The following is Coach Ed Orgeron's Monday press conference transcript after the Memphis win, beginning with his opening statement.
Coach O's opening statement: "I obviously was pleased with the win for our football team. Being 1-0 is exactly where I wanted to be. We have a short week. Our guys are going to practice today and every day this week, but we are probably going to have light practices, probably only one day in pads.
"The thing that really stood out to me from watching the film was the play of the offensive line. I thought those guys looked much improved under the direction of Art Kehoe. I thought the whole group did well, but I really think Andrew Wicker and John Jerry had fantastic games. They stood out. Corey Actis did a good job at center, but those other two stood out. Andrew has some fantastic blocks and to see a big guy like John Jerry pull and stay on his feet was fantastic. The protection overall was great. The running of BenJarvus was good. He's going to go North and South and get positive yards for us every time. He's exactly what we need. The play of Dexter McCluster was also fantastic. To do everything he did in his first game as a freshman is beyond belief. Brent Schaeffer was good too. He did some things that were special. One time he was calling an audible and the snap was early, but he handled it, scrambled and made what could have been a disaster into a positive play. That's the type of player he is. He ran the ball inside well. He made the proper reads most of the time on his passes. Overall, the total organization of the whole offensive staff, with all those new players, to have no turnovers or penalties is just a great job by him. My hat is off to that whole staff. The fourth down conversions were the difference in the game - the trick play and the fourth down on the goalline were nice.
"On special teams, Rob Park did a great job. We have room for some growth and improvement there, but he did a really good job in the first game of the year. The return game was super too. Marshay Green made a terrific punt return, but the 10 guys helping him were blocking and that's what we like to see. Dexter on the kickoff returns and the PATs were smooth.
"On defense, we were really poor fundamentally, getting reached and getting out of our gaps. We were just not good there. The two roughing penalties cost us and they were good calls by the refs. We hit the QB in the head and you can't do that. We didn't play the cut blocks well on the perimeter, we had some missed assignments in the secondary which cost us. We were just poor on defense.
"Looking at Mizzou, we know they are a good football team who is coming off a great game against Murray State. The QB threw for 320 yards, five TDs and no interceptions. They have good receivers and a great tight end. They will run a spread offense like we saw against Memphis, so we have to get ready. We are going to change some things on defense. Not the scheme - it will not change, we just have to do it better. Their defense is similar to ours. Obviously we are happy with being 1-0, but after watching the film, we have a lot of things to improve on."
Q: Can you be more specific with what you have to do on defense?
Coach O: First of all, we have to get some guys back from injury and they are going to have to practice. It's hard to miss practice and play. We have several guys doing that right now and it stood out in their play. There will be some switches on the defensive line too. I've got to put a better DL unit out there. We have to find a way for LB Rory Johnson to play and our nickel package needs help. Our coverage was not as effective as we want it. We don't have a lot of choices because of depth in some situations, but we have to make sure the right guys are practicing in the right spots.
Q: How did you grade the tackling?
Coach O: It was poor. We had a lot of missed tackles and were not tackling properly.
Q: What did your learn about your WRs yesterday?
Coach O: Dan wanted to throw to the tight end more, but Memphis had him covered up. We had a couple of WRs have chances to get open a few times, but they didn't. They just need some fundamental work.
Q: Discuss DE Viciente DeLoach and the fumble he forced.
Coach O: He did OK. He forced a fumble and did alright beyond that. Nothing great. Nobody did more than OK on defense yesterday.
Q: Are you saying if players don't practice you won't play them as much?
Coach O: We have a lot of players banged up who have missed practices and it showed in their play yesterday. They have to find a way to practice or not play them. We have a depth problem, but we have to overcome it somehow.
Q: Brent ran 11 times yesterday. Was that about the right amount?
Coach O: The game dictates that, but we like him with the ball in his hands. I'll leave how many carries he gets to Dan Werner and the offensive staff.
Q: Do you have any thoughts of switching some OL to the DL?
Coach O: Why sure. I'll make some switches today. I tried to take John Jerry today, but Art Kehoe wrestled me out of him. I'm going to talk to some players today who are not playing and see if they want to play defense. We need help on the DL.
Q: Have you ever been part of an opener where there we no offensive mistakes?
Coach O: Not that I can remember, but Dan is sharp and the staff is well-organized and cohesive. He knows his stuff.
Q: What do you know about Missouri's team?
Coach O: I know a lot of what gave us trouble yesterday they run, so we have to improve. We've watched a lot of film on them from last year and know they have a good scheme on offense and defense.
Q: How was your organization on the sidelines?
Coach O: We have 44 new people and they listened to what we told them. We didn't have to re-teach anything. We have really worked hard having a positive atmosphere with our staff and our players and playing as a team. I think we are all on the same page, which makes a difference in organization and in everything. But let me say this - we have not gone through any adversity yet, that will be our big test and it hasn't come yet.
Q: Elaborate on Brent more.
Coach O: He gives us confidence becasue we feel we have a quarterback who can take us where we want to go. He does some stuff out there that normal quarterbacks can't do and he can makes plays and give everyone around him confidence. He didn't come in here with a superstar attitude. He was humble and hungry. The team accepted and embraced him.
Q: Was fatigue a problem yesterday for your DL?
Coach O: We can't use that because the first play of the game we were out of our gaps. We had a run defense called to stop the run and we were all out of our gaps. Fatigue had nothing to do with that.
Q: Talk more about Andrew's change from DL to OL.
Coach O: Last year was a transitional year for him and he had an injury. He wanted to buy in but it was a tough year for him. This year he's healthy, has a great attitude and the chemistry he has with Art Kehoe is special. They are both guys who like to have fun and the combination has created a good football player for us.
Q: What about Corey moving to starting center?
Coach O: We just saw some things in practice we didn't like at center. We moved Andrew there, but we didn't want to lose him in our power game at guard when he pulled. We put the next best player there, Corey Actis, who did a pretty good job yesterday.
Q: What does Brent have to do to improve?
Coach O: Dan will bring him along at the right pace, but I think our deep ball needs work. Part of this offense is to go for it and we didn't get that done. He had a couple of shaky calls yesterday and his conditioning can improve. But all of that will happen in the next couple of weeks. He wasn't under much pressure yesterday, so we need to see how he responds under pressure throwing the ball.
Q: You say you want to make some defensive personnel changes. Are you confident you have enough players to work with to get it done?
Coach O: We'll see. We'll see. I should be able to answer that in a couple of weeks. I have some ideas, but I'm waiting to see what transpires on a couple of things. I'm expecting and overhauling of the DL, though.
Q: How did Marcus Tillman do and how is DE Chris Bowers' health?
Coach O: Our two young DEs were OK. Marcus and Greg Hardy had a sack each, which was good to see. They showed intensity and fire. I doubt Bowers will be able to play against Missouri. As far as any others lost to injury, I don't know that yet.
Q: What about taking this young team on the road?
Coach O: There's a lot of difference in road games and home games. This will be a tough arena for us and a step up in competition for us. We have all the travel to handle. We need a sharp week and be sharp with all the details of traveling.
Q: How much of the Missouri package have you seen?
Coach O: We have seen everything but the opener against Murray State. We know they have a good scheme and we know Chase Daniels is an excellent passer at QB. We know they are good.
Monday press conference
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