They threw some different stuff at you, with the spread runs …
‘'Yeah, it was different than we had prepared for, but the staff and the players did a great job of adjusting. A great job. We have great assistant coaches and we talked about it, and our players, to be able to change our scheme and do it was outstanding.''
There was apparently a lot that you hadn't seen on film.
‘'A compliment to their coaches. They did a great job. They showed a lot of stuff, the majority of stuff we had never seen. So, we just had to make adjustments on the sidelines, the players did a great job of taking that and being able to go out there and get it done.''
Where else are you going to see that?
‘'Oregon is like that. With the quarterback, same thing. Everybody has got a little bit of it now, We weren't expecting so much of it, and they had a bunch of other wrinkles. Like I said, they did a great job and I give all the credit to our coaches and our players being able to adjust to it.''
And yet they scored only nine points …
‘'That's what we kept saying, ‘Guys, they're getting yards, but they're not scoring.' Just play the defense, just simplify it and play the defense. It was different than we've seen, so we just had to make adjustments on how to play certain plays. I can't say enough, the assistant coaches and the players, in terms of getting that done.''
Was some of the misdirection, maybe, a reason behind some of the poor tackling?
‘'That's another thing we're going to have to see. I have a feeling (on the film) there's going to be a lot of missed tackles and you can't have missed tackles. That's something we can correct. They came out and gave us something different, we adjusted and we kept them down to nine points. That's positive. The negative, I believe when I watch the film there's going to be a lot of missed tackles.''
Both sides of the ball also had a lot of penalties …
‘'Yes. At least it didn't happen on the first drive, like it's happened the last two weeks. But, still, we can't have them, we call them dumb penalties. There are penalties that are aggressive – you're going for a ball and they call you, that's fine. But we can't have late hits, jumping offsides, can't have that stuff. That's stuff we work hard on every week.''
Not to dwell on statistics, but you guys are like 25th in the nation in defense and you only allowed nine points today. How proud are you of your guys overall?
‘'As I stressed before, I'm just so proud of our assistant coaches. We put our heads together, figured out what they were doing, figured out how to do the schemes, and then our players being able to not practice it and have to play the plays. That was a big plus for this game. The sideline adjustments, they did a great job.''
Akeem Ayers, the sophomore linebacker, commented after the game.
It seemed like you guys had a good handle on them, with the exception of a couple series when they had a lot of success running the ball. What was going on there?
‘'It was just something we had to adjust to, something we hadn't seen a lot on film, so that was something they brought new for us, for our defense specifically. It was like a little adjustment we had to makw. Coach Bullough made a good adjustment and we had to go from there.''
They didn't show a lot of that?
‘'No, they didn't show as much as they did.''
Statistically, the defense is showing pretty good, but where do you feel you guys are going into the bye and Pac-10 play?
‘'We're doing good, so far. There's still a lot of room for improvement and things that we can do better. We're going to come in each day and work to get better during the week and during the bye week and get ready for the next game. We're doing good now, but we can do better.''
What can you do better?
‘'Assignment wise, we're still missing assignments, you know. The effort is there - everyone is playing hard. It's just the assignments that need to be cleaned up and we'll be fine.''
I know it's hard to slow down when you're out there, but have to ask – three games, three personal fouls? What's up with that?
‘'Well, the one today, they said helmet to helmet. When I ran to him, he was still up, but they called helmet to helmet. There's nothing I can do about the helmet to helmet, I'm just going for the hit and it just happened that we hit helmet to helmet.''
It looked like if he hadn't come back up a little, you wouldn't have hit him in the helmet …
‘'I'm just trying to make a play. I saw him up, so I'm just going for the hit. Why not? He's still up.''