D.J. Jones answered a few questions about the Florida State game Wednesday after practice, but then he made it clear it was time to put that contest away and move on to the next one, Wofford, Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
We'll start with his comments on Florida State. . . .
"During the first half, we played very physical and brought the fight to them," D.J. assessed. "In the second half, I felt like a few guys on defense got complacent. As a team, we got complacent. We didn't come out like we did in the first half. It was pretty obvious."
The Rebel defense played 93 plays, about 20-25 more than "normal" because they could not get themselves off the field on third downs in the second half and they simply could not stop the air attack of the Seminoles.
"We were on the field too long. It' wasn't really frustrating, because we play as a team and we know turnovers by our offense happen sometimes," he continued. "It's our job to get the ball back. It's our job to get off the field and let the offense do their thing. We failed at that in the second half. We have to get stops and get off the field for our team to have a chance to win."
Jones, as a senior, had some constructive advice for the Rebel secondary during and after the game.
"Don't wait for any moment. The other night, I saw a couple of plays where they'd wait for the play to come to them," Jones noted. "I told them to go get it. Go make the play and force the action. Beat your man to the spot because every yard means something. As a defensive line, we got a little frustrated too. We were almost there every time and then he'd get the pass off. Then they started making some quick throws and we were still hitting him, but the young QB stood in there tough."
Jones said the Rebels were in the process of correcting things that went wrong last week. Like what? That's where the FSU talk stopped.
"The other night is the other night. We have to move on to Wofford now," Jones stated.
So let's talk Wofford, an option team.
"As a defense, we love to try to stop the run. You stop the run and then you can have some fun. Stop the run and then you can tee off and go," he smiled. "Our goal will be to stop Wofford's option running attack. It's difficult because they have so many options they run and so many formations and so many reads off of what you are doing.
"The key to stopping them will be playing assignment football. We will all have assignments and keys. We all have to do our jobs and keep our eyes in the right place. Stay at home and do your job and trust the guy next to you will do his."
On a side note, Jones was asked about having Issac Gross back and watching his young protege, Benito Jones, get his first action.
These were subjects he did want to talk about. . . .
"I love Issac's get-off. I love watching him. I think he's got the best get-off in college football," D.J. closed. "Sometimes, I'd rather just be on the sidelines watching him play. He is that exciting. I don't think anyone can argue the excitement level of his play. As for Benito, I am just so proud of him. Seeding him out there making plays was as exciting as me making them myself. It's fun watching my teammates, especially the D-Linemen, excelling."