Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chizik talks after loss

Here are comments from Auburn coach Gene Chizik following Saturday's 38-24 loss to Clemson.


"Clemson outplayed us pretty much from the second quarter all the way
through the rest of the football game.

"We had a fast start to the game, but we really couldn’t sustain much
after there. I felt like from the second quarter on we were not
productive; we were not making plays when we had the opportunities to.

"It’s very glaring, defensively, we have a lot of work to do. It’s very
glaring, offensively, we can’t turn the ball over going into the Red
Zone. We’ve got to sustain more drives. Time of possession is becoming
an issue with our team, certainly with the number of plays we’re
playing defensively. That’s certainly a combination of an inability to
convert on third downs for ourselves and the inability to get off the
field on third downs defensively.

"The first quarter was probably the best we’ve played. Then I felt like
we were a below-average football team.

"I expect us to bounce back and work this week and be a better football team."

Why was it so difficult to stop them on third down?

"Several different things. On passing downs, I felt like we didn’t get
very much pressure on the quarterback. When guys have opportunities to
make plays on the football, we’re not doing a good job of taking away
the short passing game. It’s an issue. We know it’s an issue."

Too many plays on defense?

"I don’t think there’s any question. Over 90 plays again today. We
can’t continue to play that many plays defensively. That is a product,
not just of our defense; it’s a product, offensively, of not being
able to sustain many drives and convert on third downs ourselves.

"As I said last week, I was hoping we were going to be a much better
football team this week. I don’t feel like we were. We have a lot of
work to do as a coaching staff.

"As the game wore on, I think tackling became an issue for the defense.
As the game wore on, I thought we were in positions to make
plays…we’re not coming down with the football.

"It was all around an extremely disappointing performance defensively.
And at many times, offensively, the same.

"We couldn’t get anything going on our kickoff return game to switch
field position. We made a poor choice on a punt when we’re up 14-0.

Will you take a more active role on defense?

"I’m really going to evaluate everything and I’m going to look at some
things. I have confidence in every coach on my staff.

"We’re not doing a lot different than we did the previous two years.
But obviously we have to take a look at our depth; take a look at our
young guys, and figure out ways to win games against very good
football teams coming up.

How will they respond to what is the first loss for many of them?

"There’s not options on that. They’re going to handle it like men.
They’re going to go out tomorrow and practice for the next game.
They’re going to have a short memory. I fully expect them to be there
tomorrow ready to go. That’s not an option."

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