We’re coming off of a very disappointing loss at Virginia, one where we didn’t feel like we played the way we’re capable of playing, particularly on offense, so we’ve got a lot of things to work on, a lot of things to fix. We’ve got to start moving the ball and get the ball in the end zone and score points.
Defensively we’re still young, but they are playing aggressive and playing fast. We did make some mistakes and gave up some plays in the fourth quarter that we can’t have, and we’ve also got to get off the field better on 3rd down.
But we’re excited about the challenge this weekend, playing a Florida State team that’s always very fast and physical, and we are back at home, so we’re looking forward to that.
Q. You mentioned the offensive stuff you’d like to get fixed; did you kind of privately think before the season, did you look over your offense and go, this could be a rough season? This could be a year where offense is going to be tough to deal with, and this is not — the production has not been a surprise to you privately?
BOBBY PETRINO: No, I was very optimistic that we would come out and be able to continue to score points and execute. We’ve had some different things go on and some injuries at the running back spot that have set us back as far as knowing who the starting running back is. We haven’t been able to get the ball to our receivers in positions where we can get a lot of production.
It’s everything, everybody. That’s the one thing about offense is it takes all 11 guys to work together on every play, and we’ve got one guy making a mistake on this play, one on another play, and that’s when you get negative plays, and it’s hard to sustain drives and put the ball in the end zone.
Q. How do you go about — you said fixing that and addressing that, when obviously the season is under way and you’ve had a bunch of games to play already?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, we’ve only played four games, so you always continue to work hard in practice and work on your timing and execution and putting it all together and getting the protection right, getting the quarterback on time and understanding the coverages. There’s no question that we will get better at it.
Q. Just wondering how you evaluated the two quarterbacks after Saturday’s game and whether you made a decision on the starter for this week.
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, we have an understanding who’s going to start and how we’re going to play him. It doesn’t do us any good to tell everybody that. But we do need to improve and get better there, and obviously everybody understands that.
But they have come out and worked hard. They’ve been watching video and practiced hard and improved in practice last night, so we’re looking forward to today’s practice and making sure we get better today.
Q. Is the plan still to stick with one, or do you see a role for both?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, you know, we’re just going to play it out right now and see where we’re at. But like I said, it just doesn’t do me any good to announce who our quarterback is going to be.
Q. I’m sure you heard about the Kelly Bryant situation or others around college football with all their players taking advantage of the new rule. I’m just curious your reaction as a coach and how you approach that with your own team if guys are looking at possibly doing that, older players?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I think it’s one of those things that were unintended consequences and nobody really understood that things like that were going to happen. I certainly didn’t have any idea about it. I really didn’t pay — haven’t paid a lot of attention to other schools. I think that we’ve been able to get some of our freshmen on the field and working hard, and we’re at the decision right now with a couple of them whether we continue to play them or redshirt them, and that’s really where my focus and concentration is.
Q. A lot of coaches I’ve talked to said that the pros still outweigh the potential negative of the rule; is that how you look at it, or are you a bit concerned with the number of guys that have sort of looked at leaving?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, you know, I just kind of went at it being a positive thing for the freshmen and the guys in their first year. Maybe the deal is it should have just been for newcomers and for first-year guys. I don’t know. I never imagined that things like that would happen.
Q. I’m sorry to make you relive this sequence, but when you went back and looked at the goal line stand where you guys couldn’t punch it in, settled for the field goal, what did you see either execution on your end or exceptional play on their end? What kind of happened there?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, it was a little bit of both. We didn’t exactly knock them off the ball the way we’re supposed to. We were a little short on our track as far as the running back were to hit the hole off tackle. And then they had some guys that really played hard and made some good plays. Something that’s very concerning to me. We’ve always considered ourselves a really good goal-line football team and had success getting the ball in there, and that was certainly a big series in the game and really hurt the outcome.
Q. Talk about Francois; what do you see differently from him because the last time you played him was 2016 and then he had the injury last year. Do you see anything different in his development right now?
BOBBY PETRINO: I see a really good player. He’s got such a quick release and good arm and can make all the throws. We have all the respect in the world for him. He’s got good receivers and good speed to throw to, and he’s really a tough young man. We’ve got to do a good job of putting pressure on him. We’ve got to do a good job of playing tight coverage and mixing things up and not allowing him just to know exactly what the coverage is every play.
That’s a great challenge for us.
Q. The last time you played him was two years ago in Louisville and it was like a 73 to 17 win. Do you feel like the players will be up for it because some of them are still there for that game?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I don’t know. We just play one year at a time and one game at a time. I think what we’re concentrating on right now is trying to get better and get our offense in sync and get our defense growing up and maturing, so just really focusing on ourselves.
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