The head coach of the Bulldogs talks about the Ohio State loss and the upcoming game against UCLA.
Sept. 4, 2000
On the Ohio State game
"There's a lot of good things that came out of that game. The score was not what you would want. But there was still a lot of good things that came out of it. It wasn't a complete disaster."
"I thought our defense played very, very well. Anytime you stop a team on a down they need one yard or less on seven out of eight times, it shows you are getting more physical on defense. Ohio State is probably considered one of the best teams in the country and one of the best teams in the country over a time span, and they are. They are a good football team."
"When breaking down the film, when they tried to run the ball in between the tackles they had very little success. The plays they bounced to the outside, they did a good job on. They were able to bounce some plays outside on us. But for the most part, I thought our defense played very, very well."
"The offense, of course, is the most glaring problem. But when I broke it down and looked at the film, we had 14 drives as an offense. Six of them ended up in turnovers. We had four drives that went 11 plays, nine plays, nine plays, nine plays. We started at the 22 each time and went inside the Ohio State 30. On each one of those drives, we went for it on [fourth down] ... down 27-0 we felt we needed to do it instead of punting or kicking field goals. We had four very nice drives during the game where we drove the ball from inside our 30-yard line to inside their 30-yard line. Those are good drives. The opening drive of the game was 10 plays for 54 yards where we stalled and had a field goal blocked. We had another one at the end which was 13 plays for 88 yards, and we came up with a touchdown. We only had one series where we went three plays and out."
"Whenever we didn't turn the ball over, we had drives going. If you look at that side of it, I think there are some positives."
"I'm not happy with the game. Our players aren't happy with the game. We just got beat out there. It had nothing to do with the weather - that was the same for both teams. It had nothing to do with the travel. I do feel, after reviewing the film, we are a better football team than the score indicated."
On the running game
"We had to put the running game away at the half. We averaged 3.7 per carry. Our goal around here is to average 4.0 a game. So the running game worked very well. That's pretty hard to fathom that when it's 43-10. But the running game, when we were running it, was working well for us.
On the quarterback protection
"The biggest glaring error in the game was protecting the quarterback. Our quarterback got hit 24 times in this game, and that's inexcusable. But it's correctable. A lot of it was because we got beat on the perimeter. They beat us with quickness a few times on the perimeter. But a lot of times, when we get beat on the pass rushes, it's poor execution in some of our gap protection assignments. I think those are things we have worked on, and those are things we can correct."
On the team's overall effort
"I don't think the effort was the problem. It comes down to execution. There's a lot of teams that can play real hard and lose, because they don't execute. There are a lot of teams that don't play with emotion, but they execute real well. It's all about execution and players making plays. More so at the college level than professional."
On quarterback David Carr's performance
"Dave Carr had some big time plays and some big time moments. I think he's going to be fine. I think he grew a lot from it. He hadn't been hit since high school, and he took a racking. Dave is a very competitive guy. He was trying to make plays. Some of those things he was trying to do is not what you want to do in a game. Sometimes you've got to eat the ball and take a sack, and at least line up again."
"He made some nice throws in the game. I thought he kept his composure. He's a tough guy. He got racked. The first hit of the game was the worst one. He was racked from there on in. But he hung in there the whole way. I've got a lot of confidence in him."
"I think their receivers are outstanding. They are a lot like the two receivers from Ohio State. Poli-Dixon and Mitchell are big time speed guys with height advantages. The big receivers are going to be a problem. They do a great job with play action. They do a great job with reverses and reverse passes. They've got a lot of gimmicks to them."
"Defensively, I think they are as big as Ohio State ... I think UCLA has a heck of a team. Alabama was supposed to be a really good football team, and UCLA dominated."
"They do a little more blitz-zone stuff [than Ohio State]. They are a lot more active as far as attacking the quarterback. They have some different concepts that way. They are more of a zone-pressure team instead of a man team ... I think UCLA has a good secondary. I think Ricky Manning is a good cornerback. I think they've got a really good secondary."
"It'll be interesting to see UCLA's secondary, because Ohio State is the best we've ever seen. I think UCLA is really close to them, though. UCLA has really good personnel. I thought they had good personnel last year, and they're all back. Just like Ohio State."