Holtz: There's a lot we have to do better

USF Head Coach Skip Holtz talks about the Bulls 54-24 home win over UTEP Saturday night. The Bulls rushed for 373 yards and had 575 yards of total offense, but allowed the Miners to gain 339. Coach said there were a lot of positives, but many things that we have to do better.

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Part 2

Part 3

Opening Statement

"Never take one for granted. I mean you're excited about the win, your excited about a lot of the positive things that happened on the field, but at the same time you've got a pit in your stomach because there's so many things that we've got to do better."

"I think UTEP is a very good football team, there's a reason they're a 2-1 football team. We talked about Mike Price and the football coach he is. He's the eighth winningest coach, he's been around a long time and he does a great job with the talent that he has. I think he's made the most of an injury situation that he's had moving some people around. I though they did an awfully nice job tonight, the UTEP offense. At the same point and time we're really proud of the way this team went out and battled, the way they competed, the things that they're doing."

"I think offensively it was a really solid performance, I could nitpick and grab a thing here or there, but I thought it was a really solid performance. This is a football team in UTEP that wasn't giving up many yards and wasn't giving up many points, especially in the second half and for this football team to go out and do what they did, really proud of some of the big plays. Obviously B.J. Daniels running the ball was excellent. I thought Darrell Scott ran it really well. It was nice to see a guy like Victor Marc show up and Lindsey Lamar show up. Really proud of just the way that they went out and they competed. Defensively I thought our run defense was good, they were stout. Our front seven played well. I thought our pass defense was poor.

I thought it was very poor tonight. I think you know all of a sudden we were down a starter in Q (Quentin Washington) and I say it all the time, you're only as strong as your weakest link. I don't think we played with confidence, I've talked all along about how the two's need to get more work, how were not there yet and it showed up tonight. They really took advantage of a lot of opportunities into the boundary. What bother with it was that we didn't play with any confidence; we played almost scared in the back end which was disappointing to me. But again I thought there were some great individual plays. I think Sam Barrington scoring and making the touchdown, the way the front seven played and things like that. Special teams, I talked about my concerns this week were big on special teams and they were warranted, they were merited."

"I got to take apart and look at some of the things we're doing and some of the people that were playing with. We're giving a lot of guys an opportunity to turn and step up and get on the field with our dirty dozen, but if we're not going to be productive then we have an obligation to give the starters a chance to not only play defense but have to play special teams as well. Those guys want to win, a lot of them are in the locker room saying, "coach you got to put me of kickoff, coach you got to put me on punt, coach you got to put me on punt return." They want to play and they want to be good and they want to win. So, I'm proud of the team, proud of the way they competed.
The good news on Terrence Mitchell, they told us in the locker room that he is communicating, he is verbal, he is moving everything. It is not his neck, they are worried about a concussion. There is obviously a lot of preventative tests they need to do, but we're just very grateful the injury is not as severe as it appeared it was on the field and that he's responding real positive right now. We'll keep him in our thoughts and prayers as we g through this that'll he'll continue to make a fast recovery. Like I said I'm excited about the win and there is a lot of positive things to build on. I want to get to the film. I want to watch it, I want to get I corrected, I want to get it in the filing cabinet so we can get onto Pitt. We've got to improve. I know Pitt is a 2-2 football team and they lost a tough game today, but they are a good football team and they're a very talented football team and a team that beat us down here last year, so it will be a great challenge for us."

On the success of the ground game…

"I think Coach Fitch has done a great job of really challenging a lot of the skill players to turn and make something happen with it. We have been very content to catch the ball and fall down. We have not been trying to catch the ball, break two tackles and turn and go the distance. That has been a statistic that we've kept the first part of the season. Those big long runs come because you break tackles, you don't just run untouched until you run into the goal line. You got to earn it and I think the offensive line did a great job of getting a lot of the skill guys to the second level and I think they did a nice job of raising the standard and expectation in order for us to be a good offense. We've got to make some things happen, I mean just catching the ball because you're open in a zone and falling down is not a plus to me. I mean I expect a receiver to receive it and catch the ball, if you can't catch it you play DB. So that's where we just have to raise our standard and are our expectations for what's expected when we get the ball in open space and I think these players really accepted the challenge."

On Terrence Mitchell's injury…

"Well right away they told me on the sideline that it was his head that they were concerned about, not his neck. It was as much precautionary that they were going to turn and take a lot of precautions anytime you have a head trauma and somebody goes to the ground the way that Terrence did on that play."

On comfort level of B.J. Daniels…

"I think B.J. is very comfortable. Everybody asked what the difference from year one to two was and I keep talking about poise, confidence, where he is in the offense right now, the way he's seeing the field, the way he's managing the game, the way he's protected the ball, not putting it in danger. I think B.J. has done an outstanding job in the first four games of the year. I think he has made huge strides and I think he deserves that credit."

On if the reserves are ready for Big East play…
"No, no. And I feel comfortable saying that because most of our reserves are on special teams. We tried to take most of our backups and put them there. I worry about our depth right now, I worry about injuries. Like I said we had one corner go out today and we're not the same defense and that's something that we've got to do a better job as a staff, as a team. Everybody has got to take that responsibility. I think some guys are coming along and some guys are emerging, but we're not where we need to be right now. We are a work in progress and we got to get better than what we are right now."

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