Holtz: We just made too many mistakes to win

USF head Coach Skip Holtz talks about the Bulls 34-24 home loss to Louisville. Coach said they made to many mistakes and the players, coaches, and the football program as a whole did not execute well enough to win.

USF head Coach Skip Holtz talks about the Bulls 34-24 home loss to Louisville. Coach said they made to many mistakes and the players, coaches, and the football program as a whole did not execute well enough to win

"It's really frustrating to be as close as we've been so many times this season. You come in at halftime and have a lead and to not be able to hold on to it in the second half is very frustrating. And I give Louisville a lot of credit today, I think Teddy Bridgewater played an excellent game. At the same point in time I thought defensively we were poor. You shouldn't leave that many guys as uncontested and wide open in the backend. And it's not like it looked like we were playing man coverage and we forgot to cover somebody, but we would be in three deep and threw the post under the goal post and there was nobody within 10 yards of him when he catches it. Were in three deep and they throw two corner routes, nobody is anywhere around the guy when he catches it and we just did not play very smart today as a football team. We had opportunities in special teams, we dropped a punt early, we had a kickoff return on a squib where we're just trying to get out of the half and mess up their timing. We miss a couple tackles and they run it all the way down to the 30 and that was the one where they throw the post on it. We have an 80-yard kick by (Maikon) Bonani, who did an unbelievable job, and we have a guy hit another guy in the back just running down the field, just a foolish mistake that takes away about 40 yards of field position in a football game. The first half we came out and tried to take the quarterback out of it a little bit, the second half with what they did and some of the adjustments they made where they loaded the box and said we're going to ask this young quarterback to throw it a little bit to move the ball and we weren't able to protect him very well and we weren't able to throw it and catch it very well. We had three turnovers today to their one and we just made too many mistakes to win today. I still don't second guess or question how hard they play, they came out and played with passion and effort. It was a hard hitting game in a lot of respects but we certainly didn't play one of our better games of the season this year."

On poor special teams play…
"17 points. Take 17 points off the board and ask how big the special teams were in this game. I think it was absolutely huge and I thought our special teams were poor. That's a reflection on us as coaches. Victor Marc drops a punt, we didn't even set up a return all day. We said fair catch the ball. Fair catch the ball, secure it, their punter is averaging about what ours was, about 35 yards a punt. We said we'll play the field position game and just cover the punt. Victor Marc tries to catch it early and return it and drops it and we gave up three on that one. We ended up giving up seven on the long kickoff return and we took a bunch of field position away. We are just making some foolish blunders that you can't make and win." 

On poor defensive play today after some solid performances in past games…

"Like I said, defensively we couldn't get off the field on third down and we were awful in the red zone. Some of that is when Teddy Bridgewater scrambles out and somebody comes up to stop the run and he lays it up, but others are just inexcusable for us to play zone coverage and them throw the ball 20, 15 yards into the endzone and have nobody anywhere around them. It is inexcusable. You got a young corner in there. Kayvon Webster wasn't able to go, he practiced yesterday but wasn't able to go, he had a concussion. George Baker played more reps than he has all year today, certainly not throwing him under the bus, but a young and inexperienced guy plays three deep and he jumps up on the out cut and leaves the corner route wide open behind him. They weren't hard reads, I promise you. I thought we made it easy, we made it easier than it should be. It certainly wasn't one of our better efforts as far as being where were supposed to be. We didn't feel like we could pressure him as much because of the way that he eludes rushers and his athleticism, so we said we were going to play zone coverage and keep the ball in front of us. We didn't execute that game plan very well."

On how much he takes this personally…

"I take a lot of it. I'm the head coach, that's where it starts and that's where it stops. I take responsibility for it, I've got to do a better job holding the staff to a higher standard and our staff has to do a better job of holding our players to a higher standard. I take a lot of it, I take it personal. I think that's why you get into coaching, because you think you make a difference and I think it is too easy to point a finger at a player and say he didn't make a play and he didn't do this or do that. When I keep saying we're four plays away from sitting here 9-1, I'm not pointing at the players saying they're four plays from catching a ball or dropping a ball or something like that. I'm saying as much as anything, I'm four plays as a head coach from doing a better job. Our defensive staff, our offensive staff, is four plays away from us sitting here. We've got to do a better job as a staff. I think we all have to accept responsibility and accountability and it starts with me. I'm the head coach and that's where starts and I've got to do a better job of getting everyone on the same page and it's obvious that I haven't taught this football team that turnovers will get you beat. We don't take care of the ball the way we need to, it's on the ground to much, it's pretty obvious by the number of big plays that we gave up today that special teams isn't very important in winning when you watch that game today."

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