Q & A: Bobby Johnson on Vandy-UK

After the 14-13 loss to Kentucky on Saturday, Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson spoke to the media about the reasons for the loss, his team's mindset, recruiting, and the upcoming Tennessee game.

Media: What were the reasons for the fourth quarter collapse?

Bobby Johnson: I have no reason for it right now. I'm sure I'll find out when we look at the film. It's unbelievable the way we've executed so far this year that we could come out and play like that.

Media: What happened with Patrick Johnson's missed extra point, was it the hold?

Bobby Johnson: Not that I know of.

Media: Does your team seem a little tentative with the lead in the second half?

Bobby Johnson: I don't think so.

Media: You've said that your team has improved all season. After today is this taking a step backwards?

Bobby Johnson: Well, I don't know if they've taken a step backwards but we haven't stepped far enough forward. It was back pretty far, but we haven't gone forward enough.

Media: What was the reasoning for putting Steven Bright in during the third quarter?

Bobby Johnson: We thought we could do some things with Steven that Jay was not able to do because he was hurt.

Media: Do you think it affected the defense in the fourth quarter having Moses with the injury?

Bobby Johnson: I don't think so. We made a big stop after the blocked punt. Moses made a big play in the end zone to break up that pass, so I don't think it was a big factor. It's always nice to have him in there; he's a good player.

Media: Did you talk to Dominique about what happened on the Kentucky scoring pass?

Bobby Johnson: It looked to me like Dominique jumped a little too early, I couldn't tell. I was watching the quarterback and thought we had a good chance to sack him.

Media: Did you think there was pass interference on the final pass?

Bobby Johnson: It's hard to see from my vantage point, I don't know. I couldn't tell.

Media: Throughout the season you've had the opportunity to win some games, is this the toughest one you've been through?

Bobby Johnson: It's pretty tough, it's an SEC game, and we had a chance to get a road win. We played good enough most of the game to win and we didn't do it so it's pretty tough.

Media: What happened to Moses?

Bobby Johnson: He turned his ankle.

Media: Severe?

Bobby Johnson: I don't know.

Media: Will you look at making changes in the kicking game for next week?

Bobby Johnson: I'll see what happened on the film and we are going to have to change. We can't have our punts blocked and we've got to kick our extra points. Change something in what we are doing.

Media: It looked like you ran the ball well on Kentucky early then you went to the pass. Did Kentucky commit more to the run, what was the reasoning to go the pass more?

Bobby Johnson: We thought we could throw the football on them more. You just choose your plays sometimes, you just choose. We can run or pass. We still ran the ball, we actually did second down draws that we got key first downs.

Media: What about Jay being able to play on that ankle? Did he get much practice this week?

Bobby Johnson: He's a competitor; he plays the football game like you want him to play it. There was no way we were going to keep him out of the game. He won't stand for that, he was ready to go. It may have kept him from running more options; we went to Steven because we thought he could run some. Jay just hung in there, he had a little trouble on rollouts, but for the most part he had some excellent quarterback draws. I thought he played well.

Media: Coach, had a number of dropped passes today, most seemed to be when your players were looking back into the sun, was that a factor?

Bobby Johnson: They never mentioned the sun to me, I don't think so.

Media: A couple of the earlier losses where teams came back, your team seemed frustrated. Today there seemed to be more anger, yelling things out. What do you do in that situation? What do you do to keep their heads up for Tennessee?

Bobby Johnson: Well, it's only been about 15 minutes since the game was over. I'd be angry too, I am angry. I did some things in the locker room that I don't normally do. Yes, we're angry. We'll come out and practice for Tennessee. We'll come back and get ready for Tennessee.

Media: Inaudible

Bobby Johnson: Well they want to win, just like everybody wants to win. They saw a couple opportunities and they took advantage of them. That's what you need to do to win football games. Take advantage of all you opportunities and we didn't do that. We had some opportunities to score points, opportunities to kick field goals, opportunities to kick extra points, we had opportunities to stop their offense and we didn't do it.

Media: Is there anything psychologically you can put your finger on and say, "If I could just make my team do this, or that, that I could get this to work in the right direction?"

Bobby Johnson: Well, psychologically no, I think this is just execution. If there is something psychological keeping them from executing I cannot put my finger on it, no. I would like to find out. Our guys are not afraid. They want to win. Different things have kept us from winning; I think it has been different about every game.

Media: Have you as a coach ever seen anything like this season?

Bobby Johnson: No, I haven't.

Media: Coach, how do you think this loss will affect your recruiting efforts? It looks like you will finish 2-9 or possibly 3-8, what do you tell your recruits?

Bobby Johnson: Just what we've been telling them. They'll have an opportunity to come to a great university and a great city and play in the SEC and have a chance to help us win games like this.

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