We hear from Kingsbury, offensive coordinator Eric Morris, defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, receiver Bradley Marquez and linebacker Sam Eguavoen after they have had a chance to watch the film from the Central Arkansas game, break it down, isolate any issues and formulate plans to correct it going forward.
Seth mentioned to me yesterday that he was planning on doing a non-transcript of the coordinator video (since the athletic department doesn't transcribe it) but I'm going to embed the video below to all three videos, although I'm going to be working with only the quotes from Kingsbury, Marquez and Eguavoen.
Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury
First thing I want to touch on would be the penalty issue. This was maybe the 7th or 8th question Kingsbury received in the press conference, but I feel this was one of the first topics that I was interested in (i'm going to go ahead and post the pdf of the full transcript here for your viewing pleasure).
Q. How do you fix the undisciplined penalties? What steps can you take to make sure that doesn't happen?
COACH KINGSBURY: That's a good question. We'll work on it this week. Yeah, we'll have some more punishments and see where it goes. But that's just embarrassing to watch your team go out and do those things. As a coaching staff and head coach I have to get it right this week.
My first reaction was that he almost sounded unsure about what to do about the penalties. It was obviously a point of emphasis going into the season after the team was nearly dead last in all of college football in penalties. The topic is brought back up last in the press conference and this is what I was talking about in him sounding unsure:
Q. (No microphone) what specifically do you do when you're addressing the number of penalties? Is that something (No microphone)?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, they're within practice. We've tried everything at this point. We were last three last year and I'm sure we're leading the country again this year, so we'll keep trying new things and find an answer at some point.
Q. Which of those to you are okay based on effort versus just bad judgment?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think holdings, pass interference, those are plays guys are trying to make [a play]. But when you're getting un-sportsmanlike conducts and substitution penalties which is on our coaching staff, false starts, offsides, things like that are just unacceptable.
What bothers me here is that he said they've tried everything and nothing has worked. I don't have any answers here or suggestions, but maybe this, as some of you have suggested in the game threads and post game threads this past weekend, has more to do with a culture issue, the Coach Bro persona that he seems to embody.
And I would agree with him on things like holding and pass interferences being more acceptable because those are more based on your player being beat technically by the opposing team, rather than a lapse in judgment or self-control.
There's some good stuff in there about Webb and Marquez and other team leaders being embarrassed about the game and how they're taking it personally upon themselves to try to correct the issues. He also touched on Justin Stockton being more involved in the offense going forward, which is music to my ears. And finally, he said that Rika Levi's injury isn't as bad as initially thought. He's day-to-day and he did say that it is probably unlikely that he plays this weekend. Go click on the link above and read the whole thing.
Bradley Marquez & Sam Eguavoen
Marquez is first in the video, but Eguavoen is first in the transcript. So...here we go.
Marquez fielded quite a few questions about the anemic offensive performance in the first half and what his role on this team is in trying to correct that. This first quote is a little long, but I think it plays to his leadership role that this coaching staff is counting on from him.
Q. Can you talk about the conversations that you've had with your teammates since Saturday night when you spoke to us and what the mood of the team is?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ: I think we're pretty positive now. We've watched the tape. We've learned from it. Personally haven't gotten to talk to the entire offense. We met as a position yesterday, position by position. I met with the receivers and just told the guys we put in all the work this off-season, this summer, this training camp and some of the mistakes we were making they were not the norm for us. We were minimal mistakes that guys know exactly what to do, but I guess with the speed of the game and the receivers being so young just trying to get their feet wet and get them back under them.
Everybody knows what we need to do, and we know that wasn't the performance we want to put out there. But I think we're excited for the opportunity to have another game on the road and to get better.
And then there was this. He mentions starting faster, which has been an issue from the Neal Brown days, but also mentions the penalties and what effect they have on the offense and the play calling.
Q. What was the chief lesson learned?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ: We just need to come out and start faster. We need to start faster and probably the most obvious thing is to cut down on the penalties and the mistakes like that that put us in bad situations in 3rd and longs, 2nd and longs that shorten our playbook and make us more predictable. I think if we cut down on those things, I think we can be really, really good.
And then there was this nugget. Marquez gets it. He knows how great this offense and team can be. Six-hundred plus yards, 42 points and they're disappointed with their performance. They expect more from themselves and it's apparent.
Q. Do you guys feel like you struggled a little bit when you put up 636 yards and 42 points? What's it say about the capability of this offense?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ: That we can be really good if we can just cut down on the mistakes and the penalties and not stop ourselves. I think it will be really big for us. It was a lesson learned through a win. Like I said, it's going to help us a lot.
While I was (and still am) critical of the Lubbock media asking meaningful and tough questions, Eguavoen took a few about what he felt the performance of the defense meant to him and the team. He says eventually says that he, as a leader, will be reminding the defense what they are capable of, whether that's allowing an FCS squad to rush for nearly 200 yards or to be in everybody's face.
Q. Have you guys turned things around from just a lack of focus to being focused or was Saturday night enough of a wake-up call?
SAM EGUAVOEN: It was enough. It should have been a big reality check to everybody. The D-line, I know they've got a big reality check; myself, I'm just not going to let that happen this week. So I think that woke everybody up.
And like I've maintained, at least this reality check still ended with a Texas Tech victory. So there's that.
Q. As one of the leaders on the defense, just talk about the performance of your defense this past week?
SAM EGUAVOEN: It was poor. Wasn't what I expected. I felt like too many guys were just coming out there thinking it was UCA and we were going to run all over them, but we didn't. It was just lack of discipline, really, all across the board.
Kind of expected, Eguavoen confirms that lack of discipline and not taking Central Arkansas seriously led to some of the defensive issues. You want your team not to overlook anybody and it's troubling that they would let a season opener against an FCS squad let them drop their guard.
Q. What's it been like with the team over the last couple days?
SAM EGUAVOEN: It's quiet. Nobody was happy. I felt better about some of the losses we had last year in the game Saturday night.
Offensive and Defensive Coordinators
If you haven't already, take four minutes to check out what the coordinators had to say about their respective sides of the ball.