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September 16, 2014

Tracy Claeys

Q.  The film session Sunday, was it as critical as the score would have indicated or were you fairly happy with some of the things that you saw defensively?
COACH CLAEYS:  We were a couple plays from playing great.  We just make a couple plays.  So it's hard to get mad at the whole entire game.  Our kids competed hard.  Gave ourselves a chance to win.  On a good day, they're very talented.  They're as fast as anybody we'll play.  I think if we played our best and made a couple plays, we could keep them in the low 20s, around 20 points.  Considering that, I think their longest drive they got points off of was only like 50 yards and that was a field goal.  Then they started three short drives and basics, it's still field position has an awful lot to do with this game.  When we had good field position, we played pretty good.
But I've got to do better, and those short field situations, that is the only thing.  If we could have kept them to a field goal on two of those three, that's our goal, and obviously we weren't able to do that.

Q.  How did you feel Eric Murray responded to that beginning the other day?
COACH CLAEYS:  Eric's played awfully well.  The fade thing, they caught two fades, and one he caught one‑handed and the other one was an awfully well thrown ball.  Anybody on the fade with an awfully well‑thrown ball will beat any coverage.  It doesn't matter if it's dropped in the right place and the receiver catches it.
So like I said, I thought our secondary was just as athletic as their receivers.  I feel like they're very athletic, and I thought our kids competed hard.  So we're just a few plays away.  But like I say, not that we have problems.  After the third game of the season, everybody has problems you've still got to correct.  But for that type of game and the way we played, I really didn't‑‑ it's not one to go and get after them and run them into the ground and do all that type of stuff.  Because I think we competed hard and just a couple plays away.

Q.  Do you feel like schematically they'll be much different than what you've seen so far?
COACH CLAEYS:  Schematically, San Jose State?  Everybody's one back, so they all have their little variations of it and what they do, but that's where football is going.  So, you know, they don't‑‑ they lost a lot from a year ago, and they've changed philosophy‑wise a little bit.  They emphasize running the ball a little bit more than they did a year ago.  Everything was all pass.  They still have the same passing game; they're just emphasizing their run game a little bit more.

Q.  Down in Texas they're running it a lot in high schools.  Is everybody running this?  What do you see as a trend?
COACH CLAEYS:  Right now that's the way it's going.  Everybody's running it.  They'll tell you it's probably easier to teach because they're not running near as many plays.  TCU is all zone scheme as far as blocking goes.  They're all zone scheme up front.  Their offensive line coach is a good friend of mine.  When he watched the tape, offensive line coach had their head sets on during the game, so obviously it's pretty simple what they're doing about the pace.
But if you just look each year there are more and more teams that are going that way right now, even though none of them have won a National Championship doing it.

Q.  You guys have five sacks through three games.  I know it's just a number.  How do you feel in general about the pass rush and how do you think it can improve?
COACH CLAEYS:  Not bad.  We got a few hits on him the other day, but 13 the ball came out on time.  He's always in the shotgun.  That is one thing about it.  The ball came out on time and got it out there.  They're a tough team to get sacks against with how fast they threw it.
But I was pleased we also got three or four other hits in the game there.  I still think in the passing game, no matter what, the faster the ball comes out, the easier it is to defend.  So far that last game at TCU, they got the ball out fast on time.  It was going to be hard to get any sacks off of that.

Q.  How about San Jose?  Is it going to be similar in that regard?
COACH CLAEYS:  No, they do a little more true five step.  They hold the ball a little bit longer, more five‑step passing game where TCU is a lot more three step and really get it out really fast.  So you've got to preach that to the D‑line men too so they don't get frustrated.  Like I say, I thought our kids kept coming hard the whole game.  But San Jose will do a little bit more.  They're more traditional.  They're one back is more traditional.  It's just not hurry the line, and pick it up and throw it.

Q.  You've been forced to make changes at D tackle.  You still have Cameron there before, but are you still able to do everything you want to do at tackle or are you still trying to progress to the point where you can have everything in that you want to do?
COACH CLAEYS:  We're doing it.  That's why I told Coach Phelps, that was probably one of the big positives.  Besides the way I thought all the kids at all the levels played hard.  We might have had two blown assignments that hurt us (Loss of Audio).
Because it gives them a year to learn and they get two years where they're comfortable.  So he's comfortable in what we're doing.  He's as good as there is out there.  I believe that.

Q.  What could you tell the coach at Auburn about the 13 points?
COACH CLAEYS:  Well, I mean, Auburn's big, fast.  They handled it at the line of scrimmage.  When you handle people at the line of scrimmage, you have a chance to be successful.  Their secondary did a good job covering them on lone yardage.  So there are a lot of teams that go play Southeast Conference, play Auburn, play a top five team you're going to struggle on offense.  So they'll be ready to go.  You know, I think if I had to make a comparison, they're probably very similar to overall to Middle Tennessee.

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