So Coach Clawson had his weekly presser yesterday. He was pretty blunt about the game at Kent, and as disappointed as we all were in the team's play, he did step up and take responsibility for the result. I wrote as much after the game--that a performance like that on the field is a reflection this late in the season is a reflection on the program as a whole, including the coaches. And Coach Clawson said this:
"I have to look in the mirror."
Now, saying you are looking in the mirror and actually looking at yourself in the mirror and really changing how you are doing things, those are are two different things.
Here are some other things he said:
- Sometimes when you lose it comes down to a handful of plays. Not this time.
- No part of the team played well enough to win.
- Defense could have "put their feet down" against a team that was struggle.
- Offense had 450 yards and 15 points.
- Special teams an "absolute disaster."
- "I failed to get them ready."
- "I'm disappointed in myself."
- I tried to grab their attention about Kent.
He talked about the future as well...
Says NIU starts 8 seniors on offense, including Chandler Harnisch who might be the best player in the MAC.
He was asked if he was going to make any changes on special teams. He said that he doesn't have any to make. They wanted Phillips to do kickoffs, but he is injured, as is Tyler Tate, the scholarship kicker they brought in. So, Burkhardt and Stein are it.
They talked about playing on Tuesday. He doesn't like it, but the exposure outweighs the inconvenience.
The turnovers bother him the most...."disappointing the message isn't getting through."
He said that we were among the worst offenses in the nation last year and know are 5th and among the worst in defense and now are 7th.
Why don't we have more wins? He pointed to our worst in the MAC turnover margin and poor red zone play.
On the bright side, we are in games now, as opposed to being blown out.
He was asked if the red zone issues were personnel or scheme. He said that it is partly execution--for example, the sack in Kent was just a simple blitz but we didn't pick up. He says that defenses change their personality in the red zone, and we aren't adjusting.
His philosophy is when things are not going right to do less and learn to do it better.
We can't run the ball when they know we are going to run it.
Samuel is expected to play against NIU. He is practicing.
Meanwhile, Jordan Hopgood is probably out for the year. He has a bad knee that hasn't gotten better and they are going to shut him down.
Coach finished talking about the much-hated Wildcat. He said that Hopgood really ran it well, he understood the fakes and the angles and had a decent amount of success. They tried Martin in it at Kent, and he didn't have the same comfort level yet.