Press conference quotes: Jimbo Fisher
After evaluating the film, there are a lot of things that we need to correct and improve. We played in spurts. We haven’t played that well consistently and that’s, as I always try to say, doing ordinary things better and becoming more fundamentally healthy in the way we do things. In attack, we didn’t have a three-and-out in the first half. We moved the ball, we moved the ball to midfield and didn’t run on a few discs, missed a few blocks. Even if they were scoring, if we had gone out hitting two or three baskets, or if we had responded with some sort of points or momentum, it would have been a lot better. We had too many penalties, too many costly penalties at crucial points in the game. We have to play a lot more regularly. The way they play, they force you to throw the ball. It was a game where we had to catch, run and run, we didn’t do a good enough job in our runs. We haven’t had that many clean trails.
Saying all that, we were down 17-0 and this thing could have gotten really ugly real quick. We got better as the game progressed. Our offensive line, I thought, improved once we got into the game. We came back to 17-10 with 7:50 left in the third quarter. We fought and went back. I’m proud of the kids for the way they did it, but we’re not done.
On the special teams, our punter did a very good job. He has five punts inside the 20s and averaged 46 yards per punt. He did a great job with a position on the pitch. We had no punt return, their kicker also kicked the ball very well. He kicked it high and we had no feedback. We had a good kickoff return, the one we could return, we jumped to 36. None of our kickoffs came out of the end zone, from a position battle over. field.
We play on long terrains, we have to execute, we have to drive. When teams play big, umbrella covers you have to run long runs or catch and run, and we have to do a better job in that regard. We need to have a cleaner look so that our backs can go through. We just need to play better. I’m disappointed, but at the same time there are a lot of good things that have happened in the game and its one game. We cannot let a match become two. We need to come back and practice with even better habits. Hopefully get some buyouts if we can and play more consistently across the board in all three phases.
We have a very tough opponent this week in Mississippi State. They’re playing exceptional defense right now, I think they’re allowing 71 yards per game rushing. They are experienced, they are physical in advance and they have a very physical high school. Offensively, you know Mike [Leach] go throw it away. [Will] Rogers currently does about 75 percent of his passes. They’ve had some bad luck in some tough games, close games that could go both ways. The games are going to be tough, so we need to clean up, clean up the mistakes in this game and get ready for Mississippi State.
On the standard in practice …
We are getting ready, but the standard of how to take care of the details, we are not detailed enough or we would play that way. Why is that? Part of the experience, part of the youth, part of the new guys are different and critical positions at different points in the game because you guys are spinning. We play freshmen, young receivers, a young new quarterback. Is that an excuse? No. You should always meet the standard of what to do because that is when your opportunity presents itself. That’s what I tell these guys all the time. Either wait to play or get ready to play. The only thing you can give a guy is experience. Experience has to be put in the saddle. At the same time, I was proud of how they fought back and improved during the game in my opinion. We came to this critical moment, but we just couldn’t get over it [the hump]. This goes for both sides, attack and defense. We have a little more experience in defense, but we gave up. We cannot come back 17-0 straight away. If we hadn’t passed this fourth try, it could have been 24-0. We have to learn to get out of both in both phases and to play better and execute better. And most importantly, train better. You can always play better and train better. This standard is improving. Last week I thought was one of the best we’ve had, but as you can see we still need to push that level with these youngsters and make sure we can perform at critical times.
On whether the team is frustrated with the way they are playing …
We are not frustrated. I’m disappointed because we could play better, but we’re not frustrated. Frustration cannot set in, frustration obscures your thinking. You may be disappointed with what you are doing, but you need to stay focused on how you train and what you do. We know we can do the things we’re trying to do, but we just have to do them better.