Sep 9, 2013
"Hello. Obviously, we've got Middle Tennessee State this week. Our kids are looking forward to going up there and playing another quality opponent. We are recovered from a hard-fought defeat in front of a great home crowd last week, and we're ready to move forward. Before we move on, I want to thank again everybody that turned out last week at the Liberty Bowl. It was an awesome site our kids are very appreciative of and one our staff is very appreciative of and one that I am very appreciative of."M
On the good things the team did last Saturday
"We did some really good things on special teams. We put some young people out there and they played really well. Some of the older guys that we have on those teams played just as well. We had a chance or two to make a really huge play in the special teams area and didn't quite make it but we made some really good plays. Obviously, Tom (Hornsey) flipped the field on them a couple of times and we did a good job in coverage. Defensively, we played pretty darn well. We scored on defense and played good team defense. We had a couple that gave up a couple good plays there at the end and it ended up costing us. Offensively, I saw some good things but I'm not pleased with our execution. We're awfully close on a bunch of plays, which doesn't really count for much. Offense is about execution and 11 guys doing their job all at once. We didn't have complete miscommunications; we just had some poor technique in some areas that cost us dearly. On the plus side, we made a couple of plays down the field. We were 14-14 in the fourth quarter, which is what we wanted to be against a very good quality opponent. We got some young guys out there, and I think they'll be fine with the speed of the game. I think their mind and body were moving faster than their feet wanted to go if that makes sense. I think at times they were trying to do too much. They just need to relax and let the game come to them, and I think they'll be fine. There's a lot of good to be taken away from that game. Obviously, we're not satisfied with the outcome. We're going to continue to press forward but after looking at it and having some time to think about it, the guys on the field played their heart out."
On Middle Tennessee's quarterback Logan Kilgore
"He's a very good football player. He's very efficient and a good athlete. He kind of reminds you of the good point guards you see in basketball. He's got a good cast around him. They've got four returners on the offensive line. The only new guy I believe is their center. He's more than just a distributor, he's a good football player. We'll have to do a great job of getting pressure when we can and being sound in our coverage and our schemes. You're not going to stop him or shut him down but hopefully we can contain him."
On the play of the receivers against Duke
"I would say overall we should play better at every single position offensively, speaking specifically about the contested balls. I think Joe Craig had a very difficult catch on a ball that was thrown too far towards the middle of the field. Between Paxton (Lynch) and Joe we have to find a way to make that play. It was kind of like that on several different plays where we were in a pretty decent position. We have to do a better job of attacking the ball when it's in the air. I think they were contested. We didn't go out there and drop balls."
On the struggles on third and fourth down
"We need to be at third and shorter. Our efficiency on first down needs to improve in order to help our efficiency on third down. I think that's the first thing. If you can run the ball a little bit in those manageable situations, I think it improves your opportunities for success. When we're in those third and long situations, we have to be able to make plays."
On what can help the running game
"Well it's an interesting situation because the team we're about to play is completely different than the team we just finished playing. Duke was just a very big, physical, read defense up front. That's part of the reason we could hold the ball for so long on first and second down when we were throwing it. They're (MTSU) a much smaller defensive front that uses movement to their advantage. They're much like our defense as a body type."