After winning two straight on the road in Big Ten play and now sitting at 4-2 these press conferences from Jeff Brohm have been trending in the more informative and less depressing to read direction. That’s good for me as the one who sifts through the transcript each week and good for you as the one who has chosen to come here and read this.
The blocked PAT by Cam Allen changed the game, let’s talk about end game management:
Any time you can block an extra point it’s huge. When we looked at the video and had the big screen on it, he was not offsides from our vantage point. Did he move a little bit before the others? Yes, but he was in the offsides when the ball snapped.
On the two-point play their linemen was six yards down the field, so two good calls in our opinion that luckily were called.
But to block an extra point is huge when you block a kick, especially when the game is tied. Gave us the ability to come down and score, take the lead, put us in an advantageous position, and then of course being able to score again gave us what we thought was a little leeway.
They came back and scored, so unfortunately didn’t work out exactly the way we wanted. But yeah, really good job by Cam, and any time you can block an extra point and do anything that gives you an advantage it helps.
Daniel Johnson Update:
He will be out for the season. Unfortunately suffered a knee injury, and he will be out for the season.
Assess Jalen Graham in his first game back:
Well, it’s a veteran presence that I think will continue to get better. I did think the first couple series he was rusty and he had some busts, but then he settled in.
He makes tackle, he makes plays, he’s an athletic guy who understands football, and I thought the more he played the better he got. We are hopeful he can continue to build on this. We need him to be a dominating force if he can.
Is there a difference between facing an interim head coach versus regular head coach?
Not really. Same football team. Talented football team. They got pride. They play hard. What you do when that happens is you got to see the adjustments they make schematically on offense, defense, special teams.
So that’s what we’re looking at now, just seeing what adjustments have they made from that point on and getting prepared for that.
The defense has been resilient only allowing 3 points off 6 turnovers last two weeks:
Well, we felt going in we had some experience on the defensive sides of the ball, so I thought they’ve done a good job. In order to win football games you got to be good in all three segments. If you think you’re just going to score every time you touch the ball it’s not realistic, that’s not going to happen against good opponents. That’s a pipe dream that we’re going to work for perfection and try to be as efficient as we can.
What we can do is be much better at not turning the ball over. When you have three turnovers in two games and you find a way to win, that shows the toughness and grit of your team.
But we got to improve on that. We have talked about it, identified it. It’s one thing to get stops, and one thing to stop yourselves by turning the ball over. That has to become a minimum of what’s going on.
We got a little bit better on the penalties. That’s helped. Our defense has played hard and we’ve done a good job. Continuing to be as efficient as we can on both sides and also gain an edge in special teams, which we’ve slightly gained an edge in each and every game.
We had the field goal that was really good. They missed long field goal. We blocked an extra point. We had a little bit of return yards. So just every little things matters in order to win.
As you can see from our games, we have three wins against FBS teams and it’s been by the hair of our teeth. We’ve had to scratch and claw to get them.
So that’s just how it’s going to be. We got to be willing to work for perfection and better execution, but you got to have the grit and toughness to be able to hang in to the very end.
On the run defense:
Well, we work hard at it. We’ve done a good job. At the same time, I’m realistic. Maryland is not a running team. Minnesota didn’t have their running back.
We’ve got a lot of really good teams coming up that run the ball, so see how good we are.
Our D-line has played hard. We have changed some things up and been a little more multiple on our fronts and looks. Linebackers and safeties coming downhill and making tackles is important and having that perfect balance.
We’ve always tried to err on trying to stop the run, and I think we’ve been fairly decent at that. We probably have given up more pass yardage over the past so many years than I would like to, so you got to balance that. Really just about minimizing points.
So, yes, first thing is stopping the run, but minimizing points in big plays is also important.
Talk about that end of game goal line offense:
Well, every situation is always slightly different. I’m not a big analytical guy. I go by feel and what I think is going to work. I don’t go by percentages.
You know, at that point with where we were at, I just knew if I was on the other sideline I would let the team score to get the ball back, and I knew that’s what they were doing. So we wanted to use some clock. We knew they had timeouts, so had to use the timeouts first.
We ran the quarterback sneak. Told our quarterback not to go in the end zone but not go backwards. Then we did it again on second down. Go forward but not backwards. Don’t go in the end zone. Burn some more clock.
We didn’t burn as much clock because they used their timeouts, but we were able to use their timeouts. Then on third down you have to think, okay, if we try to risk this again on fourth down you’re going to have a decision of do you kick a field goal or do you try to go (editor’s note this is the end of the language in the transcript noting that the video cuts out.)