bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 10/02/12

bleedcrimson.net: Obviously the loss to UTSA this past Saturday was another tough game. What were your takeaways from the game?
DeWayne Walker: Well you know we turned the ball over four times, I just hate to keep beating up the offense, again it's not like the defense is top ten in the country but any time you turn the ball over four times and score seven points, that's not a great formula for success. Defensively I thought we did some things early to keep us in it but it's just like anything else, we can't sustain anything after adversity hits. When [Austin] Franklin muffed the punt, it's just seemed like the wheels came off. Before that we were looking like a football team. It's discouraging and it's hard to watch when you can't play a consistent game against an opponent that I really felt like we had a chance to beat.

bc.net: When we talked last week you said that in the first ten minutes of the game you wanted to see a lot of energy and aggressiveness from the team and I thought you did that. You came out and put together the longest sustained first drive of the year and then you put together two good defensive stops and your second offensive drive was everything we've been hoping to see.
DW: Well I think we've got to look at what we're doing offensively a little bit. I know it's easy to beat up your quarterback but we've got to help him. We've got to get rid of the ball faster, help him scheme-wise. Plus I think that's going to help our offensive line. I just don't think we're stout enough to run the power run game. We haven't really been all that successful. Schematically we're going to have to change some things. We're probably going to use Tra Colwell a little bit more in the wildcat package to try to bring a little more juice to the offense.

Defensively it's just the explosive plays. They're still showing up. We'll show some spurts of playing pretty consistent ball but then the adversity hits and we go. We just don't play well off each other. When the oftense is struggling, the defense will hold up for a minute but they're not able to sustain it. When the offense starts getting starts getting drives together the defense gives up a long drive. We still don't have a formula yet for playing team football. That's why we're 1-4.

bc.net: I want to ask you about one play in particular and I don't think it affected the outcome of the game but the first drive when you go for it on fourth and 1 and you've got that short yardage. What's the decision making process in choosing which running back you use for that play? I felt like Tiger Powell would be an ideal guy, your big bruising running back to get that yard.
DW: I just think it still starts with the offensive line. I would agree with you, I would think that Tiger would be the guy running but I also think you've gotta move people and I think when you line up in the formation and that personnel group, you're just gonna say we're going to run the ball right here. I just don't think we've proved that we can line up and move people to get a yard and that happened a couple times in the game. I think that's a part of our scheme, that's part of what we've got re-evaluate what our guys can do to give us a chance to get a yard or just move the ball.

bc.net: Obviously the Franklin muffed punt was a big turning point in the game and you talked a little bit about that snowballing on the team. Last year's team was pretty good at moving past a bad play or a bad break but this year's time had struggled to this point with overcoming a bad play. What are some things that the team can do to get past those mistakes and not let them snowball?
DW: I still think it's just dealing with 17 new starters. That's something that I didn't really take more into account of with this football team. I know there was a sense coming into the season, even though I like the team and I like the kids, I wasn't sure what we had and when you look at some of these mistakes that are occurring, repeatedly to a certain degree, it's because you're dealing with a young football team, you're dealing with brand new guys. I don't want to make an excuse because you've still gotta coach and these kids still need to execute but we're dealing with a young football team.

bc.net: You had a lot of leadership graduate from last year's team, locker room leaders. Who are some guys who you've seen try to step up and take that role this year?
DW: Well I think that's an issue to. I don't think we have the guys like Kenny Turner, Donyae Coleman had a serious mouthpiece, Matt Christian to a certain degree. We really don't have mouthpieces like that in the locker room and I really think that's an issue too. Those are all of the issue that we're dealing with right now. We really just want to improve this football team. The wins and all that stuff, I don't know if that's a priority anymore. We've really got to go back to the basics in terms of tackling, blocking, boneheaded mistakes, guys executing. I think that's got to become more of a focus of ours instead of all that other stuff.

bc.net: This week you head to Idaho where you'll face a team who is in a similar situation to the Aggies, off to a rough start and searching for some confidence. What are some things that you'll be working with your team this week to try to build that confidence?
DW: Just competing. We've still gotta compete. Regardless of how the seasons have gone for me since we've been here, that's something that our kids, they've never quit. I think despite our record, I would still say that our kids still do play to the final whistle and I think that's important. They're going to continue to compete. We've gotta improve in the areas that we're struggling. Offensively we can't turn the ball over. We're going to do some things to help our o-line, help our quarterback. Defensively, even though I think we've gotten better the last two games with the explosive plays that's still an area we've got to continue improve. There are times when our defense looks decent but there are times when the explosive plays get the best of us. We're just going to look at what's ugly and it's pretty obvious with some of those things. We want to continue to just work and try to eliminate those uglies to try to give us a chance to play consistent football.