“I thought the game was no different on film. It was a tale of two halves. It was atrocious in the first half and we played really well in the second half and if we can maybe put two of those together, we can have some success.”
Did you stress the first or second half more with the team on Sunday?
“I stressed both of them. We went through specifically what happened in the first half and what the problems were and showed what we can do in the second half. Hopefully you learn from those things.”
Can you build off the second half or is each game a separate entity?
“Each game is a separate entity, but hopefully you do build off of it. Hopefully you learn from something from it and you grow from it and you become better from it, but it is going to be a different entity. There will be different adversity that comes in the next game, but it still boils down to how you handle it.”
Is it tough figuring out what kind of team you have considering the inconsistency?
“It has been [inconsistent]. That’s been tough trying to figure it out what it is and what buttons to push and what the reasons are, because it’s been different in every situation.”
Did Gio Bernard suffer a setback this week?
“Not that I know of.”
Is it just a continuing thing where he does not feel right?
Are you realistically hopeful that changes at some point?
“I’m always hopeful. Always hopeful… I don’t know if I’m ever realistic. I think it could be anytime.”
What have you seen from ECU?
“What is this, Ruffin [McNeil’s] third or fourth year? Third year. I think the kids finally understand exactly what he’s doing. We have some knowledge, because we’ve played them for the last couple of years and you see a big improvement each year with Ruffin’s team. I think he’s finally getting some guys over there defensively that feels comfortable with what he’s trying to do. He’s got them playing hard. They’re going to come in our stadium they’re going to play hard no matter what and they’re still throwing the ball all over the park on offense and they’ve shown that they can score some points.”
Thoughts on continuing the series with ECU:
“I hadn’t put a while lot of thought into it, but it’s probably above my pay grade whether it will or not, but I don’t see any reason why not. They’re in the state and a good football team, so why not?”
Did you see a lot of the same issues in the first half against Louisville that you saw against Wake Forest?
“Probably. I think defensively it was like 18 missed assignments in the first half and two in the second half and then when you went back and looked to see what you called different in the first half and what you called different in the second half to see if that was the problem, that wasn’t the case. It was basically the same calls that were made defensively in the second half.
“You have to attribute some of that to just an intensity level and an energy level and the missed assignments. When you don’t play with the right amount of energy and enthusiasm and excitement and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played somebody is going to make a mistake and something is going to happen and the next play somebody else is going to make a mistake and it just snowballs and that’s what was happening. It wasn’t one guy that made all the mistakes. It was just this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy. It just started happening all over the field and you start losing confidence in what you’re doing. You start losing confidence in the guy standing next to you and then it’s not a good situation.”
Are the problems a result of the team not being comfortable with the scheme or is it simply a lack of execution?
“No I don’t think that [they are uncomfortable with the scheme], because it was the same schemes in the second half and there were only two mistakes. They didn’t all of a sudden get smarter at halftime.”
Was there a consistent problem with the center-quarterback exchange or was it something different each time?
“It’s the centers job to get the quarterback the ball and do it each and every play. Everybody overlooks him until he makes mistakes, but that guy is the most important guy. If we don’t get the ball it doesn’t matter. Nothing else matters. You can have the best players in the world on your team. If you can’t get the ball to the quarterback it’s not going to matter. It boils down to he’s just got to make sure he gets the snap first before he doesn’t anything else and I guess he, like a lot of guys, got flustered and it and, again, whatever could go wrong went wrong.”
How frustrating was it that the team did not come out with the intinsity you expect?
“That was extremely frustrating. I was hoping I was going to live through the first half. That was definitely going through my head at some points there.”
One thing about this offense is that you were able to come back simply by getting the plays off quickly. Can you talk about that?
“For us we’re kind of in a two-minute mode the entire time if you think about it, so really when we get in to that area it’s not a big deal to us. Our kids don’t look at it any different, because it’s just what we do and so there’s a comfort level. That’s a good thing, because you can watch some teams who get in to a two-minute situation and it’s almost like panic, but with our guys you don’t notice anything different. It’s just the same as it is all the time. I don’t think there’s a panic level. I think everybody understands what we’re trying to do, the communications good and that whole second half we played that way.”
Are you going to do anything differently this week considering the effort at the beginning of the Louisville game?
“Yeah we’ll do some things differently in practice and I wish I could tell you we’re going to coach harder, but if I told you that – I don’t really think we can. I think our coaches have been coaching hard each and every day and, if not, we’d be cheating the team if we all of a sudden now decided we’re going to coach hard. I don’t think it works that way. I think our guys have been coaching hard. I’ve just got to do a better job making sure the guys are prepared to play when we kick it off.”
Are you aware of the reports that Holden Thorp submitted his resignation and did you have the opportunity to get to know him?
“Yeah as much time as you possibly can. Obviously during the season I don’t get to spend much time with him. He was on our flight with us and I spent some time talking with him and [his wife] Patti the other night, but no I haven’t heard anything of that nature.”
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