Tulsa Postgame Press Conference

"The game didn't need to go to overtime. We had every chance to win the game. We just didn't get it done. I think you have to give Tulsa some credit. They played hard."

PJ:  It was a tough football game.  It was a tough game for anybody to lose. It was kind of a screwy game in that there weren't very many possessions in the game.  I think both teams had the ball about four times each in both halves so it became a big deal to execute.  We got ourselves stopped several times with some questionable penalties and when you do that in a game like that it's hard to overcome.  The game didn't need to go to overtime.  We had every chance to win the game.  We just didn't get it done.  I think you have to give Tulsa some credit.  They played hard.  We will go back and see if we can't correct the errors.  We will come back next week and go again.

Wagner:  The call on Reggie Campbell for going in motion.  What's the ruling on that?

Johnson:  I don't know.  They called us for going in motion when he went in tail motion. We do it on every play.  He said it was a sudden start.  It was third and four from the 19. I guess they needed a stop.  I don't know.

Lambrecht:  How about what appeared to be a clock violation before their field goal?

Johnson:  It didn't appear to be it WAS a play clock violation.  Clearly the 25-second clock ran out, but that's non-reviewable.

Snyder:  What was their explanation?

Johnson:  They didn't have an explanation.  I don't think any of them were watching.

Masisak:  The slot backs had some good gains when they got the ball, but it looked like they really concentrated on taking that away.

Johnson: They were going to let the quarterback and fullback carry the ball, which is fine.  It's no big deal.  When we executed, or we didn't have penalties, we moved the ball.  I haven't seen the stats yet but we must have rushed for over 250 yards.  If the defense chooses to play that way it's okay with us.  There were some times where we might have been able to pitch the ball, but if they take the slots away it's not a big deal.  We should have had more success in other areas.  We should have had more yards in the passing game and the fullback option should have been wide open, but we could never get anybody cut to the ground.

Wagner:  Another big play was on your last possession you were moving the ball and you got a holding penalty.

Johnson:  Yeah, they called holding on a screen play and it was on third down again. I don't know.  It's hard to say.  We will have to look at the film.  It's holding, doesn't matter what the film says, if they call it then it's holding. 

Masisak:  You kept going back to the option play with Ballard even though it didn't seem to be working.

Johnson:  Yeah, because it should have been a great play.  All we have to do is pull and cut the guy.  They are playing man-to-man so they have nobody on the pitch. We have to execute.

WNAV: It was unchartered territory going into overtime, how did the team feel? 

Johnson:  I think we were OK.  We practice overtime a lot.  We haven't done it lately, but normally one day a week we practice on that situation.  I think the team was fine.  We knew what was going on.  We scored in one play. You have to kick the extra point.  You have to protect and kick it through. In major college football that should be pretty elementary you would think.

WNAV:  Was he too slow on the extra point?

Johnson:  I don't know until I see the film.  I would hate to say until I saw it on film.  If they had called roughing the kicker and moved the ball to the one and a half I would have gone for two.  We were either going to win or lose the game right there.

Wise:  Where does this rank among your toughest losses?

Johnson:  They are all tough.  I don't know.  All the losses are tough.

Ho:  Could you talk about the short passes that Tulsa kept hitting you with?

Johnson:  They killed us with it.  They killed us with the slip screen. They hit it three times.  They hit it for a touchdown, for 60 yards and for about 40 yards.  It was the same play.  You have to get a guy out there underneath.

Masisak:  How frustrating is it when you get a guy down the middle of the field with separation?

Johnson:  What? When they don't cover guys and you can't throw it to them? It's pretty frustrating.

Wagner:  You were talking about up front and not getting guys cut, do you think their defensive line just flat out whipped the offensive line?

Johnson:  I don't know.  You can't say that until you look at the tape, but I'm telling you on the counter option to the fullback we never got the guy cut.

Wise:  Do you think that the mistakes just finally caught up with you?  It seemed like in the ECU game and UMass game you were able to survive them, but not today.

Johnson:  The thing that cost us the game today was penalties.  When you get in a game like that where there are no possessions, I mean if you think about that game, other than right at the end of the half, both teams got the ball four times in a half and when you do that and you get penalties and you back yourself up it hurts.  Both teams had the ball four times in the second half (not counting overtime) and both teams scored twice. You cannot make mistakes when you get in a game like that.  That's probably the way we need to play to win, minimum possessions, but we have to execute better.

Snyder:  Can you talk about the defense early in the game?

Johnson:  They made a big play down on the goal line.  They took the kick-off, every team that wins the toss takes the ball against us, and they went right down the field. I mean they were on our six-yard line and there was no time gone from the game.  We made a nice play on the goal line. Once they got down there we got them stopped several times, but I don't know how many times they started inside their 15-yard line.  A bunch.  They started backed up all day. They never really had good field position.

Ho:  Why did Brian pass it on the first play of overtime?  Did he do that himself?

Johnson:  No, it was a play call.  It was a pass.

Ho:  Why did you call that play?

Johnson:  Because I thought they would be wide open.

Lambrecht:  Did you think that thing would ever come down?

Johnson:  I thought he threw it out of the back of the end zone.

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