Opening Remarks: I’ll take the blame for Saturday but not for the choppy video feed. Disappointing loss on Saturday, too many mistakes to beat a quality opponent on the road. I was pretty clear about that on Saturday after the game. There’s a very small margin of error in this league and where were at in this league and we just made too many mistakes. I’ll quickly recap and then turn the page.
Special Teams: Negatives first - missed opportunity on the kickoff, it hit us in the chest and we fumbled it and didn’t recover. Lost three points there when we fumbled the snap on the field goal. I thought we had three opportunities to flip the field with our punt unit and we just didn’t hit great punts.
Positives - I thought our kick off coverage and punt coverage units were really good. And we made all of our kicks. Evan Staley had a really good week.
Defensive Units: Negatives - We got the ball out twice and couldn’t recover either of them. Gave up 200 yards rushing and its going to be tough to win when you do that. We were only 50% on third downs. The last drive took up 7:30 and they converted four third downs. That was tough pill to swallow.
Positives - we limited their explosive plays, they were the most explosive offense in the country last year and returned most of those pieces. We did a good job of getting the ball out but we didn’t do a good job of recovering it but we did get the ball out. I thought Tony Fields interception was big. We did a much better job of getting 11 hats to the ball. Misfits and missed assignments led to some big plays.
I thought these guys played well - Alonzo Addae, Tony Fields, Darius Stills and Tykee Smith.
Offensive Units: Negatives - 16 negative plays. We had some critical penalties. Stalled but didn’t get down to the red zone. Moved the ball real well up and down the field but got stalled in the fringe area. Missed explosive plays.
Positives - we ran the ball effectively. Leddie Brown went over 100 yards again. 3 of 4 wide out spots we won our fair share of one-on-ones. We moved the ball well in open field.
Leddie Brown, Winston Wright, Mike Brown and Chase Behdrnt, Mike O’Laughlin all played well.
Glad to be getting home to play Baylor Bears, sad we won’t have fans, happy that we’ll have fans against Kansas Jayhawks. Baylor was impressive in week 1. Lots of respect for Dave Aranda, one of the top defensive minds over a long time. Great staff, two successful head coaches as coordinators. Preview special teams there coordinator I worked with at Kentucky and he helped turn that program around. They have explosive returners in Ebner. Took two kickoffs back in one game. Coverage units have athletes that run really well.
Penalties - How do you correct
I didn’t necessarily agree with all of them. The procedure and non aggressive penalties have to be eliminated. The selfish penalties, Leddie had one, we have to eliminate. The aggressive penalties you have to be careful with. The holding penalties, you’re gonna have some of those, we just continue to stress technique. But where we are at right now as a program, we cannot beat ourselves - whether that is turnovers, missed assignments, penalties, we can’t do that. We have to get better at it. [Especially] on those non aggressive penalties.
How difficult is Ebner [the kick returner]
We think that our kickoff team has been a strength of ours here for the last two years and thought they did a really good job last week, but didn’t do a good job in week 1 and I’m sure [Baylor] is licking their chops since Eastern Kentucky ran one back that got called back due to a penalty but its a great challenge for us. We have several starters who run down on the kickoff and our mentality is its the first play of a defensive series. He did a tremendous job , really went against the grain and cut both of them back against the field. He’s fast and elusive.
New Coaches - Could we see the league change?
I think the league has already changed a great deal. Defenses and special teams play, this is still a really innovative league offensively, and its a league where you are going to in some games have to score a bunch of points to win but I think the defenses have really innovated as well. I think special teams play has gotten better, in my opinion, as well. Really tough physical league, same as the Big 10. Ron Roberts, not a lot of people in our market know his name but coaches, really well respected. He actually hired coach Aranda.
Losses - Do you take them home with you?
My 12-year old critiques everything and she has some good advice but nah you can’t take them home. They didn’t lose the game or miss blocks. It’s part of it. Its a business, you’re gonna lose some tough ones, that was a tough one, maybe the toughest we’ve had here. Honestly. We don’t take them home. Flip the page and move on. I don’t think its fair to your family if you take them home.
Offensive Line Assessment
Mixed bag. I thought at times in the interior three we did some really nice things, created some movement. Short yardage wise we were successful. At tackle we have to get better. Those guys haven’t played a lot of football. They got compressed and lost some one-on-ones. Mixed bag. I do think we’re improved from last year. We do have to a better job, staff wise, me included, of not putting our quarterback to get hit. He has to do a better job of getting rid of the ball, throwing the ball from his location in the pocket. He’ll get it corrected.
Mental mistakes - how do you correct those
As a staff we watch the game. If its an away game, we watch it on the plane and you may have a minute to give them a pointer when they get off. Most of the time we’ll put the comments in our computer system and they’ll see them on Sunday. Can’t meet with them but they’re able to see them. We watch the game with the m on Monday morning and go over the positive and negatives. Learning points, team wise, are the how much the details matter, how small the margin is between winning and losing, because that game was winnable. There were winning plays that we could have played that could have changed the outcome but we didn’t make them. You have to learn from those things. Sometimes on defense trying to do too much. You have to control you gap. You get out of your gap and you don’t do your 1/11th, thats how runs squirt out. Offensive, its just technique issues. Not using the correct footwork up front. Trying to speed through our releases when we got pressed. And some of it was they were just better than us at some positions. That’s part of it. Plenty of blame to go around. You learn from your mistakes, get fixed and go back to work. Have a better plan and play better next game.
Health Wise After Game
I thought from a physical conditioning-wise, we did a nice job. Offensively, we were on the field 90+ snaps. I dont think fatigue was a factor. From an injury standpoint, Vandarius Cowan would be the one who is questionable. Got hurt on the sack. He’ll be questionable going into the game on Saturday. Everyone else came out relatively healthy.
Jarret Doege - Decision Making / RPO plays
I don’t know what the percentage is. It was exactly, we had a good number. 15-ish range. He missed a couple throws and those are footwork, got his feet tangled up. What it came down to is he rushed, tried to make the throw before the linebacker cleared and got his feet tangled up. We missed two that would have been big plays. He had a couple where he didn’t have his eyes in the right spot. But you’re never gonna be perfect on those. There's a lot that goes into it and some of its post snap. Those are bang bang plays that you’re not gonna be perfect on. We’re gonna continue to run a bit of those. He can be better on his decision making.
Baylor’s experience at O-Line, concern they control the clock
I think they want to run the football. Coach Fedora has always run the football. With the talent they have at running back. People always try to get their best players the football and with the talent they have at running back. the OLine is better, that's the thing that stuck out to me watching the game. Their OLine is much improved.
Brewer - Running QB
Yeah he makes plays with his feet, extends plays. they’ll run him a little bit but where he hurts you is on called pass plays and he scrambles and breaks the pocket.
OSU’s OLine vs WVU DLine
Schematically, what we were trying to do against Oklahoma State was we were going to play a little bit of a light box to try and take away some of the explosive plays. Especially Tylan Wallace. We tried to play some coverage to take him away. We knew he would get some catches but we were trying to take away the shot plays. So we played gap-down sometimes in the box against them. Where we got in trouble is our fitters were late a couple of times, and on at least 4 plays we got out of our gap and gave up the long touchdown and 3 other plus-10 runs because of that. Played a lot of 3-man front. Slanted some. We’ve only had Tony Field for a short amount of time. Trying to figure out how he likes to see the game.
Rules - Stats
Its lost yards rushing. They deduct your sacks from your rushing yards. Which to me is a pass play. So it should be sack yardage, that comes off your total offensive yards but not necessarily your rushing yards. Its misleading. Its no different on a pass play if the quarterback takes off running and he gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage, you know what they call that? A Sack. In my opinion, you run the football for 131 yards, is what we ran the ball for, the sack yardage shouldn’t come out. You have a run play and you get tackled for minus-2, that’s a tackle for loss, comes off your rushing yards.
My other pet peeve, statistically, is a ball is completed, really good throw. Say the ball is caught, tipped and defender catches it or goes right through the hands, in my opinion, that should be something other than an interception that goes on the quarterback’s stats because that ball wasn’t his fault. Shouldn’t show up on his individual stats.
Sam Brown and Sean Martin
Sean Martin did not make the trip. Yesterday was his first practice back, he got cleared on Friday. So he’s back. Sam Brown was just a coaches decision.
Fixing Fumble and Recoveries
The one on kickoff you can practice. We were the first one to get to it and it hit off our chest. We do a takeaway circuit every day. The other two we didn’t get to. Not much you can do. I believe if you strain and continue to do the right things over and over the ball will bounce your way a little bit. We have to strain and prepare better and that ball will bounce our way.