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September 24, 2014

Paul Chryst

PAUL CHRYST:  We're certainly looking forward to Saturday's game after what was a tough, hard‑fought game against Iowa last week, which we didn't find a way to make enough plays to win.  But I've liked the way the kids have responded so far this week, and looking forward to finishing out a good week of preparation and getting back at it Saturday.

Q.  I wanted to ask you, playing Terry Bowden this week, both guys with the coaching bug, just curious the impact your family had on you growing up, how early you knew you wanted to be a coach and some of the things you learned at a young age that still stick with you today.
PAUL CHRYST:  Well, I feel real fortunate to have grown up the way I did.  You don't know as a kid, you only know what your life is, and when you look back and reflect on it, I think it was‑‑ one, it's a great way to grow up, and so I was kind of attracted to the profession that way, a ton of respect, look up to your dad, so you kind of‑‑ there's a lot of kids that want to be like their dad.
I think what it was is you're just around the game probably more so than Xs and Os.  By the time I was really serious into coaching, my dad had passed away.  I was just getting into it.  But I think it was just being around it, being around the game, and kind of the people, felt really fortunate to grow up the way I did.

Q.  Just curious, do you have any relationship with any of the Bowdens and have you guys talked about all this if so?
PAUL CHRYST:  You know, I don't.  I've obviously got a ton of respect for the whole family and what they've done and what they're doing, but I don't have any real personal connection.

Q.  This is a two‑part question about scheduling.  Could you talk about the input and feedback your staff has with the University in regards to non‑conference scheduling?  And do you have a preference between an eight‑game and a nine‑game conference schedule?
PAUL CHRYST:  You know, answering the second one, I think it's great when‑‑ we're in a great conference, and you appreciate that, love for our players to be able to play road games at some great venues.  But there's so many things that go into it, I don't spend a lot of time thinking, worrying about it.  As far as our scheduling nowadays, a lot of these schedules are so far out, they were done before I got here.  I'm aware of what's going on, but I don't have a ton of input on it, and there's so many different factors.  It's getting harder, but I kind of just have a tendency to worry about what's right in front of me.

Q.  After that last game, I know you said you left some things out there in the loss against Iowa, and looking back on the film, what are some of those key areas that you really put into practice and want to fix going into your next game?
PAUL CHRYST:  You know, any time I think you're in a good football game, close game, it comes down to three or four different plays.  When you go back, I think defensively there's some technique things that each guy can do, that we can do, to try to make it a little bit cleaner.
And the same thing offensively.  You know, it's basically getting back to the fundamentals, and also you've got opportunities to make plays, you've got to find a way to make them.
I love the way the kids competed, put themselves out there, and I think it's one of those that like every game, you can learn from.  We've got to do that, coaches, players, and get better.

Q.  And then as far as your receiving corps, obviously the guy that was expected to lead is doing so in Boyd.  What can you say about what he's brought to this team and what he brings to that wide receiving corps that keeps you effective offensively?
PAUL CHRYST:  Obviously Tyler is a talented football player, and I love the way that he works, will do anything for the team.  You expect a lot out of Tyler, and he wants and demands the bar be set high, and I think we do accordingly.  We've got other guys that we feel really confident with, and yet as a group I think there's still a ton of room for us to keep growing.  So it's fun that way, but I think Tyler obviously is important and is a special player.

Q.  I wanted to ask you about Chad's development at quarterback.  I know he's only started four games, but statistically he had his best game last Saturday.  He did throw the interception late.  I'm just wondering your evaluation of how he's developing and coming along as a quarterback.
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, I think, funny, he did take some significant strides Saturday.  The one thing that I think he's done well is given himself a chance.  He's a guy that wants to learn, spends the time obviously on the field, but as importantly in the film room.  I think he still‑‑ each game there's situations that come up that he can learn from.  You try to expose him to all that in practice, but I think that there's something about the real game, and that's the real test, right, when it becomes habit.
He competed extremely hard, and I thought he stood in there and made some throws.  There's a lot that he's doing that we can build on, and there's still areas that we'll keep kind of trying to address and improve.
I've appreciated the way that he's gone about it.  He's put himself‑‑ he's all in, and you need that out of every game and certainly your quarterback.  But just because that's what they should do, it's not that you don't appreciate it.  Chad is like our team; it's young.  We can't let that be an excuse, but I think there's room for us to make and take significant strides going forward, and hopefully we continue to do that.

Q.  I didn't get to see the game, so I'm curious about what you're talking about with the rushing in the second half.  James Conner still ended up with big numbers, but apparently a lot of that was in the first half, and what did Iowa do to stop him?
PAUL CHRYST:  Yeah, it was a limited possession game.  We had nine possessions.  Our last possession we got the ball back with I think it was 20‑some seconds left.  The one before that we mixed in‑‑ it was kind of run‑pass.  We were down, though.  And then we had a couple situations, we had some‑‑ had a couple penalties on 1st down, so now we're behind the sticks, and so opportunity led to it a little bit.  Iowa had a real long drive that they ended up scoring on that took significant chunks of time off the clock, and the runs we did have, we had some good runs.  In the second half, that second to the last drive, we had some good runs.  But we had a couple that they made plays and we didn't, some things that we think we can correct that may have led to it.  But I thought it was a good rush defense, and they made some plays.
You can't just look at‑‑ at least I have a hard time just looking at the numbers saying, boy, we did it here, we didn't do it there.  We had some lovely runs in the first half, too, but the way the game played out, the situations, whatnot, we were able to get more kicks at the can in the first half.

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