Coach Sylvester Croom Postgame Comments

"It's real disappointing, the way we performed today. I'll look at the film before I evaluate the players, more than anything else right now I'm evaluating myself. And that's what I'll continue to do, I have to look at what I'm doing because I know we're a better football team than that but we're not showing it on the field."

How hard was defending the triple-option: "They didn't do anything different, they didn't do anything we hadn't worked against. Absolutely nothing." What do you chalk that up to? "I'll look at the film and see what our guys were exactly supposed to do, but obviously I didn't get them to do what they're supposed to do. That's the bottom line."

Do you regret any decisions after 1st-and-9 (in the first quarter)? "With the ball on the one-foot line instead of the two-yard line I thought about taking the penalty and giving us two shots at it. Then I second-guessed myself: I said one-foot lien, with (Anthony) Dixon going over the top, we ain't never not made that. I just can't believe we lost yardage on it. Then we get the field goal blocked."

"But Dixon over the top for a foot? I'd be a lot on that. But we didn't get it done."

Did J. C. Brignone explain what happened on the fumbled snap? "He said he gripped the ball wrong. He doesn't do that, but he did it that time."

Injuries? "We have a lot of guys a little beat-up. Michael Gates, Keith Fitzhugh, Derek Pegues, and a lot of guys wounded right now. We'll see how serious it is but we won't know until tomorrow."

After Dixon's long run, was there time to get another back on the field? "Well, the problem is down there we were going to try to run the football in. And to be honest with you he's the only one strong enough to get it in down there. We've tried that other before, with him off-the-ball and ram it in there in that area of the field. I didn't feel it would be to our advantage."

"There's no question he was tired. I was listening for the play, and that's on me because I started to put Deuce (Robert Elliot) in there. Then when we called the play, I wasn't going to put him in there on that particular play."

How frustrating were the false-starts and lapses on first-and-goal in the second quarter? Were the guys focused? "I don't know I'm just going to be honest with you, because that's not us. I mean, we work on it. We're doing too many things to beat ourselves. The penalties, the false-starts, the blocked field goal. We've had one blocked field goal since we've been here, one, and that was a tip. It's things we work on all the time."

"Our kids work hard. Sometimes we don't play as smart as I'd like for us to play. But the only way I can answer it, guys, is it's me. It's gotta be. I don't have any other way to figure it out. And I've just got to look at everything I'm asking them to do."

You talk about evaluating yourself, what do you mean? "Practice. Everything. I mean everything. Everything."

Can you share any of what you told the team? "I don't talk about individual performances until I look at the film. Because I don't want my emotions to get involved in it, I want to be very accurate when I talk to them about performances. I told them I was disappointed. And the mistakes you mentioned early. I talked about the late hits, the out-of-bounds, things like that. It's just not the way I want our team to perform. Even in the midst of losing I want us to play with some class, and I didn't think we showed a lot of class at the end of the game. That was as disappointing as getting beat."

"But the big thing is right now I've always thought they've got some character, and it's important that they've got it; now show it. Accept responsibility for any actions, any mistakes coaches go over in the meetings. And as much as anything stay together. It's real important they come back out next week and work to get better. Because we've got another big game next week. This one's over, can't do anything about it except learn from the mistakes. And right now we keep making some of the same mistakes over and over again."

"We did a real good job I thought of not asking guys to certain things, I took some things out of the offense that I really liked and that we've done well (in the past) because we haven't executed them very well. And we had opportunities today early to get ourselves in the ball game, we didn't take advantage of it. Three 4th-and-1s? We don't miss fourth and ones, but we missed three today and we haven't done well in that situation all fall."

"But we have to get some stuff corrected. And again, it's disappointing, but we've got to keep battling and get things corrected."

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