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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


September 8, 2012


Kyle Flood


HOWARD ¬Ė 0
RUTGERS - 26


COACH FLOOD:  It's good to get a win.  As I said, I don't ever expect any of these to be easy.  And that was certainly not easy.
I think one of the really, really enjoyable things of the day for me was to see our student section.  They told me over 11,000 students in the student section today.  And they were there from the beginning, which was great.
And I know that has an effect on our team and our players.  And we're certainly going to do everything we can to make sure they come back.  Hopefully today's result will do that.
I think our defense did an excellent job.¬† It was great to get a shut‑out.¬† I think Jay told me we're the only team in the country that's had a shut‑out each of the last 11 seasons.¬† That's certainly a statistic that we're proud of.
We blocked two more kicks, which is something we'd like to do every week.  Our goal every week is to block at least one, whether it's on a field goal, PAT or punt.
Today we were fortunate to get two of them.  Nice to see Miles Shuler get involved.  He really did some nice things on that team during the week.  He came pretty clean on the ones because I was watching him.  He blocked it.  And Brandon Jones seems to have a knack for the end zone when he gets the ball in his hands.  It was good to score on special teams.
And I think Wayne got the second one.  I didn't see it clean.  That's what some people told me.  Jawan Jamison continues to make plays on offense.  Fourth game over 100 yards out of the last five games.  He's certainly one of our better playmakers on offense.  And with that I'll open it up for questions.

Q.  Did the offense seem a little sluggish at times to you?
COACH FLOOD:¬† I don't know if I would‑‑ I can't use the word "sluggish" until I look at the film.¬† I always judge that by feet.¬† I want to see how fast their feet are moving.¬† That tells me about the urgency of a football player.
I think what we did is we missed opportunities to make plays.  I think we gotta do a better job catching the football, whether it's the receivers, whether it's the tight ends, we have to do a better job catching the football.  We have opportunities in the passing game to make big plays and we're not making them right now.  And I think we have the talent to make them.
So why we're a little bit off, we'll examine that as we look at the tape.  But at the same time, the next one's coming fast.  So we don't have a lot of time to spend on it.  We gotta get moving on South Florida.  It will be a different team, with different matchups and different schemes that we have to start preparing for immediately.

Q.  Second straight game with a high penalty total.  Can you address that in a short week?
COACH FLOOD:  We're going to try to.  We're certainly going to address it.  No doubt.  Just like I said last week, it's the delay of game, which we shouldn't have.  We had a false start on the offensive line.
We had two offside penalties on the defensive line.  I want to say both of them negated interceptions.  Those can be tragic plays in a game that might have gone a little differently.  We're fortunate to win the game and be able to correct those but those after a win.  But those are the ones we'll really spend the most time on.
There were two personal fouls early in the game I have to see on film.  I have to see, is it a hand slipping up or a blatant face mask.  I don't think it was blatant because we don't like play football like that, but we have to look at it.

Q.  What were your general thoughts on Nova?
COACH FLOOD:  I think we gotta get him more help.  It takes all 11 guys on offense.  And I know when you don't complete the ball at a high rate, people always look at the passer first.  And that's part of the job.  That's part of your job description when you're the starting quarterback at a DivisionI school.
And Gary will certainly be as critical of himself as anybody will be of him.  But from watching the game on the field today, I know there's opportunities for people to make plays for him.  And that's not happening at a high enough rate.  With that being said, Brandon Coleman pulls in two more touchdown passes, which is encouraging.
It's never an all‑or‑nothing statement, but I do think in general we gotta get him some more help.

Q.  I know especially on the offensive line you have to see tape, but what were your initial impressions watching McBride and Alexander fill in?
COACH FLOOD:  The most important thing is the ball.  And we didn't have any operational issues with the ball.  So that was encouraging when you put a guy in there early in the game who wasn't your starting center, didn't take all the reps as the starting quarterback.  I thought they did a good job with that.
In terms of assignments, I have to watch the film to discern‑‑ there certainly was nothing overwhelmingly obvious, positive or negative.¬† We really have to examine it.

Q.  Betim looked like an ankle.  Civil, what happened to him?
COACH FLOOD:  Lower body.  I would say both guys, to me, are highly questionable for next week.  I don't know if we're going to have either guy.  We'll certainly get a report tomorrow and know a little more.

Q.  Marcus Thompson in that category as well?
COACH FLOOD:  Absolutely.  Marcus and then Savon as well.  I think all four guys, in a short week, if you can't finish a game, it's hard to foresee playing in a short week.  If you had a full week, maybe; but we'll see.

Q.  What was Savon's injury?
COACH FLOOD:  Lower body.  I don't have the report yet from the doctors.

Q.  Coach, Jamal had a career high 14 tackles, Jamil had a sack.  Could you talk about how they played today?
COACH FLOOD:  They're exciting players.  They're a great part of our family.  And they're people that we rely on defense to make plays.  They certainly have a great ability to do that.  It's good to see that come out.  This was a hard week for them on a personal level with their family.  I don't really want to talk about that.
But for them to overcome what they had to overcome personally this week and go out and play at that kind of level, I thought they really played inspired football today.

Q.¬† How are your thoughts on Jawan's 64‑yard run, especially the timing of it after three or four penalties, setbacks?
COACH FLOOD:¬† Explosive plays.¬† Critical on offense.¬† It's difficult to three‑, four‑, and five‑yard play your way down the field.¬† You need explosive plays.¬† And Jawan has been able to give us those on a regular basis, whether it's a run in two games in a row, or the screen he caught in the first game.¬† Brandon Coleman gave us those as well.¬† You need those on offense.¬† Those chunk players are critical.

Q.  With Jamil, was that part of the game plan, kind of put him in position to make plays, because seems like Green and those guys are going to kind of rack up those tackle numbers?
COACH FLOOD:  We don't change the scheme of our defense to free a particular guy up.  I think, depending on the offenses we're seeing, there are different guys are going to have opportunities to make plays.  Khaseem is a high profile position in our defense.
It would be a very rare week where he wouldn't have those opportunities.  I think for the position Jamal plays it's a little bit different and the position Jamil plays up front, you'll have to defeat blocks to make plays.
Without looking at the film, I can tell you when a defensive tackle, defensive end has sacks, it's generally not because someone forgot to block them, they're usually defeating blocks to make those plays.

Q.  Do you have a first impression of what went wrong on the two PATs?
COACH FLOOD:  I know the one was a snap that was wide.  And Tartacoff couldn't quite catch it clean.  The other one I'd have to see.

Q.  What happened when you had to call a timeout on that kickoff?
COACH FLOOD:  I didn't want to take the penalty.  I don't know why the operation was so slow.  It shouldn't be.  But it was, for whatever reason.  But we'll look back at it.  Maybe it was a TV timeout, I don't remember per se.  I certainly wasn't going to take a penalty on a kickoff and we had timeouts.

Q.  I know you haven't had a chance to look at film, but what were your impressions of Max?
COACH FLOOD:  I don't think Max is in shape to play football yet.  I think he got an opportunity today to get some game experience, which I think is going to be critical for him.  I think he's somebody that's going to help us as the season goes on.
But it was evident to me right away that he got winded pretty quick.  And if you can't run to the ball, you can't play defense.  Not Rutgers.  So we're going to have to continue to bring him back.  It's not his fault.  He had a situation that he had to handle in his family.  But now as we get opportunities to work him back in, we're going to have to press him during the week to get him back in shape.

Q.  If Betim and Civil can't go, how confident are you in the offensive line against a Big East opponent?
COACH FLOOD:  I think that's a big challenge.  We will never stand up and make excuses for injuries.  Injuries are a part of everybody's team.  The next guy in line, when he steps up, he's now the starter.  So if Betim can't play, Matt McBride is our starting center, he's responsible to uphold the standards and expectations of our program as is Taj Alexander.

Q.  How about Ben Martin, he was able to get some workload today, but doesn't have tremendous amount of experience.  Do you have confidence in him if he has to assume that role behind Jawan?
COACH FLOOD:  I do.  That's why we ran the ball a little bit more at the end when maybe we could have taken a knee.  I thought it was important to get him some carries in some live fire action, even though it was the end of the game.  I think it was important because if Savon is not able to go, he's our No. 2.

Q.  Guys like Darren, do you just hold him out for a quick week?
COACH FLOOD:¬† No, he would not have been able to play today.¬† So it wasn't‑‑ it had nothing to do with the next opponent or short week coming up, he was just not able to play today so we held him out.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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