We turned the ball over five times and muffed a punt. Six times we gave the ball away tonight. Six times.That’s my fault. I’m totally, totally disappointed and embarassed by that kind of football. That’s sloppy, sloppy football. We have control over ourselves. We have to recognize situations that are going to lead to those kinds of things and then you can’t turn the ball over. You can’t win turning the football over. That’s the bottom line. There are a lot of other things that we can fix…we’re going to fix that too.
We played hard in the second half after a very, very poor first half…I don’t know what (time of possession) was, but they must have had the ball the whole first half. We came back out. We battled. We slugged it out. Some how, some way, we get the game 40-34, the ball’s at midfield, you’ve got to go win the game. You’ve got to go win the game. We got caught one of those they’re coming, they’re not coming, we checked, they checked. All I saw was the ball bounce up in the air. I thought that obviously was the play that kept us from going down and scoring when we needed to go down and score. I was very disappointed in that.
But all that having been said, we played hard. We believe in each other. We fight for each other. There’s no finger pointing. It’s a good team. We have good leadership. The captains are good. They are saying the right things in there. But it doesn’t ease the pain of giving the game away. That’s exactly what I thought we did. So, I’ll take responsibility for that. I lose those games. That was sloppy. It should have never happened, but it did.
Q: On the Wilson fumbles
It was stripped. They just stripped them. All we talked about all week long was they were coming to strip the ball. They are a good ball stripping team. We can be better. He can get better at that. He can run with two hands on the ball just like anybody else.”
Q: On the muffed punt
All I did was see the ball go out early. It looked like it hit him in the arm. I just saw it fly up in the air.
Q: On the running backs
They are not going to play unless they hang onto the ball. It’s demoralizing to the whole team. He’s a talented young man. We’ll get him right even if he has to run around the field with two hands on the ball…I thought Da’Rel Scott did some good things when he was in there. But popping that ball up, I mean man oh man, there’s a sense of urgency about this.
Q: On turnovers
It was a total disregard of the carelessness for the ball and lack of understand of that’s how you lose. Last year, we were plus-14 and they were minus-13. Tonight, we come out of here with six turnover and they had what, one? You’re not going to win anything with minus-5 in turnovers. There’s just no way.
Q: More on turnovers
I think each one was individual. Each one was a separate entity that all resulted in the same thing. We lost the ball and field position. We gave them the ball at the fifteen yard line to start the game out…here you go…fifteen yard line.”
Q: On the defense
“I think they did good. Just the amount of snaps they took in the first half alone, I thought they stood up well. We went into halftime…what were we down, three? That’s amazing. That was a very poor first half, we were down by three. I was asked coming off the field what I was going to say. Very poor first half, we’re down by three. We can overcome that. We’ve overcome that before…I’d have to look at the tape to give any details about how they played. We worked hard to try to stop the run…I think they got some run yardage.”
Q: On if Wilson will start next week
I’m not going to answer that question now. Give us a little time to work on this thing. He’s still very much in our thoughts. He’s got to play. He’s a very talented young man as I said. But you just can’t do that. Every time they touch you, you’re going to turn the ball over? The plays looked like they were over to me.