O: It ain't bad to have a win, there's no doubt about that. We worked very hard this week fixing some things on defense. We made some strides. We did a better job on our tackling and our fits. We had better play from our guys. I thought Ashlee had a tremendous job with all the tackles he made. We were in better position tonight to make those plays. I was happy to see the field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown. Brandon Jenkins a senior made a big play right there. Dustin scooped it. That was a big play in the ballgame. Disappointed in the output of our offense. We couldn't get much going, especially in the run game. And in the pass game we were kind of off a little bit. Overall we're happy with the win, really happy with the win. Now we're getting ready to play Alabama. We can't wait to get to practice on Monday. We know it's going to be electric Saturday, and we're looking forward to playing Alabama.
Q: What was different about your defense today?
O: We just fit better. There was more attention to detail. A lot of work went on this week inside the offices. Our coaches really, really did a good job getting our guys' attention addressing the things that were wrong and demanding that they were fixed. For the most part we made some strides. Still we weren't perfect by any means.
Q: You were on some players pretty hard near the end. How important was keeping the shutout?
O: I want to play for 60 minutes.I want out players to know I will not tolerate stupid mistakes. I won't let them go by, but I'll be coaching them on ‘em. If they make a simple mistake, I'm going to fix ‘em. For the most part they did good. But we still made some errors. I don't know any team that's good enough to make errors. But we're definitely not. I just wanted them to keep on playing. I was disappointed with the output of our play in the fourth quarter last week, and that was more a result of what you saw. I want us to learn how to play for 60 minutes regardless of what the score is.
Q: Talk about the play of Brandon Thomas, Fon Ingram, and Scottie Williams.
O: Well, you know, Brandon has been around us for a while now. I thought he played pretty good tonight. He missed a couple of tackles. More or less he was in the right place at the right time. He did the right thing most of the time. So we're happy with him. Fon came in there and played a couple of nice plays, especially in our dime package. I don't know how much Scottie played tonight, but we're bringing him into the mix.
Q: What did Brandon Thomas do during the week to elevate himself?
O: He was just doing things right. It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. So John decided to start him. It's a reward for his diligence and hard work.
Q: Was this as sloppy a game as you've seen from your team?
O: Yeah it was like that a little bit. It was like that on the offensive side. Defensively it was one of our better games. But the offense for the most part in the last couple of games had been doing well. So I know they're disappointed, and I know they're going to get it right.
Q: Talk about the play of the defensive line, especially on third down.
O: They got a little bit more pressure. We've got some guys who can rush. We've just got to learn how to do it and learn their protections. We kind of got after them a little bit this week and challenged them in some areas which is positive.
Q: What was Tech doing to make it difficult for your team to run the football?
O: Well they were bringing their safeties up, playing an eight-nine man front. Give their defensive line credit. Looked like they played very well. They were shedding blocks, their linebackers were tough. I just think they played a tough, physical, aggressive football game.
Q: You had said it might take some time for Dexter to get back into the mix. He played a lot today.
O: Yeah didn't take long, did it? I think Mike Hicks got a little banged up. I don't know what happened. We wanted to hit Dexter. When you have Dexter in practice and you see what he can do, then you want to give him the ball. I thought Dan did a good job for the most part of giving him the ball.
Q: Is Dexter over his injuries?
O: He's OK. He's always a hit away. I think he's fine for right now.
Q: What did you see from Seth today?
O: Looked like he had an off day. Today was probably not his best day. He's been playing his best and giving us everything he has. Today he was just a little off. I don't know why. We'll find out.
Q: Can a game like this where your offense didn't play its best help you going into the game against Alabama?
O: Yeah I think so. Get ‘em hungry. It wasn't an easy week this week for the defense. We just have to let our young guys know that this is how you do it. This is the way it's going to be done regardless of what they think. We have to make them do it the right way. When they do it the right way, they're going to have success.
Q: Anytime you pitch a shutout, you have to feel good about your defense.
O: I think so. Gives us a little confidence. We don't want to get overconfident by any means. We were playing very poorly on defense in spots, so this is just the beginning.
Q: Did this shutout feel even better considering how many times Louisiana Tech was in your territory?
O: We're not going to hoop and holler about all this today, you know what I mean. We play in the SEC. If you shut out an SEC team, maybe there will be a little hooping and hollering going on. But not ‘til then.
Q: You used Greg on offense more today.
O: Well you know Greg's been injured a lot. It's difficult to work a guy who has been injured and sometimes he's practicing and sometimes he's not.
Q: Looked like you had some trouble in the punting game today.
O: Yeah we did. Very uncharacteristic of us for the most part. We work very hard on our punting game. We'll look at it on Sunday and fix it.
Q: Talk about the players stepping in when others are hurt.
O: We tell our guys everybody's a step away and you'd better be ready to go. We rotate those guys in practice and we coach the second team as well as we coach the first team. I think our coaches do a good job of getting those guys ready. They made some mistakes but for the most part they did OK. We'll have bigger challenges down the road and be tested.
Coach O postgame
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