How confident are you facing Missouri after last Saturday?
First of all, we need to play better than we did against Memphis. And I need to coach better. We are really disappointed because we didn't establish the run, but we don't think we are far off. We're missing a cylinder here, cylinder there. We definitely got our butts whipped last year against Missouri. We're 1-0, looking for Number two. We will do everything humanly possible to get ready for this game.
What specifically bothered you about the run game?
We call it ugly twos and threes. We're close. We only had two losses. The noseguard jumped our cadence a couple times and gave us a loss of four and a loss of six. That was the only loss of yardage plays we had out of 30 runs, but we had too many ugly twos and threes. We are looking for four or more yards in a run. Memphis did a good job of tackling and threw a couple curveballs at us. We made a couple mentals (mistakes), and we just need to clean it up.
Did Memphis adjust and confuse you at times?
I think they played the same front and same coverage almost the entire game. I don't think they made any adjustments. We just had deals where we missed it. There was a fourth and two we didn't make. We also mishit a slant. When you are in control and trying to put a team away, you have to make first downs. We didn't do that in the third quarter. In the fourth, we had a 14-play drive but didn't finish it. We had the field goal block. We played hard, but not hard enough. I need to do a better job of coaching, and we need to do a better job of finishing.
How was the pass protection?
We were 19 of 30, so good things happened with the pass. I look out for the quarterback and asked him (Seth Adams) if he got hit, he said he only remembered getting hit once or twice the whole game. So, I think we did an adequate job of protection. There were three or four hurries and those two sacks. One was on our backs, and one was on the line.
What do you anticipate improving before Saturday?
We need to get better protecting, but we did some good things with the pass and are pretty close with the run. It wasn't nearly good enough, and it wasn't a winning performance, but it wasn't a dismal effort. I think we can improve on it and break out.
What happened on the blocked field goal?
We broke down in protection, but the kick was a little low. It's tough on a kicker when you have a missed extra point and a blocked field goal. In a game like that, it could have easily been our downfall. But Josh is an outstanding kicker, and we have confidence in him. We need to shore up our protection also. In that instance, we were a little shaky, but it was a combination of both.
How did Reid Neely do?
He did alright. He still isn't 100 percent, but he came out of it ok. He is going to get better every game. Even though he is a third-year guy, he is like a first-year in a lot of ways because he missed that first year with an injury, and he didn't play much last year. He's coming into his own. There is a confidence and aggressiveness that he needs to maintain over the course of the games. I am excited about him.
What does Missouri bring defensively?
They graduated six guys (defensively) and they lost two linebackers, two of them were three-year starters. One defensive end, No. 48, was a pain in the butt to us last year, and he is back. The two defensive ends they had were sack leaders, but now there strength is inside. Their two-techniques and backups are 6-2 305-pound guys that can really bring it. They are going to test John, Cory and Reid inside. To me, that is going to be the key matchup of the game. How well we hold up against their two-techniques. Their inside guys. Both of those guys are tough asses, and that is going to be like SEC football. This game will be like SEC ball because those guys are like what you will see every week from Auburn and LSU.
How emphasized is getting to 2-0 for the first time since 2002?
You can't even imagine how emphasized that point is. Us winning this game is a big step. We want win number two right now. It's a huge step for our program.
Conversation with Coach Kehoe
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