Opening statement from Hazell
As we look at our film from Sunday against the Gophers, as a staff, you take a close look at a lot of different things, but I think through the fundamental things that you have to do in football to be successful is you gotta finish blocks up front, offensively and across the board, not just up front but across the board offensively, and you've got to tackle, and those are the two fundamental things anywhere you play football that you have to be able to.
Those are the things that we must improve on I thought we tackled pretty well the first half, but the third quarter we missed some very key tackles in the first two drives that allowed, you know, 14 points coming out of the locker room and, you know, right now we're just not good enough to overcome those big deficits, but our kids came back today and worked hard this afternoon -- excuse me, this morning, we switched practice around, getting ready for the Badgers.
Update on Bentley
Right now, Pete, we're going to take it day by day and week by week with Bentley. He told me today he's still a little stiff, so he won't be available for us this week, but it will a week-to-week thing as we evaluate him going forward. It's not out of the equation that he isn't going to play again this year, but we will see each week as we evaluate him.
Cutting back offensively
We looked at that at length, Pete, to see how much the young quarterback can handle, and that's one of the things we did is we took out a lot of things out of the game plan, and this new game plan that we put together, just to make sure that we can operate at a high level of efficiency, and I think that will help David.
David was a little bit unsettled and I don't think it had anything to do with the amount of plays on the game plan, we just need to get his feet a little bit more stable in the pocket.
Where is the team mentally
We talked about that at not length. We kinda slowed the team meeting down on Sunday and talked about a lot of different things and that was one of the things we talked about. I said, again, you're going to be in a lot of close football games, the back six games of the season, and you have to be able to come out of those things on the right end, and this is how you're going to do it. They still have the confidence, obviously they were down after Saturday's loss, based on the way we played in that third quarter, but they're very resilient.
What can you do to change after Saturday
I think one of the things we addressed with the team, and I wanted feedback from our guys in the locker room on Sunday, was that internal motivation, not always being driven by something external, and that's one of the things we talked about, when you're exiting the locker room. What's the thing that motivates yourself?
That's something we're always trying to push, hey, you gotta get your own -- you shouldn't have to have a coach always trying to get you going. That's one of the things that -- and I'm going to meet with our Player Counsel here this afternoon and have another discussion about it, because I think that's very important at this juncture in our program.
"Do you honestly feel you have enough experienced talent to consistently win Big Ten games right now?"
I think we have enough talent. I think one of the things that showed up a little bit was some youth behind the center last week, but he will continue to get better. He's a good player. He's going to be a really good player. But he's got to get a feel for the speed of the game and how things are happening. I'm very high on David Blough, and I think he's going to be a really good player for us, but some of those young things showed up and you battle through it, as hard as you can, and try to get it fixed as fast as you can.
Most surprising thing so far this season
Obviously you thought you would be more successful in the win/loss column. That's probably the most surprising thing. That's probably it.
What does the coaching staff need from the team in the second half of the season
Well, I think the first thing you gotta see energy because if you don't have the energy, everything else won't matter. You have to come out with energy and enthusiasm, and it's somewhat of an enigma because at some point in time you have it, and some point in time you don't, and those were the questions we were asking the kids -- I keep calling them kids, they're not kids, the young men on Sunday, you know, why? Why? So that's the thing that we're addressing right now.
But I think it starts with the energy and then obviously it's the other things. Here is one of the other things that zaps your energy, because sometimes you think you come out and you don't have the energy, well, bad execution will zap your energy in a heartbeat. So if you don't tackle that will take some energy out of you.
Why so few helmet stickers
Yes, only time we give helmet stickers out is if we win.
That's about all the important stuff for this week. It's just getting depressing reading about how close this team is and how close they can be and if only... I just can't stomach it.