Listen to Audio (14:45)
"First of all, let's talk about injuries. Going back a little bit, Curtis Byrd's sprained knee – our sports medicine staff is going to have him basically in rehab mode trying to see how that knee is. I don't expect him to be available this week, but what we'll do is we'll take him through rehab and see how it goes and see if we can get him [back] at some point in time maybe later in the season.
"Matt Merletti is done for the year. A sprain of the MCL and ACL. We'll probably have to go in there to see what the damage is, but right now I would say that he's out for the year. Obviously, that's a big loss for loss. Matt's been such an integral part of this program and we're going to try to do everything we can to help Matt through all of this. But really a hard, hard blow for me personally having coached him and being close to him. We'll try to keep Matt around so he can coach some of the rest of our guys.
"Reggie Wilkins has a high-ankle sprain. I don't know about his availability this week…
"After watching the game, it's just what we said coming out of the game. You turn the ball over six times, you're not going to beat a good football team. You're just not going to beat a good football team. I thought in the first half we really hung in there defensively. There were maybe 17 of the 24 points, if we don't turn it over, we're going to be right in the middle of the game and maybe leading at halftime if we take care of the ball. So we've got to do a better job of that and that's obviously a focus and an emphasis.
"When you look at turnovers, you look at if there is one reason or another you turn the ball over. Erik Highsmith knocked the ball out of his own hands with his knee. It's guys giving effort. The quarterback trying to make a play. So it's the things that kids are doing to try to make plays. They're trying to give great effort and we've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.
"Again, after watching the tape, I thought, ‘We've got a pretty good football team if we don't turn it over. We've got a pretty good football team.' So obviously, with our kids, we talked about that yesterday. We'll continue to harp and stress and get the mindset of not turning it over."
On Gio Bernard:
"Gio is fine. Gio came out of the game feeling better yesterday than he felt all last week."
On the Committee on Infractions hearing on Friday:
"It's going to be a normal game week for me because I'm not involved… I'm not going."
Listen to Audio (6:19)
How do you handle the back-to-back losses?
"I think you just have to keep pushing. Things could be a lot worse. We looked at the film and yes, we did things that were not so good, but we did a lot of good things, too. So we're definitely going to keep moving forward."
On what it will take for the team to play up to its ability:
"I think just staying poised, staying in the moment, staying calm. We have four games left, so just finish out the season strong."
Listen to Audio (3:17)
On Matt Merletti and regrouping:
"He does everything right. I call him Mr. Perfect, so we just have to work hard and continue to improve."
What's the key to overcoming his absence on the field?
"We just have to prepare more. Someone has to step in, whoever they may be. Just get the job done."
Listen to Audio (3:07)
How do you regroup from two straight losses?
"Let's not go 0-3. We've got to finish out this season and just go to good bowl game. Go 9-3 – that's something we haven't been able to do for the past three years. We're just trying to turn it around."
So nine is the key number?
"We've got to get over that eight hump. We have to."