After a terribly disappointing loss against Eastern Michigan Jeff Brohm fulfilled his contractual obligation to step up to the microphone and answer questions from the rabid media. Okay, that might be a bit much but at a certain point I’m surprised that no coach has ever walked up to the mic and said “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” With that mundane introduction out of the way I’ll let Coach Brohm speak for himself.
As you guys know, it’s time to put the last game behind us. It was, like you guys saw, disappointing, an embarrassing loss that I take full responsibility for. I need to do a much better job in a lot of ways.
So we’re going to work hard this week to identify the problems, which we’ve definitely already started that -- that’s underway -- and go about trying to fix them.
So these losses are no fun, but that’s part of football. So I think it’s important that you learn from your mistakes, you go about trying to get better and you work hard to fix them.
There’s a lot of other opportunities ahead of us this year. And they’re going to be challenging opportunities. And we’ve got to make sure we’re doing our part.
We’ve got a great opponent coming up in Missouri that I know we beat last year, but if you watch the video of them since that game, I believe they won eight of nine or nine of ten or eight or nine games since then.
They’re very talented. Very good football team. They’re well-coached. They’re playing very confident now, and it’s going to be a tough matchup. We’re definitely going to have to improve a great deal this week, come out, not shoot ourselves in the foot, play disciplined, hard football, opportunistic, find ways not to make mistakes. And if we can do that we’ll give ourselves a chance. But a lot of work to do. We’re looking forward to getting after it in practice this week.
On getting something out of these tough losses:
I think our guys do understand that, hey, we’re going to take the practice field like we want to improve and get better and attack it. We need to be able to come out and be aggressive in everything we need to do. We need to be able to practice hard so that when we take the field still play confident.
Right now I’m sure some people’s confidences are not at the highest point. We’ve got to get that back up and that’s only going to be done through hard work and preparation and making sure that, like I said, you identify the issues, you work hard to solve them, and then you go about trying to play as confident as you can come game field. And veterans have to step up and the young guys have to improve each and every week in order to give ourselves a chance to win.
For us, you know, we’re going to make sure from here on out everyone is held accountable every step they make, 24 hours a day, on the practice field. And what they may think is something small has been costing us. And really they’re silly, silly mistakes that there’s no use for them.
It’s something that -- there has to be consequences for their actions. And if we -- if guys are getting 15-yard penalties they’re out the game. If we see something close to that, that’s not a penalty, they’re coming out of the game. We have to do it in practice, address it in practice and make sure that they’re training themselves every day to understand you can’t be silly, I guess is a nice way of putting it, and do things that cost your team when it has nothing beneficial for anybody.
So it should be about the team. When good things happen, we need to celebrate with our guys only and get back to the next play.
Brohm providing a self-evaluation:
Well, like I said, I have not done a good job and I need to do better. And I think that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot and there have been some discipline issues and penalties that have cost us that should not have happened and that starts with me. So I need to get that fixed and make sure that our players understand that that can’t happen and there are going to be consequences and we’ve got to coach it and talk about it in practice and make sure that they’re aware of it. So obviously that didn’t happen good enough.
So, yes, I need to get better at that. I need to make sure that we continue to improve upon our weaknesses. And that means scoring in the red zone, not having critical penalties, not turning the ball over and making sure on defense that we can stop the pass. I’ve been very disappointed in our pass coverage with and some things we’re doing and how we’re playing. And we cannot allow that amount of pass yards to that football team and expect to win the game even in those conditions, and even going back to last year we gave up too many pass yards.
You can look at the Arizona game. We made a quarterback -- he’s not a thrower -- throw for a lot of yards and five touchdowns. So we’ve got to get better at certain things. We have identified quite a few of them internally. We have to make sure we work hard at getting that done, and it’s going to be an everyday process, but yes, I have to get better.
Will Smiley be back?
You know what, I’m not -- I’m hopeful but I’m not for sure if that’s going to happen. We’ll work hard to get him ready, but I’m not for sure yet.
On the Mizzou QB:
Well, he can flat spin the ball. He can throw it vertically. He’s accurate. He has a really good arm. He can put it in tight windows. He looks the part. He’s played a lot of football. He’s played against a lot of football teams. Last year they had a bad day; we had a good day.
And since that game they’ve taken off and they’ve played extremely well. And to this point he’s played extremely well again. And he’s got a chance to play on Sundays.
And it will be a great test for us. It will be a tough matchup, but our players need to take the field confident and expect to make plays and go out there and play as hard as they can and figure out a way to get it done.
On the Purdue QB situation:
Well, I think this past game, overall, both quarterbacks played better. We took care of the ball. We made better decisions. We ran the offense. We just had some costly penalties and turnovers and some missed opportunities that hurt us.
We ran the football very effectively. Now probably do need to take a few more shots up the field, find ways to make some bigger plays, but I think we’ll start one guy and the next guy will be ready to come in if we need a change up or a spark.
ou know what, even last week, if things are going well, I’m going to be, try to be a smart coach. We want -- I think we have both quarterbacks that are capable of helping us win. They can do some different things for us.
Whoever starts the game we’ll give them an opportunity to showcase what he’s about and the other one will be ready. Whether that’s the second quarter or beyond, I don’t know. I try not to predetermine it exactly and I think both guys will be up and ready.
Are O-Line changes possible:
Yes, we’ve contemplated that. And we’re addressing that right now. So you’ll probably see a mix of things happening in this game. But, yes, we are definitely open to doing whatever we think will help us in that aspect.