Press conference recap: Franchione discusses Southern Miss, struggling defense, Houston

Assistant Sports Editor

After a 56-50 loss to Southern Mississippi last week, Coach Dennis Franchione addressed the media Tuesday afternoon recapping the game and looking ahead towards Houston.

Opening statement: "Reflecting back on Saturday night, it’s tough to lose at home. It’s a shootout. Not much defense played by either team. We missed a turn or two, and got behind in the cycle and never caught up. The kids battled hard. We played not very well on defense, and we played a pretty solid game most of the evening on offense. The kicking game was better than the week before."

On the defense: "We have to keep searching for some things that we can do better on defense and we have for the last 48. Start implementing a few things today in practice. We have to play better. We have to tackle better. We got to defend our gaps better. We have to get off of our blocks better. There’s not much on defense we don’t have to do better. This is a different era in college football where there is lots of scoring. There is going to be more of these kind of games than we would like to see. I know the fans like to see lots of points."

On Houston: "In regard to looking ahead, we go to Houston. You know on the surface after two games, they look like a really good football team. They took care of their FCS opponent pretty comfortably. Anytime you go to Louisville and get a win, I know Louisville’s 0-3, but they’ve played some pretty tough competition and we all know what Louisville’s been capable of doing. They might be a little more youthful this year than they have been, but that’s impressive to go on the road and get a win like that. They are pretty balanced, run and pass. Their quarterback is pretty dynamic. He’s a great playmaker for them, both running and passing. Containing him in the pocket and not letting him out is always going to be a concern, and he’s hard to trap even when you’ve done that sometimes. He throws the ball pretty well. Pretty good exciting guy, he’d be good in our offense I think too. Good running back. Demarcus Ayers is a young man that’s playing receiver and is really doing great things for them on that side. Defensively, they are pretty aggressive and are a multiple odd front team most of the time that is moving around and doing lots of different things with their schemes. I know our guys will be excited to go to Houston and play. We’ve played there pretty well a couple of years ago and we are going to have to play well again if we want to have an opportunity to win the football game."

Franchione on lack of defense around all of college football and if it concerns him: "You know if we would have won 57-56, I would. As I often say, 57-56 or 7-6, you take the W and you move from there, but you are right. I think the trend in college football with the spread offenses and the rules, if you’re not scoring points, you’re going to have a hard time winning games. The sad thing for us, we scored 50 points, we didn’t turn the ball over a single time, and came up on the short end. But the is the trend in college football. You have to think a little differently today than ever before. I think we find our self on offense playing for big plays more than ever before for explosives. We had over 20 explosives against prairie view, and explosives are a 12-yard run or a 16-yard pass. And I think we had 17 the other night. Those are great numbers from that standpoint. That is the trend in college football. Does it make me feel better? No."

Franchione on if his offense can sustain scoring 40+ points a game for the season: "I don’t really have an answer for that question, but its going to have to be if—we have to find a way. I’m sure we are going to face better defensive ball clubs than Southern Miss and Prairie View."