Kimble, Ostrander, Moore USC Post-Game

After being shut out on the scoreboard (again), the focus after Saturday's 42-0 loss to USC was indeed on the offense. There was an interesting mixture of hope and despair in the locker room: examining offensive improvements on the one hand, yet mindful of another day without finding the endzone. Quarterback T.C. Ostrander, wideout Evan Moore and tailback Anthony Kimble talked after the defeat.

Redshirt junior quarterback T.C. Ostrander

Did the offense improve tonight over the last couple games?

"Yeah, I think we did.  We tried to stay within ourselves.  Coach tried this week to reinforce small victories during the game.  Just trying to win on every play.  I think if we get back and take that step-by-step attitude, it will turn out better for us."

It's still tough, though.  Small steps, but still zero points...

"Yeah.  Zero points, obviously.  But we drove the ball a lot better than we have in the past couple games."

What do you think were some of those small steps today?

"I think guys really concentrated on doing their assignment every play.  Not trying to do too much.  Not trying to make a big play on every single down.  If you work the system, the system will work.  I think we're making progress toward that."

Can you find encouragement in that, or is this the same place you started?

"No, I think it's very encouraging.  Like I've said before, we're not going to a bowl at the end of this year.  That's already determined.  It's not like every game hangs on a win or loss.  A lot of it right now is trying to be the best football team that we can be.  And if we improve week to week, it's encouraging to come back the next week of practice and try getting better."

Where did you improve over the Arizona State game?

"I think just my overall management of the offense.  I got the ball quicker out of my hands this week.  I hit my dump-offs better when I needed to.  Game management and just not trying to do too much."

On the interception you were trying to throw to Evan and the USC player was standing right in front of him, was there a miscommunication between you two on that play, or did you just not see the defender?

"We had a play called and they played it perfectly.  I never should have thrown the ball.  It was totally my fault.  Yeah, I saw him at the last second, but it was too late.  That's just one of those things I have to work on.  I have to see it before I throw it, and not just think it's there."

It looked like you were limping around a little there at the end.  How are you feeling?

"I just got nicked a little bit.  It's not a big deal.  I feel pretty good physically."

Redshirt junior wide receiver Evan Moore

What is it going to take to score some points?

"That's a tough question to answer.  Nothing more than just making the play to put the ball in the endzone, whether that's making our blocks all the way down the field and grind it out down the field or we take a shot a the endzone.  We just have to make the plays that are necessary.  Scoring touchdowns is not an easy thing to do.  It takes a big play, that's for sure."

From your vantage point looking back at the quarterback on plays, what did you see that was improved in T.C. today?

"I think he was pretty poised.  I he started the game, so he was able to get into a rhythm, as opposed to coming in late and having all the pressure on him.  He was able to sit in and really understand what they are doing.  And he practiced well this week.  I know it's kind of clichéd, but he was able to get into a rhythm.  T.C. is a confident guy, so that definitely helps."

You guys have three games left, what do you want to see out of these last three?

"I have a lot of improvement to do right now.  Including myself, I want to see improvement on the offense and giving our defense a chance.  I want to help, and I hope our offense can put points on the board.  I think our defense - the scoreboard says 42-0, but the blocked kick doesn't help.  I don't know how many turnovers we ended up with, three?  That just kills our defense.  To me, it looks like they're getting better every game, but the problem is that the scoreboard and all of the stats don't necessarily tell that because we're putting them in a rough position.  We're rarely getting past the 50, it seems like.  I'm not saying that from the outside in.  I'm saying that as part of that group; I need to get better, too.  We all need to get better.  We just need to execute better."

What is your instant analysis of your play tonight, Evan?

"I thought it alright.  It wasn't great.  I still have some things I have to polish up.  It's easy to sit here and make excuses, but I'm coming off this injury and there are things I have to get polished up, period.  There are plays I felt that I could have made if I was into the game a little more.  There are some things I have to get better at.  I'm not pointing a finger at anyone.  There are things I'm screwing up, too."

What does that mean, 'if you were a little more into the game'?

"If I hadn't missed five weeks prior to this.  That's definitely difficult to come back from that.  I don't want to sit here and make excuses about that."

Do you take the attitude right now that there were real improvements on offense and this was a step forward, or is this still just too terrible of an offense and all you can feel is pain and frustration?

"As far as the statistics go, there was improvement.  But we still came out of the game with zero points.  As far as I'm concerned, how much improvement is that?  Yeah, we were able to run the ball a little bit better and complete a few more passes, but we still didn't score.  Again, I'm just as much a part of that as anyone, and we just need to put the ball in the endzone, period."

You guys worked hard these last two weeks leading up to this game.  Is your attitude toward this coming week of practice that there are building blocks to improve upon, or is there the risk that your eyes could gloss over at this point?

"I'll never say that.  We just played the number five or number six team in the country.  They're good.  They're really good.  We still have three games left, and each game is independent of the other.  Each game, you go out and prove what your team is all about.  We have to take each game individually.  I know that we have heard this a million times, but there is not ever going to be a time where this team says, 'Let's just throw it in.  We're not going to win a game.'  That's not going to happen."

Redshirt sophomore running back Anthony Kimble

On the one hand, USC had a lot of guys in the backfield that made it hard for the running game.  On the other hand, you used some footwork to manufacture some nice runs.  How do you evaluate your game and the running game tonight?

"Not putting it together.  I just try to go out there and play my heart out.  That's all I know how to do.  We're just not putting it together.  We can have great practices, but when we get in the game, it just seems that nothing seems to be clicking for us.  We're not putting our gameplan together."

Can you give us some specifics?  What are some things that are not carrying over from practices to the game tonight?

"Our offense is not much performing, really.  We're not really moving the ball well.  We move the ball well a couple drives, from time to time, but we're a lot better than what we're showing, I feel."

Is there anything positive that can be taken away from tonight offensively, at least better than the last couple games?

"It was a lot better than 52 yards.  You always try to find something good in a bad situation, but I just play to win.  It's hard to find.  I just want to play to win, somehow and some way."

What do you think that way is going to be?

"I don't know.  I wish someone knew.  I know the coaches and the rest of my teammates all wish they knew.  We just have to find some kind of way to get it put together.  I don't know what we're missing or what we're lacking.  I know we're not lacking talent.  We have good gameplans each week.  We just have to find a way to put it together."

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