After watching the film could you point to anything specific about the defense on Saturday?
“Just assignment discipline. When you break it down and I don’t want to dwell on it, because none of that is going to carry over for this week. We don’t have time to mess with it now, but it was just assignments. Assignments and defeating blocks. You've got to defeat blocks when you’re in one-on-one situations so that’s all it was.”
What did you get out of practice yesterday? What was the focus?
“We didn’t do a whole lot with them yesterday. It was more about game planning and getting them ready. We watched film on Virginia yesterday. We ran them and those kinds of things and that was it. Tried to give them a little bit of a break. Today, we don’t normally practice on Monday, so we practiced today. We got a good practice in today and the energy level was good. The attitudes were good. I think the best thing about it is it’s coming quick and there is only one way to get that taste out of your mouth and that’s to get back out on the field.”
When you look at the defensive development from the beginning of the season until now, how do you think the defense is performing?
“I think we’ve been doing a solid job. I don’t think it’s been great. I don’t think it’s been bad. I think it’s been solid. The thing you’re looking for is consistency. That’s what you want. Again, going back to doing your job. Knowing your job. Doing your job. Doing it harder than the guy across from you.”
How important is this Thursday as far as it being a national showcase opportunity?
“We talk about earning respect all the time and this is part of it. You get an opportunity to go on national T.V. on the road against a team who’s got a lot of confidence right now. They’ve won their last two and they won against two good teams so it’ll be a good challenge for us.”
Has there been any common issues on defense in the past three games?
“The things that happen in Georgia Tech, you never see it. You never see that offense so really there is no carryover from one to the other. The issues that we may have had in the other two games were common. Again, missed assignments, missed tackles, those kinds of things. In this game, this past one, it’s totally different. It’s just a totally different animal.”
On Quinshad Davis’ play recently
“For him, he’s getting better and better each week. It’s like a new experience for him every time being a true freshman out there and he’s getting opportunities to make plays and he’s making those plays and that’s what’s big and that’s why I’m so excited about the future with him. You think about it. At this time last year he was in high school and right now he’s really doing well against good football teams and good corners and he’s just going to get better and better.”
Have you followed what is going on at Southern Miss this year?
“It’s hard. I haven’t followed it, but it’s hard not to know what is going on over there and I don’t have an answer. I’m not there. I don’t know what the situation is, why it’s the way it is. It’s just a very unfortunate situation.”
Your team went into Charlottesville last year and won. Anything can take away from that game?
“Yeah I’m sure they’re going to take a look at that, because it’s the same offense and defensively we’re a little bit different but the similar in a way. I’m sure they’re going to look at it. We’re going to look at it. We’ve studied it to see what we did, what we thought was good, what we didn’t think was good so I’m sure they’re doing the same thing.”
What is the biggest challenge to having a short week like this?
“I think the biggest thing is to try and figure out how to utilize the time you have, because to me it doesn’t matter if we rep the heck out of them and then Thursday they’re mentally or physically drained and can’t perform the way they need to. For us it’s really mental. Today was in shorts and shoulder pads and that’s it. That’s the last time we’re in pads this week so it’s more about the mental preparation than anything and, to me, that’s the fine line. I’ve talked to a lot of coaches all over the place that play a lot of Thursday games, some that play a few, what their philosophy was, what they try to do and then put that together this summer as far as how we were going to address this and we’ll see.”
When you got together on Sunday did you tell them to immediately forget about the Georgia Tech game?
“Yes. We weren’t going to watch the film, but all this was planned in the summer as far as the way I planned the week. It had nothing to do with whether we won or lost the game. We weren’t going to look at the film. We were moving on to Virginia immediately. It wouldn’t have mattered what happened in the game. We just had to put it to bed completely without evaluating it really as a team or anything, because a lot of it wasn’t going to carry over anyways.
"I think the quarterbacks looked at the pass concepts that we threw in the game that were going to tie into what we’re doing this week, but that was it. We didn’t have time to look at that film with the team. In the team meeting it was ‘okay here’s what Virginia does. It’s over with. This is what Virginia does. This is what we got to be prepared for.’ Gave them the weekly plan, what we were going to do and let’s go.”