We had over 350 yards of total offense against the #4-ranked defense in the country. They are a fine football team, everybody knows that. We don't need to sit here and talk about that. To see our kids play as hard as they play, that might be something we can build, a little bit, on. I'm certainly hopeful because at the end of the half when we give up a turnover, they score, a lot of teams would fold. We did not. We came out playing hard in the second half, and I'm proud of them. I'm hopeful that we can learn.
How was the run game for you as an offense, compared to last week?
Well, Florida State is going to be aggressive, so they are going to make a play or two. Sometimes we are going to make a play or two in the run game. We've been able to run the ball fairly well all season, with the exception of last week. There was a discussion about how maybe we gave up on it too soon, but when teams do what Louisville did, you have to take a shot or two. We had several opportunities to make some other plays. We were just a little bit off. We might have even scared them a little bit if we make a couple of those plays.
After Lionell's interception, if you could have done something with that, was that a key point in the game?
That's one of several big plays we gave up. Getting down there in the first half and only coming up with six [points]--we'd have liked to have one more score. When you see plays executed and there is an opportunity to make a big play against a great defense, you have got to do it. You've just got to do it, because they are too good, to not make those plays.
What was the difference in the two teams' execution in the red zone?
Well, they beat us on a slant for a touchdown, they beat us on a couple fades for touchdowns where I'd like to look at that tape and see if there is some pushing off going on. And we have got to get tougher with our receivers in that red area too, when we throw the fade up there. We have to be strong, and that is probably what it comes down to: strength--[being] able to ward off, push off, not get called, and make a play.
That's something that goes on in every football game across America now, in the NFL and the college game. We have to get better defending that. There are a whole bunch of fades, go-routes--whatever you want to call them--and our guys did a very good job a lot of times today, and I'm really happy about that. We just have to become even better at that.
The other side, we coached them up on the sideline during the time-out that they were going to run a slant, but we didn't get it covered. We coached it up, and it didn't happen. The slant was run; it's a touchdown. We've got to make that play; you've got to take coaching. Our kids played hard, our kids worked hard in a week of practice. I couldn't ask for them to do any more, except we just keep coaching them so they can really respond.