“Okay obviously a very disappointing loss for us here at home. The first thing I’ve got to do is give credit to Justin Fuente and his staff and Virginia Tech because they outplayed us today in just about every aspect. We didn’t play up to our capabilities or anywhere close to it and therefore we lost a football game today.”
Larry was there a sort of hangover element after the last two victories from the past two weeks?
“I don’t know if there was a hangover element. We didn’t have the energy that we needed to have to play at this level. That’s my responsibility.”
Was that at the outset?
“I think as the game went on, we never got anything going. We did some things well defensively throughout the game but we turned the ball over five times all on our end. You can’t put your defense in that kind of position and expect to win football games.”
How much of a problem was the weather today against the Virginia Tech defense?
“I’m not going to blame it on the weather. They played in it too and seemed to handle it well. We did a poor job all the way around.”
What did they do to take Mitch (Trubisky) out of his rhythm?
“I’m not sure we got into any kind of rhythm the entire game. Whether it was Mitch or the running game or anything. They did exactly what we expected them to do. They played the coverages we thought they were going to play, they played the fronts we thought they were going to play. You just can’t turn the ball over four times. You’re not going to be able to get anything going.”
How tough was it not having Elijah (Hood) out there, especially when it comes to pass protection?
“We missed him. We missed him, we missed Caleb Peterson, we missed those guys. But you’ve got to play. So the next guys are up, they’ve got to step up, and they’ve got to play. I don’t know how the guys that replaced them played, I’d have to look at it on film. Anytime you lose a starter, you miss them, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the game of football. Guys are going to go down and other guys have to step up and play. That’s why we do so much with backups early in the season because we know they’ll have to play for us later in the season.”
How much did the elements limit what you guys could do?
“It was definitely a factor in the passing game. We couldn’t throw and catch basically. It was a struggle to throw and catch just basic routes. Unfortunately we should be able to do that.”
You were 2 for 14 on third down. What was Virginia Tech doing one first and second down that was putting you in those positions on third down?
“We weren’t consistent on anything we did so we were in long yardage situations a lot of times so anytime you’re going to be in that you’re not going to convert. 2 for 14, that doesn’t surprise me.”
Can the offense prepare, not just for the defense, but for the elements?
“No I don’t think so unless you play in it everyday and practice in it everyday. You can’t simulate that unless you get a fire hose out there and keep it coming.”
How does Mitch handle a game like this?
“We’ll see. I expect him to handle it like he is. He’s a competitor and a leader and he’ll handle it fine. He’s going to be very disappointed just like all those guys are. He’s going to come back in and be critical of himself tomorrow while watching film but he’ll bounce back and get the mistakes corrected and I think he’ll be fine.”
What do you say in the locker room afterwards?
“That we can’t make the mistakes we made and win a football game like that. They outplayed us tonight, I mean give them the credit. They outplayed us. I told them that they were better prepared than we were. And again that’s my responsibility. That’s my fault.”
Is there a point that you can pinpoint that maybe your team didn’t have the spirit that they needed?
“No, not a single point. There wasn’t any one point in the game. We knew going into this game, with the situation the way it was, that it was going to boil down to who took care of the football the best and we did not do that. We did a very poor job of taking care of the football.”
You talked about failing to get into a rhythm, after a few turnovers early, how hard is it to find a rhythm?
“It’s hard. You’ve got to have a tremendous amount of leadership and guys that are strong enough to overcome it, and we didn’t do that.”
When you talk about not taking care of the football, how much can you say, ‘Well it was the wet balls’?
“I don’t say that at all because you can’t use that as an excuse. Both teams play in it. You’ve got to perform in that situation, you just have to. So whether it’s extra concentration or whatever you’ve got to do to make sure you’re taking care of the ball whether you’re throwing it or running it, you’ve got to do it. It’s just part of it.”