“It was a tough loss Saturday night. I have to do a better job of coaching. The assistants have to do a better job. The players have to do a better job of executing. We’re all in this together. Together is the only way we’re going to get it turned around. We started that game jumping out to a 17-0 lead but then watched it erode. Offensively, it was pretty amazing. We had 28 first downs. We had 100 plays and completely dominated the first quarter. Once we got up to 17-0 that’s where, all of a sudden, three out of four drives we had turnovers. We had two fumbles and an interception. That’s where you have to hard focus the most and learn to dominate an opponent when you get up. We have to keep emphasizing it and keep working on it.
We had some great individual performances. Tyler Stehling had his best game throwing and running the ball. Zach Wright had a career night with 10 receptions for 120 yards. We have to keep improving. We have to keep building on what we’re doing well and eliminate some of the gaps we have. A lot of it is technique and a lot of it is just focus. We’ll continue to press that and continue to get better.
I have to also say that Trey Martin performed well on the offensive line. We gave up three sacks and one of those was on a trick play. Only one of the sacks was on the offensive line. They continue to get better each week in their protection of Tyler. As hard as this loss is we have to continue to keep building on what we’re doing good.
Defensively, it was the same story as the offense. We completely dominated in the first quarter. They had negative yardage after the first quarter. Then we gave up a long pass on a technique error on the sideline where we actually picked each other. That’s one where you think it’s about to be intercepted and all of a sudden it’s a long completion. Then there was a missed tackle that turned into a 75-yard play right before halftime and all of a sudden North Texas is back in it. They go up and then we respond to make it 28-28. I really thought that was one we were going to win in overtime. We scored first in overtime. Their first play is a negative yardage play. They end up scoring and in the second overtime we go down in defeat.
It’s a hard one, but it’s one where we just have to continue to work together and work through this. Had we executed and had I coached better we would have won. But, we came up short. The one thing that I know about these players is that they’re not going to quit. They work extremely hard. They want to win and we need to get on a roll.
Going to Southern Miss, it’s a tough place to play. They’re an extremely fast, physical defense. They’re 3-1 right now. Offensively, they’re every similar to Baylor in what they do. Jay Hopson has done a nice job of getting that program, building it and sustaining it with the success that they’ve had.”
On Southern Miss:
“Last year, Nick Mullens was amazing. I think he’ll have a chance to be the MVP of the conference. He’s of that caliber of quarterback. They’re very talented up front. They’re very athletic at running back. They’re very athletic at receiver. It’s a game that we have to be precise. For us to go to Hattiesburg and come out with a win we’ve got to win the turnover battle that we lost this week 3-1. We’ve got to eliminate these foolish penalties. We’ve got to eliminate the technique errors that we’re making to stay in the game with them. They’re a very dominate football team.”
On if the mistakes are a sign of inexperience:
“A lot of them are by the younger players. But, it is what it is. We have to work through it with them and grow them up fast.”
On if there are any parallels to the 2009 team:
“The only way through these tough spots is to work. Working hard works and we’ve got to continue to get these young men in positions in practice where we’re not picking each other on the route. That’s up to us as coaches to continue to drill work (and) to work these mistakes out of them.”
On the rushing game:
“I think the offensive line is getting better every week. The offensive staff has done some scheme work to get our running game going and that was something we had to do. Our running backs are some of our better players and we needed to get that going to get our offense moving.”
On Lance Wright:
“We thought a year ago that he was really going to be a featured receiver for us before he got hurt. He’s still finding his groove. The one in the end zone; he’s got to go and get that at the high point. But he continues to work through it. You can see that he’s getting confidence in his knee. Earlier in the year, you could tell that he was very cautious in his approach to the game. I don’t think he’s cautious anymore. Now he’s working on the finer details to make himself a dominate receiver. He has that ability.”
On the Owl Package:
“We’ll continue with Nate (German) to grow it. Prior to his injury, that was something we were going to do with him so it’s nice to have the ability to jump in and out of those packages. I think they’re hard to prepare for when you have to prepare for what Tyler Stehling does well and what Nate does well.”
On if you have to do anything to keep the players from getting down:
“We don’t have to do anything. We’ve been through hard times here. This senior class is going to be remarkable in keeping it all together. The first thing that we have to make sure we win is the locker room. That’s what the seniors have to do. After visiting with some of our senior leaders I don’t see us having a ‘sky is falling’ mentality. I think we have a mentality that we have to do whatever we have to do to get this right.”
On Tyler Stehling:
“He threw the ball extremely well, other than he did have the interception before half. He continues to improve weekly. You like that. You saw that once again, he’s faster than people realize. He rushed for 92 yards. There were a couple of quarterback draws that he ran quite effectively. He’s running the option effectively. He’s just getting better every time he practices and every time he steps on the field. He has the ability, with his arm, when we get it all together to take the game over.”
On the defense the past few games:
“We had 12 explosive plays that we gave up Saturday. Seven of those were (about) technique. One was a bad call by the coaches. We’ve got to execute, continue to improve and continue to grow some of these young guys up.”
On getting Samuel Stewart back:
“Sam just has a top-end gear where he can break some of those options and make them bigger runs. I thought Jowan Davis and Darik Dillard both played a very solid game this week. But Sam does have a gear on those options where he can circle the corner a little bit more.”