Early Wednesday MLB Odds

Odds for tomorrow’s major league baseball games have been released, with the exception of the Atlanta/Washington game and Blue Jays/Yankees game. Stephen Strasburg makes his return to the rotation, and a minor league callup is going for the Yankees, so the books will wait until tomorrow to release lines for those games. There’s four afternoon games on tap for Wednesday, including three that will have an impact on the playoffs (Mets/Reds, Orioles/Rays, and Detroit/White Sox).

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg

New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard, -1.5) at Cincinnati Reds (Anthony Desclafani, +1.38)

St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake, +1.17) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon, -1.27)

Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson, +1.19) at Miami Marlins (Andrew Cashner, -1.29)

Chicago Cubs (Michael Montgomery, -1.54) at Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza, +1.42)

San Francisco Giants (Albert Suarez, +1.09) at Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa, -1.18)

Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray, +1.38) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Brock Stewart, -1.5)

Baltimore Orioles (Dylan Bundy, -1.04) at Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly, -1.04)

Detroit Tigers (Aaron Sanchez, +1.11) at Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana, -1.2)

LAA Angels (Alex Meyer, +1.1) at Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton, -1.19)

Houston Astros (Doug Fister, +1.47) at Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco, -1.6)

Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy, -1.4) at Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson, +1.29)

Texas Rangers (A.J. Griffin, -1.07) at Seattle Mariners (Ariel Miranda, -1.01)

Boston Red Sox (David Price, -2.15) at San Diego Padres (Jarred Cosart, +1.97)

Early Week Two NFL Lines Have Been Released

The season hasn’t even started yet, but the Westgate doesn’t need to wait to put up week two lines. The Las Vegas based sportsbook released its lines on Tuesday afternoon.

The Thursday game has the Bills, at home against the New York Jets, listed as three point favorites. The lines for the early Sunday games are:

Detroit -3.5 at home against Tennessee
Houston -1.5 at home against Kansas City
New England is -5.5 hosting the Miami Dolphins
Baltimore, playing in Cleveland, is 3.5 favorites against the Browns.
Pittsburgh is -4 at home against Cincinnati
The Redskins are -3.5 hosting the Cowboys.
The New York Giants, at home against New Orleans, is -4.5.

There are five afternoon games being played:

Arizona, -8.5 against Tampa Bay
Seattle, -4.5 on the road in Los Angeles
Denver is -3.5 hosting the Colts
Oakland is -5.5 at home against Atlanta
San Diego, -5.5 at home against Jacksonville

In the Sunday night game, Minnesota is pick at home against Green Bay. The Monday night game is Chicago -3 against Philadelphia.

The limits, needless to say, are very low this far out.

Tuesday Major League Baseball Odds

The playoff chase is in high gear in the American League, with Toronto, Boston, and Baltimore each within two games of each other for first place in the AL East. Toronto has a slim one-game lead. Boston is one game up in the Wild Card race, while Baltimore and Detroit are tied for the last playoff spot. Houston, New York, and Kansas City are both within striking distance.

In the National League, the division are all but wrapped up. Washington, Chicago, and the Dodgers have comfortable leads. San Francisco owns the first wild card slot, with St. Louis a half game behind. The Mets are just one game back of St. Louis, and fading Pittsburgh is 4.5 games out.

Today’s key games between contenders: St. Louis at Pittsburgh, Toronto at New York, and Houston at Cleveland.

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Williams Perez takes the mound tonight for the road team Atlanta Braves. The Washington Nationals will send Gio Gonzalez out as their starter. The Washington Nationals are -2.15 favorite against the Atlanta Braves, with the total set at 8.5 runs.

The home team Pittsburgh Pirates will send out Ryan Vogelsong as their starting pitcher in today’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Luke Weaver will get the nod for the home team. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 1.2 underdogs in today’s betting line, with the total listed at 9 runs.

Rafael Montero will be the starting pitcher for the New York Mets in their road matchup with the Cincinnati Reds. Brandon Finnegan will take the mound for the home team (-1.18 on the money line). The over/under is 9.

The road team Philadelphia Phillies will send out Adam Morgan as their starting pitcher in today’s game against the Miami Marlins. Jose Urena will get the nod for the home team. The Miami Marlins are -1.45 favorite in today’s betting line, with the total listed at 8.5 runs.

Wily Peralta takes the mound tonight for the home team Milwaukee Brewers. The Chicago Cubs will send Jason Hammel out as their starter. The Milwaukee Brewers are 1.6 underdogs against the Chicago Cubs, with the total set at 9 runs.

Tyler Anderson will be the starting pitcher for the Colorado Rockies in their home matchup with the San Francisco Giants. Jeff Samardzija will take the mound for the road team (1.17 on the money line). The over/under is 11.

Shelby Miller takes the mound tonight for the road team Arizona Diamondbacks. The Los Angeles Dodgers will send Ross Stripling out as their starter. The Los Angeles Dodgers are -1.77 favorite against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the total set at 8.5 runs.

The home team New York Yankees will send out Luis Cessa as their starting pitcher in today’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Aaron Sanchez will get the nod for the home team. The New York Yankees are 1.38 underdogs in today’s betting line, with the total listed at 8.5 runs.

Yovani Gallardo will be the starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles in their road matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays. Jake Odorizzi will take the mound for the home team (-1.25 on the money line). The over/under is 8.5.

The road team Houston Astros will send out Brad Peacock as their starting pitcher in today’s game against the Cleveland Indians. Corey Kluber will get the nod for the home team. The Cleveland Indians are -2 favorite in today’s betting line, with the total listed at 8.5 runs.

Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound tonight for the home team Chicago White Sox. The Detroit Tigers will send Matt Boyd out as their starter. The Chicago White Sox are 1.02 underdogs against the Detroit Tigers, with the total set at 9.5 runs.

Ervin Santana will be the starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins in their home matchup with the Kansas City Royals. Dillon Gee will take the mound for the road team (1.15 on the money line). The over/under is 9.

Ricky Nolasco takes the mound tonight for the road team LAA Angels. The Oakland Athletics will send out as their starter. The Oakland Athletics are 1.02 underdogs against the LAA Angels, with the total set at 8.5 runs.

The home team Seattle Mariners will send out James Paxton as their starting pitcher in today’s game against the Texas Rangers. Martin Perez will get the nod for the home team. The Seattle Mariners are -1.21 favorite in today’s betting line, with the total listed at 8 runs.

Clay Buchholz will be the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in their road matchup with the San Diego Padres. Paul Clemens will take the mound for the home team (1.49 on the money line). The over/under is 8.5.

Michigan St. Football: Dantonio’s September 6 Press Conference

Penalties and turnovers were two negatives in Michigan State’s 28-13 win over the Furman Paladins, according to head coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans had two turnovers and 120 yards of penalties in the game, keeping the overmatched Paladins in striking distance for the entire game. Next up, after a bye week: Notre Dame.

HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Good morning, guys. First off, 1-0 versus Furman, so that’s positive moving forward here.

A lot of things happening in the first game that you’re trying to control. I thought our football team came out and played hard, that’s No. 1.

No. 2, obviously we had too many penalties when you look at 120 yards worth of penalties compared to LJ Scott rushing for 107 yards, I thought he had a great football game, that’s a lot of yards, especially at inopportune times for us, and really told the story of the game as we proceeded through the whole football game.

When you look at us offensively, I thought we ran the ball effectively. Because of the penalties we didn’t have the ball as many times as we wanted to in the third quarter, but we scored, things like that, with the time that we did have it.

Two turn overs, minus 1 in the turn over margin, which affects the outcome of a football game, so we were able to overcome that, as well. So the penalties and the turn overs really makes the game a little closer than maybe we wanted it. Give Furman credit, I thought they played very well, had a good plan going into the football game.

Look at us defensively, I thought we played solid against the run. First time in 13 years we didn’t have a play over 15 yards or a play over 20 years. But we have 60 yards worth of penalties, that gives them first down on a number of occasions, obviously. So keeps drives alive.

From that standpoint the game’s in the books. We watched it with our players and as coaches a couple of times. So we look for improvement there.

I thought offensively Tyler O’Conner probably a little nervous initially, but got off after that start, I thought he played pretty well. Three touchdown passes. I think he threw the ball effectively, threw the ball with velocity, didn’t hold back, and played aggressively. Got to hold on to the football, can’t have mistakes with the football in our hands at any point in the game and that’s No. 1, the ball is on the ground too often.

Where we’re at right now I think we have a week off, which is a little bit different, probably more different than we have in the past, we use it to our advantage as we move forward. Look forward to Notre Dame. And I’ll take some questions.

Q. Could you please update us on Ron Burton?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, got sort of — don’t usually talk about injuries, but since it is to a coach, yeah, Ron had an emergency procedure done on Friday morning, so we worked out our defensive line coach on Saturday. Coach Snyder moved down to the sidelines, he sort of handled the defensive line. He’s a long time defensive line coach, as well.

I don’t think there’s any question that affects your staff and affects how you do things. So I didn’t really think it was appropriate to talk about it, but since you asked. He’s doing well and he’s back with us and everything. Sort of an emergency surgery. But I think that rule that they talk about you can’t talk about things, I think that applies, whatever that is, HIPAA rule, doing well, though.

Q. You referenced the bye week coming at a strange time. How differently are you approaching this week, and maybe as you would in other years?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, it’s tough. It’s been a question throughout the process, you know. I think we’re the only team in America that plays as a bye the second week of the season, and then plays a Power 5 team that next week.

So there’s not a lot to compare to that. But we use it as a positive. We’ll get some guys, first of all, healthy. Secondly, our players are really in school for the first time this week. You know, last week was a chopped up week. So they can get themselves grounded in that respect.

Third, we can get out and recruit a little bit on the weekend. So that’s a positive.

Fourth thing we have to do is maintain our game conditioning. I thought we were in conditioned in the game. We have to maintain our game conditioning aspect. So we’ve got to work this week hard. And there’s always risk a little bit with that. We don’t go live or anything like that, but you have to work your players as if you had a game from the conditioning standpoint. We’re going to work hard doing that throughout the week.

And it also gives us an opportunity obviously to get ahead a little bit from a film and schematic standpoint on Notre Dame, things tend to change week-to-week with programs and who you play. But it does give us a chance to watch their personnel, what they’ve done thus far and what they’ve done last year.

Q. When you look back at the tape and you watched Darian Hicks, especially, on the edge, there, what was your assessment of his performance? And kind of going back the last it few years, it seems like when teams do attack they have to find one guy to go out and seems like Darian was the guy?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, I think they did go after him a little bit. I thought he played well. I thought he played very well. I thought he covered. Numerous pass breakups. Two very questionable interference calls, I’m not saying they’re right, I’m not saying they’re wrong. They’re close. They’re bang-bang calls. And he’s playing the ball as best as you can play it. But it’s one of those things. This game is — no doubt this game is a game of inches, in so many respects. I’ve said that over the years and you see it every single weekend. I think that was one of the times, incidents, that we’re talking about.

I thought he played well, and he’s going to have — our corners, the way we played, they’re going to have that every week.

Q. You mentioned looking forwards Notre Dame possibly getting a look at the film. Did you get to watch any of that Texas game?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, we made sure we were done watching the whole game. It was a great football game. And obviously watched the tape of the game the next day check, coaching tape. So it was a little bit different.

So you get a different perspective when you watch it over and over, click on it, see whether it’s coverage blown or you see whether it’s mental mistake or physical mistake, leaving the scores or either way. So you have an opportunity to do that, so we invested our time in that and other things here with Notre Dame this week.

Q. Wondering what you saw when you looked at the tape some of the runs up the middle, what did you see on that?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, you know, again, things we hadn’t practiced. Things that are new. Got to adjust. Basically they trapped, the first one they trapped Malik, an influence trap. And they hit that one.

And sometimes it’s the defense you’re in, structurally, as well. They create a different gap a little bit. On the option, they broke out the option in the fourth quarter a little bit, backwards diving into the box. Things with a young player that you’ve got to get straightened out from a coaching perspective, as well, that you’ve got to get straightened out. Things that can be alleviated, things that can be fixed.

But Furman had a good plan. They came here to play and you see the result of that. I think everybody usually does that. That’s why I never sell anybody short regardless of what people say or think, that’s why you play the games.

Q. How do you make it an advantage that you saw Notre Dame play against a top flight team. And have to use a lot of plays that goes into overtime and you see what they’re going to do in critical situations and have the extra time to game plan for them?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: You hope that carries over. The nature of it is they go into something different. The biggest thing you can watch is tempo, especially when you watch the game on TV. You can figure out the tempo that they’re using. You also watch personnel, just in terms of ability and you get a feel for it schematically. We played Notre Dame numerous times since we’ve been here, really since Coach Kelly has gone, I think it was ten, maybe the first year.

So those are things that we have to adjust as we move forward. I think it gives us a head start. How does that play into the game, itself? The game gets played on the field. So it’s about diagnosing things, recognizing things and making plays. That’s how you win on the field.

Q. How much game planning goes into having the film on Notre Dame versus Texas, and then having them against Nevada, their week two opponent as you look at your bye week coming up?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: It’s about what offense they run, what defense they run, the opposing teams. Texas runs a little bit of a 3-4, 3 deep coverages. Offensively, Texas is a little bit different than we are offensively.

Again, you use things relative to personnel, I think, but I think long-term you’ve got to figure out who they are relative to who you are. And how they play you, too. So there’s another book on that. You’ve got to look at all these different books that you have on an opponent or they have on you, and you try to figure it out the best of your ability.

But again it gets down to the game and a missed tackle, a missed play on a ball, you know, a completion, you know, a run after contact, those type of things. Those are the things that win football games for, I think.

Q. On the offensive lineup, I think you were going to play with six guys maybe rotating in there some good stuff, some bad stuff. How would you say that unit kind of performed for that first game?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I thought they played very solid in there. You saw a lot of good things. Offensive line is still involved, there was pass protection, running the football, those type of things. Also I think that tight ends, the fullbacks are still involved and wide receivers are still involved and the running backs are still involved and the quarterbacks, all are involved in the running game and the passing game. So that all plays a part of it. I thought Prescott Line played very, very well in the game. He’s a football player.

Q. On the defensive line, you didn’t use about seven different guys, did you want to go deeper, do you feel you can go deeper later in the year?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I think we want to see where the young players are, we didn’t want to play those guys without fully playing them a lot of plays. So we’ll see how — again, this week is an advantage, when you look on the our young players and trying to get them extra reps and seeing if we can bring them forward, bring them along.

But I think on our defensive line, I thought Kevin Williams did I a nice job, obviously Malik McDowell played extraordinarily well, great effort. Big guy, rushing passer, doing all the things that you wanted him to do. But the biggest thing was I thought he played with a lot of effort, and he was our defensive MVP, and had a lot of production, as well. So that was a positive.

But I don’t know, there’s always things that you’ve got to — there’s are things, what we have to do is transition better from run to pass, when there are run action and then it’s a pass. And we’ve got to be able to transition more.

And I thought we needed to come up with more sacks. We had two. But we need to sack the quarterback more often than that. Good plan by them, keeping us off base, run, pass options.

Q. When you looked at your offensive and your defense on both sides of the ball could you tell us what you were most pleased with and maybe something that shocked you. I know you won’t tell us the negative.
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I think that most pleased with how we ran the ball and continued to recollect ourselves on both sides of the ball when things didn’t go quite well. We just sort of maintain a workmanlike approach to it. I thought our sideline needed to be a little bit more emotional than maybe it was. But we had a workmanlike type attitude. And when things happened negatively, that first down, keeping the drive alive or a holding penalty down on the five yard line, we recollected ourselves and we made a play.

So that was a positive. And I also thought that Tyler played well, especially probably three-quarters of the game, which coming out as the quarterback, they did some good things. Things that I’m relatively displeased with were the penalties, shocked on the penalties, but, again, some of them are unforced. I mean really none of them are unforced because we didn’t have off sides, we didn’t have procedural penalties, they’re down the field penalties that we’re playing football and they get called.

But there is a discipline to that, as well, and we have to play within that discipline. So I guess it would be that and the ball is on the ground too much. We threw one pick and lost a fumble to a red shirt freshman. But the ball is on the ground, and there’s too many things that could happen with that. I would think that — I would guess that probably most of the time we win the turn over margin battle and we didn’t this game. And the penalties in that is, again, that’s why the game was a little closer than maybe it would have seemed.

Q. Going into this bye week, a little more injuries, more nicked up than you thought you would be after one game?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I wouldn’t be talking about injuries. Trick question.

Q. There is so much praise for you and Tom both how well you’ve run your programs across the nation. With Tom going into the Hall of Fame this weekend, your thoughts on him receiving such an achievement?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I think that’s a huge award. It’s an honor, it’s a very distinguished award. Fortunate because it is a bye week I’ll be able to go to that, so that is something I’ll be able to look forward to.

Tom has been always more than just a basketball coach, he’s been a mentor, friend, a great supporter for us, for myself, my family.

So it goes beyond the winning and losing. And I think at the end of all this he’s getting honored for his wins. But he’ll be defined by many more things beyond that at a later time. But a great accomplishment, and not many people get those opportunities. Well deserved.

Q. You have talked about wanting to use three running backs, and you ran two of them on Friday night. And the impression from LJ was that you were going to just run two. Is that — can I get some clarification?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I think we go with the productive player and the productive situation at every time. I’m never going to say we’re not going to use three. If we can get people in rhythm, I think that’s good. Guys come out — we didn’t want to have three guys come out with eight carries a piece, or even nine a piece. We wanted to make sure that we somewhat had the majority.

The other thing that when you look at it, we only had 58 plays, so we scored very fast. I think that’s another thing in the football game, we scored extremely quickly the first series. And then three and out. And then, you know, things started to get a little bit more difficult.

But because of the nature of the third quarter with fumbling on the first play — second half offensively, and because of the penalties on defense, I think we had the ball like six plays in the third quarter. We didn’t have many plays. So that’s the nature of it. You don’t have that many plays, you don’t have as many people running the football.

But I think we ran it 30 times, 35 times or so. So that was a positive. But short answer to your question, I think we used all those guys. And Williams was playing, I could see him using him as the tailback. We’re deep in the fullback position. That will be a positive. That will be useful in the future here.

Q. I know you hoped (inaudible) situation would be resolved by now. Wonder if you got any feedback from the issue?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: I would expect to hear something this week. So I would expect that there would be a positive outcome. But, hey, you never know. That’s all I can basically say about that. And in the meantime he is able to practice, so he is practicing and going to school and those type of things.

Q. Just wondering, I don’t want to say the lack of playing true freshmen or not, but is there a process in mind you have when getting those guys in game action, still trying to maybe hold them back and think about those red shirt opportunities?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Just don’t want to play guys unless we’re going to play them throughout. That’s the biggest thing. Because the number of plays — really, it was a slow moving football game last week. They only had I think 64 plays, we had 58. There was just a lot of time in between snaps it seemed like.

So we’ll play the freshmen when they’re ready to play. We have an outstanding group of freshmen. But I don’t want to put them on the field and take away the redshirt. I want to legitimate eyes if we do redshirt, I don’t want to say he got hurt and he didn’t really get hurt. Their time is coming. This will be a big week for them. We’ll have an opportunity to look at them more fully. Players need to be functional. And functionality, I think, is relative to who else is in your program, too. If you’re deep in a certain position and you have people that are functional that play the a high level that are two’s, such as maybe a corner, you see Austin, who is going to be a very, very good player for us. He’s redshirted. Same with probably maybe D.J. Vance, Kenney Lyke, maybe not so much. But those are just examples.

Other opportunities would be for players if there is not as much depth at that position of the but as I said earlier, we have a good football team. We have a foundation of players that are at deep as maybe we’ve ever been. And so putting those 70 travel team players in perspective, putting those people on the bus together it’s going to get very, very tight in terms of who goes and who doesn’t go. We’ve not had a lot of a transition. As of late we’ve had a couple of guys leaving. They’re leaving as a result of the situation itself, as well. Let’s just be straight up.

But we want to play those guys and get them reps if they’re going to continue to play throughout the season. We have a couple of guys that that may be the case.

Q. Look at the linebackers, obviously Riley played a fairly good game. What is your opinions on Frey and Dowell, and also the play that Byron Bullough made at the goal line kind of crashing in and making that one play?
HEAD COACH DANTONIO: Yeah, Andrew Dowell I think had the play of the game on his pick, after he flipped it the other way immediately. After we fumbled the very next play they made the pick, great pick, big play in the game. Great effort. Got to know where to go sometimes. And that’s coaching and that’s also experience because the game changes and you have to adapt. You have to adapt to things you haven’t been coached on throughout the week, because they show something different.

So that’s a big part of it. But I thought he played very, very well. He played with a lot of effort and I think he was involved in a lot of tackles, a lot of production.

And Chris Frey, same thing, more experienced, played very well.

Byron came in there, Byron has a big play, talking about Byron. Byron had two big plays, one down at the goal line and one on the third and one. It’s good to see him as I younger player to get involved in that capacity. He played well.

Survivor Pools…the NFL’s Version of March Madness

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Notre Dame Football, the Day After: Brian Kelly Discusses Texas, Season in Postgame Press Conference

In front of 102,000 rabid Texas fans, Notre Dame became the third top-10 team of the week to lose in week one. They didn’t go quietly, however. The Fighting Irish came back from a 31-14 3rd quarter deficit to force overtime, finally falling 50-47 in the second extra period. Coach Brian Kelly talked about the game in his postgame press conference.

Q. Tough game last night. I was watching the game last night. You guys dominated in the third quarter against Texas keeping them off the field, 21 unanswered points. What happened in the fourth quarter? Did the defense get tired, or did they just — Texas just started using the option more?
BRIAN KELLY: No, I mean, the fourth quarter was — you know, they scored obviously on the last drive. We were up 35-31 with 5 minutes to go in the game, and, you know, they — we missed a tackle on a front where we had an extra hat, and they scored to go up 37-35. We blocked the extra point and tied it up. Fundamentally we were in a good position.

Like I said, fourth quarter, we were down 31-28. The guys fought back, got the lead, and, you know, played some pretty good defense and gave up that last drive with 3:52 or 5:23 to go and had a chance to get off the field and hold them to a field goal but missed a tackle.

Q. I was looking at the defense. The last three games you guys have given up over 450 yards total offense, the last two games, the last game of last season and yesterday. Is there something wrong? Is the defense not tackling, getting tired? What’s been the issue?
BRIAN KELLY: Last year was last year. This is a different defense.

Q. Of course.
BRIAN KELLY: We evaluate from week to week. Clearly we’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to play better, and we’ll continue to do that. We’re going to be obviously looking at those things today. But, you know, again, it’s like anything else. It’s college football and you’ve got young guys that you’ve got to coach and we look to get better next week against Nevada.

Q. Coach, I wondered if you could comment on the status on Torii Hunter’s injury status and what it looks like as far as going into this week for him?
BRIAN KELLY: Too early to tell. Both of ’em sustained head injuries, so they’ll go through our battery of tests and we’ll see how they are today and proceed from there. Really too early to tell.

Q. I know that from a defensive standpoint that’s kind of a tough assignment you go in and you don’t have film to look at of Texas players running that offense, and I wonder how confident you are in this team and your coordinator to maximize the talent of your defensive players?
BRIAN KELLY: I mean it’s the first game, and you go into the first game and — first time starters, and we have a lot of young guys that got their first start. We’ll critically evaluate and I think everybody needs to tap the brakes and relax. You know, this is a football team that showed great resolve, took the lead down 17 points in the fourth quarter up 35-31, and we needed to come up with one more stop or one more better offensive possession, you know, to win the football game and we didn’t do that.

So this narrative about, you know, it’s all the defense’s fault is, you know, just Monday morning quarterbacking. If we get a better punt, if we flip field position, if we make a catch or a throw we’re talking about some different things.

Q. Along those same lines, what do you think will help fix this defense? Is it guys settling into their roles or —
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, we’re a young group of guys and, you know, we played — we had three true freshmen out there at one time in the back end of our defense. It’s going to take some time, but they’re athletic kids that will continue to develop and we’ll get better each and every week.

Q. Now that you have a little time to sift through it, what’s your assessment of where you’re going to go with the quarterbacks this week?
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, you know, I haven’t gotten a chance to — everything that we do we do it within our group first. Haven’t gotten a chance to speak with the group, and I mean the group being the offensive staff and then the two quarterbacks. Once I get a chance to spend some more time with them we’re really in the process of grading film and evaluating all three phases of our game.

Once we do that and get a chance to sit as a staff and talk about it we’ll have a better sense.

Q. Coach, Devin Butler is a Chicago area kid. What do you see on film so far that impresses you about him?
BRIAN KELLY: Obviously, he had a coming out party, you know? In the sense that we saw a kid that came out of nowhere and has really made a name for himself. But, you know, he’s got speed, explosiveness, a guy that we obviously on film, you would respect right away. So, you know, again, they like to run the football and it’s part of who they are as a program so they always feature, you know, an explosive back and they’ve got another one in him.

Q. Coach, I think this might be one more of those Monday morning quarterback types because I didn’t think of it yesterday but when C.J. Sanders scored the touchdown to put you guys down on one, was there talk on the sideline about trying to go there?
BRIAN KELLY: No, no, I didn’t give that much thought. We battled so hard to get back into the game, and, again, to take the lead. It just didn’t feel that was the right time to go for two. Obviously, with the rules being as they are, you’re going to go for two in the third overtime anyway. It’s not going to be a prolonged situation. You’re going to get it decided if it goes to a third overtime.

Q. One more on the defense. Is there a point in time when you evaluate with the staff that you would step in more defensively? I know it’s Coach VanGorder’s defense. Is there a time in your coaching career where you think I’ll step in and manage the game defensively a little bit? Not that you would call plays but take over the management of the game to revolve around your offense?
BRIAN KELLY: Everything that we do is collaborative. At the end of the day the defensive structure and what we’re doing is run through me.

So anything that we do from a defensive standpoint has my signature on it. So, you know, I’m in the meetings. Brian and I are in communication, so anything more would be me taking on a role in more of a play calling and I’m not in that role, and I have somebody that can do that quite well.

Q. Brian, you said yesterday that you subbed out through for personnel reasons. I was wondering if you could expound on that after watching film today?
BRIAN KELLY: No, just personnel reasons. We make our own decisions relative to time and place in the game.

Q. How would you evaluate how Devin did after coming in for him?
BRIAN KELLY: He did some pretty good things. His fits were really good in the run game, made a couple plays at the line of scrimmage that I liked. He was on body and coverage on a double move in a third-down situation, and in a couple of our “dime” looks was instrumental in the interception, was carrying a number two vertically which called Buechel to throw the ball a little bit high and Crawford was able to get the interception so did some good things in a short period of time out there.

Q. Coach, have you had a chance to look over the hit on Spruell, and do you plan to pursue it at all in terms of with any officials groups as to targeting situations?
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, we sent the clip obviously to the supervisor of officials with the ACC, and, you know, we got confirmation back that that would have most likely have been a targeting call. We just don’t understand why that was not reviewed by the Big 12. I guess they’re going to be reaching out to them to find out why it wasn’t reviewed. But, you know, clearly, win or lose player safety should be at the front of this game and we don’t believe that that was the case in this instance.

Q. Coach, just following up on the question with the two at the conversion, late in regulation when you have the time at fourth and one, was there any thought of going for it, or was it too deep in territory to gamble on it?
BRIAN KELLY: I don’t think in those situations where you fought so hard to get yourself back in the game that you want to be, you know, that brazen in your decision making. The circumstances of the game, the way the guys battled, their resiliency, I’ve never coached a game where the team is down 17 points in the second half and they expend that kind of energy to get back in the game to roll the dice like that.

Q. And for clarity, did you make the decision prior to the game that no matter what, Malik was going to be in for the second series even after DeShone led the first drive for a touchdown?
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, I felt like we wanted to get these guys in early and give them the opportunity in the first few series to get into the ball game. It doesn’t — you know, in my estimation it doesn’t do much for them if they’re sitting and watching, so I wanted to get them in early, yes.