Coach Joe speaks on the loss to Illinois and this week’s match-up

FAMUAN: With Josh Driscoll’s stellar performance in the second half at Illinois, leading the team to two scoring drives, has a quarterback controversy been created?

BJ: No. There’s no quarterback controversy. However, Josh did elevate his stock and his worth within the confines of the program. We always knew he was an outstanding quarterback with a good, strong, accurate arm and he demonstrated a lot of poise in the third and fourth quarter against the University of Illinois. But, there is no quarterback controversy. Ben is our starting quarterback and Josh is the backup at this time. I think that Ben had an excellent game, but it was obvious late in the third quarter that we were going to lose, so it behooved me to get my starters out and play my reserves. My thought was if they put 200 points on you. How many losses is that?


Thank You.

Seeing as how you only had 98 yards on 32 carries, how do you plan to establish a running game if Tulane puts 9 players in the box like Illinois did?

The Gulf Coast Offense is designed and predicated on taking what you give us. If the opposition does not give us the run, we’re not going to try to force a square peg in a round hole. So, if we have to beat you throwing the ball, and that’s what you’ve given us, then we’ll do it. I think we have a real good running game and an outstanding passing game, so we have to take what the opposition gives us. And maybe Tulane will give us the run this week, maybe they’ll say “Well, hey, they had almost 300 yards in passing, and maybe we better shut the passing down.” Then the running kicks in.

Will the way you lost Saturday at Illinois and the limited practice schedule this week affect the team’s psyche going into New Orleans?

I don’t think so. We always accentuate the positive and in this case, we’ll just say we needed some rest. Occasionally, during the course of a season you will give a team a day or two off just to rest lick their wounds, heal up a little bit, get some treatment, rehab and we will present it that way. We needed some rest. Hopefully, that will allow us to go into New Orleans and bring a victory back to Tallahassee.

Did you really feel the loss of the four suspended seniors?

Most definitely yes. Unequivocally yes. That was a blow. That was a dagger to the heart and we’re still bleeding rather profusely. But, it was not fatal. We are still living. We’re still alive. We’re keeping hope alive.

Do you think it was the turnovers or the level of competition that made the score so lopsided at Illinois?It was a combination of both. We had some self-inflicted wounds as I mentioned before where we hurt ourselves. We fumbled. We had some infractions, jumping offside, we threw a couple of interceptions at the most inopportune time. So we hurt ourselves and we missed some assignments on defense not covering the tight end, and missed the fullback a couple of times going out for a pass. So we did ourselves quite a bit. But also, had we not hurt ourselves, we probably would have gone down in defeat anyway because they were just so much of a superior football team, more stronger, powerful and dominant. It would have had to take a perfect game by us and they would have had to play a lousy football game. And we did not play a perfect game and they did not play a lousy game.

Did the new players in the secondary and the absence of Edward Kwaku lead to Illinois’ starting quarterback going 16-18, and hurt the team in stopping the run?I don’t think they hurt the defense in particular. But when you have a lot of young, new and inexperienced people in your lineup of course that’s not something that you’d like to have. That’s not the most positive scenario that you would want. But it was a conglomeration of many things that lead to our defeat. So, we’ll just have to leave it at that. We did make some mistakes. But the reason why we lost was is that we got beat by a more superior football team. That’s the bottom line.

After playing your first game against division I-A competition this year, what changes if any do you think the team needs to make in order to be more competitive especially after seeing what Mississippi State did to Tulane?

Well, we’re going to prepare our game plan according to what we saw on tape and what we’ve learned from other people about Tulane University. Our game plan will be a little different than what it was for the University of Illinois. So, our approach will be of course different because we’re playing a team that’s almost totally different from the University of Illinois, a big, strong, physical team. Tulane is a team that has great athleticism and plays with a lot of finesse.

Do you think it’s necessary sometimes for your offense to dictate to the defense and make them react to what you are doing and just throw caution to the wind and just go for it?

No, not really, because then you’re forcing it.