Transcript: Butch Jones Discusses Loss to Florida

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    Butch Jones-7

    Opening statement:

    “Well, what can I say? Yeah, I think the whole thing is fourth down. Three critical fourth down conversions that we get off the field and we win the football game. It’s particularly when it’s fourth and long, fourth and 13. You have got to close the game out, you have got to get off the field and run victory formation milking the clock and the game is over. We had an opportunity to come back and win the game at the end. You just have to keep grinding as a football team and a football program. That’s all I can say. Our players have worked exceptionally hard. I know that doesn’t that doesn’t help matters. It stings. But anything in life with the ability to persevere and show resiliency, you keep grinding, you keep pounding the rock everyday and you keep building it.”

    On why they didn’t go for 2 on the final touchdown:

    “Well, a number of reasons. And we were discussing that prior in the drive if we did score whether we’d go for one or two, and we have a chart that’s pretty standard in football, first of all, maps it out and that stage in the game, we had great confidence in our defense of getting off the football field and not allowing them to push the ball down the field, so we felt very comfortable with that decision.”

    On calling timeouts when Florida had fourth down (and then Florida bringing offense back and converting both times):

    “We felt they were going to do a fake field goal, so that’s the one time that we did it. Another time we were just making sure we had the right personnel on the field and some different things we’d seen through scouting.”

    On the illegal substitution at the end of the game:

    “You know, it was just a young man anxious in the game, ran out on the field, and you know, it’s one of those situations where, you know, but that’s why we keep a timeout. I’m a firm believer of that in the second half. You know, so we were able to preserve the run-off and at least give us an opportunity to win. That’s a difficult kick, a long kick, obviously a challenge to make.”

    On the team’s response: 

    “Well, obviously they hurt, everybody hurts, especially the ones that have invested everyday, but also I know that we have great character in our football program. And you want them to hurt, but then we have to come back and get ready for Arkansas, and it’s a long, long football season, and you have to keep that in mind, just like we would have had we won the game. But I expect our players to come back and bounce back and continue to work that is all you can do. You look at anything in life that’s worth anything that you gain. You have to go through perseverance you have to be able to show resiliency. Is our resiliency is being tested right now? Absolutely, but it is only the fourth game of the season as well and we have to keep grinding it out. That is the only way I know that’s the only way these kids know.”

    On how much he’s being tested:

    “It’s not about me. I hurt for our players. I hurt for our players because of everything they’ve put into it each and every day and they deserve to win. It’s a play here, a player there, critical plays, momentum plays, and I don’t know if it’s part of the maturation process, but you have to learn to close games out. We’re one play away, and we come up short. So we have to learn from it, we have to bounce back. I feel awful for our fans, I feel awful for our players and I feel awful for those kids that invest everything that they have each and every day. But, you know what, tomorrow is another opportunity to get better and we’ll come back from it. It doesn’t define who we are.”

    On Florida’s fourth-down conversions:

    “Players making plays and tackling. You know, I thought the entire fourth quarter, we missed way too many open-field tackles and gave up too many yards after the catch. You know, we had players in places, we just have to play the ball in the air. You’re trying to compete, and, you know, came up short.”

    On what needs to improve in the passing game:

    “It’s a combination of things. It’s a combination, first and foremost, of being able to protect the quarterback. And I’ll know a little bit more, you know I thought for the most part we did a fairly decent job. We gave up some early sacks, the whole key is staying out of third and long, but I thought Josh managed the game, I thought he did a good job. I thought Jalen Hurd had a gritty performance. We had a lot of players step up, and play very good football for us and unfortunately we came up short – one play short. I know that doesn’t help matters, but it is what it is.”

    On Dobbs’ rushing:

    “We go into every game, and a lot of times the front or the coverage dictates, if the quarterback keeps the ball or not, so we go into every game with a quarterback plan.”

    On if his chart has times listed on it too:

    “No, it has timeframe as well, and just you know where we’re at in the game, and you get one stop and it’s irrelevent. You know, we take that all into consideration, that’s the decision we made and that’s the choice that we made.”