Miami head coach Al Golden was disappointed with the result of his team’s 34-23 loss to Cincinnati on the road Thursday night, but expressed optimism throughout his post-game press conference, stating that there was still plenty to look forward to as the Hurricanes prepare for ACC competition.
Now sitting at 3-1 (0-0 ACC), it’s likely win-or-bust for Miami and Golden, who take on arch-rival Florida State in Week 6’s showdown in Tallahassee.
Provided below is video from last night’s presser. Since audio may be difficult to translate at times (it was held outside the visiting team’s locker room), the transcript follows.
On the team’s failures on third down:
“We have to execute better. There are a million different things that we are working on and I thought we had a really good plan coming in but we didn’t execute it well enough, and certainly not early on. The problem there is the short yardage ones. We didn’t finish the game in the short yardage last week, we left that open, and we had a chance to close twice tonight but they converted on short yardage in this game. ”
On how the loss resonates with him:
“Obviously our guys invested a lot. They are incredibly disappointed. There is a lot of good leadership there in terms of not splintering and doing all that. But we have a lot of football left, we haven’t played a Coastal game yet, we haven’t played an ACC game yet. So from our guys’ standpoint, we have a lot to move forward to. Again, it crushes, it hurts, obviously, we are disappointed. But you have to keep going and keep digging and keep improving.”
Without safeties Deon Bush and Jamal Carter available in the first half:
“Obviously, it helped in the second half but at the end of the day, it is what it is. The next man has to be up. Are we better with them? Sure. But it’s no excuse, Cincinnati played really well. They played really well and we aided them.”
On Cincinnati’s two big passing plays in the end of each half:
“You know, the one they got in the fourth quarter was a back-breaker there. We are usually pretty reliable there. We haven’t given up one of those in a while. I will have to see the tape to be fair, but that was unfortunate. The one before the half, we let a seam run free and you can’t do that, especially when we were rotating down that way. So we should have had somebody be on top of that route and jamming that and we didn’t get it done. Those two plays hurt.”
On playing a good team on the road:
“You can’t make those mistakes in this environment on the road, period. That is all we talked about all week and I didn’t do a good enough job this week because we did it again. We hurt ourselves with penalties and we gave up some explosive plays to make it easier for them and we didn’t finish drives in the red zone. Again, there is going to be a lot that we need to improve on but there is a lot of football left. Like I said, we haven’t played an ACC game yet so that is what our mindset is going to be.”
How to get the team over the hump:
“We just have to keep going. Again, the penalties that we are getting – we had another one on special teams, a hold that was critical – the operational penalties are hurting us. The line of scrimmage penalties, we’ve worked the hell out of them with music and silent counts and we had a couple of situations there where we killed ourselves. We hurt ourselves in the trench and in the red zone with that and we just stalled out too much. We didn’t push it through the trench in the red zone and collect points.”