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Lamar Jackson

His biggest takeaway from the Oregon game:

“We have a lot of fight and we kind of have to build from the second half. We struggled in the first half. Of course, letting them put up 42 points in the half is disappointing. We are better than what we showed. But in the second half, we showed a lot of fight, so that is one thing that we can take away that is positive, and get going to this weekend.”

What led to the poor first half:

“We just weren’t trusting our preparation. A lot of things they were doing we already knew. We felt like we had a great week of preparation. We felt like we were in good shape going into the game. We kind of just went out there and took us by surprise. You can blame it on all types of things like the tempo and things like that, but there was a lot of stuff that we’d seen, we prepared for. We just weren’t doing our job, including myself.”

How he thinks the team found a rhythm in the second half:

“The first half was disappointing so at halftime a lot of guys were down, but there’s not too many guys that were just giving up. A lot of guys still wanted to fight and a lot of guys were pretty much embarrassed about the first half, so our captains and leaders stepped up, they built up the morale, including Coach Diaco. They said, ‘subtract the scoreboard. Let’s just go out there and finish this game with pride,’ and for the most part that is what we did. A lot of guys stepped up and we were able to finish the game strong, so that’s one positive we can take from the game.”

If he felt the defense as a whole gained momentum in the second half:

“Yeah. Just like I said, a lot of guys stepped up. So at this point, we kind of took it like the first half, taking the scoreboard out of it completely. That was a big thing for everybody’s confidence because then we went out there playing for each other rather than playing to catch up or anything like that. We were out there just for the pride. Everybody on the defense has got pride and nobody wanted to go out without a fight, so we were able to make it close and that’s a positive.”

What he would say the identity of the team is through two games:

“A lot of new faces, a lot of young guys including myself. Our identity is really just to fight and (have) resilience. We are going to play four quarters, that’s what we work for all day, every week so we are going to give it our all. At the end of the day, the game looked like a blowout but we made it a fight in the second half. So the sky is really the limit, we just got to keep getting better each week and we are going to be a good defense.”

How the team will respond to an early game on Saturday after a disappointing loss:

“It’s a new week. Of course we lost, but like I said that second half was a strong half for us, so we are going into it like we did not just leave humiliated. We mourned on the loss that night and probably (Sunday). But it’s Monday now, and we have got to prepare for Northern Illinois and we are fixing to start preparation and watching film. We do not have time to be looking back and a lot of negative things we are going to learn from and move forward. And like I said, that second half was great for us so we are going to build from it going into this week so we should be okay.”

Mick Stoltenberg

Oregon's offense:

“They just spread the ball out a lot in the first half. They got after us early. It was tough to respond, the way they got after us in the beginning. It’s difficult when things happen that fast. Second half was obviously a lot better, but that doesn’t excuse what happened in the first half. We really do need to prepare harder. We need to be ready to play at the beginning of games. It’s very vital to set the tone, especially as a defense – getting out there and making sure you get some stops early and help out the offense a little bit. [In the second half] They weren’t doing a lot of things they were in the first half. They weren’t spreading out as much. They didn’t really run the ball much to the inside in the first half as they did in the second half, so that is something I saw at least from the nose guard. I don’t get a feel from all the other stuff going on, but I definetly know how they’re playing on the inside.”

What it was like to make changes at halftime and see those changes work:

“It was really cool to see how some of the guys were at halftime. You expect to see guys down and stuff like that and maybe ready to give up, but I think guys were really resilient. Guys were really excited to get out there in the second half and make a statement – something that I think is pretty cool and pretty special – that I saw in the defense at least.”

What Coach Riley meant about ‘being sick’ after watching the film from the Oregon game:

“Just seeing all the opportunities missed. I’m sure there’s tons of them. When we go over the film today as a team, I’m sure we’re going to see them. I totally understand what he (Mike Riley) says about being sick. We had some games, kind of similar to last year, where we got beat pretty bad and I think when you watch the film you realize you can definitely improve so much more and prepare so much harder that week. I think it’s definitely going to be motivation for us going forward. Maybe not thinking about all the specifics, but just technique things like that that you can definitely improve on during the week.”

Coach Diaco at halftime:

“He wasn’t pointing any fingers, blaming anyone, things like that. He was sitting us down and kind of giving us our adjustments on making sure we were ready to go out there in the second half. He wasn’t yelling or freaking out like I think a lot of coaches probably would at that point, with how the first half went. He was really calm and excited for us to go back out there and kind of challenge ourselves.”

What works best when trying to make in-game adjustments:

“It is nice when the coaches can draw things up and show you how things are going, but it is also nice when your teammates are getting up and getting excited at halftime after the chips were down like. It’s cool to see how guys respond, and see how cool it is to see how excited guys are to get back out there.”

Ttake aways from the second half:

“We were just a lot more resilient on defense. They didn’t score at all the second half which was really important. I talked to the defensive line and I figured they would run the ball, kind of slow the game down a bit, and go on some really long drives. It was a really important point of practice to stop the run, and making sure that we didn’t let them do that. There are definitely somethings that we can watch and say that we are good, obviously there are a lot of improvements as well, but we can definitely take some of those good things from the second half into next week.”

Importance of establishing an identity over the four out of five home games coming up:

“It is very important. I believe the most important thing is just making sure there is no hiccups, no buffer period, and making sure that when we go out for practice today we are ready for the work week. We get ready to grind, get ready to prepare hard, and not really dwell on the past as much. Obviously we correct the mistakes, but ultimately just move forward.”

Preferred kickoff time:

“It doesn’t really matter to me. It is nice though when we have the early games because you aren’t just sitting around the hotel. You get to go out and get after it pretty early. Once I get out there on the field it all feels the same to me.”

Team’s pass rush:

“The defensive line, we definitely talked and we want to be more dynamic in the pass rushing game. We want to get after the quarterback more. It is something we want to work at more in the upcoming weeks.”

How to keep the defensive front solid against good running teams:

“Just being really physical during practices. I’m always on the scout team guys telling them to give us really good look, and I think they did a really nice job giving us some good realistic looking double teams. As long as we stay sound in our gaps and our technique, in the front three at least, I think we can eliminate creases in the run game.”

What coaches can do to help players perform more consistent:

“Continue to do what they have been doing. As far as live experience, the coach that coaches me the most, Coach (John) Parrella, he is very consistent every day. He’s never down, he’s always high energy, and he’s always expecting the best from us. I don’t expect anything different from him, if we can continue to get the coaching that we’ve been getting, I think as long as we take it upon ourselves to be more focused, and be more ready I think we’ll be all right.”

What Coach Riley meant on a tale of two halves:

“Myself, I take ownership for the how the first half went. Everyone that was out there on the field should definitely take ownership for that first half. We can’t point fingers up at the coaches. Coaches call the plays and we have to execute the plays. It’s definitely on the defense, and it’s something that we can really drill down this week.”

The Oregon game as a whole:

“It’s a lesson learned. Definitely some stuff that we missed capitalizing on. We we’re in it, we fell short and that is all that matters.”

Punt returning adjustments:

“Just more repetition. Just getting more used to everything as a unit and getting more comfortable with it.”

The difference between punt returning last year and this year:

“It is dramatically different, different coaches, different schemes. This one is just a little bit more aggressive, but we just got to rep some things out for the most part.”

Secrets to winning jump balls:

“It’s not a secret, Coach Dub (Keith Williams) goes through plays like that in my career, in camps and in practices. They always teach us with jump balls like that to maybe not go get it because you may not win all of them. So go back, get it. There are some things that people are better at and some things that people need to improve on. You work to improve on things like that, and just make the best out of your opportunities.”

Being able to dunk a basketball:

“Yes I can dunk. Been able to since the seventh grade.”

His vertical:

“I don’t really know. I haven’t done a vertical in a long time.”

The most frustrating aspect of game against Oregon:

“Just us as a whole, because we know we can play better than that. Knowing that we can play better and knowing that we have played better. It is just one of those things that you’ve got to work out, and we can’t be like that on third downs. We’ve got to be better than that. That’s on us. That is just the biggest thing, is coming back and working on it. Biggest thing we need to work out is converting on third downs.”

Balls bouncing off receivers hands:

“Tanner (Lee) put the ball where we can catch it. We have to come down with it period. If it is in our radius, we’ve got to catch the ball.”

Dan Katz (Barstool Sports) tweeting his catch was the equivalent of getting dunked on in basketball:

“I wasn’t looking at it like that. We needed a play, and I made the best of my opportunity.”

Feshman wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey:

“He’s coming along. He’s still trying to get comfortable and find what he kind of does best. I think that it’s kind of stuck that it is more plays together, it’s just more about getting out there and playing. He hasn’t played in a while, so he is still trying to get comfortable with getting tackled, making plays, catching balls.”

The difficulty of being a young receiver playing college football:

“The speed of the game. The playbook, the offense, really the little things that you have to look at in fine details to put yourself over the edge and give you the edge.”

The importance of establishing an identity during the four home games coming up in the next five games overall:

“It’s very important. It’s bouncing back from this past tough weekend and just putting our best foot forward to show who we really are and what we can really do.”

The identity of this team:

“The identity of this offense is to move the ball. We have threats all across the board and pick your poison where you want to go with the ball. We just have to be more consistent with reps and practice.”

The process of catching a punt and the process he takes to make a decision:

“Pretty much on who is close to me, I look down one last time before the ball gets to me and see if I want to run it or not. It just depends on who is there. There are many factors that go into it, but really who is just around you.”

If the halftime of Oregon game was a turning point for the team:

“Absolutely, we showed fight and perseverance. We came back out, we didn’t give up, we didn’t look at the scoreboard, we just came out and went to work. I think we are going to have that all year no matter the situation. You’re going to get our best shot, and that is just something were going to build on for the rest of the season.”


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