Texas Tech Football: Kingsbury Talks Central Arkansas, Texas El Paso

Texas Tech and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury had a surprisingly tough go of it against Central Arkansas this past weekend, squeaking by the Bears 42-35. Kingsbury answered questions from the media and previewed the Red Raiders’ week two matchup on Saturday against UTEP in El Paso at Sun Bowl Stadium in a press conference today.

Q. After you watched the film was there anything you saw different than what you witnessed on Saturday night?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, pretty much what I had said Saturday night, just not good enough, didn’t approach it the right way, and you have to give Central Arkansas credit. They came out and got right after us.

Q. What was it like with the team yesterday during workouts and practice and film?
COACH KINGSBURY: It was embarrassed, I’d say, after the game. We’ll meet with them today, but after the game, embarrassed.

Q. Did you look at the film? Is it an execution thing, an effort thing?
COACH KINGSBURY: It’s all fixable. I thought the effort at times was good. I think a lot of our younger new players that we’re counting on had the deer in the headlights look, which is disappointing, but it’s all fixable. It’s fixable and we’ll attack it this week.

Q. What were some of the young guys you saw encouraging things from?
COACH KINGSBURY: Justin Stockton would be one. I thought he ran the ball well, he stuck his nose in there, did good on protections, so other than that, a lot of those guys, first time starting it looked like it was the deer in the headlights look.

Q. Coach, it looked like you guys replacing Jace with Bradley, talk about his performance yesterday? You have to be excited about that?
COACH KINGSBURY: Very proud of him. Like everybody knows, he stuck around this summer and was voted team captain. Without him, we wouldn’t have won that game. He stepped up. Lot of guys were floundering around, and he stepped up and made plays. So just excited that he’s found that role and will continue to excel at it.

Q. What did you think of the offensive line and how they played as a whole?
COACH KINGSBURY: Not bad. I thought protection was pretty good. They were only rushing three guys most of the night, so it should have been. In the run game I thought we were soft at times. We have to continue to get better. Our running backs did a good job making people miss, but we have to get more movement up front.

Q. How do you fix the undisciplined penalties? What steps can you take to make sure that doesn’t happen?
COACH KINGSBURY: That’s a good question. We’ll work on it this week. Yeah, we’ll have some more punishments and see where it goes. But that’s just embarrassing to watch your team go out and do those things. As a coaching staff and head coach I have to get it right this week.

Q. Do you have an update on Rika?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, Rika’s day?to?day. It wasn’t as bad as initially thought, which is good. So we’ll brace him up and see how he’s feeling, but he’s day?to?day right now.

Q. I know you talked about Davis trying to do too much too often maybe. I think that was something he did last year. What is similar, when he gets in those situations, what happens for him mentally to get there?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, just early on just wanted to make every play. He throws the one in the end zone on first down, and throws one coming out on first down that basically goes for a pick six. Just got to go through your reads and get the ball to the play makers. He doesn’t have to do it all with the group he has around him. So did a lot of nice things, lot of throws, lot of completions, but once again, a couple crucial errors that he’s got to cut out of his game.

Q. The game’s going to start at 10 o’clock Saturday night. How do you get your team to play well and prepare for not an optimal time?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think after last week’s performance it shouldn’t be hard to get them motivated. It will be a tough week of practice. But we’ll push the schedule back, let them stay up a little later and sleep in a little longer, so their normal day seems as if it’s a normal Saturday kickoff.

Q. Do you have any experiences with players and coaches in the Sun Bowl?
COACH KINGSBURY: I do. When I was at the University of Houston, we played there twice. It was a tough place to play. One time we were number 12 in the country with Case, and went in there and got beaten by about 20. Then when we were top 10 in the country again, went in in 2011 and won by a touchdown. It will be a tough atmosphere. It will be rowdy that late kickoff, so we’ll have our hands fool.

Q. Do you think this is a team that can be galvanized by the road environment?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think so. I thought at times they handled it well last year. So I’m excited to watch them respond and more than anything respond to how poorly they played last week.

Q. What concerns you about UTEP?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think they do such a good job running the football. Jameel is a kid I coached with at Texas A&M, very talented athletically. He can hurt you with his arms and his legs, very accurate passer. Just watching the film from last week, they really pounded the rock against NewMexico, so obviously with what we put on film, they’ll be expecting to run the ball against us.

Q. What was the biggest message to the team of going up against UTEP?
COACH KINGSBURY: Just we’ll get their best shot. They’ll be fired up and they should be. I know after watching our film, they’ll expect to win the game, so we better be prepared.

Q. Have you talked with Case about what happened and reached out to him?
COACH KINGSBURY: Not yet, not yet. I was going to talk to him this week, but haven’t really heard all the dynamics.

Q. Does it kind of help having coached Jameel in that setting with him, coaching him at Texas A&M? Does it help you prepare this week knowing what you’re going up against?
COACH KINGSBURY: I don’t think so. I just think the offenses are so different. I know he’s a great young man, he’s a great leader, and he’ll do everything he can to help that team win, so we’ll have our hands full.

Q. Kliff, kind of off the subject, but student attendance across the country is down, what are you guys doing effectively to head the other direction here?
COACH KINGSBURY: That’s more of a marketing team deal I think. But that was incredible seeing all those kids. I heard there were a bunch that couldn’t get in, which is awesome for our team to have their peers in the stands cheering for them. There is nothing better than that. I know it means a lot to our coaches and our players.

Q. Which of those to you are okay based on effort versus just bad judgment?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think holdings, pass interference, those are plays guys are trying to make. But when you’re getting un?sportsmanlike conducts and substitution penalties which is on our coaching staff, false starts, offsides, things like that are just unacceptable.

Q. What was the demeanor of your leaders team?wise? Marquez and Webb, how did they carry themselves the last 48 hours?
COACH KINGSBURY: They’re mad, I think. They’re embarrassed just like we all are, and those are guys that showed up. I think some of our leaders played well and did their roles, but it takes everybody. We’ve got to get everybody on the same page.

Q. You guys were able to rack up 636 yards, but do you feel as an offense you left some things out there on Saturday night?
COACH KINGSBURY: Definitely. Having one that went for a pick six, and another one thrown in the end zone and then a safety, that’s essentially three turnovers right there. Then their offense converts six out of six on fourth down, 15 penalties. The whole deal just wasn’t good across the board, so we’ll get that straightened out this week.

Q. Does it drive you crazy the defense called three timeouts?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, I think that’s part of having some new bodies. We were trying to rotate some of the new junior college kids in. It’s their first time in that spotlight, and everybody reacts differently, but we’ve got to get them calmed down and get that under control.

Q. What would you attribute what they say is always a huge jump between game one and Game 2? Why is that typical?
COACH KINGSBURY: For us, I think, and the teams I’ve been around, just the young guys getting in, getting a taste of it, and being out in the bright lights, how fast it goes, the tempo of the game and things of that nature.

Q. Coach, you touched on it a little bit, but I know in a late game like that, talk about the focus that you’re going to have to deal with with this team?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, we’ll change our schedule a little bit, but like I said, we’re going to do some things to try to keep the time period during the day the same as it always is. I don’t think they’ll have a hard time focusing after this week.

Q. What do you feel is the strength of the Miners defense?
COACH KINGSBURY: Their secondary. Coach Stoker, I coached against him at A&M when he was at San Diego State. Does a really good job defensively. They play a lot of manned coverage, bring some pressures and they have a veteran secondary that will challenge our receivers.

Q. On Davis’s two interceptions, when you’re going over the film, where should he have gone with the ball? What should he have done?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, the first one was a bad play call, and nothing was there and he should have just thrown it out of the back of the end zone, his first down on the 10?yard line. The second one, he made a bad read, just missed it, tried to go for the home run instead of taking his check down. Only his 7th start. That’s what you have to remember about him. That is his 7th start. He was fired up, and revved up, and trying to do much at times.

Q. Are you going to alter any reps in practice for Patrick Mahomes since he didn’t have an opportunity?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, Patrick’s getting a ton of reps in practice. We made sure he got a ton of reps. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to play, but hopefully we’ll find some games we can get him in.

Q. Coach, are you comfortable with your secondary play this past game?
COACH KINGSBURY: Not bad. Those young guys, like I said, it’s going to be baptism by fire, and Central Arkansas went after them which they should. I thought they competed well. Went up and attacked some footballs in the air, but just continue to grow with them and they’ll get better.

Q. How did you feel the receiving corps did other than Marquez’s heroics?
COACH KINGSBURY: Not very good. Jakeem had some cramps where he was kind of in and out, and he did some good things. But our outside guys pretty nonexistent. Young guys that haven’t played a lot and didn’t do what they’ve done in practice. So we’re going to get them worked on this week. They’ll play better this week.

Q. What about your running back? You talked about playing well, but as a whole, how do you feel they played?
COACH KINGSBURY: I thought they ran tough. I didn’t think we had the movement we should get up front. I thought Q White stepped in and had some good catches, and Justin Stockton ran fearless, and DeAndre picked up where he left off this spring. I think he’s full speed again and has a lot of confidence right now.

Q. How nice is it to see a guy like Justin in his first career start? He took some hits but kept running tough.
COACH KINGSBURY: He’s a tough kid, heck of a player, heck of a talent. So, yeah, that will be a big piece of our offense moving forward.

Wisconsin Football: Coach Gary Anderson Discusses Heartbreaking Loss to LSU

The Wisconsin Badgers will have to rebound quickly after a heartbreaking 28-24 loss to LSU on Saturday, but do get the benefit of facing a Western Illinois team rebounding under second year coach Bob Nielson. Wisconsin is now 0-1 for the first time since 1997. Head Coach Gary Anderson talks about the game against LSU and the upcoming games.

COACH ANDERSEN: First of all, this was a tough game, what I think are two very good teams played against each other. We’ll continue to see how the season goes. Obviously we didn’t come out on the winning end.
When you break it down, you go back and watch it, there’s a bunch of plays you can go back and could have, would have, should have. Overall, I’m proud of the effort. I thought they handled a road game, basically. Anybody that was there would understand that.

It was definitely a loud crowd. It was in a dome. We handled that well, especially on offense. I was glad to see that the administrative penalties and ability to play in a loud situation, it was a big positive. It will pay dividends as we move throughout the seasons.

Proud of the kids. I think they played very hard. If we break it down, the issues came for us. We want to hit the negative, and then I’ll move on to some positives.

We lost the fourth quarter, obviously. We did not run the ball well in the fourth quarter. When we had to throw the ball in the fourth quarter, we didn’t throw the ball well in the fourth quarter. I believe it was 1 for 7 or whatever it may have been.

So that came with a lot of different scenarios from bad balls to drops, to protection issues, so on and so forth. So we’ve got to be able to execute in that area. From a defensive standpoint, we’ve been excellent on third downs all day long. They were 3 for 4, 4 for 5 in those situations. On third down, they converted third downs when they had to, and they ran the ball well. They did not run the ball well overall in the football game. You can look at the stats and say that.

But in the fourth quarter they really ran the ball 16 times. There was two kneel?downs. I don’t count those. Averaged five yards a carry. And that’s not going to get it done in the fourth quarter. So those are the issues that I believe that we had in the fourth quarter. And one of the plans to win is to absolutely win the fourth quarter. We didn’t get that done.

So on the positive sides, Michael Caputo had an outstanding game. 20 tackles is what we have him for. Ten unassisted and ten assisted, PBU, fumble recovery. Unbelievable game out of that young man. Melvin had a nice game also. I thought he carried the ball well. A couple times made something much out of nothing. When there was not a lot done, he found a way to get it done. A lot’s been asked about the situation with Melvin. Same thing I kind of said at halftime: The scenario was real simple at halftime. Melvin had a little bit of a hip flexor. Anybody that knows Melvin could see that on the long run, that he broke out in the second half there. It was very obvious that he had pulled up there at the end of that run.

We were trying to be smart with him as the rest of the game went on and trying to make educated decisions to keep us moving in the right direction with Melvin for that game, for the future. And it was tough sledding for any running back that was in there at that point.

So we didn’t run the ball a lot in the second half. Didn’t have a lot of opportunities when it was 3 and out most of the time. But again a lot could be taken from that game. Quality opponent. I thought they handled the travel well. And it’s a tough loss. It’s a game where we’re not going to sit back and say I’ll just move on to the next one.

We have a lot to learn. We’ll study that tape. We’ll study it hard. Put it in the back of our mind. But as I always say you’re never going to forget it because we have to learn from that game. There’s a recipe for success to get into these games against those big?time opponents and find a way to win. And we have to be able to tweak our recipe to get to that point. And that goes years back. And we’ve got to find a way to get over that hump. And it’s coaches, players, everybody involved.

Q. Do you have an update on Zagzebski and Herring injuries?
COACH ANDERSEN: Zagz, he came back with us, which was great, on the plane. And he’ll be out there moving around and should be ready to go. If not this week, for sure after the bye week.
So everything looks to be good for him. Warren will be a day?to?day situation with what he had with the little bit of the knee scenario. But he should be back shortly.

Q. When you say “back shortly,” do you have any idea how long that will be? Did you suspect at first when he went down it was going to be something serious that he could be done for the year?
COACH ANDERSEN: It’s always troublesome when you see both those kids down in those situations. And there’s never an excuse in football. But I was worried for Warren in that situation. He’s a tough kid. I was glad to hear the report when it came back what we thought it was.
Zagz extremely troubling. It’s another situation you can look at. I thought the team handled it very well. Zagz handled it very well with the team, when he went off the field. It’s hard now when you lose two senior defensive tackles and you’re already light in the freshman area.
Those kids stood up, did some great things. But I’m always concerned when one of my guys goes down, it bothers me a lot. But I’ll be glad they’ll be back with us for their senior years as we move forward.

Q. Since you haven’t had an opportunity to at least tell us why your decision going with Tanner, what was your rationale in making him your starter and continuing to go with him as your starter?
COACH ANDERSEN: I think the biggest thing is where are we at at the quarterback position with Joel and with Tanner. I still think there’s opportunities for both guys to play.
And as we go through time, and we went through last week’s practice, it was obvious that it was a situation that Tanner needed to be involved. And Joel’s going to be involved. It’s just the right time, the right situation, of making sure everything is where it needs to be, for him to be able to be part of the offense and be involved in the offense.
And we need two quarterbacks. Sooner or later you’ll have to have them both. Tanner is the starter today, but Joel’s going to fight like crazy to get some reps. There’s opportunity to present itself for Tanner to be able?? excuse me, for Joel to come in and play, so be it.
You can look at the numbers, if you want to break down just the numbers of the football game, whatever you say, whatever you want to say about the quarterback play, you can say whatever you want to say about the receiver play, the protection. It was the whole offense was the passing game. Tanner did some things, he made some plays, just like a quarterback has to, that we asked him to make, with his feet at times.
And walking into that game, felt like it was the best situation. And continually moving forward. I’m not saying it’s an open competition, but both quarterbacks have an opportunity. And we’ll need them both to be able to play. This team can handle that and both those kids can handle that without any problem.

Q. You said after the game you didn’t know why Melvin’s playing time, what it was in the second half. Were you unaware of his injury at halftime, the hip flexor? How does that mesh with Melvin after the game where he said he was fine?
COACH ANDERSEN: That’s the problem. Melvin is going to say he’s absolutely fine. This is where I get into a real problem. It’s like everybody wants to get into the kid’s personal business. It’s hard for me to be able to deal with.
If I’m off base, I’m off base. But all I can do is go by what a trainer tells me. And he’s the professional. So if I put a kid in harm’s way because I don’t listen to a trainer, then I’ve got a major issue on my hands, I don’t think I’m the person who I say I am.
I’m going to listen to people, do what they ask me. He gave me the information. He gave Coach Brown the information. And I don’t quite frankly think it’s anybody’s business to pass that on to somebody after the game. But apparently it is because that’s what I was told to do.

Q. Depending on how long Warren and Konrad are out, are you in a position to accelerate a guy like Patterson to get some playing time to help out on the inside, or is he still not close to being able to contribute at this point?
COACH ANDERSEN: Conor is ahead of Jeremy right now. Conor traveled with us. There was some thoughts and discussions on the sidelines, if we go down that road in that game, we did not. And Conor Sheehy is developing. Jeremy is developing. I’m proud of both kids, the way they’re working.
Today, I would say Conor would travel if we were going to go on the road. He’ll obviously suit up at home. But is he still going to play? Don’t know. And Jeremy would be behind Conor.

Q. You’ve talked about the things you look for from your quarterback, layups, big plays, manage the game. Did you see much of that out of Tanner in this game?
COACH ANDERSEN: I saw some opportunities that were?? there was a whole bunch of layups in this game, that’s for sure. We had a couple of?? we had a couple of chances in the throw game.
And comes to mind, Alex running down the sidelines. And that was a contested ball, dove out for it, didn’t get it. We had the misqueue on the wide receiver running an outbreaking route with the middle open. Throws the ball down the middle of the field where we would like the ball to be thrown but looks like Tanner made a poor decision and threw the ball in the wrong spot, which in turn he didn’t.
He obviously missed some throws he’d like to have back. We have a couple of balls in the air that are contested balls that we would like to see go our way. The one pick. It’s a contested ball. Can we go up and get that? We didn’t. And they did, and they picked it off and made a tremendous play in that area.
So do we need better play? Absolutely. I don’t think there’s?? no one’s going to sit here debate that, that we need better play out of the quarterback and better play in the throw game period. And there’s some bright spots and we’ll continue to go through that with both of our quarterbacks.

Q. Drew Meyer looked like he was struggling on a couple of punts, and I think he went to the locker room but came back, hit the other one. Is he okay? Was he banged up going into the game? Did he pull something during it?
COACH ANDERSEN: He wasn’t?? the word I got is that he just had some cramping issues in I guess his calf or foot wherever it was. And it’s concerning to cramp up in that situation.
But he’s fine. And we expect him to obviously punt the ball better than he expects himself to punt the ball better.

Q. You talked about Caputo’s great game and obviously Herring was a big factor before the injury and things went south after that. What about the linebacker play? How did they grade out after what you saw on film?
COACH ANDERSEN: Well, Marcus and Derek played very, very well. Michael was a little bit limited. He had enough reps to grade out on what a winning performance was. But I thought Marcus and Derek played very, very well. Organized the front, got guys moving in the right direction. We had some breakdowns when we got to the freshmen late in the game.
You know, that’s a big part of what we’ve got to fix as far as late in the game, losing the fourth quarter. There’s a lot of things that go into that. And we’ve got to fix it. But overall those two managed the game well. They were productive in tackles. They were productive in running to the football and managing the defense.

Q. You joined Twitter since the last season. Did you manage to stay off of it? Do you condition yourself not to look at it after the game?
COACH ANDERSEN: I dumped my Twitter. When I started Twitter, I thought Brian and I have talked about it. And I just think it’s the best. For recruiting, I tried it for period of time. The assistant coaches definitely need it. But it just really becomes one more distraction that I don’t need to be able to deal with.
I don’t think it helps myself as a head coach in recruiting. It’s a definite help for the assistants for recruiting people. But it’s just?? there’s no pleasing the world in Twitter, I guess, when I go back to it.
And coaching a position and being in the spots that I am right now as the head coach it’s just one more thing on my plate that I could eliminate. So I guess I’m out of the Twitter world.

Q. Because there’s such a long buildup to this opening game and what it all meant, how do you and the coaching staff and do you want the players to deal with avoiding a let?down, if you will?
COACH ANDERSEN: First thing is we’ve got to come back and study the tape. And it has to hurt. I recover when I see the kids, me personally. And I’m probably worse than they are.
But once I see them today and they’ll bring a smile back on my face and get me back where I need to be and get us refocused. We’ll walk out of here today feeling a lot better than we do today or we do at this time of the day.
But we’ve got a great challenge. If you throw in the tape a year ago, watch the team play against Minnesota, that’s our rival. We know how good our rival is. They’re a very good football team.
That game went back and forth deep into the third quarter, basically, and then Minnesota was able to score a couple times. I watched that tape twice this morning on both sides of the ball.
So it’s a very respectable team. Look at what they did in the first game. They scored a lot of points. It’s a spread team. It’s a major departure from what we practice against and what we prepared against for LSU. So we’ve got to get ready for that.
And on defense, there are a bunch of kids that play hard. So we have a bunch of transfers on their team, a bunch of junior college kids that are very good athletes. They’ll expect to walk in here, play well.
They’ve been to UNLV, and went to Minnesota last year. So the venue is going to be a big venue for them. I’m sure they’re excited about it.

Q. When you look at how well your defense played against the run Saturday, with Warren in and then the dramatic change afterwards, is it too much to just put it right on that moment that that’s where your defensive effort changed when Warren went down?
COACH ANDERSEN: I wouldn’t specifically say that. But I think I’d put Zagz right in there, too. When those two kids were both out, the amount of reps?? Goldberg had to take every rep. He ended up taking 50 plus reps. The plan was to keep him around 25.
And that’s difficult. Again, it’s football. But were we different without those two young men in there? Absolutely. There’s no question we’ll have to continually fight to overcome that until hopefully we get them back.
But they’re proven players. They played in big?time moments. They’ve got a lot of reps underneath them and they’re good.
When you lose that and replace it with a young man that hasn’t played, all those kids playing were on scout team last year and most were true freshmen. So it’s difficult. But again, we just have to keep on going. No excuses.

Q. Given the speed of that game, did you notice, when you look at the tape, did you notice anything that Tanner might have done either mechanically or in his reads that he’s worked hard to overcome and might have reverted back to because difference doing it in practice or scrimmage and LSU on the road, did he revert to anything he’s put the effort in to correct?
COACH ANDERSEN: I’m sure there’s many things that Coach Ludwig will go back and critique his own position. I’m far from being a quarterback guru. Talking to the offense a little bit, there’s some things, I think, we can do to from a protection standpoint to clean up the pocket even when it’s blocked cleanly and it has to do with the quarterback, what is his depth, where are his depths.
I don’t know the ins and outs of exactly what our offense is. I’m not?? there’s other coaches that that’s their job to get that done and get him in the spots. But we’ll definitely continue to work on it as an offense as a whole and I’m sure Tanner has many things he can work on. And we’ll keep on moving forward.

Q. No offense, but over the years I’ve learned not to trust depth charts. Are you sticking with Tanner as your starting quarterback?
COACH ANDERSEN: Yeah, Tanner will start the game this week. Yep.

Q. What’s your sense of the concept of playing FCS teams? Big Ten wants to wean itself off those games. I believe this is the last one you’ll play. Is that a good thing or bad thing?
COACH ANDERSEN: I think the stance of the Big Ten is to get out of that business. So my stance is to support our conference and that’s the direction we want to head.
I think you go into more conference games. We have the game like we just played against LSU. There’s a couple of other games you’d like to get this year. We happened to get Bowling Green in those situations, UCF in those scenarios.
Games are closing in. And the ability to play them, if I’m there and I’m at Idaho State right now and we’re at Northern Arizona, boy, this is a big hit not to have a chance to play those games.
But I’m here, so it’s a good situation for us to move forward and get one of those big?time games earlier in the year like we just played. Didn’t win it, but it’s still a great situation for us. We know a lot more about ourselves than we would have a year ago right now, I would say.

Q. In your assessment of your offense you talked about a lot of 50/50 balls that were contested that your guys didn’t come down with. That seemed to be a strength of the freshmen that you brought in at wideout? Has your process changed at all as you go forward with that depth chart?
COACH ANDERSEN: No, we’ll get Robert back this week. We had a heck of a time getting off of press coverage, and if you get pressed up on the line of scrimmage, obviously you’ll have a contested ball, if the corner does a good job and stays with you, that throws off the timing of the offense.
But we want the young receivers to progress. We’re asking them to progress. But you also want to be careful of the situation you put them in.
In talking to Corey Raymond who I have great respect for, the DB coach there at LSU, in his opinion he thinks this is?? and Steve Kragthorpe is also there, who I have a great relationship with. He thinks this is the best secondary LSU has had in a long time. And that was after the game that they passed that on to me. So I guess they’re pretty talented kids. They sure look like it on film against us.
So it was a great challenge. We didn’t do good enough, but we’ve got to get the young guys in the mix, yes.

Q. You mentioned Wheelwright coming back, you mean coming back physically from injury? And also was Jordan Fredrick still limited? I know he missed time in camp and he wasn’t on the field as much as maybe some people might have expected in that game?
COACH ANDERSEN: Robert Wheelwright should be back this week. It’s my understanding he will be back, ready to practice full speed today. He’ll have his opportunity to get into the mix. And that will be good to see where Robert sits. Hopefully that takes place.
Jordan has been limited throughout camp. We’re going to be a little bit careful with him again with the situation where he is. It’s going to be?? he’s got to?? we’ve got to pick our reps and pick our spots. Him being the spot that he’s in, we just gotta be as smart as we can to keep him moving throughout the season.
I’m not saying to protect him, because he’s definitely ready to go out there and play, but we want to kind of pick our spots of success with him, if that makes any sense to you.

Q. Speaking of your secondaries, how would you assess the way yours played, specifically Lubern’s debut?
COACH ANDERSEN: We left some balls over our head. And that’s as much of a swing in the football game as the fourth quarter. That’s the facts. If you take away the fourth quarter, what you’ve already talked, and we talk about the defense stopping the run, which is great, we had balls over our heads. It’s a broken play.
You can break that play down. I’ll see it for the rest of my life. Did we contain the way we were supposed to at the defensive end spot? No.
Did we lose our eyes with Sojourn and did we lose our eyes with Lubern? Yes. The ball comes out of there. Did they make a great play? Yes, they made a very good play.
The other one got over the top of us. The other touchdown, it’s third and 21. They throw a 10?yard or 11?yard, whatever it was, outcurl relationship and we can’t tackle a guy. So I would say in the back end we were very, very average, because we let big plays affect the game in a very negative way.

Q. Going back to the run defense, the touchdown that Hilliard scored to give LSU the lead, I believe they were in a three?receiver set. You guys countered with your base. Is that a Catch?22, because obviously that’s not your best run defense unit?
COACH ANDERSEN: We also had a mental error on that rep that caused us some issues.
We have an opportunity to potentially make a tackle, but as you watched the game, smart coaches now, the I back run game was not real successful at all for them. So they went away from it.
Started to do some more zone read and some stretch and different things from the shotgun scenario.
And the young man saw a hole. He hit a hole. Made a nice play. But switching from our base to our nickel. Our base defense is really structured to be able to handle any defense. By preference, we could be in base or nickel there.
I couldn’t even off the top of my head I could not tell what you the defensive call was right there. I don’t know. But I know we didn’t execute it the right way.

Q. Getting back to the freshman wide receivers, as well as some played in camp, was there quiet concern going in that they might struggle against press coverage because simply they’re going up against guys who are bigger and more seasoned?
COACH ANDERSEN: It’s always a concern when you have youth and when you don’t have guys that have spent their offseason or their camp or whatever the youth that get off that press coverage is very, very difficult.
That’s why you run press coverage is to throw the timing off the quarterback and the wide receivers. In a nutshell, that’s what you try to do.
And, yes, it was a concern. You need to counter that a little bit with the offense and we will as we continue to move forward. The anticipation of press was in this game. I felt like we got off and our number two receivers had some opportunities. We missed those opportunities. That’s what’s so tough to deal with is that we had a couple of shots that we got what we wanted and we weren’t able to again by protection wrong route, bad throw, we weren’t able to get that done. And in turn our throw game is not good.

Q. You seemed to be the more aggressive team in the first half. In the second, not so much. Was that the perception you took your foot off the gas pedal, does that enter into the analysis at all, is that a fair assessment?
COACH ANDERSEN: No, I don’t feel that way at all. I think, shift of the game plan a little bit for them, like I said on offense. We stayed just aggressive. Maybe more so aggressive by call in the second half on defense.
Offensively, we just never kept up with the chains, ever, in the second half. We got the one time when Corey came in, Corey ran it three times in a row, got a first down, I think it was 1st and 10 and, 2nd and 7, and 2nd and 5, and then he got a first down on three consecutive runs. That was about the only time in the second half that I can remember right now that we did it the way we were supposed to do it and try to keep the thing moving down the field.
The sustainable drives were just not there in the second half. Again, credit goes to them. They did a nice job. They controlled the football game and that is really hard for me as a head football coach to look at the team and you guys and everybody else and say we couldn’t get it done in the fourth quarter. That’s hard for me to swallow.

Urban Meyer Press Conference

Fresh of a surprisingly tough battle from Navy, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer discusses his team.

Urban Meyer: Just a couple of comments about our opponent Naval Academy. I’ve coached against Navy many times, against Air Force several times. Army I think once or twice. And tremendous respect as most people do for the discipline and the way they play. This was probably the most talented of all the service academies that we’ve coached against. I remember one year, Army, I think Ed Warinner was there when I was at Notre Dame, they won 10 or 11 games.

They were a top 20, top 15 team. I remember leaving that field thinking they were extremely talented. I thought this way about this group. Very talented, very experienced. And it was exactly what we expected. And J.T. did okay. He was 12 of 15, he had a drop, a pick, an interception, an interception, a drop and a throw away, those are three incomplete passes. We shouldn’t drop a ball, very ill advised pass on the red zone. And then a throw a way where we got beat quickly up front got rid of the ball which was a good job.

Interesting thoughts I shared with our team yesterday. Review that with you. Offensively that was very poor the first half, very poor. We had a punt, a field goal, a punt, our first three drives, you can’t do that in that game. And I knew that going into the game and that’s why get pretty uptight because every possession, Navy can score at any time, plus sometimes you only get three or four possessions a half. But once again punt, the good thing is when we did punt we dropped it on the minus 1?yard line. We did hit a field goal. We had a punt again, I believe that was 3 and out. And then we threw an interception and we closed with a field goal. And that was, that kind of a first half usually if your defense isn’t hanging in there, you have a problem.

Second half was much better. Had turnover on downs and three straight touchdowns. Our defense scored for us. They gave us the ball at the minus 43 and the plus 41 twice, obviously. We’re down 14 to 13 and we went for it on fourth and two and we came right back and we held them to five yards. That was on a Curtis Grant. That was that series of plays. That was the difference in the game. We spent a lot of time talking to our team about that. Chemistry on our team is very good. There’s a tendency to, when you go for a blocked punt you run into the punter, when you go for it on fourth down why did we do this, why do we do this, I think we make it very clear we’re probably going to go next week for it.

So let’s get ready. When they say defense your job is to stop people. And Coach Fickell and Coach Ash made the comment to me it’s the best they’ve seen in the last couple of maybe three years even as far as just when it’s sudden change situation or a fourth down you don’t get it. You just go do your job. And then just that once again the series of events on we’re down 14?13. We went for it at midfield. You’re midway through the third quarter. If things don’t work out, they score, we’re down by 8, and you maybe get two possessions left in that game. And that was what was going through my stomach after we didn’t get it on fourth down. But we get the ball back and they punt the ball at the end zone, 80?yard touchdown, you take control of the game a little bit. Very important series in the game, that’s why I made such a big deal about I thought the defense?? gave up far too many yards. One series was disturbing. They ran a little counterplay, first time they ran it, and a four?play drive for 80?some?yard touchdown.

Other than that I thought our defense hung in there very well. Champions for the game. Doran Grant and Tyvis Powell. Two first?time starters there with Darron Lee, Tyvis Powell. Doran Grant graded out 100percent. Didn’t throw the ball but eight for eight making plays. On offense, your champions once again are guys that play with championship level effort in execution, Devin Smith graded out 88percent, two touches for 94 yards. Evan Spencer played very well, blocking downfield. He’s one of the top two or three blockers we’ve ever had at wide receiver. Dontre Wilson graded out at champion, five for five making plays. He did have a drop, I should say five of six. Eight touches for 90 yards. Our two tight ends played pretty good Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett. And then offensive line Taylor Decker and Darryl Baldwin. Ezekiel Elliott was Player of the Game. Those are our champions. Night game, Ohio State?style, which was very unique. Our players are excited. Our fans are excited about it. We got a very good opponent, coach I’ve known for a long time. First time I’ve ever played against him. But they are what they are after not really studying?? we studied a little bit in the summer and offseason. And one of the top five defenses in America. Really good defensive coach. Offensively last year they struggled but this year they have a quarterback that’s a transfer that’s thrown the ball very well in the one game. So I’ll answer any questions for you.

Q. I don’t think Marcus Baugh made the trip. Can you give a stat uses update on Marcus Baugh?
COACH MEYER: He’s suspended for two games. He’s not going to play this game either.

Q. You talked some about the offensive line after the game. Getting another look at it, what did you think overall the line play and what can you expect making a jump from week one to week two?
COACH MEYER: We were very disappointed early in the game. We had some pressure?? we wanted to throw the ball earlier and it wasn’t because of J.T. or the wideouts because I thought our guys had made plays and I have a lot of confidence in J.T. we couldn’t have minus yardage plays and it didn’t start off very well.
So I think they settled down much better, played much better in the second half. And we just, there’s a couple of guys never really played at this, played major college football. Billy Price, Jacoby Boren, Darryl Baldwin really hasn’t played. Half line has and Taylor Decker. Three of the five, that’s the first time in that environment. I thought the second half they played pretty well.

Q. And you talked so much this offseason about pass defense and everything you overhauled. You play the first week??
COACH MEYER: I think we’re ranked pretty high in pass defense.

Q. Are you just curious to see against a team that’s more traditionally offense?
COACH MEYER: Real curious. We have to shift gears. Excuse me. Shift gears. We have to shift gears. That’s a tough?? I trust our scheduler. That’s our AD. He’s great.
But that’s getting ready for that game is tough enough. It’s just now you have to go back to pass defense that’s brand new. So we actually started in earnest yesterday on the field. When usually we don’t do much on Sunday. Yesterday we did. Get back to see if we improved our pass defense.

Q. So many questions with J.T. going into the game, at least on the outside. Anything you learned about him that you didn’t know about him before the game, and is this a guy you believe you can still obtain the same goals you did with Miller?
COACH MEYER: I believe so. I believe anytime you lose a great player, we’re not a group?? I’m just sharing with you what I tell our players too, Braxton Miller Big Ten Player of the Year twice back to back.
To say we’ll be fine?? we have to have someone pick that up. We need 100 plus yards of offense. We didn’t have it Saturday. We need some of those skilled athletes in space. When they get in space, you saw a couple of those guys that got tackled. You’d like to pull through some of those tackles.

So I was not surprised at all by J.T. I thought he handled himself very well for his first start.
You take away the interception, and I think he did very well. And I’m trying to think what misfires he had, very cognitive quarterback. Very smart quarterback that gets us in the right plays and makes the right decisions.

Q. Unique opponent, unique offense in the opener, a lot of history and tradition. And intangibles there. Is this more the type of game these kids came here to play, night game, TV, well known?? will the jitters be any different? I guess not because it’s a home??
COACH MEYER: Someone told me all the excuses were there last week. You didn’t hear us bring it up very often. Nine new starters on offense. The good thing they’re not nine new starters. They’re veteran players now. Enough with the excuses and get going.

I just think of our D?linemen. Joey Bosa didn’t come to Ohio State to squeeze down blocks and keep people off his ankles. That’s what he had to do last week. He came to rush a quarterback and penetrate. So there’s big smiles across our defensive line right now to let them go play.

Mike Bennett, how did you play Mike? And I don’t know if he graded champion or not. He said I got double teamed every snap and one guy was trying to take my knees out. That’s all legal. It’s really good football, to be honest with you. But it’s not what?? to answer your question they certainly didn’t come to play in that kind of game, the defensive line.

However, I will say this, you come to Ohio State play that?? that was a great atmosphere. Pro stadium. And against a very good opponent.

Q. Building on Bill’s question, you said after the game, a lot of work to do. But how much can you really take from that? How good do you feel about the community going in, what can you take from that game?
COACH MEYER: Concern number one is offensive line. We’re facing could be, trying to think the rest of our opponents. This will be one of the top 2, 1 or 2 defensive lines we’ll face every year. Our offensive line did not play like an Ohio State offensive line. The standard was set many, many years ago.
I think Coach Warinner, the last two years really added to the reputation of Ohio State offensive line. We did not play like that.

The second half we played pretty good. But pretty good is not what we expect. You play pretty good this week you won’t win that game. So we have to get much better fast in the offensive line.
On defense, you don’t take much from that. Because I didn’t see a lot of missed tackles. I saw a couple of execution errors on a new play they put in, first game of the season those things happen.
I’m not concerned about that. I’m looking forward to watching how our pass defense has improved.

Q. Question about Darron Lee. Obviously huge point. This overall, can you kind of talk about his development?
COACH MEYER: He did grade at champion. Eight tackles. He’s a guy that is a product of offseason program met drills of all the different ways we try to develop some toughness around here. He’s a quarterback from local, New Albany quarterback. Starting in one of our tougher guys on defense that throws it around.
So I thought?? I was not surprised. He’s been practicing like that since spring ball. Kind of came out of nowhere. Didn’t expect that in spring practice.

Q. They’re both tall to me but Michael Brewer and J.T. Barrett are I think considered undersized as a quarterback. Is the game any more favorable to that sized quarterback now than it was when you started?
COACH MEYER: What a great question. I think space has made it a little bit easier, back when you had masses of people in front of you all the time. That’s a great question I never really thought about.
We had Chris Leak, an undersized quarterback, Josh Harris. And Braxton’s not gigantic. I think that would be very good research.

I think mobility has kind of taken over the 6’4″, 6’5″ guy that can’t run. There’s some great ones out there. The defensive coordinators would like to get after those guys because the threat of him doing something with the ball is not really there.

Q. Can I ask what you think makes Frank so successful. I know the past two years aren’t one of the better?? he’s one of the winningest coaches in the FBS?
COACH MEYER: I’ve had so much respect for him. When I was the?? I was the receiver coach and Bob Davey came walking in said you’re the special teams coordinator, I said I don’t want to be the special teams. I didn’t really say it like that, because he would have said you’re out.

But he was one of the guys I went?? because Beamer Ball something that’s been around for a long time. And I would like to think we’ve patterned ourselves ever since that was in 1999 or something like that,’98, when he said that. That’s when my appreciation for special teams and then I see what Virginia Tech did for so many years.
I studied them in person and I studied them afar ever since. He set a standard for?? he’ll go down as how they won games, first of all, he’s a classy guy that does things the right way. But second of all his style of play is so unique for many, many years. Obviously he’s a legend.

Q. Urban with J.T. at quarterback, I remember two years ago you said the same thing about Braxton, add a little more to it each week. Is this a situation where you were fine with what he’s been doing or do you add a little more to add to the flavor?
COACH MEYER: We’ll expand a little bit. He was just in there. Tough week to do it against. The one thing they’re not overly complicated. They just play very, very hard. Yes, we will keep giving him more and more. We went into a very vanilla last week.

Q. You kind of referred to this, running game, both offense and defense against and for the run. You were okay with the way you ran the ball and for the most part the way you defended?
COACH MEYER: Take away one series, and I know that’s really not the right way of looking at it. When you look at the score being 7?6 at halftime I thought our defense played outstanding. That’s 21?6. We were in a bad?? and really their touchdown, that was when the ball hit the pylon, that was a close call as well.
So I’m okay with overall running the ball and stopping the run, that’s not going to get it done this week, but first guy out I wasn’t that disappointed.

Q. Dovetailing off that, for your running game, the carries were very evenly distributed it seems from backs. Going forward is that the way you like because you have guys that can carry or do you need somebody to be a 15, 20?carry guy? What are you looking for this week and down the road?
COACH MEYER: Last year we had a guy that was a 20, 25?carry guy. We have some pretty capable players. We also don’t have that body type to go just slam it in there so many times on the offensive line. And so that’s a good question. We’re going to let it see. I know there’s a lot of guys, Rod Smith had the play of the day. He held a block on punt return for 11seconds. And the way we do our business here, that entitled him some carries.
I mean, it was one of the greatest efforts I’ve ever seen on a play for 11seconds he locked down a defender and then knocked him down at the end of the play. If we could get?? one of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen.
When you see guys doing that type of thing, Jalen earned some carries and Donte certainly has. You have Zeek and you have Curtis Samuel, all these guys earning these carries. And so it’s probably going to be like that again this week, just because these young guys have earned these carries.

Q. One quick, you just touched on it the pylon. What was explained to you about that? I guess the rule is if you touch the pylon in any way it’s a touchdown. But he hit it from the back instead of the front. Just how was it explained to you or was it?
COACH MEYER: It wasn’t. I’m not one of those guys that rant and rave at officials, and I know there’s a replay, I heard there were two calls. We sent the one in as well where Zeek rolled over a guy on the third down and 4 and I didn’t really study it that close, but we sent it in I’m waiting on the response back.
If it touches the pylon, it’s a touchdown. The question I had is did part of his body go down or out of bounds before he did it. Great play by that kid, because he was out of the??

Q. And the other thing, Devin Smith all of a sudden just pops up every now and then makes a huge play. You’ve been with him, around him for three years now. Explain what he’s about in your opinion.
COACH MEYER: He’s the best “D” Ball player?? we’ve done this for a long time, I want to say one of the best “D” Ball players we’ve ever had. He adjusts so well to the ball. He caught someone said 18 or 19 touchdowns, average 40 yards per catch on a touchdown. That’s unique. Extremely fast. Tracks the ball down very well. It’s not like we’re holding him. The team we played against was a very soft zone. They weren’t going to give you the deep balls, and they had a coverage mistake, that’s how that happened.

Q. Was that played not only for him but for J.T. to recognize, you understand what I mean, did everybody kind of build on that one?
COACH MEYER: We wanted to do that early in the game. It was actually the same play where we caught Dontre on a 30?yard pass in the first half, same exact play except it was designed?? each levels play, designed to take a look deep first. If it’s there, take. If not, come down, check two to three.
And they mis?hit the coverage. That’s always a big part of our?? one reason Devin’s doing so well in our offense that’s the number one look on all of our, not all of them, the majority of our play action passing game.

Q. You mentioned you guys maybe came out a little vanilla and then could you explain the play book for J.T. this year. Is there a learning curve for coaches just like there would be being prepared on the field learning what he does well, how you’re going to call plays?
COACH MEYER: Once again, I think Barrett’s part of it. The offensive line is a big part of it. What can those guys do and what can they do well. We’re expecting them in next couple of weeks to be able to do it all well. It’s not just J.T. When we say expand the play book, it’s for J.T. and it’s for the offensive line.
And once those two groups come together, which I’m expecting that to happen rather quickly, it better or we won’t win this game, then we’ll continue to expand it.

Q. Coaches always say this time of year that they expect the biggest jump maybe from week one to week two, just for J.T., what do you anticipate will be an area where he can make some strides right away?
COACH MEYER: Good question. Just trying to think of the mistakes he made. He was pretty just good. More dynamic, 16?yard run, Ezekiel led on the draw play. And he’s done pretty good. He’s just not the dynamic guy. Wouldn’t mind, when you go, go. But he played pretty well.

Q. We’re all asking about J.T. It seems like a lot of your answers are you lack confidence in your offensive line right now.
COACH MEYER: The second half helped. Spring practice did not help. Training camp helped. And then the first half did not. The second half really helped. So to say I don’t have confidence is probably not fair, because we called on our own 20?yard line a play action pass to go win the game.
I wasn’t going to do that in the second quarter. In the second half I gained a lot of confidence, because I saw their demeanors change at halftime and there’s a redshirt freshman out there playing, a senior that hasn’t played much competitive football and there’s another guy, another young player that hasn’t done much.

Q. And you guys didn’t have a whole lot of plays in that game. I think you only had seven in the third quarter. Did you get everybody in that you wanted to offensively?
COACH MEYER: No. Raekwon McMillan, we have to get him in the game. He got on some special teams. Erick Smith got on some special teams. Sam Hubbard is close. Johnnie Dixon is close. We have to get other guys in the game.

Q. Pretty similar to that as far as the freshmen. I remember after last year you said you wanted to make sure those young guys were more ready to play after some of those guys didn’t get a chance to get in a year ago. I think only four played in that first game against Navy.
COACH MEYER: Only four played?

Q. True freshmen from this?
COACH MEYER: It could be more than that. They have to earn that time. But Raekwon will play this week. And the other names I mentioned are getting better and better. And Donte Booker had?? he cut his foot on something and so he wasn’t really ready to play. We gotta get him ready to play as well.