The following are player quotes after the the 27-3 loss to Wake Forest at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium last night.
QB Seth Adams: (On his 8-11 showing in the fourth quarter) It felt real good to get out there. I was able to put a few good plays together and it felt great. I felt good. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be. I had a good week of practice, that kind of eased my tension some. I knew I was prepared and ready. The first pass completion kind of settled me down. I was ready to get that out of the way to get even more settled. Wake Forest was playing soft when I was in there - I guess because they had the big lead - so I was able to make some short completions and put some things together. I tried to protect the ball and get the first-game jitters out of the way. The thing is, my excitement level isn't very high because we lost.
FS Charles Clark: (On the defense's frustration) This was a tough game. We had our opportunities and didn't make plays. We missed a lot of tackles tonight. We had some assignment errors, but we fixed most of those on the sidelines as they were happening. We just didn't make tackles when we had our chances. (On the team) We have to take a deep breath and regroup. We've got a big game against Georgia coming up at home and we have to get ready. We just aren't capitalizing on our opportunities. I don't know if we are close or if we have a long way to go. All I know is that we aren't getting the job done. That's the bottom line.
WR Michael Hicks: (On his three-catch performance) I felt good out there. Any time you get a chance to get out there and make something happen, you have to feel good. I hope I showed the coaches something, but you are only as good as your last play, so I have to keep plugging. I've been a little disappointed to this point, but that's motivated me more than frustrated me. I hope I stated a case for more playing time, but that's up to the coaches.
MLB Patrick Willis: (On the game) I thought we came out strong, but we just didn't get the job done. I don't know why we had as much trouble as we did - I wish I did. We have to be able to stop the run, especially when that's all they were basically doing. They just ran it down our throats. I don't know if it was scheme, assignments, ability or all of the above. All I know is that we didn't get the job done and didn't tackle the way I know we can. We have to take this on ourselves. The coaches are putting us in position to make plays - we have to make them. We didn't do it tonight. We have to wrap up and find a way to get it done. (On the team's intensity) I thought we came out ready, but when they stuffed it right at us, I thought we lost some intensity. That's football though - you have to be able to overcome setbacks in a game. We're in the SEC. Bad things and good things will happen and you have to be able to roll with them. (On the difference in how the Rebs played against Memphis and the subsequent three games) I wish I knew the answer. I don't, so there's not much I can say on that.
WR Shay Hodge: (On his chances in the game) I felt good about getting my chances, but I feel like I broke the coaches' trust by dropping a couple of passes I should have caught. That will stick with me. Right now, I'm having a hard time shaking it off. I guess you learn lessons. I guess I know now that every snap could be the snap where the ball is coming to you and you better be ready. If I want to be a big-time player, I have to be able to make the plays that are presented to me. It shocked me so badly when I missed the long pass that I can't explain it. I was too excited - my first TD. It was there. I tried to run before I caught it and it went off my hands. Lessons learned.
QB Brent Schaeffer: (On what's up next) We're going to turn it up in practice this week. We've got to do something to turn our team around. (On his play) It wasn't good. Everything was off rhythm. I think Wake Forest just came out harder than we did in every aspect of the game. Nothing about this game was positive. We had a couple of drives that were good, but we didn't finish them off. Everything was bad. (On losing) It's difficult to cope with, but we can't allow ourselves to get used to losing. A lot of us have high hopes, but we haven't performed the way we know we can. That's the toughest part of this. I'll keep my head up. We have to get better as a team and the only way to do that is to keep getting after it. (On where the offense is) We came into this game thinking we were close to getting it done, but we took a step backwards tonight. We played sloppy football. We didn't turn it over as many times as last game, but we had a lot of missed assignments and we let our intensity drop, it seemed like. As a team, we just didn't get it done.
PK Joshua Shene: (On his first two field goal attempts - a miss and a hit) The first one didn't feel too good, obviously. I think I was too excited and lost my concentration on the ball and doing my job. I was pretty hyped - my first FG of my freshman year. I was able to slow myself down for the second one. Everyone was real supportive after the miss and that helped calm me down for the second one. When I went out there the second time, I was very focused and a lot more relaxed. I think now that I have my first good one out of the way, I'll be OK. I will work extra hard in practice to make sure of that. Making one will take a lot of pressure off me - I've got it out of the way. I've been real anxious to this point, but I think I can relax now.
DE Greg Hardy: (On his progress) I'm starting to feel like I did in high school, that I can comepte with anyone. You have to have technique on this level because everyone is as big, fast and strong as you are. Things happen very fast on this level and if you don't have good technique, you will get beaten. Everything comes out you real quickly. If you don't have technique, guys run right by you before you know what hit you. (On his future) Right now, I'm making some plays, but I'm not making enough. My goal is to make every play I'm capable of making or every play I'm in position to make. I have to learn to be more consistent. I think the whole defense is the same way. I think we are right there - we just need one little push to get us on track. We're learning some hard lessons right now, but our time is coming.
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