BOBBY PETRINO: Well, we’re coming off a tough loss at home against Clemson, a very good football team where our players competed extremely hard and got into position in the fourth quarter where we had an opportunity to win the game and just weren’t able to do it. We had a good practice yesterday, and our guys are working hard, and we’re anxious to get back on the field and play another game on Saturday.
Q. Kyle Bolin and Lamar Jackson you’ve used in the last couple of games on kind of that quarterback carousel, seeing which one is going to get things going. How do you look at it going forward with these two guys and what you’ve seen so far? Is it a two-quarterback system? Does one guy kind of show more than the other at this point?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I’d really like to see them separate, you know, and get a guy that gets out there and just starts running the offense and getting better. Unfortunately we haven’t had that happen yet. It’s not all the quarterbacks’ issue. Some of it is how the other 10 guys on the field have been playing. They both had times where they’ve looked good and executed the offense, and other times where we’ve made mistakes, and we’ve played very good football teams, and the mistakes that we’ve made have ended up affecting the outcome of the game.
Q. What can you say about what both of their talents are, and what you see in both of them having looked at film and going through these few games so far? I know you said they’re doing good things, they’re making mistakes, but the characteristics of the two that you like at this point?
BOBBY PETRINO: Well, Lamar is a guy that’s a tremendous athlete and very talented, has a real strong arm, can throw the ball down the field, can get it out of his hand quick. He’s probably got the quickest release of any quarterbacks that we have. Kyle has been a guy that’s just been able to execute, make good decisions and move the football by distributing it around. Unfortunately the decision-making when you’re struggling on the offensive line, you don’t get to take the time that you really need.
Q. Just maybe more specifically there, have you decided which of those two guys are going to start this week?
BOBBY PETRINO: No, not yet. We’re working away on it, and we like some things we saw on the practice field last night, and we’ve just got to continue to work and get going.
Q. What have you kind of maybe lost or what is lacking, I guess, by not having (James) Quick out there the last few weeks?
BOBBY PETRINO: Well, experience for number one. He’s a guy that was coming back that was our guys that had experience running routes, making plays, knowing the speed of the game. He was our guy that we relied on to play different positions and be the leader of that group. So with him out, it’s been just kind of young guys out there working hard, and they are doing that, we just haven’t been consistent enough. But James hopefully will be back. He practiced yesterday. He looked good in practice. He actually got probably three quarters of the work in and woke up this morning and felt good.
Q. So is it possible he could play this Saturday?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yes, there is a good possibility.
Q. The one other thing I had was you talked about it a few times after the Houston game, but what have you seen out of Micky (Crum) through the first couple games with his ability to catch the ball?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I mean, Micky can really run, and he’s done a nice job running his routes, and when he gets the ball close to him, he’s got very, very good hands. I think the thing that has impressed me more than I thought it would is his ability to run after the catch, and I think he’s a guy that we’re going to see continue to make plays and run after he catches the football.
Q. In terms of special teams, I mean, you’ve got a 100-yard kickoff return. Was that something of a surprise, and can you talk about what your focus has been on special teams in terms of trying to get that kind of result?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, you know, we work extremely hard on kickoff return, and some games you feel like, man, did we just waste all that time because when we played Auburn they kicked every one out of the end zone and we didn’t get to return any, but we continue to work on it. We got the opportunity the other night, and we broke one for a touchdown, and we were inches from breaking a second one for a touchdown, and our guys did a really nice job of blocking and working second effort on their blocks, and it ended up paying off. For the most part we’ve done a nice job punting the ball and covering punts. I’ve been really happy with that. We did give up a kickoff return for a touchdown against Houston that really hurt us, but we came back and had great effort against Clemson and got them two times inside the 20-yard line, which really helped our field position.
Q. Can you talk about maybe the art of kick returning, really trying to get that kind of big return, just little things that go into it that make it work at a moment like that?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I think it starts with understanding how to set the blocks because you have a responsibility in helping your blockers by how you start and how you set it, and then the ability to put your foot in the ground and accelerate with courage, you know. You have to have some fearlessness so that you can accelerate, and you always have to usually make one guy miss or run through one arm tackle to get a big return, and we’ve got two guys back there that I think are very good at it.
Q. I was watching the game last Friday night and something I saw in the last sequence when you guys had a chance to tie, you had a nice pass to the field goal line, that ESPN line, all that stuff. What happened in that snap seeing that ball go back over the quarterback’s head? Was there something wrong with the noise? Was he ready for the noise or what happened?
BOBBY PETRINO: The center just snapped the ball. He thought he heard a cadence, but the quarterback was actually just telling the offensive line what the plays were, and the ball was snapped errantly, and he had to run back and jump on it and pick it up.
Q. You’re 0-3; what do you tell the team because I know you guys had a tough game against Auburn, and at home you had a tough game against Clemson. What do you tell your team about, hey, we’ve got to keep this thing positive?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, that’s the main thing is to stay positive, continue to work and prepare the way we have because we’ve played very good football teams, and we’ve been in all games. I feel like we could be 3-0 real easy if we didn’t hurt ourselves a few times. Regardless whether we won the three games or lost the three games, the most important thing is what we do now and what we have in front of us. We’re working hard on just focusing on practice and understanding that you earn the right to win games on the practice field.