Coach Gregory Comments On Bulls Turnovers

Saturday the Bulls lost 38-33 to the Bearcats and their eight turnovers were a school record. USF offensive coordinator Coach Gregory tells USFNation his thoughts on the offensive woes. Read on for all the details. Only on -- Get it First, Get it Fast!



How do all the turnovers affect the game?


"Eight turnovers are tough to over come, and it's especially hard when you're driving in close and have one. All you can do is try and preach it and try and harp on it and limit them. I have to go back and look at the turnovers, the interceptions and see if he [Grothe] tried to force the ball or if a good play was made on the ball. We also dropped one in the punt game also. They were everywhere, and to be able to have stayed in the ball game under those situations."


As a coordinator what did you have to do after the first quarter fireworks?


"We had to make some major adjustments fast, because they played us really somewhat different then we expected. I thought we made some good adjustments and kind of negated their blitz. We really did a good job of pass protection most of the day. I think we only gave up one sack on the day and we threw the ball fifty something times. That's a lot of throws and I think we did a good job to give our selves a chance to win the game. You can't turn the ball over that many times and hope to win."


On the last play were you looking for a flag?


"I was just hoping he [Hester] caught the ball. I'll never comment on an official, that's for Coach Leavitt." 


How hard is it as a coordinator to deal with all the turnovers each week?


""It's hard, we cut them back then we have a game like this. As a coach you try and see what you can do. In the pass game I can sit with Matt and analyze the interceptions and say okay, are you forcing the ball when you don't need to or are you better off throwing an incompletion or throwing the ball away? Matt's got a little bit of what I call a riverboat gambler in him, and that's what makes him a good player. He's going to try and fit the ball in some tight places. I got to go back a look at film and see whether that's the reason or not. Look at the end zone tape and see what he's seeing.  The one interception over the middle I thought he was going to have a beautiful throw, but the guy made a nice play on it."


What about all the fumbles by the skilled players?


"As far as getting the ball ripped out of your hands, all we can do is to continue to harp on them about holding the ball high and tight and maybe we're not harping enough, that's all I can say. They're not big hits fumbles. Sometimes you'll have a fumble on a big hit, but these are guys getting caught in piles and getting the ball ripped out late. We're just not securing the ball enough."


Did you notice any reason for the fumbles?


"I know Matt's was down field and he was kind of hung up and at the last second it got ripped out. I know A.J. Loves was fighting down the field and the same thing happened. With Jamar's it was a little more bam-bam, he took the ball got hit and the ball came out. That's what three fumbles and then we had the muffed punt."At this stage of the season it's always a big emphasis for every offensive coach on securing the ball. It's about the only drill we do with our running backs individually is ball security drills and holding on to the football. It's really negating our chance to score a lot of points."


Is there anything that you can do to limit the fumbles?


"If I had the answer to that…But you can bet we'll be looking for it. All I can tell you is we're going to be looking for ways to secure the ball better and cut the interceptions out. Matt usually doesn't throw a lot of interceptions, they made have made a couple of plays on him, and they might have made him force a few, we'll see." 

What about not committing to the running game?


"People are just stacking the box completely against us and want us to throw it. If their going to do that, then we're going to throw it. The objective is to move the ball one way or the other and find a way to score. I think we're finding ways to move the ball. I like to score some more points but when you turn the ball over you lose some opportunities. We've been in the position to get more points if we just hold on to the football. But if they're going to stack the box then we're going to throw it." 


Were you planning on using Mike Ford during the game?


"We weren't sure with ford going in, because he hadn't had contact in a week, and Wednesday He could hardly raise his arm. We didn't know if he'd be able to take a hit. So we decided to put him and see. He did some good things and had a couple of good runs, but after the game went on it was more pass and Ben's such a good blocker.. But he and Ben basically split the second half. Before the game we didn't know" 


Are you surprised that Matt's still getting the majority of carries?


"No because when you spread the offense out and the other team doesn't spread with you, then you have two choices. Either you throw the ball or you run the quarterback. If you run the back then they have one extra guy close. If they're not spreading out with the receivers, then they got the extra guy and the backs got to block and the quarterback has to run, and Matt's a good runner. A few plays I thought we would have got some more yards on plays because we got some good initial holes. It's not a lack of faith in the running backs, we love our backs, it's just working with what they're giving us."


Did the all the injuries effect the game calling?


"They're different positions for our receivers in this offense. Sometimes you can be an inside receiver and play both inside positions, and sometimes you can be an outside guy and play both outside positions. But it's hard sometimes for an outside guy to play inside and vise versa. Thy were having to do that and run all over the place, new guys and old guys, but I'll never use that as an excuse. Injuries happen, but if you have to start calling plays because of personnel then it gets real difficult. We expect the next guy to be able to step in and perform."


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