Well guys that was a very frustrating game. We played poorly on defense. We had the momentum. A 19-point lead in the third quarter, and let them get off the hook too many times. We just did a poor job in the back end. They got momentum and we couldn't get anything else going on offense. And defensively, we just couldn't make a play. I'm very frustrated in how we played and disappointed with how we played.
Did you ever have confidence in the fourth quarter that you could run down the clock score again, somehow win the game? You had all kinds of chances.
Alvarez: Well I was hoping we could. I didn't have confidence we could, but I was hoping we could, either one. Either make a couple more first downs, or make a play on defense. We had them third-and-long, our defensive line gave us some pressure, we had some sacks, we had them third-and-long and our corner tries to undercut an out-cut. You just let him…if he makes the catch, just tackle him right there, line them up fourth-and-long. We just didn't play smart and didn't make plays.
It seemed like the middle of the field was wide open. How did that happen?
Alvarez: A lot of times we were dropping eight, and you should have two linebackers in the middle of the field. You know, I'll have to see that, but there should be a linebacker underneath that someplace.
Did play-action give you some problems too?
Alvarez: Early on, they hit the fullback down the middle a couple of times. We had a blitz on, and a backup turned the fullback loose on play-action. You know, they didn't do anything that we hadn't prepared for. They executed better than we executed on defense.
The mental setbacks at this point of the season, is that the biggest disappointment right now?
Alvarez: Well the way we played is disappointing. We just didn't respond and just didn't play well. That's what disappoints me. Just not playing well on defense. We did some decent things on offense. We have a lot of new guys out there. You've got new tight ends out there playing, young receivers, some of those guys are nicked up a bit, but that's no excuse. They had young guys too. I'm disappointed we didn't play very well.
You guys have been really good at holding leads. Is that why this is so frustrating?
Alvarez: The whole thing is frustrating. Whether it be holding a lead, stopping somebody when you have to, the whole thing. We had all the momentum in the world. Just keep that momentum. But we gave up an easy touchdown which swung that momentum. It didn't seem like we could get it back after that.
Offensively, you practice that all the time, holding a lead and running the clock out?
Alvarez: We work on it, yeah. We dropped the ball right at the first down stick with about four minutes left. We had a throw right in there. The ball came out, it was a good call by the official.
In the middle of the game when you were building a lead, it seemed like your defensive line was getting a lot of pressure. Were they getting pressure late in the game when the lead was given up?
Alvarez: They had pressure at the end of the game. If you take a look at it, I think we had three sacks in their last drive, or at least two. They were in long-yardage situations, and we didn't make plays. I think a huge play is third-and-17, and we undercut an out-route. If he catches the ball and you tackle him, it's fourth-and-long. I thought, without blitzing, we had some pressure in there, just with three and four-man rushes.
You said last week it was just one loss, and there's a lot of season left. Where does this put you?
Alvarez: Well, about where you think it puts us. We'll see what kind of character this team has, see if they can bounce back, see if we can improve as we go along. That's all we can do.
A lot of guys were out with injuries today. Could these guys miss next week as well?
Alvarez: I don't know. (Bob) Docherty has an ankle, I just don't know how those are going to respond. (Jeff) Mack has a shoulder. I just don't know. We'd like to have them back.
How did Anthony Davis do today playing hurt?
Alvarez: I thought Anthony played pretty well. We spelled him enough. I thought his ankle was a little weak, but Anthony responded. He played okay.
You pulled Brooks Bollinger for one series in the first half. Did you ever think about going back to Jim Sorgi?
Alvarez: No, I thought Brooks, even that last drive in the half, and the next drive in the beginning of the second half, I thought Brooks played well. We wanted to give Jim some playing time. But I thought Brooks had a good feel for the game.
The statistics don't reveal any major inconsistencies. Does that make this even more puzzling?
Alvarez: Well, we were inconsistent. Inconsistent.
Playing so many new players out of necessity, is it harder to be consistent?
Alvarez: It could be a factor.
Is Scott Campbell nursing an injury right now?
Alvarez: Well Mike (Allen) earned that job last week. That's why he kicked.
Did he show you something, making all of his field goals today?
Alvarez: Yeah I thought Mike kicked very well today. And Scott did a nice job kicking off.
Did you think this team could be 0-2 in the Big Ten heading into it?
Alvarez: I don't ever think about it that way. I just try to worry about the next game. I don't try to look at the whole picture and try to figure out where you are going to be, record-wise. I just don't do that.
Any reason for Brandon Williams back returning punts?
Alvarez: Jimmy (Leonhard) had a deal on his arm. He had a hard time. He just didn't feel comfortable. The ball was bouncing off of it. There was a small cast on there…(the interception) was on the other arm.
Indiana Postgame: Barry Alvarez Verbatim
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