Here is video and the transcript of Bobby Petrino’s comments after the 45-34 loss to Pittsburgh. The Cards are now 6-5 on the season and play at Kentucky (5-6) on Saturday.
Video from TheCrunchZone.com
We just flat got beat. You have to take your hat off to their offense and their defense, but mainly their offense. They did a great job of executing, and I think they had the ball 37 minutes in the game. We had it 22 minutes. You can’t give up that many long, big drives and have your offense standing on the sidelines. That really hurt us. Offensively, we were able to make some big plays and score fast a few times, but there wasn’t the type of consistency you need to come back when you’re behind. We did get it within eight (points), we thought we had a chance to go score, and go for two — but we weren’t able to execute, especially on that fourth down.
On the defensive issue in the first half:
“I don’t know. I wish I knew the issue. They were running the ball; they were throwing it; they made big plays throwing it off their play-action. They executed. We didn’t tackle well. We left a couple guys open down the middle for big plays, so we flat just got beat by their offense. They executed, and we did not. Offensively, going into the game we knew they were going to put on a lot of pressure on us with their linebackers, which they did, which made it hard to run the ball. We did make some plays throwing it, but we weren’t consistent enough.”
On the momentum gained before halftime:
“We had a lot of guys who felt like we had an opportunity, and we would come back and win the game. Some guys really stepped up, and we’re out there competing and playing hard, and we did a good job in the third quarter. We got it within eight points (early in the fourth quarter) and had the ball with the position to go score and go for two, but weren’t able to go and get that done. We had fourth-and-four, and they brought pressure. We have to learn to keep our eyes downfield and stand there and throw the ball. That was an issue for us.”
On if the defensive adjustment happened or if it was bad execution:
“We made some adjustments, we played better and tackled better in the third quarter. We still gave way too many yards. They flipped the field a couple times on us. Backed up on the five-yard line, you think you’re in great field position and go, and they drove the ball. They made plays, converted third downs and we weren’t able to get off the field.”
On what went into the decision of bringing Lamar [Jackson] back out:
“We weren’t executing and we threw a pick for a touchdown when our focus should have been on the other side of the field. We felt like it was time to make a change and get in there. We did get another nice touchdown right before half with a couple big plays, with a nice throw and catch which we needed. It gave us an opportunity. We made some plays in the third quarter, got the ball in the end zone. But again, we just came up short.”
On if the team is surprised [at the loss] after they have been playing so hard this season:
“Yes, I am surprised. I thought we would do a better job particularly on defense in that game. That’s where our experience is. We’ve had games where we’ve been dominant and we weren’t able to do it. Again, they did a good job executing. I don’t want to take anything away from Pitt because they did a good job on their execution, and they had a good game plan. We didn’t get it done.”
On the fourth-and-two at the end with the empty backfield, what was he hoping to see there:
“Well, we were trying to get the ball out quick on a slant to Ja’Quay [Savage] and the linebackers’ pressure caught his vision, and that’s what you need to learn: learn to stand in there and set your feet and throw the ball. That’s just maturing and getting more reps at it and getting better at it. All quarterbacks have to do that. You have to know the blitz is coming, see it coming, keep your focus downfield, set your feet and plant and throw the ball. It’s just a mistake.”
On how he evaluates how the ACC went now that all the league games are done:
I think we do that after the year. Right now what we have to do is regroup and get ready for our game next week.
On the play of Jamari Staples:
I thought he made a lot of great plays for us, and he was competing extremely hard. He made some great runs after the catch. You can’t say enough about the guy who goes out there and competes that hard. Hopefully he’s going to be OK. Hopefully. He got nicked up there a little bit in the second half. I’m hoping that he’s going to be OK. I haven’t talked to the trainers yet.
On the week ahead for the team before the Kentucky game:
We need to come back, and get ready, practice well, prepare well, go down and battle and find a way to win the game.
On if he envisions going back to Lamar Jackson as the starting QB:
I don’t think we need to talk about that right now. We need to evaluate the game and get on the practice field and make a decision.