In a game like that, you look back as a coach at the end of the season and say, "There's another one -- a game we should have won, could have won, [but] did not win. There are very glaring reasons for it. Was that football team better than us? I don't know. They certainly won today.
Could we beat them on another day? If we keep playing like we are playing on defense, keep missing tackles, and keep making other bone-head plays to keep drives alive, we won't be very good. Offensively, we hardly had a chance in the second half.
Obviously, it was a disappointment to lose the fumble on the opening drive of the second half. It was a momentum swing, which happens all the time in football. But to give them 18 plays and for them to go down and score after the fumble, giving them the extra plays after the roughing the kicker is a real shame. Those kids are out there on the field for 82 plays compared to our 52. That's too many plays. We have to get off [the field]. We have to get third downs solved. We have to learn how to tackle. Until we do, we won't be very good. We have a lot of work to do.
We fit the plays better. I think we knew better what to do today, but the poor tackling is killing this defense right now.
What went into the decision on fourth-and-five to go for it, instead of kicking the field goal?
That's an easy one for me. We were moving the football, and I'm not sure we'll stop them on defense. We have to go down and score and go for two and see if we can make it happen there. There's plenty of time left. I felt like we were moving the ball. Everybody had a lot of confidence in them. That was my decision.
What went into deciding to pull out Michael Waddell?
Michael is not playing well right now. I love that kid, and he will be starting again next week, but he has got to pay attention to the details of playing the game of football. He will be back with the staring line-up, but right now, if things like that occur, I have to make a move. I have to make a move for the whole team. I'm hopeful that he will get it back together. He's too good of a football player to be playing like he has.
How frustrating is it to have to go back to the drawing board on the fundamentals again?
During the buy week, we worked awfully hard on fundamentals and understanding the overall scheme of our defense, and we polished some of the offense. It didn't show up today.
To me, tackling is a mentality. If what took place today is any reflection of our mentality, we have to get the mentality changed quickly. Believe me, it will be an interesting week around here on the practice field.
Was it difficult for the offense to have to sit and watch Georgia Tech sustain their drives on long third downs?
It was hard for me to sit there and stomach that. That's just not the way we played last year. I know we are young and inexperienced, but you still can't play that way. You have to tackle some people, and they are good enough to do that.
Is there a positive you can take from this game?
I don't see any, right now. Usually, I can find one, but it's hard right now.