DAY AFTER CALL: HC Randy Edsall Breaks Down Saturday’s Loss To SMU (Week 10)

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TJ GARNDER’S FIRST MEANINGFUL SNAPS ON DEFENSE?:

“I think he had six snaps on defense. I thought for the most part that with the things we asked him to do, he went in and did some good things. That was something that was new for him, playing defensive end as a rush guy, something we wanted to look at. You could tell that he is raw at it, doesn’t understand all the things there is to know about rushing the passer, but I do think he has some ability. It’s something we’ll have him continue to work on.”

WAS THERE ANYTHING NEW ON FILM THAT YOU SAW, OR WAS IT SORT OF THE SAME THINGS YOU’VE SEEN ALL SEASON LONG?:

“I thought offensively we did a lot of good things. When you rush the ball for as much as we did, I thought our offensive line probably had their best game of the year, collectively, all five together. I thought they did a really good job. I thought our tight ends did a good job catching the ball. I thought we had good downfield blocking at times by our receivers. Defensively, it’s one or two guys that are not executing on certain plays that causes those big plays to happen and for us to not slow them down on third down and get off the field, so it was more of a lack of consistency defensively. There’s a lot of blame to go around. On certain plays, it’s a missed play with this guy and this guy and on another it’s this guy and that guy. That’s what we need to get better at. We can’t continue to have that. That’s the same thing. On special teams we had some issues there. We had an offsides on a surprise onside kick, which is just inexcusable. We missed two field goals and had an extra point blocked because we kicked it low. Those are all more individual things. We jumped offsides on a field goal that they missed and would have given us the ball back. Instead it gave them a 4th and 1, there’s no excuse for it.”

IN THE FIRST HALF, THERE WERE A FEW CHUNK PLAYS IN THE PASSING GAME, WHAT DID YOU SEE ON THE FILM FROM THE DEFENSE?:

“We had breakdowns. We had guys not doing their job. The one where the tight end went down the middle, we had a guy not keep his eye on his progression and he should have. We had a guy on the move, he goes in and the guy didn’t crack, if he keeps his eye on the receiver you don’t replace or step up until the guy actually cracks. He took his eyes into the backfield and the guy sneaks by him. Little fundamental things that we gave up. We had a guy in great position and couldn’t make a play, the receiver went up and made a great catch, but we should punch through his pocket where he is going to catch the ball. It’s a lack of discipline, lack of eye discipline, lack of discipline in terms of doing your job and probably a lack of confidence knowing that you didn’t go up and make a play when you’re in position to make a play.”

THE TEAM COMPETED THROUGHOUT AGAINST A TEAM THAT CONTROLS THEIR OWN DESTINY IN THE AAC WEST, DOES THAT YOU GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE THAT THE TEAM IS COMING ALONG?:

“We still have plenty of work to do, but I thought the thing was this, offensively we did enough to win the game offensively. If we play like that every game offensively, we’d win a lot of games, we wouldn’t lose many games. Defensively, we didn’t do enough to even help ourselves win the game. That’s where we need to get better. Until we stop giving up all these big plays, yeah we competed, but you can’t win games giving up 62-points. You can’t do that. We fought until the end, but we don’t play smart at times and we don’t do our jobs. The one thing we need to do is do a better job of putting these kids in a better position. What that is, I’m not sure because we can’t go out there and tackle for them. We can’t go out there and play the physical game for them. That’s the one thing, we need to get more physical on defense, need to be better tacklers, do a better job with our assignments and being confident that we can do it. Once we do that, our offense keeps doing those things and we take advantage of our opportunities from a special teams standpoint, then we’ll be able to beat those teams, but until we do that, we won’t be able to beat them.”

MATT SCHONVISKY / SITE CREATOR

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