"We Just Didn't Make One More Play"

COACH SYLVESTER CROOM: "It's a disappointing loss for us. I thought our kids played extremely hard, our defense played extremely well for sixty minutes. They had one bad play right at the end where the back breaks out, but they fought hard all night."

"We had chances to make plays all night on offense, we had a couple of one-on-one situation and bottom line we just didn't make a play. We had some guys open and we didn't make a throw, or we make a throw and didn't make a catch. They're very tough, their defensive front is tough, we knew they were going to be tough. We were in some spread formations early trying to see if we could pop something in there, after that we decided we'd just go right at them and go on quick count, see if they were getting tired, go on first down and get some things in there.

"But we just couldn't make the big plays, couldn't get enough consistent moving. We had a couple of key passes open early and just flat missed them. It was inconsistent performance throughout the night on offense. Then we had a field goal attempt and bobble the snap; we hit that and we have a chance to win the game."

"I'm sure you're wondering why (Anthony) Dixon didn't play, he was hurt going into this game and just couldn't go. He hurt his groin in Thursday's practice and we thought he'd be OK, the swelling went down and he thought he could go. But he just wasn't good enough to go. And that was definitely a loss.

"We had a missed assignment on the 4th-and-1 (fourth quarter) and they set up perfectly for us, and we had a missed assignment. That was a big play. We went into the game any time it was 4th-and-1 and reasonable field position, especially across their line, I'd told the team we were going for it."

"I'm sure everybody's wondering why I went for it on 4th-and-15. Because I didn't know if we would have a chance to get the ball back. From that field position if we punt a strong chance the ball goes into the end zone and to me it's not that big of a gain. To me, I figured at that point in the game it was over three minutes left, I was very concerned we might not have a chance to get the ball back. Even if we didn't get it I felt our defense could hold them. So we took a shot, we had a guy open, and our two guys ran into each other. The quarterback had to scramble and we still had a chance to make it."

"Bottom line, I'm pleased with our effort. We played for the full sixty minutes, we just didn't make one more play. I told them walk out of there with their heads held high. Again, just like (Derek) Pegues told them, 24 hours, let this one go, and get ready for Georgia Tech."

"You couldn't ask any more out of the defense, you couldn't. They kept them in the hole, they got turnovers, they did everything. They scored the two points! They just played outstanding football. The worst thing that happened, we had a couple of missed techniques; we were supposed to be playing inside technique on those post patterns and the guys didn't line up inside. If we'd done that I don't know if (Auburn) would have got anything. But they gave up the three posts, and it was the same call every time, we just never got the corners lined-up inside like it was supposed to have been."

Did you have a good look at the interception? "I think it was a combination. I thought the ball was slightly under-thrown, and I thought B-Mac (Brandon McRae) should have gone up and got the ball. He's taller than that defender and last week in the end zone he did a great job on the fade-route, he went up and took the ball. If he goes up and gets the ball at worst it's going to be an incomplete pass.

"The idea was we wanted to take a shot right there, and were going to come back and go to our two-minute offense. We had just what we wanted; they had been jumping those stop-routes in front our bench all night. We did a stutter-and-go and we had him. I thought that was going to be an easy completion, we just didn't make the play."

How do you correct the inconsistencies on offense? "You keep working. You keep working. You keep getting guys better each and every day. This idea of blame, I don't blame anybody. I know our coaches are coaching hard, the kids are working hard. The thing about offense, if one guy makes a mistake you've got a problem. We had a critical error and a missed assignment in a situation by one of our players who works as hard as anybody in practice and gives it everything he's got every day. I'm not going to cut his head off because he made a mistake. We missed some passes, Wes had a couple of throws we had guys open.

"I liked our effort but we didn't make the plays when we needed to make them on offense. Their defense is a very good team, but we had some chances to do some things and we didn't. And having Marcus Green out, having Dixon out, that's two weapons we didn't have. Right there at the end again we had critical errors at critical times that didn't allow drives to continue."

Are you worried about Dixon's health? "Not really, it'll heal. It's just is he going to be ready for next week, I don't know."

Was Carroll never able to get into a rhythm, or confused? "I don' think they confused him. He just missed some throws. He missed some throws."

Was the wind a factor? "It definitely changed where we were going to kick field goals from. And my decision to go for some things; anything outside the 25-yard line we were going for. And the 4th-and-15, it had an effect on that as well. We had to get the ball to the 25-yard line to have any chance of kicking a field goal."

Do any of the missed opportunities stand out? "The one that sticks in my craw is the 4th-and-1 (fourth quarter). We practice that every day. Every day in practice, 4th-and-1 to win the game. And that was a game-winner or a game-loser. The two plays that really stand out, the 4th-and-1 there and the stutter-go play. Those were opportunities I felt we definitely should have made."

Talk about McAdams' kicking: "Blake did a great job. Especially into that wind, it was a tough wind. I thought he actually had some of his better kicks into the wind, I was very pleased with that."

It looked like you were prepared for the no-huddle: "Our guys are in good shape, we're not worried about that. The way we do our defense is for no-huddle every day; we don't huddle on defense. Everybody gets the signal from the sideline, so we don't worry about having guys huddle up. We're always in a no-huddle mode on defense."


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