USF Secondary Coach Troy Douglas
Talk about the secondary's performance in the first half of the Kansas Game.
"We didn't play real well, but you have to give some credit to Kansas. They did some things and the QB made some plays. We missed too many tackles, missed too many checks, and didn't really do what we were supposed to do on a lot of their passing plays."
Did Reesing's ability cause problems for the secondary?
"The quarterback was scrambling around and had time, but it's not just the secondary. Obviously everyone has a little piece of stopping the run and the pass. The D-line has got to rush; the linebackers have to make the right drops. There was a lot of mental stuff, we got pulled in, didn't execute and didn't tackle very well when we needed to."
With all the missed tackles in the game, what do you do to help fix the problem?
"We work tackling every day in practice. I know it may not seem that way but we do. The guys got to learn, and some of them have some bad habits of turning their shoulder instead of putting their face on them, and that's what we got to get corrected in practice."
After numerous missed tackles on Kansas's first score, what do you say to the team?
"You got to point out in the tape what they did, but they know. They know when they do wrong and we got to work harder in practice. Maybe they might not go full speed in practice or do the drill exactly how they're supposed to, but this got their attention, because they know it almost cost them the game. We're getting on it in practice and hopefully we'll get it corrected."
With Tyller Roberts making a great stick on a screen early in the game, do you think they used that to set him up later in the game with the fake?
"Yes, there is no doubt about it. The funny thing was before the game that was his question. How are you going to handle the bubble screen? And how are you going to handle the bubble sucker? He answered the first one right, but didn't execute on the second, and they got him just enough."
What halftime adjustments that you made to shut down Kansas's offense in the third?
"The kids took it on themselves, there was no win it for the Gipper speech or anything like that. It was a combination of they were tired of getting pushed around and we started executing a little bit better."
How much did the offense's performance in the third help out the defense?
"Offensively we started to move the ball and that kept our defense off the field. When you're rolling everybody is going and you feel fresh, but o defense, when they're rolling against you, you're tired because they're getting yards and you get worn out. It just seemed like we couldn't get off the field on third downs."
Talk about Nate's game changing play in the final minute.
"Nate is a playmaker and he's got so much range and everything, that it doesn't surprise me. The funny thing is they hit us on that same route on a third and long when we didn't do what we were supposed to do, and they tried to come back to it again. Fortunately we had the guy in the right place to make the play."
Did you tell the secondary to watch for that play later in the game?
"No, you make your adjustments at the half, but they really didn't change what they were doing from the first half to the second. They didn't do anything that we didn't see, we just executed better."
What are your feelings that one of the secondary made the play that put the team in position to win it at the end?
"I'm just glad we won the game. I don't care who makes the play as long as we win. I'm just as happy for Maikon making the kick as I am for Nate making the interception. I'm just happy to be where we are and start looking at FIU, because they're going to bring their A-game."
With FIU not having the emotions or excitement of either UCF or Kansas, is it hard for the guys to get up for the game?
"You'd like to think they get up for every opponent the same way. I know we'll get their best shot, but we'll be getting everybody's best shot. We kind of got a target on us right now. We prepare the same way no matter who we play, whether it's Tennessee Martin, FIU, Kansas, West Virginia, or anybody. We prepare the same way. It's the biggest game of the year."