Well, first of all, we're going on the road obviously for our first road game. It's a conference game. It's against an opponent that is very well-coached and has some outstanding players. We're going to have our hands full. Any questions?
I was wondering if you could kind of tell me what's going wrong from your perspective right now. You've struggled a little bit the last couple of weeks.
Well, we got a lot of things going right. Obviously we've lost two games in a row here. We have a young, inexperienced squad. We're working our way through that.
That's basically it in a nutshell.
Can you talk about your quarterback situation, what you're looking at this week and how difficult that has been to negotiate this year.
Well, from day one, from when I got the job, it's been a very difficult situation to negotiate, as you put it. We started out this year with Dave and Mike. We have Chase Rettig. We have another freshman on our roster. We made a switch last week. We went with Chase. He got injured, so we're back to square one over here where we're at with that.
It's challenging. Once again, we'll work our way through it.
I wanted to ask about your running game. Obviously we know Montel Harris has been a quality back. It seems to be really tough going this year. Can you talk about that? Where is the problem? Is it because the passing game has been shaky, teams have been packing it in?
Well, you know, there's a lot of reasons. Some of them have been we've had guys in and out. We've had injuries. We've had to shuffle guys around on the offensive line. The continuity hasn't been exactly the way we would have liked it. Then there's other issues. Obviously, people are very concerned about Montel, but they were concerned about him in the past, too.
But a combination of that stuff and inexperience, some decision-making in some other areas has led to this situation we got right now.
It's been several years since Coach O'Brien was up there. Is it that enough people have come and gone that kind of the emotional aspect of playing against a former BC coach has faded away, or is that still something that looms over this game?
Never was for me. That's the only one I can speak to. I never like to play against close friends.
How do you get out to California and get a true freshman as interesting and compelling as Rettig appears to be?
Once again, it goes back to our original problem when I got the job, the inherent problems that we had. We were in an extremist situation. We had to take measures to see if we could upgrade where we were at. We went in a little bit different direction than we usually would do. One of our coaches knew some people, blah, blah, blah. That's how we wound up out there in California.
Coach, could you talk a little bit about the defense and how that's going for you? It seems like those guys are playing fairly well, keeping you in games right now.
We got a four-game sampling. We certainly have a mixture of different opponents. The defense, they have their issues. It's more we've got a familiarity over there, we have some continuity, so we've been able to hold that together a little bit.
Last week we had some issues. We've had some people in and out over there, too. There are problems on the horizon.
On starting quarterback for NC State game:
"We're right back to square one with Mikey (Marscovetra) and Dave (Shinskie), and we'll keep our other options open. The fact that Dave has won games of course is a positive for Dave. We'll have to evaluate Mikey's performance (Saturday) night and see what kind of progress was made there in our opinions."
On offensive line:
"The problems there are inherent problems and until we get more options, our options are to work out way through the problems. That's been from day one when I took over the job. The offensive line is not as bad as everyone wants to make it out to be. When you look at it, at first blush everybody goes, ‘Well you have four returning guys.' Well, we took one of our guards and made him a center so that's a new position. And we made a guard another guard, so it's not quite as coherent as we would like. Our options are the people that are on the team. That's what our options are."
"Those were totally inexcusable. Having said that, there were 15 and three were declined. A couple of them were very questionable. But there were entirely too many. There are a lot of reasons for penalties which we don't have enough time to get into."
On what he thought some of the problems were in Saturday's game:
"The margin of error on this whole football team is very, very small, as a lot of coaches say about their teams. We know exactly what our problems are. We need to play fast and the faster we play, that will at least give us a chance and we may have put some mud in the gears there. A lot of times guys are coaching and you look at guys and say, ‘I can do this or I can do that,' and maybe the mental aspect of it didn't quite fall in and then they don't get it done. We did help them there and that's what we can do."
On saying he thought the team was "thinking too much:"
"All ways have execution problems because it's the physical nature of each player. Some of that will come. Maybe we over-coached a set or something and gave them too much to think about when they should have just been playing. It isn't just one thing, it's the combination of abilities and asking them to do certain things. It's not what you know; it's what your players know."
On correlation between defensive line issues and recent suspensions:
"Absolutely. I'm always reluctant to harp on this because it's certainly not an excuse, it's things we have to work through. But we have had the injury problems over there. First of all, we had to replace guys to start out with. Then we had the injury problems. Then we've had a guy in, a guy out. You cannot have continuity with one guy not being here for a week, being here for a week, missing one day, not practicing another day, and that's all part of the problems we have to work through and organizing how to play guys fast."