Bobby Wilder Press Conference (Video and Transcript)
By ODU Athletics
Below is the transcript from today's Bobby Wilder press conference.
Coming off a disappointing and humbling loss at home to Florida Atlantic. The keys to this game were quite evident as to what I saw during the game, the video confirmed it yesterday and today, it was all about the turnovers on offense, having four turnovers and then poor tackling in this game. The good news is that it’s all things that can be corrected and that’s what we will work on to correct starting today.
Defensively, 39 missed tackles, that’s the most missed tackles we’ve ever had in a football game. That was a combination of technique and scheme by the coaches that we need to get better at and a couple of really good running backs from Florida Atlantic that have some of the top running backs in the league, which I need to give them credit for. The bottom line is we need to coach better and work on that and we’ll start on that tomorrow at practice.
Offensively, it was the four turnovers and four interceptions. They were situations that could have been avoided. Missed throws by the quarterback, where one time he was waiting on the receiver to break and he’s about to get hit in the teeth on a blitz and throws the ball and it goes right by the receiver right to the their defensive back. Another time our receiver gets a hand on the ball and tips it in the air and it’s intercepted. So there’s definitely things that can be corrected. Our quarterback is trying to do the right things. He’s trying to put the ball in the right place and even with those four turnovers we have 75 plays and 411 yards, 28 points. Jeremy Cox has a career high of 202 yards rushing. So we need to do a better job as coaches putting our offense and especially our quarterback in better situations so he can make better decisions.
This week our opponent Marshall is 4-1. They look like the Marshall team we’re used to seeing in the past. They are playing really good football right now. They’re leading the league in defense and they’re being smart with the football on offense. They’re going for 25 points, 373 yards. They have a veteran quarterback, Chase Litton, who has played some really good football in this league. So we know it’s going to be a really great challenge and need to have a good week of practice, which we will, and get ourselves back on the winning track this week at Marshall.
Q: There’s a lot of intangibles in football and emotions being one of them, something like missed tackles, does that get contagious? Do you need someone to make a play to get the guys energized?
A: Yeah, that can happen. I was actually talking to Coach Nagy and our defensive staff and they felt like when it started in the first quarter that a lot of our guys were getting anxious. They wanted to make that big play as opposed to just sticking to the technique and keeping their eyes up and bring your feet. It’s a combo of the running backs and those running backs were dynamic and speedy and shifty, doing a lot of different things. I give them credit also. But yes, that can certainly get contagious and it did Saturday night.
Q: Bobby, you said on Wake Up with Wilder that you were going to talk with your leadership counsel today. Is there feedback on your message to them?
A: Their feedback was they want guys to be more accountable at practice. Meaning they want guys to work harder and practice harder. They want drills to be more competitive, which I really appreciate and really respect them saying that. There’s a fine line with the amount of injuries we have of how long you go and how long you go and competitive you make it. They want to do more that’s competitive and accountable. So tomorrow we will be doing goal line and short yardage so it will be full speed, live, tackle drills. There will be more of those types of drills that they want to have. They are on the right track. And I reminded them that we were in a situation similar to this in 2014 when we had lost a few games in a row, we actually lost five games in a row, then we rode the ship and won our last three games and actually got bowl eligible in a season where we weren’t allowed to go. But the point I was making to them was you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, you don’t all the sudden get away from everything you’ve always believed in and what’s made you successful. When I made the comment after the game that football is a really humbling game, I knew what was coming. There’s a tendency for people to question them and what they’re doing. I just remind them we have a successful formula here that works for us. It was really good to hear from them this morning that they don’t want to change what we’re doing, they just want it to be more competitive. They want guys to be more competitive in practice and they want to improve on tackling. Well, we need to do more tackling to improve on it. We don’t want to turn the ball over as much, well they have to be in competitive situations to get better at protecting the ball. So, that’s what we’re going to do.