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Transcript: Scott Satterfield weekly press conference

Satterfield talks injuries, the loss to FSU and this weekend’s game against USF.

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl- Air Force v Louisville Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

You can find the video of the Satterfield, Bryan Brown, Lance Taylor and Braden Smith press conferences here

(Opening Statement)

“Good afternoon. I’ll just start out talking a little bit about the game the other night (vs. Florida State). Obviously a tough, tough loss for us. Very disappointed in that. I felt we had control of that game, and you go back and watch the film and we had very good control of the game. Obviously, I talked about at the end of the game, it was a big play on that second and 14 when they hit the post. It felt like at that point, I think they had an offensive lineman get hurt on that play. Second and 14, we got a lot of momentum, let’s stop them right here and take control of this game for good, and they hit the big play and got right back in it. I think our kids played hard the whole game. They didn’t lay down, just continued to play, just too many mistakes. Offensively, turnovers were the big thing for us. In the red zone there, at least come away with three points. Then we fumbled there around midfield trying to drive and then defensively, it’s just the big plays. The big plays is really what killed us. Coming into the game, Florida State only had three negative plays, and then I think we sacked them four times and had ten tackles for loss, so we really got after it in that regard. It’s just the big plays that really hurt us in that game. Obviously got to come back strong this week. It’s still early in the season. Got a South Florida team coming in here that is a really good football team who had Florida on the ropes. If anybody watched that game, they really had an opportunity to win that game against Florida. Threw an interception late in the game and then Florida goes and scores and takes the lead and then South Florida was driving all the way down, has a bad snap that knocked them a little bit back in field goal range, then they muff the field goal and still almost made it, but then go into overtime. Coach (Jeff) Scott, I’ve known him for a while down at USF and he was at Clemson for many years, and he does a great job. They’ve got a bunch of transfers in there, their kids are playing hard. I think they’ve got 19 starters back from last year. They’re a much better football team than what it was the last two years. Again, it’s a big game for us this week. Playing on Saturday, so we have a normal schedule and a normal routine this week. Saturday at noon, we need everybody to come out, need a great crowd to get a good homefield advantage for us again.”

(Their running back has a couple of 100-yard games, do you see with him (#21) that and the o-line is a lot better than last year?)

“Their o-line is really good. I think probably this is the best line we’ve played this year. Out of the first four opponents. They’re athletic, they can move they get after they’re aggressive. You mentioned #21. Not a huge back but very, very fast and quick. He was an all-American kick returner last year and had three kickoff returns for touchdowns. They’re dangerous in the return game. In between #21 and #5, five is another returner they have I think maybe he returned one against BYU but he’s fast. He did a great job the other night, the running back did, in that game. I think they rushed for over 250 yards against Florida and the quarterback can run as well. I think he had over 100 yards rushing. What they did against Florida, I mean, I watched that game and I believe in the first half Florida only ran 20 snaps in the first half. USF kept the ball away from them, controlled the game, shorten the game for them and I think at the end Florida, was in the low 50s in snaps so not many snaps at all. When you play a team like that and its limited possessions, you have to do something when you get the ball offensively, and that therefore, again, you can’t turn it over. You can’t shoot yourself in the foot with a penalty. So have to make those counts because what they do offensively is a game controlling type offense where they can run it.”

(Scott, you had some guys banged up and in that game you had several guys go down with injuries what’s the health of the team now?)

“We did, Tiyon was a question mark he ended up not playing a couple of linemen were dinged up. Tiyon is back this week. He was a game-time decision and decided not to play him but he’s back this week so it should be a full go. Trevor Reid went down on the second drive, hopefully, he’s back today. I think he’ll be able to go to practice today. Caleb Chandler didn’t play in the second half of the game. Hopefully, he’s back today as well just met with a trainer. So I think both of those guys are back. Unfortunately, Wiggins is going to have to have surgery this week on his toe and so he’ll probably miss the rest of the season. That’s probably going to be a four to five-month recovery on his injury, which is a shame. I feel like he was really getting ready to hit his stride. He’s a fast receiver for us, a big receiver. So now, other guys are going to have to step up in that role, we’re losing him, we’re already a little bit down there anyway. But I hate that for Wiggins, great kid, great attitude, and plays hard. I think everybody else is good to go. We had a couple of guys get dinged and miss a few plays. But they should be good to go as well.”

(Scott, just a few moments ago you mentioned as coaches you did some evaluations, are there some things and takeaways that I guess you can share that you took away from those?)

“Well, we’ve got to be a more disciplined team. We talked about penalties: penalties have really hurt us in the first three games. And turnovers, our turnovers are awful. The one win we had we had one turnover, and in the two losses, we’ve had three in each game. You can’t do that. You can’t do that and then win. Teams are too good, you have to take care of the football, end every drive in a kick whether it be a punt or a field goal or an extra point, and that gives you a much better chance to win. As I look back on the Florida State game, they didn’t turn any of those turnovers into points, but it took points away from us, and obviously that was huge. I think more than anything, it’s that. It’s just being more disciplined with the penalties and the turnovers. Defensively, giving up some big plays. Part of that is some missed tackling, we’ve seen that in the first three games, but we did a lot better against Central Florida. We were not terrible in this past game with tackles, but a lot of the big plays in the run game were missed tackles, and it broke out. If you tackle them right there, it’s a two-to-three-yard gain, instead, it’s going for 20 or 15. It’s just knocking them down right there at the line of scrimmage, we just have to be better than that.”

(Three games in, I think you guys only have one touchdown pass. Is that a concern of yours and what kind of things can you do to sort of improve the passing game?)

“I thought we threw the ball pretty good the other night. I thought completion percentage was nice. We threw for, I don’t know how many yards, 250, but we’d like to get in the end zone throwing the ball. We just need to score, I don’t really care how we score, if it’s running or throwing, it doesn’t really matter to me. You would like to see some more touchdown passes, and the one thing that we haven’t gotten is a longer touchdown pass, the big play. That’s what I’d like to see more of. I think when you get to the red zone, I don’t really care how we score, we just have to score. But some of the longer touchdown passes that we’ve had, it would be nice to be able to get some of those dialed back up.”

(You kind of mentioned those self-inflicted wounds: the penalties and the turnovers. Looking at the film, what do you think is going into those? Is it preparation, or just a mental error?)

“It just depends on which side of the ball. In the game Friday night, we had two special teams penalties, holding. Both of them were falling down and just held on and grabbed, and they get called for holding. Offensively, false starts, we had four of them the other night. For two of them, the defense is shifting and moving and as we are getting ready to snap the ball our guys flinch. One of them was a freeze cadence where we don’t have a play call and we are flinching, so that is just concentration. Defensively we had four (penalties), we had an offsides on a big drive, we had two PIs (pass interference) where we were battling the guys. You don’t like those, sometimes you are going to get that with tight coverage. We just have to be better at all of those. To me, the false starts – we can’t have that. We are controlling when we snap the ball so we should know when to jump off or not jump off. It is the pre-snap penalties that really bother me more than anything. The post-snap penalties, when you are playing hard you are going to have some penalties. There is not any team that goes through that doesn’t get any penalties. It’s the pre-snap penalties that really effect you. Being offsides, false starts, those types of things. We have to get better at that.”

(You mentioned discipline being a big part of that, how do you correct that in practice and get guys to be a little more disciplined, a little more poised?)

“We’ve tried. We’re going to continue to do things. We’ve run after practice for anything that we do in practice, penalty wise. We ran Sunday for the penalties we had in the game. We talk about it, being disciplined, and being focused, exactly what’s going on. All you can do is continue to harp on it, and hope we get better at it. It’s certainly something that we’ve talked about all summer. We talked about the turnovers. We talked about that all summer; we’ve got to take care of the football. And fumbles, just sloppy fumbles and holding on to the ball, ball exchange, those type things. We’ll continue to harp on it and there will continue to be penalties for our guys. There will be running and some extra activities they’re going to have to do whenever that happens. And that’s all you can, is try to deter those actions.”

(The close losses are well documented. And of course, two weeks ago, you won a close game. What do you think as far as the team’s mental approach in these games? Do you sense anything that you’d like to see better from that standpoint and approaching winning time which is happening every game? There’s that moment, or is it is it there? Is it just not happening?)

“We had great opportunities Friday night, really on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively. We lose contained two times in the game. And they end up scoring two touchdowns on the very next play. Offensively, even after everything happened in the game, we were driving the last drive there. We drop a pass on the sideline that could potentially could have went and scored. You go get that, everybody’s happy and all this stuff doesn’t even matter. You have to make a play somewhere along the way. And there’s so many of them that that could have happened. I think about before we fumbled in the red zone, they play right before that we had an opportunity to throw a touchdown pass and we didn’t throw it. There are certain plays we got to be able to make those plays. And you got to make one more than the other team. Florida State made one more than we did. It was a very even game and you come down to fourth quarter, they held us to a field goal, and they got a touchdown. There’s the four points. It’s coming down and finding those plays and making them. You just never know when they’re going to happen. I tell our players: every play matters, every single play. You can’t take a play off. You have to focus; you have to execute every single play. You slip up on one play, that can be the difference in the game.”