Sept. 8, 2009
"About the Cal game, I felt that it was a situation where we played a very good team who played their best and we did not play our best, but what we need to do is use this as an experience and learn from it. It's the first time a lot of our players have been in that venue and hopefully they will get better for the next time they are in the venue.
"Offensively, I think we have to eliminate the penalties, turnovers and sacks. Our first three drives were stopped by penalties. One drive we got the third down twice and nullified it with penalties, and on the third drive we had a touchdown (called back) which would have made the score 14-7. We aligned improperly and then we drive the ball down the field again and get the ball in the red zone and get sacked and have to kick a long field goal - that would have made the score 14-14. I showed the film to our players last night and showed 25 plays. I showed some positives, some negatives, some things we have to do better, and I also showed them Cal and how well and fast they executed. Hopefully we can learn from that.
"Defensively, we have to align better. There were some misalignments that caused some big plays. We have to play our responsibilities much better. Our pass rushing can be much better, and we have to do a better job of dealing with chop blocks.
"On special teams, I thought we can execute better and on the kickoff return. I thought we had one or two good ones but there were others we should have been better at. We have to punt the ball better although I thought we punted it with good height, I think Travis Baltz can kick the ball further. On a positive note, I think Ferrara did a good job of place kicking and I thought Kenny Tate did a good job of receiving the punts.
On James Madison:
"They are a very good team. Last year they were 12-2 and they have a tremendous tradition and are preseason ranked No.6 in the country (in the FCS). Offensively, they are very talented. We don't know much about their quarterback but it seems they'll be playing two. They do a very good job of running the spread offense. They are a very dangerous team coming in here, they'll be fired up and you all know what happened to Duke and Virginia so I think we need to be ready. I think our kids are excited. They practiced well last night and hopefully we can go out, play well and get a win."
On how he would rate the debut of the new defense:
"I thought Cal did a very good job at picking up the blitzes. There were times when we didn't run a blitz when we were supposed to, but I think we can do a better job of executing it. It was the first time running the defense so I think there were some growing pains but we have to get better and I have every confidence that we will."
On how he would fix what happened on Saturday:
"I think we are all disappointed but this is a very young team and when I looked at the tape, I saw our kids fighting and scrapping. Maybe they did some things wrong here and there but I never saw a lack of effort, so I am going to hang with these guys. I was concerned that something like this could happen but you have to remember that we played a very good team playing very well at its best. We have to grow from that experience and be better than we were last week, and continue to do that each and every week. For me to just get down on our players, I'm not going to do that. I believe in these kids and this is not going to be an overnight thing. When you have as many young players as we do, it's going to be a learning experience and we just have to keep having faith in them, support them, and hopefully they'll get better and better as we go along. The biggest thing on our offensive line is that we got beat on some twists inside. Going in, I was concerned on how we would match up at our right offensive tackle. We got beat one time and I thought Paul Pinegar played well and when Bruce (Campbell) got hurt we moved him over to left tackle and I thought he hung in there better than I thought he would. I thought R.J. Dill did some good things. He made some mistakes but I saw some promise there and in time he will be fine. We have to get better inside as a whole but there wasn't anything we didn't anticipate them doing, they just did it pretty well. It's all fixable but its just a matter of seeing situations and becoming confident."
On JMU's spread offense:
"They utilize (tight end Charlie Newman) very well. To me it's a little different because they'll incorporate some power elements along with their options. They play with the same speed that West Virginia would but they have a little more power to their offense and their play-action offense is very good. They are very deceptive. They'll get a little more pitch in their options so we have to be ready for that, and a lot more misdirection. They have a good scheme, so I can see why they do very well."
On the main penalty problems on Saturday:
"The main penalties we had were off-sides. One of the penalties, they went off-sides and we were in the gun and Phil (Costa) tried to snap he ball to get them off-sides but because we were in the gun it's a good thing he didn't release the ball because Chris was over there calling audibles and we probably would have gotten a fumble. We would have gotten the play back but who knows if they would have called it, so he didn't snap the ball and that's an illegal snap. One play we got in late, on a third-and-one. We still should have gotten it off but that was more on us than the players. We got a holding penalty with Bruce, I don't know if Bruce was hurt at the time but if the guy beat him in all he had to do was take him down, not hold him. The penalty for the touchdown was because Adrian (Cannon) lined up wrong and made himself ineligible. We must have run that play in preseason camp 50 times with the same formation, but kids make mistakes like we all do. We have to clean up the sacks because we can't give away six sacks, especially when most of them were on third down. I knew going into the game it would have to be a field position game. We couldn't have the penalties and fumbles we had and hope to beat a team like Cal at their place. One of the things I was trying to show the team last night is how fast things can happen."
On Kenny Tate as the punt returner:
"I was very pleased with the job he did. We have to see if Tony Logan will be ready and whether he will be able to do it. The thing I was very encouraged by about Kenny was that not only did he do a good job at catching the punts, but he had tremendous range. With the first punt he almost broke, if we had just finished a block he might have popped that thing. Tony did a good job in the bowl game and we'll see what happens when he gets back, I want to see how he does coming back from the shoulder injury."
On impact of the short week on weekly routine:
"What I did was have our coaches grade the tape on the plane until the batteries ran out so we got 98% of it done. We were fortunate that James Madison didn't have a game this week so we had done our summer scouting report on them and pretty much had all the information we could gather. I'm sure they got our Cal game and have been planning for us. The coaches felt okay, but I was concerned about how the players might feel. We brought them in at noon on Monday to lift so I think they got the chance to sleep-in pretty good. I spoke to them yesterday and they said they felt good and they practiced well. Today would normally be a 24-period practice but I cut it back to 22 and I'll cut tomorrow too. If I had to do the trip again to California, I think I would do it again. I think we're ready to go."
On how the team will react/perform on Saturday:
"Unless I'm mistaken, I have a lot of belief in these kids' characters. I can't speak on their inexperience but I can speak on their character and they haven't disappointed me in that at all. I talked to a couple of guys yesterday right after the meeting and they told me they couldn't wait to start practice. In football you have situations like this where it's like life, and you have to respond to adversity. There's nothing we can do to dwell on this game other than to move on. Cal is done. We need to worry about James Madison. When we count them up at the end, they all count so we have to get ready and go - and I think my kids hear me. Every goal is still there except the one to beat Cal, but we have to come out and be better than last week. I'm not going to let up or lose faith because they have worked too hard. I'm right there with them."
Senior Offensive Lineman Phil Costa
On recovering from the loss to California:
"The biggest thing we need to do is stay positive as a whole. Keep our spirits up as a team, which I really believe we have been. Even after a tough loss, everyone still is coming back ready to work and focus on next week."
On costly mistakes in the Cal game:
"You don't plan to do that, but obviously it's a tough atmosphere. We made mistakes we didn't make in practice. We had a lot of penalties which hadn't happened in practice either. We just need to get them corrected."
"I can't do that. It's a drive killer and it stopped the momentum that we had. I am going to do the work that needs to be done to get it corrected and it won't happen again."
Senior Defensive Lineman Deege Galt
On the California game:
"It was a tough game. I thought we played hard. Obviously Cal was a good team. Our hopes are high and we are coming home now for a couple weeks and we are excited about that and ready to move on. We are ready to get on the field at our own place."
On what Cal did well:
"I think they did a lot of things that counter acted a lot of stuff we've been doing. It kind of put us in tough spots in a lot of cases. But with that being said, we have to get the job done better. We need to do a better of job of beating blocks and come off the edge better and cover better. The score obviously showed that."
On JMU's spread offense:
"They are a good team. They are always in the top 10, 15, 20 of the (FCS). They are a tough team. We've been seeing film on them. They are tough kids. Everyone always says the spread is a great equalizer. We got to come out ready to play, stick to our rules, get back to basics. Come out ready to play fast and hard."
On JMU's two quarterbacks:
"They are experienced. From what I know, they are both back from last year. They are fast and athletic and they know their system and how to run it. They are smart kids so it is going to be tough to defend them."
On the loss to Cal:
"It was a tough loss for us, but it's only one loss. We are still in the running for the ACC and we still can meet four of five goals that we've set out this year.
"It's the first game. I still think our scheme is great. We just had a little couple glitches and we've got to stop giving up the big plays and we've got to get more on the blitzes. For the most part, the scheme is right on track where it's supposed to be.
"I think we definitely can benefit [from] what happened last week. We played the No. 12 team in the country, so it shows us our weaknesses and it shows us our strengths and the biggest improvement from week one to week two. I think we are going to do that."
On the Terps defense:
"We need to get home on our blitzes more and plan for zone a little bit better than they did last week. Basically, just execute better than we did last week. I don't think we executed it very well."
On the knowledge of JMU's team:
"They run the options, so they're a running team and won't get too much with the pass. They do things here and there, but the majority of its option.
"(The JMU quarterbacks) are athletic. They like to run the ball and we've got to be really fundamentally sound and we've got to play our responsibilities this week.
"They told us to never underestimate any of our opponents because you see what happened to Virginia, they got beat by William & Mary last week. We are going to come in and we are going to prepare this week like we prepared last week. We are not taking any of our opponents for granted."
On the travel from Cal:
"It was a long flight back home. Coming home at eight o'clock in the morning - it all-around was just a rough night for me, personally."
On the performance at Cal and dealing with the loss:
"[We need to] fix our mistakes in practice and it's just time to move on. Coach showed us some tape that this game should have been closer than it was. There were a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball so he told us to forget about it and just move on."
On the new defensive look:
"I think everyone thought this was some magical defense that whatever play he called was going to work, but then we found out the hard way that we had to come out and execute it. Execute the game plan and everything would be alright. I think everyone kind of had that feeling that whatever play he called was going to work because it worked in the spring and camp, but we just have to come out and execute it better and sharper, quicker, and faster.
"I think it was just getting used to Coach Brown and being out there on game day. You get a new coach, it's the first game out there in California versus a Top-15 team. There is always going to be some stuff that you've got to get used to. That's pretty much it."
On the preparation for JMU:
"Obviously it's an eye-opener seeing that, but obviously we know how good these teams are...last year, playing Delaware and years before playing William & Mary and Villanova. These teams are pretty good and they are good players. Obviously we've got to come out here and prepare saying like we are playing a I-A team, so it will be a good challenge for us."
On the JMU spread offense:
"They have two quarterbacks that are probably going to play against us. They are also starting a quarterback from last year, but other than that, [it's] pretty much the same. They like to be in the gun, they run the ball probably about 80% of the time. Nothing crazy and out of the ordinary that we haven't seen before, but we've been getting prepared for that in camp running zone option drills and all types of drills. I think we'll be prepared."