Head Coach Carl Pelini
Sept. 23, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. -
Did your view of last Saturday’s game change after watching the film?
No, I thought offensively when we started putting it together we got good movement up front and running the ball well which is key for us. It opened up the passing game. When they had to start involving their safeties in stopping the run it opens up the throwing game. I thought our line did a good job for the most part in the running phase of the game and in pass protection. Quez (Jaquez Johnson) played a very good game. We just can’t have those mistakes, which he made. The running ran hard, they just too many balls on the ground. Those are the things that will kill us if we don’t get it fixed, which we will. But, it is where we are as a program. When you are playing as many freshmen as we are it is just part of it. They are all learning opportunities for the guys. They will learn valuable lessons. Reggie (Brown) had a mistake on a kick-off return, a true freshman. He heard a whistle blow and he stopped. He learned from that. I know he did. D.J (Juste) and Lester (Thomas) – they all had their moments, but they are doing good things for us too. We are a young football team in that respect and we will get that fixed. Defensively, when you look at the team, the kid (MT’s Logan Kilgore) made some conversions under press on third down that were amazing and that are hard to defend. In the big drive of the second half there was great (defensive) coverage. He was running for his life and threw the ball back across his body - perfect throw. Things like that the frustrate you but you just have to move on. There is not much you can do about it. The coverage was great. It couldn’t have been a more perfect throw. He is a good quarterback. He did it on a number of occasions where other quarterbacks don’t make that throw. The running game – we gave up some yards rushing. Again, I go back to 10 personal forces you to be disciplined in your gaps. It will expose your mistakes. The frustrating for the coaches and the players after seeing the film yesterday, that is where a lot of the yardage came from. Where our fits just were not right. We weren’t disciplined in our gaps. We gave them easy stuff which is frustrating at this point. On both sides of the ball, when we execute, I think we can be a pretty good football team.
Committing another man to stop the run.
We did a lot. We were in cover one a lot and were gapped out. Really, the way we build our structure we really have both safeties involved in the run as well. We did have guys committed to the run. With the zone read game, one of those guys has to account for the quarterback. That’s why I think our offense started to move the ball on the ground, when Quez showed a willingness to keep the ball. It all builds on each other.
Correcting the Offensive Mistakes (Pct.) from a Week ago.
They were lower, but still there. There were still mistakes and guys making plays. Again, like you said the ability to get the ball on the edge with the bubble game and for the quarterback to pull kinda makes them a little bit less significant. Certainly, assignment wise and the execution of the offense we improved. There were less mistakes this week. Out of the ones that we identified, five of them were the turnovers.
Physical, well coached and disciplined. They are a good football team. Studying the preseason and the talk about them, they feel like it is one of the best football teams that they have ever had. They have beat Kansas and lost a close rivalry, this past weekend - certainly nothing to be ashamed of. They fought their hearts out. Just very disciplined and very big. They are a big football team up front on both sides of the ball. They are physical all over. One thing I see it that their receiver blocking. They are big long guys who are strong. Their running backs are big strong guys. Their quarterback is strong. They are a physical football team. We have to be ready for four quarters of physical football. They are a run first oriented team but do it out of a spread, similar to the way we do it. They will run some option. It’s funny, you will see a spread offense there and yet at the same time you see aspects of a service academy’s option. You see both aspects so there is a lot to prepare for defensively. Defensively, they do what they do. They are good at it. They are big and strong up front. The “D” line moves well and they are very disciplined. They are not going to make mistakes that give you big plays.
On Quez Johnson
I really felt like he carried himself, in practice last week, with a little different swagger because of the success in the South Florida game. You could say he threw for 98 yards, but our offense move the ball and he was on point. He did what we asked him to do. I think that is what a young quarterback needs. That type of success and that win, all the sudden. In my mind, I knew that he would be entering that game (MT) with a different confidence level. And, he did. Certainly, I didn’t know that he would turn in that type of performance, but I know what he is capable of and I know what confidence can do for a young quarterback. I truly think that the South Florida game was a confidence builder for him.