“We got a chance to really evaluate the film, and break down every aspect of it down, find our mistakes, find the things we did good and really do a great job of evaluating a lot of kids because we played 67 kids in the game. We got all of the corrections made yesterday at practice, put the game to bed, and then started moving on to San Diego State, so the second half of practice we started moving on to San Diego State, and that’s what we’re doing today is game planning.”
After breaking it down, what did you like about Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky?
“When you really broke them both down, they both played very similar. You take away the three picks that we have, probably two of those picks should’ve been touchdowns; we underthrew them and gave an opportunity to make a pick. And the one on the screen down by our 12-yard-line, we don’t want those to happen obviously, but they did. But you take those three things out of it, they both did a really good of their decision-making throughout the game and the things we asked them to do, as far as where they go with the ball, and whether they are handing the ball off or whether they are throwing it with the different schemes that we use. So I thought they managed the game pretty well, I really did. Marquise will be our starting quarterback and we’ll use Mitch as we need to throughout a game.”
How much of what didn’t go well is correctable?
“You hope all of it is, and I think all of it is. Just about every mistake we made in that game is correctable. I think we had nine first-time starters and 14 freshmen that played in that game. But nine guys that started a game that had never started a game before and 14 fourteen freshmen that played throughout that game. I would say with the mistakes that we made, they are definitely correctable. I think it was a lot of inexperience mistakes. Just like we talked about, every opportunity we can give those guys, they are going to learn from those mistakes and hopefully they won’t make them again.”
Are you going to continue to split the reps between Marquise and Mitch?
“No. We didn’t go into the game with our thought process that we were going to split reps. We had finally made our decision that Mitch was going to come in on the third series of the game for sure, we wanted him to know for sure so he could prepare himself that way. But, then throughout the game it was a feel thing, and when the game kind of got out of hand, we got him some more reps.”
In the third year of your system, have things really improved, starting in camp?
“That’s very accurate, that’s kind of the way camp has been. We’ve put a tremendous amount of emphasis on creating takeaways this year with our guys. Not that we haven’t in the past, but this year, it’s something we’ve spent a lot of time on, and talked quite a bit about, and worked daily on in practice. I thought it paid off for our guys. I really don’t remember us creating that many balls on the ground on the entire season last year, from what we accomplished in that one half.”
How did true freshman Tyler Powell look at defensive tackle?
“I thought Tyler Powell played very well. Probably one of the guys in the defensive front that played the best. I think the kid is going to be a really good football player. We keep him healthy, and he keeps growing, and gets stronger and understanding even more, he’s going to be a really good player.”
How do you evaluate how the offensive and defensive lines did in this game?
“I’d give them a middle of the range, somewhere around a C. I don’t think that they did anything really special, but I don’t think that they were really bad, either. We made enough mistakes on both sides of the ball in the fronts to not grade out extremely well. I thought the effort was good, so that wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t effort; it wasn’t their energy. It was just the growing pains you’re going to have with a young offensive line that’s trying to gel, and the same thing a little bit defensive line-wise.”
How big do you think the leap is between Liberty and San Diego State?
“I think it’s quite a bit of difference. Again, I’m not taking anything away from Liberty because they’re a good football team and they did some really nice things. Both of their fronts, offensively and defensive line-wise, were pretty dang good, and throw in that quarterback and that receiver, No. 13, and they had some weapons. San Diego State is going to be a better football team, in my opinion. They’re very similar to some of the things we did last year, they started off their year very slow last year, and then they finished really strong. I know coming into the season they have a lot of confidence and feel good about where they are at. Rocky Long is going to do a great job, especially on that defensive side of the ball. It will be chaos on that side of the ball, if it is anything like he’s been in the past. He’s moving guys around, there’s all kind of exotic blitzes, different coverages, it’s going to be a test for us that way. Bob Toledo is their offensive coordinator, and Bob is a West Coast guy. He’s been around and coached a lot of ball for a lot of years, and he will do a tremendous job with the offense.”
What does it take to get a read on your team’s character?
“It takes adversity. That’s the only thing. It takes adversity. We don’t have to worry, it’s coming. We had it in that game, no matter how anybody wants to look at it, the way our guys felt at halftime, they felt like we had adversity right then, and they had to come together to overcome it. And they did. Everything is a small step, but there’s more coming. We’ll have it this Saturday. And how we deal with it will determine what kind of football team we are going to be.”
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