« Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Tech Hokies | Main | VIDEO: D'Onofrio addresses defensive struggles against Virginia Tech; players react »

Golden after loss to Virginia Tech: "Whatever I say is an excuse. At the end of the day, we have to fix it."

On the difficulties in fighting uphill after falling behind early...

“Huge. You can’t spot them 21 points like that. At the end of the day, we executed the punt return and kick-off return exactly what we wanted - one was 30 [yards], one was 50 [yards], and we fumbled both of them. Just inexcusable. We had a low snap and gave them a short field there, and now you’re playing uphill the whole time. They’re basically playing keep-away at that moment. We didn’t get off the field well enough on third down. We didn’t convert enough plays on offense. Just really disappointed in those mistakes.”

On lopsided time of possession in the first quarter affecting chances of success...

“There isn’t any question about it. We had two fumbles and basically what amounted to a fumble on the low snap that we were down on. To start out the game like that, I don’t think there’s anybody in this business that would see that coming. There’s just no way that should happen. I’m really disappointed there.”

On the general issues that he sees with his team’s defense...

“We didn’t get off the field enough on third down. We missed too many tackles - too many egregious third downs that they converted. Really against the odds plays for them that they converted, and we didn’t stop them enough in the red zone. Even with the mistakes that we aided them [with] in the half, I think we were still only in the 30’s going into halftime play-wise. Not that that’s great, but it’s not like it was 40 or 50 plays. Again, just really disappointed. We didn’t deserve to win. We didn’t protect the ball, a low snap, three big blunders to start the game, and as I just said to them, don’t let anyone say we weren’t ready, we weren’t focused. If everyone is blocking who they’re supposed to be and we return it 50 yards, we’re ready to play. We fumbled the ball. We had a good scheme and we fumbled the ball. We score early on a screen, we’re ready to play. Just really disappointing. It’s impossible to overcome those odds.”

On how the weather affected his team’s gameplan...

“None. Zero. Don’t let anyone say the rain affected those fumbles. They started to get in traffic, you have to cover that up, and the ball should be higher. Something we work on constantly. The ball was just too low, the point was down. I’m embarrassed by it, to be honest with you.”

On any systemic issues he sees with the defense...

“We need to help them on special teams and on offense. There are a lot of things we need to fix. We had too many guys open, we didn’t tackle well enough, we didn’t get off the field, we didn’t get a red-zone stop, and we didn’t get enough pressure on the quarterback.”

On if the same issues that plagued the defense last week were recurring against Virginia Tech...

“The numbers would say yes. There were too many third-and-longs, too many against-the-odds third downs they converted. It was the function of two things: we blew a coverage – a man got free or cut a guy loose - lost leverage in the zone, or we didn’t tackle real well.”

On the play of the Virginia Tech wide receivers...

“We had some guys running free. We got out-leveraged a couple of times. As I said, we didn’t tackle. There’s no excuse. It has to be better, it wasn’t good enough, and it’s my responsibility to get it fixed.”

On what his team needs to do better offensively...

“We needed to get the ball. Obviously on the two occasions that we fumbled it, those two possessions certainly could help. We’re not good enough right now on third down. We’re not converting enough on third down with enough consistency, and obviously that’s an excellent defense we’re playing [against]. [When] you spot them 21 points, you’re fighting an uphill battle. It gets skewed when you make those kind of mistakes. It’s really tough. We didn’t convert enough of our shots down the field.”

On if he anticipates making any changes to his defensive scheme...

“We have to look at it. It would be premature to say we have to change things when we really had too many unforced errors, to be honest with you.”

On if the cushion for Virginia Tech wide receivers on third down was the product of mental errors...

“I know twice we got rubbed off and didn’t stay on our man, the other one we missed a tackle. We’re playing man [coverage] a couple of times, so it wasn’t like we weren’t being aggressive. We didn’t get it done. There’s no excuse. We’ll examine it, look at it, from top to bottom.”

On the Coastal Division race...

“We’re going to go to work tomorrow, like I just told the team. I’m going to be in there, getting back to work. They have to decide which direction they want to go – there’s a lot of football left. They have to get their minds right and move on. I don’t want to hear anything about last week’s game affecting this week’s game. We were ready to play. We did not take care of the football, and it really was the equivalent of three turnovers early in that game when you look at the two kick plays and the knee down. We didn’t tackle well enough, we didn’t get out of the field well enough, we didn’t get a red zone stop on defense. On offense, we didn’t run the ball well enough, we didn’t convert on third down, we didn’t hit the shots when we had them down the field, and we dropped a few [passes], to be honest with you.”

On the differences he sees from his team’s win against Florida to the loss against Virginia Tech...

“Whatever I say is an excuse. At the end of the day, we have to fix it. We have to go back to work and fix it. I’m not even going to go down that path. We’re all responsible for it, I’m responsible for it, and we’re going to go to work tomorrow on getting it fixed and getting this thing right, and do all the little things right to move forward and move the program forward. That’s what we have to all get going tomorrow.”

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Disagree, turnovers, especially the first fumble prevented a probable 14-0 lead which would have set VT on their heels; completely turned big mo around.

you are right coach-excuses from the get go. why are you still playing S Morris ? He is injured just look at the film. Unless you make both mental and physical changes in the team's approach for the next 3 games then we are looking at loosing 2 out of 3. Duke will knock your jock off, Pitt plays rough and tumble football no illusions, and you don't beat Va I would fold my tent. You can always blame it on the scandal. coach it is in your hands-only you are going to be held accountable. Book it.

I see all the losers are back...been a tough year for you guys huh? Losers love misery. welcome back

Go Canes. I Stand With Al Golden

« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.