USF Coach's Presser 10-26

USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt

On Tuesday USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt and staff addressed the media during the weekly press conference. Coach Leavitt.Defensive Coordinator Joe Tresey & OC Mike Canales talk about the Bulls loss to Pitt and getting back on track against West Virginia.

USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt addresses the media during his weekly press conference. Coach Jim Leavitt recaps the team's Big East loss to Pitt and what the team needs to do to get back on track against West Virginia.

"I went back and looked at our game against Pittsburgh because I wanted to see if every guy was laying their heart and soul out on the field. That is really important to me because if you have any guy who isn't laying his heart and soul out on that field, then you really want to have a talk with them about whether this is really for them or not. I looked through the film very closely and that I didn't find. Nobody likes to lose, but that was really encouraging to me that the guys were really battling. I came away feeling a lot better about that part of it.

Defensively we had some coverage breakdowns. You can't let the receivers get over the top of you. As far as offensively, the guys played hard. We had some penalties but were moving the ball pretty well. We threw a couple of interceptions in the second half and we have to live with those things. I am extremely proud of B.J. Daniels and how hard he is going. He has started four games now and he has won a couple and lost a couple. We have played against some really good teams and he works so hard.

Pittsburgh is a really good football team, and they are a better football team then us right now. They have a lot of talented guys. Now we are going up against West Virginia which is another good football team. We are going to have to play really well. We are going to have to be sound on what we do, and I believe our guys will play hard. We are going to have to do some really good things to win the football game. Do I think it will be a heck of a football game? Yeah I do. We have played West Virginia four times and they have always been good football games. West Virginia has some great playmakers on offense and their defense presents a number of challenges, but our team is aware of that."

On penalties killing momentum
"We had a defensive lineman go offside's in the last game and that hurt us. After something like that we take the player off the field and just talk to him. Penalties do kill you. Offensively we had the penalty where we high-lowed a guy and that really hurt us on the one play. There is no excuse and the penalties really show up when you play really good football teams. When you start playing teams like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, those things show up and you don't want them."

On if penalties are because of a lack of concentration or because of aggressiveness
"I say over aggressiveness. The one was on Jake Sims on offense and he just over scooped. He was trying to cut into a guy and he was too good. He over did what he does on that one play. Then we had two off-sides and that is over aggressiveness. Lining up offsides is worse to me than jumping offside's. If you line up off-sides then there is really no excuse for that."

Courtesy of the USF Media Relations Department:

Coach Jim Leavitt presser

Defensive Coordinator Joe Tresey

"We have given up too many big plays in the last two weeks. An explosive play to us is a run over 15 yards or a pass over 20 yards. Penalties have also been an issue. We address penalties and the team needs to get more disciplined. Those are the two biggest things that have hurt us the past two weeks."

"Last week we let them into too many third and shorts. I think the reason we have been successful on third and long is because your chances increase the father they have to go to get a first down. You have to get them in the third and longs to get your percentage of efficiency up."

"It's a lack of focus. You shouldn't jump off-sides, especially if you're on the football, which we did twice. That is a mine boggling thing as a coach. Coach Patrick works on this every day in practice and every D-line coach in America works on this very hard. It's just having the focus and not guessing. You have to have the discipline to watch the ball and when that ball moves, you move."

Coach Tresey Presser

Offensive coordinator Mike Canales

On how they go about preparing for Friday after another tough loss
"The first thing you do is you go back and see what you can do different. Pitt was very good defensively and you have to give them credit. They were very good up front and they played solid defense. They got us pinned back there a couple of times in minus territory. On the first two drives we had two penalties that were very costly and it cost us our rhythm. Then on the third drive we hit a big play and took it right down the field. I thought that helped us get our rhythm back and we were back in synch again. Then when we got down a little bit it helped us lose our rhythm, which made things tough. We are a rhythm team and you have to stay in rhythm if you want to stay effective, and we didn't. The biggest thing for us is to not get down on ourselves and to stay positive. There are some things we can build on and we need to get back to playing the way we can play."

On the running game
"We ran the ball but they just got us in the third and medium situations. We didn't execute when we had to execute. They did a good job defensively of strategizing against us. They are a heavy blitz team and we prepared for blitz so much, and then they didn't blitz. The third and mediums have killed us the last game and a half. We have to be able to make the reads and throw the ball when we are supposed to."

On why it seems like B.J. is struggling right now
"You have to realize he is a freshman and there is no excuse for it. He will continue to work through it and it is just a growing process. He will continue to go through it and get better."

Coach Canales Presser

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