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September 12, 2015

David Beaty

Lawrence, Kansas

Memphis -55
Kansas -23

Q. Well, Coach, you wanted to start faster. You got a turnover early and a much faster start out of the gates in this one.
COACH BEATY: Yeah, you know, that was something we needed to get corrected from the last week and it was good to see, it was good to see. We started quick there. We had a couple of scores early and a turnover really quick by our defense, which was something that we wanted to stress for this week. Unfortunately, after that first drive and being able to get a sack on him, we didn't get much pressure on him from that point forward and they got going pretty good.

Q. Yeah, in the third quarter, certainly difficult. Looked like got your defense on the heels awfully quick. What were they doing? Was it the pace, was it the guys moving around? Obviously the quarterback keys that whole thing for them.
COACH BEATY: Well, I think the first thing is they're a good football team, there's no doubt about that. They have that potential. I think probably the biggest thing for us is in that second quarter, we gave up a big play there at the end when there was not much time left on the clock and got them in position to score. We gave up a touchdown and we really needed to come out in that first drive of the second half and get a stop, and we weren't able to do that and they were able to extend the lead there. And then from there I never felt like we really got it back going again, either side of the ball.

Q. You answered the first score, though. At least that had to be a positive end of the second half answering their early touchdown.
COACH BEATY: Yeah, you know, there was some things in here that were some bright spots. We were three-for-three in the kicking game on field goals, which was good. A 51-yarder by Wyman, which was good for us. We forced three turnovers today, which was a good deal for us, but we only got three points off those turnovers. Lynch was 22 I think of 25, and after that first drive I don't think we got his jersey dirty. We've got to be able to get pressure on guys like that. He can't sit back there and have all day like that because he's a talented guy and we've just got to do better. If you look at the stat line, it tells a story. 7-and-7 in the red zone, we've got to stop them down there. We punted eight times and we averaged 36 yards a punt. We've got to change the field better. Just a lot of things here that added up to that being the result.

Q. You've got a bye week coming up and a tough road trip ahead. What do you look to focus on here to get better before that road trip?
COACH BEATY: Well, we've obviously got plenty that we can work on to get better with. The thing is we talked about starting fast and we corrected a lot of things but there's some other things that popped up in this game.

Most teams go through that, they go through that. Unfortunately, we went through it tonight. There's a lot of things that I'm disappointed in, but I'm not discouraged at all. I've got a good bunch of guys in that room that care and they want to get better. If we've got that, we've got a chance.

Q. Are they discouraged? Did you have to pump anybody up already early?
COACH BEATY: Not at all. That's the reason I feel so good about this group. Every one of them are hurting, every one of them are dissatisfied, they're disappointed. But from a discouraged standpoint, they know we've got their back, they know we love them, and they know this is a process, not an event, and we're in it together.

Q. Thanks, Coach.
COACH BEATY: You know, just a couple things before we get started. Justin Fuente, I've got to take my hat off to him. He has done a tremendous job with that program. Those guys did a really nice job. Knew that they were a good football team coming in and they are, they're a good football team. They played really well. After that opening drive, they kind of stuck their foot in the ground and kind of stabilized there and did some good things and they earned the victory that they got tonight. My hat's off to them, and hopefully those guys can keep moving forward and keep everybody healthy. So let's take some questions.

Q. Did you guys have an opportunity to (inaudible)?
COACH BEATY: Absolutely. I think right there you've got a chance to go up 14-nothing and you go up 10-nothing. We had three turnovers in the game and we got three points off those turnovers. That'll kill you. You've got to be able to convert. Defensively, that was a positive. We got three turnovers this week, we didn't get any last week, so we fixed something that we were working on.

We also talked about starting fast, and we were able to do that but not as fast as we wanted to. Like you said, we needed to be able to convert and put 14 points on the board there and really take some momentum away from those guys.

There was no turnovers offensively. That's another positive, but we've got to be able to concert those turnovers that the defense gives us into points. When you don't do that, you leave yourself in a position where they can stick their foot in the ground and they can recover.

Q. What made the big plays so hard to defend?
COACH BEATY: I think, number one, after that first drive, I don't know that he got his jersey dirty. We didn't get enough pressure on him, and we've got to be able to get pressure on a quarterback whether we're rushing four or we're creating it with some kind of blitz or pressure. We've got to be able to get to the quarterback and create some pressure. He's too good of a player to sit back there and just let him throw it around all over the place. We knew that going in. It's not something new. We knew we had to create pressure, but once again, their offensive line did a nice job of protecting him and I thought their receivers did a good job of getting open, and we weren't making plays when we were close enough to make plays and we've got to be able to do that. We're a young team. When we get an opportunity to knock a ball away, we've got to be able to knock it away. We've got to be able to create some pressure to help those young DBs back there, too. We haven't got that solved, but we'll get it solved moving forward. We have to find a way to get that done.

Q. You obviously didn't have to, you were so effective throwing the ball, but did you expect more from Lynch as a runner tonight?
COACH BEATY: I think he can do whatever he's called to do, to be honest with you. He's a talented guy, he really is. There's a reason why he's one of the highest rated guys in the NFL draft boards coming forward. He can throw it, he can run it, he can do it all. He's a really good player. Plus, he's a giant.

Q. Were you disappointed in the protection for Montell?
COACH BEATY: At times, but not -- you know, I thought he had enough time to make the reads that we needed him to make. I mean, I really, as I walk away from this game, I look at a lot of missed opportunities really on Montell's part. He's a little bit more of an accurate quarterback than I think what he showed tonight. I think he'll come back and rebound from that. There was a few nice reads he made, he just missed them a little bit; a couple down the corner routes, a couple right down the middle early in the game to our tight ends that we had guys fairly open and we just kind of overthrew them. He wasn't completely on tonight and I know if he could get those throws back, he would take them back. But we weren't able to convert there and that makes a big difference in the game. We were, I think we were 8 of 20 on third down, something like that. I mean, we were not very good on third down. We were in 20 third-down situations. We had a bunch of first downs, 23 first downs, but they had 34 first downs. We've got to be able to extend drives and get the ball in the end zone and we weren't able to do that.

Q. Throughout his career it seems like his miss is an overthrow. Is part of that fear of interception, do you think, or is it just a mechanical thing?
COACH BEATY: As you look at it, I think a lot of it comes back to mechanics. I mean, there's a lot of times where when you see guys that overthrow people, they're throwing off of their back leg a little bit and they're not transferring weight from back to front. As we look at it and we see if they're throwing from bent knee to bent knee, if they're transferring their weight, usually you can track it back to that.

I think the big thing for him tonight was just trusting that his protection was going to be there and being able to sit in there and let that ball go. That's something he's got to continue to keep growing on, him and all of them, but he was just a little bit off tonight.

Q. Did Ford have a better week than Willis in practice? Is that why he went in first?
COACH BEATY: He did. He played pretty good this week. You know, when he went in there, he moved us, he moved us down the field, which was good. That's something that we had asked him to do and to be able to recognize what's happening coverage-wise and take advantage of open grass, and for the most part he did that. Down there towards the end of the drive, though, I thought he got tired. He started making crazy decisions. He threw the ball up one time and he got picked off, but that was the freeze play and we were trying to draw them offsides. He just threw the ball to the wrong guy in that particular situation. But you know what, I was happy to see him go in there and be excited about it and move us down the field throwing that last drive; as happy as you can be with a game turning out the way it was.

Q. Have you thought about both of them going in perhaps?
COACH BEATY: Well, if we would have had a little bit more time at the point that we make a decision, we might have, but at that point it was all Rob Likens' decision at that point for me and he wanted to stay with him and put him in there, so that's where that came from.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH BEATY: You know what, we are -- we're at a point in our program right now where we have to continue to do a great job of developing these young guys. We have to continue to do that, and then we also have to continue to prove our talent overall to create a competitive environment in there that makes us better. We've done that to a degree, but we haven't been able to do it like we completely want to yet. That's going to take some time to take some to get that done. That's going to take a couple recruiting classes to get those things done.

With that being said, we can't use any of that stuff as an excuse. We've got to get the job done. We do have some young guys out there playing, there's no doubt about that, but there's a lot of young guys playing in college football nowadays. It's hard to redshirt anybody anymore. I don't know that we can use that as an excuse. We just have to continue to improve and get better.

There was some things that I saw those young DBs improve on tonight, which was good. We tackled a little bit better at times. We actually caused a turnover back there with those guys, which was good, but we've got long way to go. Our guys, our coaches are doing a good job of trying to make sure we address each of those issues one by one.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH BEATY: Well, you know, we knew that Wyman had the leg, but we were trying to figure out whether we wanted to go for that or not. We felt like we were in a position where we wanted to see if Wyman could reach that and he did that, which was good. We also really were kind of edging down on the play clock there, so we took our timeout, allowed us to take a deep breath and be able to kick it.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH BEATY: Initially, we were going to do some different things there to give us a chance to take a look at what they were in, and then from that point forward we just -- we wanted to go ahead and take points there and get those points on the board. Our kid that does those, kicks those field goals, Bartolotta, is a pretty accurate guy so we felt good about getting points on the board, particularly where we were at that point in the game with the score.

Q. Can you assess where you are with the quarterback situation? Is Montell entrenched in there? Is there competition?
COACH BEATY: No one's entrenched at any position ever, so that's not going to happen, but he's still our starter. We'll go back and we'll look at this tape and we'll evaluate that, and then we'll also evaluate this week's work and next week's body of work. If a guy continues to improve and he does better and plays better just like Larry Hughes played better this week in practice. He started, I don't know if you realized that. He played right tackle the entire game. Those guys earn it and they beat a guy out and they're going to take that job until the other guy steps back up and takes it back. So the quarterback's not going to be any different for us. We want those guys to have confidence, but they still are going to have to compete. I love Montell, I trust him, I know that he wants to do well. I just think he didn't have his best game tonight, but I know he'll come back and work on trying to get better.

Q. Your offense (inaudible.) How do you handle that in terms of -- just hang in there, do you have to have those confidence issues?
COACH BEATY: You do. I mean, there was a time where I went down and addressed the defense a couple times tonight. Then there was also some times where we were climbing back into the game. We were down by 21 at one point early in the third and we were moving fairly fast, and that was kind of one of those decisions, do we slow it down a little bit, give our defense a little bit of a break. But we went down there and scored and kind of gave ourselves some hope there in the third to go ahead and close the gap. However, then they started tooling away and we had to do a good job of trying to manage that time and it was the reality of the situation. We had to manage the time and keep our defense a little bit fresher to help. They had been on the field a long time.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH BEATY: Well, I'm not sure that that's unique to this offense. I think that's pretty much offensive football, period. It has a lot to do with your opponent and what they're doing as well. Every one of those plays that people draw up on Saturdays are designed to work. Unfortunately, you have to go out there and execute them for them to actually work. But we've got to start executing at a higher level, that's the bottom line.

Q. (Inaudible) evaluating the game so far and comparing for the rest of the season.
COACH BEATY: Honestly, I'm not sure that the bye can come at a better time for us. With us being in our first year of our program with a lot of our guys playing, really? We've got two games under our belt. Two of them gave us a lot of different situations that we can go to school on. So I think there's a lot that we can learn from, we can continue to build on, and then really fundamentally we've just got to just continue to add another week of being better fundamentally. I said it from the very beginning, we've got to just get a little bit better every week. The deal is, that means we've got to not make the same mistakes and then we've got to not let other things pop up. For us to do that, we've got to continue putting them in those situations and make sure that we're preventative in nature so they know how to handle it. So this bye week's going to be great for us. Just walking out of that locker room right there, I'm pleased -- if I can say pleased, I'm pleased with their demeanor because they're disappointed, they know they're better than that and they're ready to go to work right away, so that's good.

Q. Do you have a specific route how the (inaudible.)
COACH BEATY: He's good like he always is. He's a great kid. He just wants this team to win. He's going to compete, he's going to do everything you ask him to do, but his demeanor was good. Thanks a lot.

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