Dorrell's Post-Game Comments

Head Coach Karl Dorrell spoke to the press after the Oregon game Saturday, taking much of the blame for the loss and talking about how the team needs to get better -- quickly. He also talks about the offense...

Opening statement:

"I don't know where to begin. I guess from the beginning. We started early throwing an interception for a touchdown. I think they went down and scored a touchdown, then a kick-off return for a touchdown. We were reeling right from the beginning, where they scored a number of points in the first quarter. Unfortunately for us that's something that's been difficult for us to recover from, a team that puts points on us so quickly. We couldn't find any rhythm, or the ability to do anything consistently on both sides. We had a couple of issues that happened on special teams. It just wasn't a very good game. That's on us. That's on me. It's on our coaches. We're not doing a good enough job preparing our football team. It's a shame we're playing this way at the end of the season, is what it is. We'll keep battling and keep trying to do the right things we can to get ourselves ready for a big week against USC."

How did you feel about Drew Olson's play?

"Good and bad. I think he tried to do some things and tried to make some plays downfield, but I also think he tried to break out of the pocket and got a couple of those sacks that we didn't need to have happen. That's been our play at that position all season long, and we continue to have the same issues. We'll continue to keep working with him."

Do you feel like you took a step back the last couple of weeks?

"Sure. I feel that way. I feel that we prepared pretty well but for some reason we haven't been putting our best effort out there on the field. So that's something we need to take a long long at and try to get ourselves ready for another week of play."

When you were down 21-3, was that a deficit that was too much to overcome?

"It was a deficit where we were just trying to find some rhythm and trying to get ourselves settled down, and we couldn't find that rhythm very well. Whenever there was a play that was made there was something that brought it back, or a key sack, or what have you. It got to the point that we were just trying to get points on the board to generate some momentum of consistency. That was tough to deal with today."

You've had almost a full year to get a sense of your talent. Might you change your offense now that you've had a year to look at the players?

"We'll try to do whatever we have to to utilize the talent we have. We try to do that each and every week. That's been a difficult chore week in and week out. By the end of the season you hope you're pretty good doing some of those things, and unfortunately we're not doing that right now. So we have to do a better job, do a better job of preparing our players."

In the first half, you played conservatively, but in second half opened it up. Any particular reason?

"Well, it was 31 to 3, to 9, to 6, whatever it was. We needed to try to get ourselves back in the football game. We can't necessarily do that running the ball as much as we would normally do. We were just trying to generate any type of offense to get ourselves in position to get points on the board."

The offense struggled in the red zone. What's the problem there?

"It's probably an extension of all of the other problems that we've had in all of the other parts that we do offensively. We just have to do a better job of coaching. We're not getting it done. That's where we're at in a nutshell. We have to do a better job of coaching, and getting our kids in a position to understand what we're trying to get done, and then give them the opportunities to execute those things on the field. That's what it come downs to. We need to do a better job."

On some of the turnovers in their territory, are you saying that play calling was the problem?

"No. I'm not saying anything about the play calling. I said we need to do a better job of putting our kids in position to make plays. And not only putting them in position, and getting those things executed. And that's in everything we do offensively. That's not on any one person, that takes all of us. This is a big issue."

At this point in the season, do you go over the tape of the game?

"I think we have to keep building on the things that we've done. We have to go over it, we have to understand why we're having these issues. We have to continue to do the things to try to get better. That can't ever stop. The relentless pursuit of trying to do things better. That's something that I'm never going to give up on. I think our players understand that. So I'm going to continue to work and grind and do the things that we need to do to hopefully get ourselves over this hump that's in front of us at this current time."

Tyler Ebell had a big run at the beginning of the game, and then wasn't a factor. How does that tailback rotation work?

"We got away from running the ball. We ran early, and did some good things with the running game. I'm sure if the game were in a different position when they weren't so many points ahead, we probably would have stayed with our plan. But we got so far behind we tried to do some things to get us back into the game, which was difficult for us to do. So we ended up getting away from running the ball as much as we normally do."

Can you make a determination about who will start at quarterback next week? "No, again, I don't like to do that after an emotional loss like this. Again, I think we always try to come back the next day and re-assess everything, and re-evaluate all the issues that happened the day before. Those decisions won't be made until Sunday night or Monday."

Are you sold on this offense? Is this what you want to run?

"Am I sold on the offense? I'm definitely sold on the offense. We're just not doing anything right now to get anybody excited, including ourselves. That's where we're at. We need to get ourselves better at what we do. It will happen. It will happen. It's just not at this point. So we're going to continue to work on the issues of trying to get ourselves better."

Anything specific you can talk about how the coaching staff is working right now?

"Not really. That's something that's in the transition phase, too, with all the other issues that we talked about. There are a lot of things that need to get better, including me. So, I'll continue to evaluate with all the issues that are dealing with our program, and I'll try to tinker and do the things that make things work. Some way somehow we'll make it work."

Is it possible that this talent just isn't suited to your offense?

"We have who we have. When I came here I knew the talent we had. I think that's not the issue to me. I think it's just the stages we're at at this time. There's no doubt they will be a year better next year because they'll be more familiar with what's going on. But I'm not going to say whether it's a talent issue."

What keeps you optimistic about next week? What can you tell the players?

"I'm hoping I wake up tomorrow with an opportunity to live one more day. That's what makes me optimistic, that I have something to look forward to. I'm still living, I'm still ticking, I'm still moving forward. Like I told my team, we're going to keep fighting. We're going find a way to get ourselves out of this rut and put it on the line again next week."

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