Here's a transcript I did from Al Golden's call with us today:
Would you like to see a more aggressive Jacory Harris, like yesterday in the second half, throwing downfield more and taking chances?
"I just want Jacory to play within the system and I know Jed wants the same thing and I thought he did a good job doing that. He threw the ball out of bounds a couple times, scrambled a couple other times and then took shots when they were there.
Again, I thought he stepped into his throws really nicely – two posts to Travis, one to Hurnsey, and he scrambled one time and hit Dorsett. He did some good things. We just have to make sure he stays within the system and take what the defense gives us."
He came alive in the second half. Why is that?
"He’s been playing pretty good football. Again quarterbacks are going to throw interceptions. We just don’t want a great number of them. Right now he’s doing what we’re asking him to do. He’s almost 70-percent [completion rate]. He’s four touchdowns and I think three interceptions. He’s executing the offense. We should have been a little better on third down, but I think some of that was due to the two penalties. But clearly he’s doing what we want him to do. He stood in there and took some hits and made some throws. I’m excited with Jacory and the direction he’s going with us."
Lamar Miller's injury status?
"It’s a shoulder injury. There’s no status and there’s really no story right now. We don’t think it’s going to be anything too bad but we’ll find out when we get out tomorrow."
On the drive where K-State got its final touchdown, Sean wasn’t on the field first four plays. Why?
"Very early in the fourth, right after the pass to travis that got you lead? It was just a situation where we were going to rest him three or four plays and then get him back out there. We try to rest the guys for a couple plays here and there and then make sure we’re not doing it in bunches. In other words we don’t want to do it at D-line in two or three spots while we’re doing it at linebacker and the secondary. We just want to give him a couple plays so we could finish the game strong."
Brandon Washington, any reason for concern there?
"No. I think he’s going to be ok. They both got banged up in the game. We knew it was going to be a big physical team we were playing. We could see that on tape. But clearly they were that. we have some guys that are banged up, but we anticipate both those guys being back."
How is the confidence of Mike James, with his turnovers and yesterday's two unsuccessful runs? How is he emotionally?
"I think he’s doing OK. The biggest thing down there was we didn’t execute. We gave it to Mike. Mike is the same guy who finished that drive down there last week. He’s a 220 pound back. He’s a good back down in there. Lamar was banged up a little bit. It’s good to give it to mike down there. He’s a big physical back, but we didn’t execute. Again, give credit to ks. But we actually lost a yard which left us with a fourth and 2 and clearly you don’t have as many choices as if you were left with a fourth and half a yard. We didn’t execute as a team and mike was only part of that.’’
Penalties have gone from 10 to 5 to 4. Yesterday, a couple illegal procedures killed things.
“Bad ones, yeah. Not only were those two bad but then we took possession of the ball after K-state scored and got an illegal block in the back and we started off on our own 10 which hampered that drive. The penalties overall have been better but the two on offense, our first two drives I believe, came at critical times. First time we were left with a third-and-one, then we were third-and-6, and we ended up settling for a field goal there. Then the next one was fourth-and-3, 39 or 40-yard-line. I thought it would be just as good to go for it there as it would be to punt. So we did that and we went offside. We ended up completing that ball, but we jumped just a hair too quickly. So those are significant plays, especially in a [game] that comes down to the final play of the game. Those two plays ended up being really big, costly plays for us."
Run defense, any rhyme or reason why they were so successful against you yesterday?
"No. 1 we didn’t tackle very well. We didn’t tackle the quarterback very well. He’s a big strong runner and we knew that going in. We just had too many missed tackles on him and we weren’t as precise as we needed to be, quite honestly, on defense. We need to make sure we’re all on the same page and one guy is not playing one technique and the other guy is freelancing and the next thing you know you’ve got a big play. We had too much of that. We have to stay focused and play collectively on defense. Hopefully we’ll get that fixed here."
Chase had a huge catch but no other receptions from tight ends. Why aren’t the tight ends catching more balls?
"You guys keep asking me and I keep telling you, we’re going to keep trying to make sure we have enough plays in there to get them the ball and to make sure we’re doing what we need to do to get them the football. I thought obviously Chase made a big play there but we‘ve got to get the ball to Chase and Clive a little bit more. We’re just going to stay with it until we do it. I thought we game planned to get the ball better in Travis’ hands and certainly Alan and Street are doing much better. Dorsett showed up which I knew he would ultimately. So now we need the same out of Chase and Clive. We’ll keep working on it. It’s something important to me that we get them involved and hopefully we’ll improve that this week."
Bethune Cookman has like 27 kids from South Florida on that team, probably many of whom dreamed at one time of playing at Miami. This is a huge deal for them, their first BCS opponent. How dangerous a week is this, when you combine their level of excitement with the potential for morale issues after loss to Kansas State. How leery are you of where things stand?
"This is an excellent opponent coming in, so very leery, No. 1. No. 2, not really worried too much about our morale as much as I am worried about just the process and moving forward. There are very few teams that have opened up playing three bowl teams to start off the season, so hopefully our kids are learning. We’re improving. We certainly have to do better in many areas. I’m not saying that. We’re playing good competition. We’re getting better. This is the next test for us. We know they’re going to come in here and fly around. They’ve had nine days to prepare for us, so I know that has got our guys’ attention. We’ve just got to stay focused on the process and get ready for Bethune. They’re going to provide us an incredible challenge on offense – multiple formations, segments of the spread option that we’ve just seen, so that will get our guys’ attention, and very aggressive on defense. Clearly this will be a great challenge for us this week."
Because they are so diverse offensively, do you have any real time in the schedule this week to certainly not look past them, but obviously then you have ACC road games the next two weeks. Can you do any planning that can carry over this week?
"No. We’re not there right now. We’re playing too many young guys and we’re trying to settle into being a good team ourselves. We’re just trying to improve right now and we’re just trying to fix the things that we’re not doing well. For all the things we didn’t do well we had a chance to win that game. That’s ultimately on my shoulders and that’s something that I’ve got to get fixed. And that’s something that we’ve got to get fixed as an organization. Our kids are fighting back. They’re competing. They’re giving themselves an opportunity to win and we’ve got to make sure we do that. But we don’t have time to move forward right now on anything else but Bethune."
They had four fumbles yesterday and you couldn't get one turnover. How important is it that the defense starts forcing turnovers?
“It’s critical. It’s absolutely critical because I don’t know what our average starting field position is. I think it was around the 30-yard line or 29-yard line so that left us a long field the whole time. They put the ball on the ground four times and we didn’t get it. Their offense is a high degree of difficulty offense, which means it’s not only a high degree of difficulty for us to defend, but also to execute. When you’ve got a got in your face and you stop and throw the ball out to the perimeter there’s a greater chance that something can go wrong. That ball was on the ground four times and we didn’t get a turnover. We didn’t pick one off or catch one of the deflected ones and of course the one that looked like a lateral we weren’t able to get that one either. From that standpoint we need to create more turnovers."
Will there be any changes in the depth chart defensively. Will anyone lose their job or gain a job?
"I don’t know if anybody gained or lost. We’ll sort through that here today. Obviously on the offense we expect seantrel to be back in some capacity. He’ll start off as a backup and work from there. Shayon Green on defense, we’ll try to work into the mix at defensive end. Other than that, just off the top of my head I don’t know if there are any other changes.
We’re counting on those guys playing. They already practiced the last eight or nine days, so we’re counting on those guys getting ready to play."
Can you clarify when Seantrel returned to practice?
"He practiced basically all last week. He has been doing conditioning. Obviously he was suited up for the game and did all the warmups. He’s feeling good and as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks we’re going to continue to move forward with him. But he’s in good shape and he hasn’t had any adverse reactions so we are expecting him to be ready to go in the game and we’ll see how he develops this week. Shayon is in the same boat, too."
With Lamar, might this game be, if he’s not hurt badly, an opportunity for him to rest up?
“All respect, we’re trying to win the game. That’s all we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get better and win the game. Bethune has got an excellent team coming back. They’re off to a good start this year. They’re going to come down here with great energy, with nine days preparation. They’re well coached and we better bring our A game, and that’s it. There is no looking ahead. There is no resting anybody. We’re getting ready for a football game. Hopefully there will be a point in our program where we’re settled in and we have depth everywhere and we’re not playing freshmen sometime in the future where that will be the case. But right now this is about us getting better and becoming a better football team."
--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN