COACH FLOOD: Good afternoon. I'd like to start by thanking the fans. I thought the fans were out in force today, and I'm disappointed that we didn't give them more to cheer about. We certainly did not have one of our better days. I have to compliment the University of Houston and Tony Levine's team. I thought they had an excellent team coming in and certainly they proved that.
Just to finish the opening statement, you know, this game, you say how does a game get like this, and it's really, I don't think any more complicated to us than what we talk about. We talk about running the football and stopping the run. We were able to run the football today, but we were not able to stop the run. We gave up 211 yards rushing. Secure the football and take it away, we weren't able to secure the football. Five interceptions and a fumble, we didn't get any back. It just makes it really hard to win football games when you have numbers like that. So with that, I'll open it up for questions.
Q. Was this too easy for Houston?
COACH FLOOD: What?
Q. They had 611 yards; they basically went up and down the field when they wanted to.
COACH FLOOD: I don't know.
Q. Turnovers contributed to it?
COACH FLOOD: I don't know if anything's easy. You coach long enough you get to be on both sides of these. I don't know if you ever think they're easy. But certainly when you look at the turnover disparity, that's how I think the score gets out of hand the way it did.
Q. How will you approach the next couple days with deciding to pull Gary and put in Chas? What are your thoughts on the quarterback position right now?
COACH FLOOD: I think Gary's got to make better decisions. We've got a lot invested in him as the starting quarterback. We're counting on him to make quality decisions and I don't think today was his best day making decisions. I think he knows that. So I thought it was in his best interest and everybody's to watch for a little bit and gather himself. We've got a lot of football left to play this year. We'll evaluate the details and specifics of it tomorrow when we see the film. But I know Gary will be back and ready to start preparing for the next game.
Q. This is two straight games the defense has given up a season high in rush shortage. Have you seen any particular reason why?
COACH FLOOD: Well, I think the first thing I would say isyou've got to win one-on-ones. Their offense will stress you into some one-on-ones in space. When you have some of the bigger plays that they had, we have people who can make those plays, and today we didn't win those one-on-ones, and that's partially our issue that we have to look at and make sure we're putting the right people in the right places. I think some of that has to be credit to them to the athletes on their football team.
Q. The wide receiver starting and (inaudible), were those guys not a hundred percent, Carroo and Pratt and Coleman?
COACH FLOOD: Sure, they were probable for the game. I don't know if anybody's a hundred percent if you're playing at this point in the season. You never really know until game day what somebody's going to be able to give you.
So we get them out there in pregame, and you watch them in the first quarter and the first half, and you see what ultimately you think you'll be able to get out of them. But we have full confidence in Andre and John. I thought they did a nice job this week in practice. So I didn't have an issue with us using them.
Q. You guys were still in the game and driving at the start of the second half when Savon threw the halfback option interception. What went into that play call there, and what did you think that turnover in particular did to the momentum?
COACH FLOOD: It was a game plan we had for that field zone and something we had practiced during the week. I think if Savon could do it again he'd get the ball up more and give Brandon a chance to go up and get it. It looked like on the field he came up a little bit short. What's it mean in the game? It's another turnover you have to overcome. It's no more complicated than that. We get the ball down in the red zone first drive of the second half, opportunity to cut the lead to seven. But when you turn it over, now it's one more turnover that you have to overcome at that point in the game.
Q. How much of an issue -- I mean, we've talked about it a lot this season, but the missed tackles again today, how much of a concern is that becoming for you?
COACH FLOOD: It's always a concern. You certainly don't want to -- you have an overabundance of missed tackles and it's not good. Every week on defense we're going to put the best players out there. We've got to coach them as well as we can. The evaluation for us, I think, has to be, okay, do we have the right pieces in the right place? If we have the best pieces in our football program in the best places for them, I do believe that when we execute, we'll play better defense than we did today.
Q. From what you know, what happened to Lorenzo?
COACH FLOOD: I believe it's a high ankle sprain. I don't know that for sure though.
Q. How can Dave compensate for the absence of all these key defensive players?
COACH FLOOD: There is no pity or sympathy even involved. There is no team in the country that's going to feel bad for us. Everybody's dealing with injury issues all over the country. We've got 85 players on scholarship, and when something happens to a player and he gets injured, the next man is up and we've got to get ready to play and compete.
Q. This is Gary's third season as quarterback. Is there a point you reach where you have to make a change because he's not going to get better, that this is what he is and you have to consider making a change?
COACH FLOOD: Well, we did make a change today. What I would say is every year every player at every position has an opportunity to win the position. Once they win the position, they get a certain amount of trust that we give to them in terms of performing at thatposition. When they perform, they get to continue to do it. When they don't, and today was a day I think where Gary sees the decisions that he made, he's going to want to make some different ones next time. I think you have to make a change.
Q. Following up on that, do you think Gary's job is -- do you think there is a chance he might not be the starting quarterback going forward after this?
COACH FLOOD: I don't know that. I'd have to look at the film before I could make that judgment. I just thought that for today it was in his best interest to watch for a little bit and give Chas an opportunity to get out there and play?
Q. I don't know how much of an opportunity you had to speak with them at all, but in your mind in Gary's case, was this a case of him getting confused by what he saw and not processing what he saw out there or in your mind was he just flustered and made some poor decisions?
COACH FLOOD: I don't think he was flustered. I think he made some poor decisions.
Q. They're (No Microphone) passing, is it disappointing? It's almost like pitch and catch to be honest a couple times. Is it disappointing that this is the third spread team that's kind of gone up and down the field andthrough the air against your defense?
COACH FLOOD: I think what it does for us is it makes us reevaluate what we're doing, but we would do that anyway. We've reevaluated even when we performed well to make sure it wasn't just players making plays independent of the system. I think it's more obvious to everybody when you don't play well.
Q. Coach, it looked like the secondary was having trouble finding the ball in the air. Is that something you can specifically fix or do you just chalk it up to inexperience and it gets better the more they play?
COACH FLOOD: We don't chalk anything up to anything. We have to coach every detail of everything we're asking the players to do. And leaning and locating the ball in the secondary is one of the skills that you train the defensive backs every day to do. If we look at the film, we didn't do it well enough today, then we're going to keep coaching them and making sure we get better at it.
Q. It's easy to look at 600 yards and look at the secondary, but did you guys get enough pressure on Okafor? We talked about the defensive line being the strength for this team. Today it seemed like Okafor had quite a bit of time most of the plays.
COACH FLOOD: I'm going to go back to the rushing yards. I think that is a better indicator of what you're talking about. If when teams are able to run the football, it makes it a lot easier as an offensive lineman to protect the quarterback. If you can make a team one-dimensional, which we didn't do today, then you have a chance as a defensive lineman to turn it loose.
Q. How about Goodwin's performance in the first half? Just good to see him bounce back after the Louisville game with another 160 yards?
COACH FLOOD: Sure. It wasn't the plan going in to ride him the way we did, but I've always said, when you have a tailback who looks like he gets into a rhythm and has a chance to affect the game, I think you have to give him a chance to do that. And I think that's why the carries were skewed that much with Justin today.
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