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October 25, 2014

Larry Coker


COACH COKER:  Really not a lot to say.  It's really all on the scoreboard.
We probably played defensively in some really tough situations about as well as you can possibly play.  Offensively obviously we didn't do anything to give ourselves a chance to win the football game.  That kind of boils it down there.
Also field position in the third quarter was horrendous.  The rugby punter, hard to field.  Usually not very many rugby punters.  But this guy is really good.

Q.  We were sitting here a little over a month ago when you had Arizona on the ropes for a good part of the first half.  You won against Houston.  What has happened?
COACH COKER:  Well, that's a good question.  I think, one, we lost two quarterbacks.  That hasn't helped us.  Lost some other guys too injury‑wise that hurt us.
Again, we're not playing with the same emotion and intensity that we did earlier in the year.
As we talked about with our guys, we've been wounded.  We've got to somehow come out of the corners and fight.  But we're not getting that done right now.

Q.  Are the deficiencies on offense correctable at this point?
COACH COKER:  Well, I think some of them are, for sure.  Then again, we got to block people.  You got to understand protection.
Again, we try to simplify some things.  But you can't tell them what to do.  You've got to be able to handle what they give you.  We knew UTEP.  They bring you the house, give you problems protection‑wise.  Obviously, if you don't handle it, you're going to see a lot of it.  Certainly we did today.

Q.  Today we saw a real sparse offensive effort, probably the lowest we've seen so far.  Do you consider making any changes in play‑calling duties?
COACH COKER:  No, not really.  But we'll see the video.  Very sparse efforts, probably the worst I've had since I've been coaching.  No doubt about that.  Look at the scoreboard.

Q.  Obviously the last two weeks we've seen both defensive coordinators blitz the heck out of Austin.  Do you feel because of that or his inexperience, is the play‑calling limited for him as far as what he can do or is it a component of the offensive line?
COACH COKER:  I think a little bit of everything, guys.  Play‑calling is not a big issue, to be quite honest with you.  Again, you call plays and you execute the plays.  But, again, you've got to get the protections right.
Also some of the stuff is pretty difficult.  He's a young player.  Played, what, two games now.  I don't want to put all of the blame on Austin.  That's kind of the situation where we are now.
Again, you got to deal in reality.  That's where we are.  We got to adjust to it, handle it, move on.  In two weeks we got the open date.  Hopefully we can get some more players healthy.

Q.  How do you put a fire back under this team moving forward?
COACH COKER:  Well, again, I think we have some good seniors on this team.  They've been around here a long time.  That becomes kind of a tough call from the standpoint of the fire has to come from yourself.  You don't just light it from outside.  I think I just appeal to our leadership, appeal to our coaches.  Let's go coach hard and let's see what we can do.
Again, you got to make plays.  That's the bottom line for us.  The thing we've struggled with, we've struggled offensively making plays, making some mistakes offensively.  We've got to get that corrected.

Q.  Larry, there are different variables involved.  Austin is young, then your center in transition there.  The running game, what has happened with the offensive line?  It's not picked up where it was last year.
COACH COKER:  It is disappointing.  I think, too, if you don't have blitzes, they get more numbers up there than you can block.  You're talking about running down unblocked people.  That's kind of where we are right now.
I'll tell you, in my entire coaching career, when I have not been able to run the football, I haven't been a very good offensive coach.  We're not being able to do that now.  Got to get more people that can block up front.  That's a thing that's very discouraging for all of us.
We have good backs.  I'm not complaining about our offensive line.  I think we can be better in certain areas but, again, we've got to get it done and get it done in a hurry.
If you can't execute in the passing game, more numbers you can block, that's the thing we're not able to do right now.  Hopefully we'll be able to do that.
I think we've got some good receivers, some good runningbacks.  We had some plays today that were just frustrating because we have some people that really didn't get their hands on the ball.  As our passers, we've got to be able to do that.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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