about some personnel issues. I think we found out that we're not as disciplined as we need to be. I think we found out the head coach has gotta make sure that he gets his football team ready to play in the first half, and I thought we were starry eyed, lethargic, whatever you want to say. We weren't very sharp or crisp.
But the positive thing is from the first quarter to the second quarter to the third quarter, the fourth quarter we got better as we played. And I said we gotta get better every day, and I think we got better every quarter.
On if there is a current quarterback controversy:
No. I don't think so. We're not going to change anything we've done. I mean it's a situation where, you know, MarQueis went out and Max came in and did well, and I think that's a great thing for us because we'd like to be aggressive with our quarterback and what we do, and now we know that we've got two kids that are capable of playing, so that's a good situation to be in, and I'm not worried about that near as much as I'm worried about some other things. So we've gotta do a better job blocking. We gotta do a better job of getting in and out of the huddle. Having penalties and all that kind of stuff I don't like, so those are things we need to get locked down. And that's one game. So we'll see how we approach the next game just like we did this one and hopefully we'll play better and improve from the first game.
On how MarQueis Gray handled his first start at quarterback:
Well, I think he'd be the first one to tell you that he hadn't played quarterback in four years and he went out there and I think he's just like anybody, whether it's me or you, and you get up underneath the center and you're playing USC and you see zone dogs, man dogs, twists, stunts, eight man box, nine man box, zone blitz. You see it all. I think he was processing quite a bit early.
And then again, as the game went on, things slowed down for him a little bit and he started to do some things in the third quarter and then he cramped up.
And we may have done too much with him as a coaching staff. That's something we have to look at, and I think on both, I think the coaches, MarQueis, Max, we all gotta come together to keep working to see where we go from here. But I think both those kids had some great moments and both of them had some tough moments and they'll both tell you that from watching the film, but we just gotta get better.
They will. They both work their tail end off and our coaches got a lot of pride, so we'll work hard and get better.
On his excitement for his first home game at TCF Bank Stadium:
Well, I'm excited about today. I'm excited about going out there and getting the bad taste out of my mouth and see if we can get better. I'm excited about being here at home. The biggest things I'll tell you is our fans were awesome out at USC. We're in the fourth quarter and having a chance to win and our crowd in the corner was as loud as their crowd. We had a great following, and it's going to be great to be here at home, and our players we need to see if we're going to improve. There's nothing worse than inconsistency in life, and I'm going to see if we're mature enough or whatever and we're going to improve or we're going to have a setback or what our mentality is.
I always say 75, 80 percent maybe 90 percent of life is above your shoulders and we'll see where our head is today. I'm looking forward to it. I know that. And shoot, I wish we could go out and play on Thursday, but we can't and we won't be ready to because we got too much to fix.
Quotes courtesy of U of M Communications