"Well I think it’s a pretty clear from the naked eye, that’s a pretty good football team, they got after us tonight. We had a couple of opportunities I thought earlier in the game that maybe could have changed the complexion of it, it was great getting the turnover off the kickoff at the start, and had a couple plays on second third down, that we just couldn’t quite execute. And then some opportunities early on both sides, that we just couldn’t execute against a team like this. When you play an elite team, you have to execute well. It’s hard to beat them when you have 11 or 12 penalties, it’s hard to beat them when you don’t make plays when you have the opportunity to make them, when you bust coverages and things of that nature, it’s hard to beat them. Then they are able to get the lead and play the style of football that they want to play, that’s where they can lean on you in the running game and wear you down, and then start rushing the passer which they do so well. They are able to do that.
I would say that our team wasn’t about “want to”, I think they came with the right attitude, I appreciate them fighting and competing until the end. I think we learned some things about some guys, what they are capable of, and some other guys that we need to revisit and look at some holes. I think that we have to try to find our identity offensively and what and who we are going to be on the offensive side of the ball so that we can find some continuity. It was tough for us to get that tonight, that’s a good defense, got to give them credit.
"From an injury standpoint, Erik Kohler reinjured the kneecap that he had injured in training camp, it slid off, actually slid right back on, that’s going to take a little bit of time to get into place. Travis Feeney fell on his shoulder and sprained his shoulder, we’ll find out more when we get back, hopefully that isn’t serious. Jaydon Mickens with a turf toe. Will Shamburger, helmet came off, then got a cut on his eye, didn’t return. Talia Crichton got a concussion. Kevin Smith kinda got tangled up and everything checked out good on his knee. We felt like the right thing to do was to keep him out from that point on. And Justin Glenn’s had a virus that he was fighting all day today so that’s why his role was limited at times. He was trying to get hydrated and things of that nature.
"At the end of it all, this is one of 13 games, there is plenty of things we need to learn from this ball game, from this environment, from playing an elite team like LSU. There’s things that we have got to fix and fix quickly, the goal right now is to go win next Saturday. We’ve got to get some things fixed, figure out our identity figured out offensively, we got to get some players healthy so we can go out and have a nice performance at home against Portland State."
On finding an identity for the offense …
“I think that we were searching again tonight, we were just trying to find something to get us going. It took us awhile just to find that, I think right now we have to figure out – when I say identity – is what can we go to lean on when things go astray, when we’re struggling offensively, who is our bread and butter, what is our bread and butter types of plays to get our rhythm back and going again. That’s what we need to identify here in the next 24, 48 hours as a staff and get that conveyed to our players and practice it so we can come out and move the ball through adverse times. Moving the football and calling plays are easy when it’s good, it’s when it gets hard, where do you find your yards, where do you find your plays, where do you find your points? And we’ve had a hard time finding that here for the last two weeks.”
On the problems up front with offensive line …
“Well we try to protect Keith as best we could today and he battled and competed like he always does, we had a couple blown assignments where we didn’t block a blitzer , that’s a day one protection for whatever reason, we have to get that fixed, we had another one where we didn’t get out of our stance at left tackle, and took a pretty good shot there. There’s some things that I think can spook you and to thinking they got these great pass rushes coming and when in reality it was just a couple unblocked guys hitting the quarterback that shouldn’t have been unblocked.
Down to the third left tackle there, Mike Criste, so you try to help him through the environment as well. We’ll get together, we’ve got a good coaching staff, we’ll get to the point where we believe in our plan and what we’re doing and the guys will go out and execute it really well.”
On what he does moving forward with the line …
“Well you play to your strengths and right now I wouldn’t say that’s one of our strengths especially when you are going up against an opponent like LSU, I think that we’ll find it and find the things that we are capable of doing and doing well, and getting Keith back in rhythm and getting the ball to our playmakers.”
On a receiver getting behind the defense on two different occasions, one resulting in a touchdown:
“I think guys, when you are able to run the ball the way they were able to run it, you can get nosy looking in the backfield because you want to lend support making tackles in the run game, I think that’s what happened on the running back pass, the second one, on the touchdown was just a blown coverage, just blew it.”
On what he was hoping the identity could be offensively:
“I was hopeful that we could be multiple enough to keep them on their heels in a sense, that wasn’t just throwing the ball, we wanted to run the football some and keep our defense off the field. We just had a hard time on first and ten football, it got really difficult for us, we were living on second and long, which in turn put us in a great deal of third and longs, this team and their style of play, when they can play a really good man to man coverage and come after your quarterback, it’s going to be a long day for you if you live on those long second and third and longs, we just couldn’t give them enough stuff to slow them down, to get six or seven yards on first and ten, we were getting minus one, minus two and it made for a long day.”
On how good this LSU team was
“Pretty good, pretty physical, sometimes it’s hard to put things in perspective, the tailback group was probably the most impressive group I’ve ever seen, they were shoveling 4, 27, 11, 42, those are four NFL tailbacks that they run the ball well, and then defensively, we had a couple plays where I thought that we were going to have some plays with pretty good chunks of yards but resulted in like a gain of five. So their athleticism and speed showed up, that’s a good team, quarterback, big strong armed guy, probably protected him a little bit better than maybe they Will Down the road, they ran the ball max protected on third down and he threw down the field. They are number 3 for a reason, they are that good.”
On the backwards pass ruled that was ruled incomplete:
“That’s what I thought, that’s why I challenged it, I was right there, that’s what I perceived it to be, they didn’t see it that way, I don’t know what else to say about it.”