“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity ahead of us this week, we get a chance to go to Notre Dame, the No. 5 team in the country and play on national TV. It’s exciting and it should be a lot of fun.”
What was the focus yesterday?
“The focus yesterday for us, was going back and breaking down the film and looking at all the mistakes we made. And seeing that we look like a team that if we could get all of our mistakes corrected if we could take care of the things within our team right now, we could be a decent football team, but until we do that, it’s going to be tough.”
You really sounded frustrated with the offense in the first half. What was the biggest issue?
“You name it. Whether it was a guy flinching, a guy jumping offside, missed assignment here. Again it would be easier if it was just one guy, we could replace one guy, but that’s not the way it is. We take turns shooting ourselves in the foot right now. The good thing is that everything that is sitting there is correctable, we just have to get it corrected.”
How is the guys' confidence offensively right now?
“I would say fine. But I’m not a guy that wavers up and down on my confidence based on one game, I don’t know how you do that. There’s frustration involved, but I don’t think there is a lack of confidence in what we do or how we do things.”
How much of the running game was that they couldn’t get the job done physically, and how much of it was scheme ?
“Probably a majority of it was scheme. If you noticed, every time but once when 'Quise ran the ball it was for big yards. And it was because of what they were doing and what they were giving us. Yeah, you’d love to get the tailbacks more involved but if they’re going to play it that way, and let our quarterback run for 10-12 yards a pop it’s hard not to take advantage of those things. We don’t want him to have to do that, but every time he ran the ball the other day it was big yardage. I’m saying the quarterback position.
"When you’re taking about schematics, you’re gaining a number when your quarterback runs the ball, and most of those runs the running back was the lead blocker and did a really nice job on it. Again, it’s all about taking advantage of what they give you. Would I love for it to be where our running back was more involved with carrying the football, yes I would, but unfortunately that’s not the way it was the other day.”
Ryan’s fumble - was that a concentration issue? Is that why he fumbled that ball?
“He let the ball get on his chest, if you saw he let the ball get up here, instead of catching it down where he normally does. It was more of a floating type of ball, if you notice, it was not a spiral, and sometimes those can be a little tricky, but it’s nothing he shouldn’t be able to handle.”
What benefits do you see from the quarterback rotation?
“One, you’re getting Mitch some more reps in case he gets into a situation where he has to go, so he’s getting a little bit of experience. Two, it gives 'Quise a break also, because if you watch 'Quise, he’s carrying the load right now, he’s running the football. He’s taking a lot of hits when he throws the football, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing for him, either. Again, whether people think it’s working or not, we haven’t been successful, so, you can say that’s the reason we’re not successful. I don’t think that has anything to do with the reason we’re not successful right now.”
What does this team have to do on Saturday on both sides of the ball to avoid the kind of starts that you’ve gotten off to in your last two weeks?
“We need to take care of the details. The small things. We really need to focus on ourselves right now, and I know I keep saying that week to week, and that’s taking care of the little things. Offensively, from one guy hearing a play different from someone else, from somebody jumping offsides, to the center not snapping it when you’re supposed to. Just the smallest things, the way we go on the field, the way we go off the field, every detail, all of it matters in how we’re going to play. The focus needs to be on us, that’s how it needs to be. Fortunately or unfortunately we’re fixing to play a really good football team, so I look at it as a tremendous opportunity, other people might not look at it that way right now, but I think it’s a great thing that we get an opportunity to go on the road and play the number five team in the country on national TV.
Have you been ok with intangible things with effort and hustle?
“We probably as a team didn’t handle that adversity that we dealt ourselves on the first play of the game. I think it took a good quarter before we started playing with the type of energy that we needed to play. Now we still didn’t have the success offensively, we didn’t have that throughout the entire game basically. Defensively we started playing with more energy, we started getting more hats to the ball, we started tackling better, and we started doing the things that we needed to do. I do think that the effort is there, but we still have to a better job of overcoming adversity, especially when we deal it to ourselves.”
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