COACH FLOOD: Good afternoon. I would like to first thank the fans and the student body that came today. I thought they did a great job. I don't know that we gave them a lot to really cheer for until we got to the second half of that football game, but they were ready, and I thought they had an impact for usdown the stretch.
I would like to compliment Matt Rhule and his staff and their Temple football team. I think they have a young team, they get better each week, and we knew this was going to be a tough football game. Winning is such a delicate thing, we were fortunate to come out on top today. Questions?
Q. Kyle, when you look at it as a body what do you see?
COACH FLOOD: I kind of look at it as two halves, and I'm disappointed at how we played in the first half. I thought from the two penalties for illegal substitution, and the personal fouls, that's not the way we've played football here. We have had penalties from time to time. But those were not the kind of penalties we have had until today, and I don't know the reason for that butwe're going to get to the bottom of that and make sure it doesn't show up again, because that was disappointing.
In the second half I'm proud of the way the team fought. This team has proven they will fight and they will compete and the moments in the fourth quarter that are close are not too big for this team, and that's exciting to coach a group of kids like that.
Q. Kyle, have you seen that play by Carroo before?
COACH FLOOD: Yeah, they keep asking me that question, andI may have to agree with it, I don't know. You certainly have seen it, and I think Gary certainly throws that ball well, and if you single cover Leonte in those situations it's going to be tough to keep him out of the end zone.
Q. It's an all-or-nothing play, obviously, fourth down, they have a blitz,but because it's so wide open, you have to go for it there?
COACH FLOOD: It's an all or nothing play in terms of, yes, you either make the first down or the game is over, but it's not just an all-or-nothing play to Leonte; it just so happens he has had the one-on-one and we feel like he's gonna win, and he has had separation in all three of those cases wherehe's caught it. Fortunate for us we can put him out there.
Q. The other big play, Kevin Snyder and Steve Longa's stop, what did you see there?
COACH FLOOD: An inside cross blitz that we run quite a bit, it's not unusual, and in that situation you have to stop them or the game is over.
We had the safety up tighter, but those guys did a nice job of penetrating and making the tackle. I thought Temple did a good job of running the ball in the fourth quarter. I thought we held them in check early in the game, but they did find a couple of runs in the fourth quarter, where they were moving it on us.
Q. The penalty on -- after the sack and delay of game, did that give you guys needed time to regroup as opposed to having to hustle to the line and get that the fourth down play off?
COACH FLOOD: I don't know that the play would have been different. You've got very few plays on your call sheet for that situation. You're only going to have two or three plays at the most in that situation based just on the personnel available to you.
Does it allow to you communicate it a little bit better? Maybe; it might.
Q. What impressed you most about the way that Gary operated today?
COACH FLOOD: I thought Gary got better, protected the ball. I think you saw him a couple of times when he didn't have what he wanted, he pulled it down and ran. I thought that was good. Gary is a good athlete. He's not your traditional running quarterback, I don't want to make him feel too good about it, but he is an athletic guy who was able to move the ball with his feet today as well.
Q. He comes through huge at the end, Gary, but in the first half or the start of the second half did you ever consider playing both quarterbacks when Gary and the offense was struggling?
COACH FLOOD: I felt like as the game went on Gary was making good decisions, and that was going to be what ultimately determined whether I stayed with him or not, and I felt as long as he was making good decisions he was going to give you a chance to win the game, and it played out like that.
Q. The dump off to the running back, was that something that was different, an emphasis in practice or was it just there?
COACH FLOOD: I think he did a better job of it today; I think they gave it to us. They were going to challenge him to try to fit balls into tight windows, and it was agood job by him not taking the bait. But the progress and the outlet, that's not new, it's a staple of this offense.
Q. Gary seems to be comfortable in the 2-minute drill. In general, are you confident in him?
COACH FLOOD: I am, and I think what you said is probably the better point. I think he's confident in those situations, and that's where he appears to be effective in the 2-minute drill.
Q. Kyle, when you look back at that fourth down stop maybe at the end of the year, is that maybe a play that changes the narrative a little bit of the season?
COACH FLOOD: I don't know if I will be able to answer that until the end of year. I know it changed the narrative today, for sure, because if they make the first down, the game is over.
Q. You had Ruhann out there on defense. He has a sack and a fumble recovery. Talk about the way he played out there.
COACH FLOOD: I have to look on film to see exactly from an assignment stand point how well he did. I have no reason to believe that he didn't do well, based on what I was hearing from the defensive coaches on the head sets, but what I said to him at the end of the game is, "That's why you were the right person to do it." He was the guy that we knew in a week would be able to be effective, and we knew when he got to the quarterback we would be able to get the sack, and given the opportunity to make a tackle, he would make the tackle. Now he makes such a good tackle he forces a fumble and then recovers it himself, which is an impressive thing to do.
I'm proud of him and I think it speaks volumes for the type of players we have on this team, because Ruhann is not a player who was not playing who all of the sudden got thrust into thatrole. He was a significant pieces of the puzzle on offense, and he then he goes over to defense and now he's a significant pieces of the puzzle on defense.
Q. Any angst for you after Goodwin's fumble, Temple was up, seven minutes, you ran out of time outs. What are you thinking on the side lines? Obviously it was to get a stop, but were you checking the clock constantly?
COACH FLOOD: Absolutely. Once they got past the first down, now you're trying to gauge when it is you're going to use your time outs. I chose to use them on first and second down.
That's philosophically kind of what I believe in. Some people say first and third down, but I tend more to use them first and second down, but there is no doubt, they ran the ball in the fourth quarter better than they had in the whole game, and that's a sign of an improving team.
Q. Justin Goodwin had 43 yards on his first three carries, and he ends up with 60. What changed there either from you guys or Temple's defense?
COACH FLOOD: We gave him a fair amount of touches early in the game. In the third quarter we gave Savon a series or two, because I thought that would give him a chance to kind of catch his breath a little bit. I don't know until I look at the film exactly what it was. The fumble was unfortunate. There is no excuse to ever fumble the ball, but he got caught in an awkward position and got hit on the top of the head and the ball came out on him. He has not had that issue in the past but he's got to keep the ball high and tight all the way down.
Q. Do you have to talk to Quentin Gause, because he had two costly personal fouls?
COACH FLOOD: No, one was Quentin and one was L.J. Liston. L.J.'s was complete immaturity; it was all verbal. It wasn't even a contact penalty. He got penalized for something he said verbally, which is unfortunate.
Q. I know you said you want to look at the penalties but there were two substitution infractions, right?
COACH FLOOD: Absolutely.
Q. Is that something you know what went wrong on the sidelines?
COACH FLOOD: There is not enough urgency in the huddle tothe sideline. We utilized a lot of personnel groups in terms of the receivers we were using, you saw a lot of times the receivers going in and out, even if necessarily the personnel was the same, 21, 11, 12, whatever it is, but there has to be urgency with the eyesfrom the field to the sideline. That's the only reason that mistake is made.
Q. How do you feel about the secondary holding up with so many injuries and concerns going into the game?
COACH FLOOD: I'm proud of the way our defense played. I think Matt's got a good football team, and I think they're improving. I think they found their niche in terms of what they want to be. I think they compete on every play, and I knew this would be a challenge for us. They scored a lot of points the last couple of weeks, and to hold them to 20 and 7 of them were on a short field that our guys had to defend, I thought it was a good effort on our defense as a whole.
Q. Can you explain why the play calling was conservative in the first half even when the team was trailing?
COACH FLOOD: The first couple of drives we ran the ball; we were trying to set a physical tone to the game. That was really the reason for it. The fourth down we went for -- stopped one of the drives; they stopped us. We have had success on fourth downs this year.
That was one we didn't have success on, because our backside blocking wasn't good enough, and they got somebodythrough there.
Q. Second half, can you talk about what prompted you to stick Borgese in there?
COACH FLOOD: I think he had missed a PAT and then a fieldgoal. At that point I got to make a decision that he's -- just doesn't have his swing today, to use a golfing analogy. And Nick hit the ball pretty well during the week, so he was the guy we were going to go with from that point forward.
Q. This is projecting ahead, but any idea what a win like this can do for a bye week as far as energy and attention?
COACH FLOOD: I think it does create energy for sure.
But had the game gone the other way, do I have any concerns that the team would have come out and fought? I don't. I think this team has a lot of fight in them, and we were fortunate we made enough plays today to win the game, and we have been in a couple where we haven't, but today we did, and I'm proud of the team for doing that. That's what they're going to be judged on in terms of their body of work at the end of the year. It's not really how, it's how many.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.
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