Coach O started right off talking about what went wrong, and there was a lot to list off in all phases of the game, from penalties, tackling, and eye discipline on defense, to drops in the passing game and missed assignments on the offensive line. After the standard opponent platitudes, and a brief mention of O’s 3 years on the Syracuse staff long ago, it’s on to questions.
Tyler Taylor and Jacob Phillips are in line to replace Donnie Alexander, who will miss the first half serving the suspension for the targeting penalty. Ed Alexander is out this week at least, with Rashard Lawrence and Kary Vincent on the questionable list. Guice had an undisclosed minor injury in the second half and will miss Monday practice at least.
O got a bit testy when asked about Frank Herron’s continued absence from the field. and Justin Thomas was left home due to the travel roster limit.
Talking about the thin depth on Defensive line, the plan is to get Rashard Lawrence back on the field this week and shift Greg Gilmore back to nose tackle. Multiple times in this presser, O mentions looking to the JUCO ranks to fix the depth issues on DL going forward (That’s not going to be a fix for this season)
Myles Brennan will get more practice time this week ahead of expected mop-up duty the next two weeks, but there’s been no talk that Danny Etling hasn’t played well enough. When asked about the failures of the passing game on Saturday, O summed up the multitude of issues:
We dropped some balls. We dropped one that was for a touchdown. We didn't hit some passes. We had a lot of one-on-ones that we didn't catch the ball or the ball was not on the money like they have been the last two games. I think that the pressure was there. We didn't have a lot of pressure the first two weeks. Their defensive line did a pretty good job, only had one sack, but I think there was eight or nine pressures that affected the throws, the crowd noise, us being behind. The two drops really hurt us on some drives. I think it's a combination of all those.
On defense, adjustments will have to be made to protect the side of the field Arden Key isnt on, since State showed success with running everything they could away from him.
On the attitude of the team right now:
I do believe this is going to be a turning point for us. It better be. I learned a lesson; we did not prepare as well as we should. We did not play well. It's my responsibility. I think it's good that they're angry. I know the coaches are angry. We're angry at ourselves. We could have coached better. I know they felt they could have played better, and we can't underestimate anybody, especially when we're going into their house. Those guys were on fire.