It was kind of like instant replay of last week. We feel pretty lousy today because of the fact that there was a game we could have won and we didn't. It was good to see our defense play better; we can still play better than that. Give Wisconsin a lot of credit for being a big, physical team.
I am really disappointed that we didn't make more plays, particularly with our receivers. I'm very disappointed that our quarterback got hit far too much. I think we will be facing a defense that is superior to Wisconsin's, this week. We need to take better care of our quarterback. Our quarterback needs to make probably quicker decisions on occasion.
When I look at all the throws and Coach Tranquill looks at his throws, I think he throws the ball very effectively, has a great touch on the ball, threw some great passes. But to get down there in the red zone, even at the end on fourth down and go for it the second week in a row and come away with no points, no touchdowns, we have got to get better.
We lost about 117 yards in penalties in terms of what we could have had if the play stood. The 117 yards in field position, I'm really disappointed in that. I'm not going to say any more about the officiating than that I'm very disappointed in that…
We could have one that game with five field goals. We let time expire as we kicked a field goal. That is absolutely unacceptable, and I'll take credit for that. We have to have our kicker and holder more aware that the clock is running. Don't ever take anything for granted I guess is the message.
I think our kids played really, really hard. One thing we have to get much better at on offense is first down. We had a tough time with it in the third quarter last week against Georgia. We had kind of a very difficult night with it last night. Until that gets fixed, we are going to struggle. It's jut too hard to play with second-and-longs. We need to get into third-and-shorts. First down we have to get better.
We were really disappointed to hear about the injury to Doug. He's a great kid and has become a great team leader on our football team. We are going to miss him a lot, but he will do whatever he can to help whoever takes his place and get him ready to play. That will be Victor Worsley to start, and we will probably mix in Durell Mapp at that position. We will probably start trying to school up Mark Paschal some, but Victor and Durell will start sharing those repetitions at the [middle] linebacker position.
Other than that, that's about the only thoughts I have at this point, and our coaches, after this phone call, will be on NC State. When I'm done with this phone call, I'll be done with Wisconsin.
When the defense isn't that worried about play action, how does that limit what an offense can do?
In reference to last night, that was my primary concern going into the game--not their running game--play action pass. That was my primary concern, and I think we did a pretty good job on their play action pass. They threw a few boots, and we had the bootleg covered. We got the quarterback pulled up and the other time we didn't.
I thought we'd see more of it but we didn't. Obviously, the passing game they employed was not one that took full advantage of play action of some of their run game.
Victor Worsley's name was called several times even before Doug went out. What are your thoughts on the development he has made and your linebacking corps as a whole. Not to make light of Doug's injury, but is it less devastating than it might have been two years ago?
Victor has been a long-term project. For anyone who knows him, he's a wonderful kid. He has developed to the point in our program where we feel very good about him getting on the field. He blossomed a great deal last spring; now he's the guy.
The stamina to play a whole game and the gamesmanship that a middle linebacker, the signal caller, must go through is all going to be very new to him now. I think that Coach Thigpen will do a great job getting him prepared. I think he has a lot of tools; we're going to get to see him play now.
You mentioned dropped passes. What is the common thread there? Is that a matter of a lack of concentration? Maybe trying to make a play before they secure the ball? What is going on exactly do you think?
I wish I had a better handle on that. All I'm going to say is that it's going to get a lot of Dave Brock's attention, Tranquill's attention, my attention. It's not good enough.
You said that you want the defense to play better still, even after last nights performance. In what particular areas do you still see a need for improvement?
Initially, I think our four man rush would be the first thing. Next, I would say that we need to be more aggressive runners. I want to make sure that when we are involved in run defense that we continue to get better with the appropriate fits, and that includes 11 guys.