COACH FLOOD: Good afternoon. Disappointing game in a lot of ways. I think the most disappointing thing for me was that we had over 500 new football players here today from around New Jersey, and I was really excited to have them here, and I know they were excited to be here. I really wanted to give them a good experience and a good showing of what Rutgers football is, and I don't think we did that today. So that's disappointing to me.
I've got to give credit to Coach Tuberville and his staff and his football team. We knew they had a good football team, and they out-executed us today. They out-coached us today. I think they did a great job.
Q. Will you reevaluate, this is the second straight time you've come off a bye with a bad home loss. Is that something you'll reevaluate how you prepare, anything like that?
COACH FLOOD: We constantly reevaluate those types of things, and certainly we'll reevaluate this. But we would reevaluate whether we won or we lost. We try to look back and say, hey, what did we handle well, what didn't we handle well, what do we think we can do better. And some of those things are always dictated by circumstances that aren't consistent; what's the health of your football team, who's available to you, who's not available to you. But absolutely we'll reevaluate it.
Q. When you watch defensively what their offense was able to do to your defense, did you see it as a scheme thing? Were coverages blown? What did you see happening out there?
COACH FLOOD: It wasn't a matter of coverages being blown. I thought they did a good job of isolating some of our players in man-to-man coverage, so I give them credit for that. I want to look at the film and look back at it, but I don't think it was an issue of coverages being blown, but I thought they did some things with some switch routes versus man-to-man coverage and then getting some good match-ups, linebackers on slots, those type things.
Q. After the second loss like this in the span of three home games, are you concerned that this program is in a crisis right now?
COACH FLOOD: I'm not. And I think when you look in the eyes of the players in the locker room and you see the determination that they have to get better and you see the way they prepared this week, I've said this many times, if you have a good week of practice, it doesn't guarantee you you're going to have a good game. Unfortunately today is an example of that for us.
But what it does guarantee is you're going to move in the right direction eventually, and I think we're doing that. There's a lot of young players out there that are getting better. Unfortunately that gets lost when you have a score like we did today.
Q. I guess there's a difference between not a good game and not a competitive game. Does it concern you that both of those games were almost in the first half not competitive?
COACH FLOOD: I think the last one was 14-14- midway through the second quarter. I don't know if I totally agree with that. But I understand what you're saying, and it does not shake my resolve. It does not cause me to question whether or not this football team is going to get better. I wish I could control the timing of that all the time.
When you have a guy like Darius Hamilton, when you have a guy like Betim Bujari who were out for the game, you have a guy like Lorenzo Waters who's limited, there's no excuses in football, but when you have three quality players that aren't in there you're going to have some younger guys out there, and we've got to do the best job we can of putting those young players in a good position.
Q. How much tougher does it get to make those changes and those fixes you were just talking about before the next game?
COACH FLOOD: I think it's a challenge. We've already done a lot of the advance scouting for the UCF game, and now we've got to reevaluate it based on today's performance and make sure we've got the right players in the best position possible for them to help us win that game Thursday night.
Q. You said it doesn't shake your resolve. Any concerns about what it does in the locker room? Three weeks ago, four weeks ago we were talking to them about BCS bowls and competing with Louisville and now they're 5-4. Any concerns about them losing focus?
COACH FLOOD: I do not have any concerns whatsoever about that. Those are things that as a player -- it's your job to ask those questions, but as a coach and as a player, our focus has to be on 1-0, and that's it. We've got 12 one-game seasons. Right now we're 5-4 in the first nine. The only one we can control right now is the one versus UCF Thursday night, and we will go back to work right away to make sure we're working towards being 1-0 Thursday night.
Q. It seemed like there were a lot of mental lapses, as well. If you want I can cite them, but I probably don't need to. Do you think focus was an issue today?
COACH FLOOD: I think it would be naïve to say that there wasn't a certain degree of distraction that happened to us over the last day or so. We have to do a better job of handling that. No one feels sorry for you for that. Things are going to happen, and the situation that we've been dealing with over the last 24 hours is one where we have to do a better job of handling it and not allowing it to be a distraction for us.
Q. Can you tell us how 19-year-old Jevon Tyree was treated?
COACH FLOOD: The University has already released a statement, and I'm going to sand by that statement.
Q. Now, his father says that contrary to what the statement says about the athletic director saying that she spoke to the father twice and resolved this to his satisfaction, the father says he never spoke to the athletic director.
COACH FLOOD: I did not see a statement or a rebuttal statement from Mr. Tyree, but the University has released a statement and the athletic department has released a statement on the situation, and I'm going to stand by it.
Q. Do you have any comment about this alleged behavior?
COACH FLOOD: The University already released a comment.
Q. This whole week if you take ending with the result, that story that's been referenced as well as some high-profile verbal decommits and whatever, just this whole week, are you concerned about your perception? You talked about having young kids in the stands. Are you concerned this is another black eye if that's not unfair, that you have to maybe still be worried about just the perception from the outside of what's going on with Rutgers football?
COACH FLOOD: As the head football coach I worry about everything every day. It's my job to do that. When I talk to the recruits that are committed to us, we talk about what the future of Rutgers football is going to be, the championship program that we're building here, and it's something that started nine years ago and some would say maybe even a couple years before that, but I've only been here for the last nine seasons.
I don't concern myself with that. I know we've got a recruiting class right now that is going to be a high-quality class. The ratings are the ratings. Players like Ray Rice, Devin and Jason McCourty, they were very highly rated players, so I don't know that the ratings are always indicative of what the outcome of those recruiting classes will be.
But I think as I speak to the recruits that are committed to us, I find an energy and an optimism and a positivity that I'm really excited about.
Q. From a football perspective, is it harder for you to keep the team focused on football in a week like this? Is it harder for a coach to keep his players on the game?
COACH FLOOD: I think that's part of our challenge every week, and those distractions, whatever they are, they come in a lot of shapes and forms. As a college football coach and as a college football coaching staff, that's part of our job is to try to teach the players how to stay focused on being 1-0, and in our culture we use the word chop, the ability to focus on the task at hand.
Q. The pass rush wasn't really that effective today. Is it just too difficult to disguise this young secondary and this pass defense, particularly when you're not getting -- it could be partly their scheme obviously with the quick hitters, but when they're not getting the pass rush is it at the point you can't hide these kids on pass defense?
COACH FLOOD: Well, I think that's something we've got to look at as we go back and look at the film. Certainly when you play teams that are going to play the game in 10 and 11 personnel, the disguise factor becomes harder to achieve, and you have to hold your positions longer and longer, and younger players have a tendency not to. They want to be in position, and as they get more and more mature they realize they can get to those positions a little bit later in the cadence, a little bit later in the snap count so that the quarterback can adjust his protections.
Q. Considering how high you were on Gary's performance last week and his decision making, is this a step back? And then also Paul James, how did he look?
COACH FLOOD: Not really a step back in decision making. Both of those interceptions, one of them was a route that didn't get broke off at the right depth, and the other one Gary threw a little early. The decision was correct, but the timing of it was off, unfortunately. I think he'd like to have that one back.
With Paul James, I was pleased with the way he ran, and I think he'll come out of this game healthy enough to help us on Thursday night.