Coach O -

Coach O spoke to the media and discussed the team's play and the open date.

Obviously we are happy with the win but not very happy with the way we played in the second half after giving up 31 second-half points. We missed some coverages, some assignments, and we are very disappointed. But we are happy with the win. We are looking forward to the much-needed open date and to go out recruiting next week. Guys will practice a couple times and get ready for LSU. Overall, we have to be pleased with the win, but we aren't pleased with the performance obviously. A couple of guys didn't play of note. Mike Hicks, Chris Strong, Ashlee Palmer were suspended for a violation of team rules. I expect them to be back with the team on Monday. We'll move on from there.

On poor defense in second half

We had some backups and some man-to-man coverage on the tight end. We missed Ashlee out there. Some guys were playing for the first time and didn't cover the tight end well. We missed a couple coverages and got beat a couple times playing man.

On Greg Hardy's absence

Yeah, we miss his pass rush and physical presence. No doubt.

On struggling in the run game without BJGE

We took Ben out. He had been injured most of the week. He wanted to stay in. I wanted to take him out. I probably did it just a little too early. We got bogged down and put him back in. I really wanted to give Bruce and Cordera a shot to play. They've earned it.

On the quarterbacks

We are disappointed in the quarterback play, both of them really. We couldn't get anything going. I thought we could beat those guys one-on-one. Brent throws a better deep ball. That is the reason we put him in. To get some firepower on the offense. That was the thought process.

On the quarterback situation

We have to look at the film with the offensive staff and see why it wasn't working.

On Justin Sparks kicking off

I thought he did a good job. He had a very good week of practice. After the first one where Josh didn't put it where we wanted, we decided to give Sparks a shot. I think we have someone that does what we need them to. Some of the coverages haven't been where they need to be.

On BenJarvus' play

Tough. Tim (Mullins) had IVs in him on Friday and he was sick. But knowing him, he wanted to play. He is a tough kid.

On the frustration of sitting players for team rules

Well, we have team rules. We have university policy and some rules we all have to abide by. When they break those rules, we have to stand up to them.

On Seth Adams' interception

It didn't look like a lot of guys were open all day. He looked covered, but I have to watch the film. Anything else would be speculation.

On Chris Strong not on the sidelines but Ashlee and Mike were.

He was suspended from the game and had a choice whether or not to dress out. He may have been studying.

On the crowd

I have to worry about the play of my team. I am really glad to see the guys that were there. I am appreciative of those guys and the ones in the grove. I am appreciative of those in the stadium that watched us play. Those are the guys I am appreciative of.

On possibly building off this game

We won the game but didn't play well on defense in the second half. I was really disappointed about that. We couldn't muster anything to stop their offense. Again, we had mismatches out there believe or not. There were second or third-team guys playing that didn't get the job done.

On effort in the second half

I thought we were flat. I thought the guys tried, but we were flat. We had a chance to put them down, but they came out and hit us with some big plays right from the get go. Before we know it, they have 14 points.

On atmosphere being a factor

No, but I think big plays and a good crowd is out there pumps motivation and excitement into the team. No doubt about that. It shouldn't, and I'm not willing to say it did, but I know when the stadium is full, those guys feed off it.

On the open date

The team needs a little time to heal. The coaches need time with their families tomorrow. We are going to work hard on recruiting starting Monday morning. We are going to hit the trail. We have four evaluation days remaining. We will use every one of them. Everything is planned out already. We are going to be coast to coast, covering all the top players we know about. This is our last shot to evaluate them. We have a very good start and have guys targeted. We are organized, and I can't wait to go out on the road recruiting. After our open date last year, we played very well against LSU and Mississippi State. I expect the team to be rested.

On recruiting a punter or kicker

We have to find a guy to kickoff for us.

On Mike Wallace's return for a TD

It probably won the game. You never know. I told the special teams that a play might win the game. I think it did. He has good speed, and I am happy to see him play well and have success.

On scoring 30 points

No, not when they score 31. That is the number that sticks out with me. It isn't indicative of the defense we want to play here.

On receiving assurance from the administration

It is a good thing that I already knew. I talked to the team about it. I like to keep them informed of what is going on. It was a strong statement, and I am very appreciative of it. I feel we will get the job done. I have no doubt in my mind.

On the timing coinciding with recruiting.

That helps. It was strong and clear. If there is any questions, we have a copy of the article in our briefcase. I think most have been tuned in. We talk to the recruits every week.

On this week's practice

We will practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday is our annual blackshirt scrimmage. We have a lot of young guys that I want to see get after it. This is the first weekend off since preseason camp for the team.

On Greg Hardy

I had a positive meeting with Greg and his family. There are a couple things I expect him to do. I think he will. I told his family what I expect. If so, I will welcome him back on the team. I have no problem with that.

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