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October 18, 2014

Bill Blankenship

USF – 38
Tulsa - 30

Q. You said this week you felt like you guys were close to tipping it over.  How close was it?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Half a quarter.

Q.  What was it that they were doing that was different?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Well, they had a match‑up of a really, really good receiver that we couldn't cover when it came down to it at the end.

Q.  On the offensive side, what did you expect?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  A little bit of everything.  We had a little tougher time with the running game.  I thought they made some adjustments, brought their big guy in inside that we had trouble blocking a couple times.  I think he was just fresher.  I can't really put a B on it right now in terms of what exactly‑‑ I know we really hurt ourselves with penalties on those drives.  That really put us behind the chains a few times.

Q.  You talked about that receiver.  Just talk about the mismatch he presented because it seemed like he just got stronger as the game wore on and you had no answers.
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Well, when we got isolated one‑on‑one, he made I don't know how many of them at the end, but really great throws and catches on the fade balls.  The last one where he‑‑ I don't know if it was the last one, but one of them where he ran by A‑Mac on that one, that's a guy making a great play, and we couldn't match up very well.

Q.  Your team hasn't been in that situation before, having a big lead.  Do you think that was part of the issue, maybe a little bit of unfamiliar territory?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  It could be.  It could be.  Everything in the locker room, there was no joy, and we got this.  It was 100 percent keep your foot on the accelerator, and everything we talked about, not just me, I'm talking about the team, the coaches, the players to each other, was staying aggressive and staying after it.  I don't think we let up.  I think we let them make some plays, and we didn't match it.

Q.  With the second half, was there anything you would like to see maybe you would have done offensively a little differently in the second half?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Yes, but we got behind the chains a couple of times early with the running game where we missed some things and we got like into 2nd and 11s, 2nd and 12s.  That created some issues for us.  We dropped a few balls that could have been 1st downs.  We didn't do that in the first half.  We were very efficient in the first half.  I thought Dane did a really good job of seeing where he was going with the ball and getting it to him.

Q.  Have you already addressed the players in the locker room?

Q.  What did you say to them?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  I didn't have a whole lot I could say.  I just told them how much I loved them, how much I know it hurts, but they're never going to get less than my very best, and I'd just ask the same from them.

Q.  Where does it go from here starting next week?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  You have no choice.  The choice is the same choice we had week one.  It comes back week two.  It's a very boring answer, but you have to improve week to week and you have to come in and you have to strap them up and pull your big‑boy pants on and go to work.  We've got to fight out of this hole.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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