“The world didn’t come to an end, the sun came up yesterday, and it’s back up today, so we’ve evaluated film, looked at the film, broken down, got the corrections made and have moved on and preparing for Clemson at this time.”
T.J. Thorpe said he thought some guys gave up on Saturday. Did you see that?
“I didn’t see anybody give up, I don’t know what he saw, but I didn’t see that.”
Is it troubling when you hear a player say that kind of thing?
“Yeah. You don’t ever want to hear a player say that. I’ll have to talk to T.J. and find out why he said that.”
What conclusions did you come to when you did reevaluate your approach?
“You look at the results. For me, the results weren’t good at all. I had to go back and see the plan that I put together for the team for the past two weeks and what I can do to change that to help us be in a better position. Whether or not I think that’s the factor or not, those are some things I can do, I can change a lot of things like the way we practice, but I don’t think that’s the answer. I think the way we practice is the right way; I think it’s a proven way. And I think we will continue to do that.
“Anytime you have that kind of result, you have to look at everything. It doesn’t mean everything you’re doing is wrong, but you have to look at everything. You have to evaluate every little detail to find out if you believe what you’re doing is the right thing, and I still do believe that.”
How much of it was a personnel situation?
“I don’t know. When you miss tackles in space, it’s a tough thing to do. Sometimes you can say that’s personnel, sometimes you can say the guy that made him miss was better than they were at making the tackle, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s a breakdown in fundamentals. But they have good players. I’ve said that from the get-go. We have to continue to work hard and continue to work hard.”
Is this cause to reevaluate, big picture, if this defense is the right one?
“There’s a lot of people running the 4-2-5 all over the country that are fine. There are people all over the country that have trouble with this type of offense and it is what it is. Whether you’re in a 4-3 or 3-4 or 4-2-5, you still have to make players, and you need to put your guys in a position to make plays, I don’t think it’s a 4-2-5. Now maybe the scheme that we used in the 4-2-5 in the game wasn’t the best thing that we needed to do.”
Two years ago you gave up 68 points to Georgia Tech. What happened during that week and are there lessons you can take into this week?
“There are lessons you can take. You take them in every situation. In that game, we put that game to bed as soon as possible, tried to learn from the mistakes that we made, and then we moved on as quickly as possible. I can assure you that there is nothing that is going to help us defeat Clemson if we dwell on what happened this past week. It won’t help us in any way. It’s not about dwelling about what happened last week, it’s about where we go in the future, and how do we get better.”
Was effort an issue on Saturday?
“I’m not going to say effort was an issue. I think we got some guys that were tired on defense, we really did. And again, when you spread the field and you miss a tackle in the open field and you got guys that are tired they don’t get there as quick, it results in explosive plays, and you saw a bunch of them.”
When you put that Georgia Tech game to bed two years ago, you had some experienced guys that had a lot of pride that helped with that transition. Do you have enough of those guys now?
“I don’t know. We talked about it yesterday. Everybody has a choice on how they are going to react to the situation, and that determines who you are, how you react to it. The true test of a man is finding out who you are. Until you’re really tested you don’t know, but when you are tested the true man comes out. It’s who you are, you can’t hide it at the point, and I don’t know why you would want to hide it. Everybody has a choice to make - myself, our staff, everybody in the program - as far as which way we want to go from here. I think I know, so we’ll find out this week in practice, the way we respond, and the way our guys respond to it. It’s hard to say, we do have a lot of young guys, and we’re going to have to do a great job of leading them.”
What went into the decision to play Mitch so early in the game and continue to play him as much as you did?
“It’s been the same decision every week. If you go back and look, I think he played on the third series every week of the three games that we’ve played. We mixed him in one other time in the first half, is what I believe it was. And in the second half, as the game got out of hand a little bit, we played him a little bit more.”
Is that the plan to play him every third series of each game?
“It has been the past three games. Now whether or not we continue that, I don’t know. Now, every one of those situations was planned. It wasn’t ‘let’s throw him out there because of what’s happening in the game.’ It’s been a planned situation.
Do you think you’re disrupting Marquise’s rhythm or the offensive flow because you’re changing quarterbacks?
“No, I’m not concerned about it.”
Are you married to playing Mitch in the third series?
“If we plan for that and I tell him that’s the plan… Now there are things that happen that take us out of that plan. I don’t like telling a kid one thing and then doing something else, unless something drastic comes up, or there is a reason for it. Then I don’t have a problem with it.”
Is that an indication that Marquise hasn’t fully grasped the starting role?
“No, no. He is our starter; there is no doubt about it. He’s our starter. Marquise played in just about every game last year, and Bryn [Renner] was the starter. If I looked at it and evaluated and felt like it was hurting us offensively, obviously I wouldn’t do it. But I don’t think that’s the case.”
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