Coach Freeze was back in front of the media Monday afternoon as he spoke on a variety of topics including a recap of the Syracuse loss and previewing Saturday’s game against Louisiana.


“Obviously, I never like to lose, nobody does. It’s particularly disappointing offensively the way we performed and didn’t capitalize early on to get us some points. I can’t remember the last time we were that inept offensively. I assure you that will be a hot topic as we move forward.”


“Extremely proud of our defense. To go from what stats said they were last year to how they played a very good Syracuse team I thought was just remarkable. Ralf (Rusins) made 9 tackles and really dominated the line of scrimmage when he was in there. All four corners – Bejour, Emanuel, Jimmy, and Tre Clarke – just really locked down their outside deep game. Elijah Benton was all over the field, played a great game. Really pleased, hopefully we can build off of that and continue to be stingy giving up points. Outside of the couple of 3rd and 10 screens, the plan was solid. Scott (Symons) called a great game.”


“AGG played phenomenal. (Dontae) Duff played pretty good. Outside of that, no one received a grade to which we would think was a successful outing and they know that. They understand it. We were playing a very good defensive front. That front was talented and their backers were better than we knew with the transfers they got. Their corners were very good too. I have no idea if we would have won the game, but if we would have gotten those early 10 points that we had a legit shot to get, I sure would have liked to seen kind of what happened with the confidence on both sides of the field.”


“That one’s in the trash (Syracuse game). We’ve got to get ready for the next one. We’ve got a difficult task down at University of Louisiana. Billy Napier, I’ve known him for years, have great respect for him as a man. He’s a great person of faith and a heck of a football coach and he’s doing a great job there in year 2. Louisiana has athletes throughout the state, they don’t have to go very far to get their team and to recruit them and it shows on the tape. Played an SEC team last week to a 10 point game which I’m sure they wanted to win it but they were in the game and had a chance. It has my attention. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the Sun Belt, but I bet you they’re in the thick of it. I think we’re playing a possible conference champion.”


“That was one of the things I was most disjointed in. He looked uncomfortable from the start, had no signs of that coming out of fall camp. It’s our job now to get a plan in place that makes him feel very comfortable to get us off to a good start.”


“I don’t know that I will say I’m going to get him snaps every game, I think it depends on how the games go. Obviously, you have the 4 game rule where he could retain his redshirt. I think you think of that with your 3rd and 4th guys. I think you gotta get your 2nd guy…you never know when he’s going to be called upon. I will not be thinking in my mind, ‘Oh, we have to save his redshirt.’ If that happens, great, but if we can get him reps from time to time in case he’s called upon to have to play, we won’t hesitate to do it.”


“There will be some open competitions at one spot offensively, we gave up too many sacks at that spot. We’ve got to find a way to help some more with chipping out of the backfield or using a tight end more also, but that sure limits your route combinations when you do that. We may have to do some of that. I expect our offense to improve dramatically from last week to this week.”


“It’s a very difficult place to play. If you haven’t been there, they show up. They show up for the game in numbers, in droves, and they’ve had a good time all day before they get to kickoff. It’s a hostile place to play. I’ve been down there once, it was hostile. We were fortunate to get out of there with a win, but it was sure difficult.”


“The most frustrating thing for me is I haven’t been on the practice field with these kids in 15, 16 days. I think it shows. I’m ready to be back on the practice field. My goal this week is to do whatever the doctors say so that I can be back on the practice field. Whatever that means Thursday or Friday with Lafayette, that is what it is. I’ve got a great staff. They obviously have handled it very well. I don’t know what the doctor is going to say. I will say this, there’s no question in my mind that my back is better. I had a setback last week where they had to take me back in and do some more MRIs. For some reason, I had extreme amount of fluid that had gathered on the nerves where they did the operation and it was just causing me a lot of discomfort. I do not have that right now. Sitting does not feel great today, on Monday. Walking with the walker this morning was a lot better than it was last week. Going to an away game, I’m going to have to be able to sit up, at least, that’s the best case, for 4+ hours probably to call a game. The next few days are going to be critical for deciding that.”


“Syracuse is an 8-man front team. They make it very difficult on you to run the ball unless you want to go 12 personnel all the time. After (AGG) hurt them (early), they took their free safety and just cheated him over. We needed another guy on the other side to win some one-on-ones. D.J. (Stubbs) won a couple times, but not nearly enough production from the other side to make him have to play in the middle of the field.”


Noah Frith’s fractured foot – “The best case we had for that was 4 weeks, I think we’re going on maybe 2 now.”

C.J. Yarbrough’s concussion – “I expect C.J. to be ready to go. Barry’s report this morning was that he was symptom free. They will take him through some tests. I expect C.J. to be able to go.”

“Hunter Goetz will still be day to day. He is better, but I didn’t get an update on him this morning.”

On William Green – “He was not ready to go last week. Again we will take it day by day with him.”