CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.-- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football head coach Russ Huesman sat down with the local media Tuesday afternoon at McKenzie Arena to discuss Georgia Southern and the Mocs trip to Western Carolina Saturday.
Chattanooga takes on the Catamounts in Cullowhee, N.C., at Whitmire Stadium at 3:30 p.m. (E.D.T.). The game will broadcast on the Mocs Radio Network and ESPN Radio 105.1 FM (flagship) with live audio available on GoMocs.com.
Russ Huesman, Head Coach
Thoughts on Saturday's loss to Georgia Southern
"It was a tough one Saturday. I thought it was two good football teams playing a really hard fought game. I was really proud of our guys. I thought they played really hard and I told them that after the game. I thought they played with a lot of heart and fought. Then after watching the film on Sunday, I think that even more. It's important to our players to play well and to win. We played a really good football team, a talented team. We had opportunities to win the game, as they did too, but we didn't get it done. We're coming along and I think the program is coming along to the point where we should win games. It was a tough one but give credit to Georgia Southern. They played hard, too. I am sure there were a lot of sore bodies coming off that field Saturday evening. Our guys gave all they could. We've got to regroup and get ready to go, and I know we will. Our guys will come back and practice well and play hard on Saturday."
On how hard it is to bounce back after a loss
"It's hard because you can't come back and play the next day. You have to wait a whole week. It's got to sit with you for a week until you get a chance to redeem yourself. I think most people put a lot into every game. We didn't overhype this game. We didn't talk about Georgia Southern. We were concerned about us stopping the option and how we were going to move the ball and not who we were playing. You have to invest the same every week. I know that is hard sometimes but great teams can do that."
On Western Carolina's team compared to last year
"I think they are better all around. They are a better football team and they are well coached. I know the wins aren't coming as quickly as they would want but you can see they are better. We were fortunate in our first year that the league was a little bit down, Wofford had some injuries and we won some games we should not have won. But I think Western is competing with everybody they play and look well coached. They look like they are capable of beating anybody."
On his defense against Georgia Southern
"After that game I thought we could have played so much better on defense. But after I got a chance to reflect, we held them to 24 points in regulation and 10 of those came off of turnovers. We held them to around 350 yards, probably around 100 under their average. We walk off the field and I guess we expect our defense to shut everybody out. In some ways that is a good mentality to have, I think you should have that mentality. I thought we did enough defensively to win that game. I thought we did enough offensively to win that game. We held them to 24 points, well below their average, and we gave them two extra possessions. Offensively we played well. We only had 43 snaps in regulation. Part of that is losing two possessions. Losing possessions just kills you against these guys."
Derrick Lott, defensive tackle
On if he realized he played as well as he did on Saturday
"I knew that I had a pretty good game. I went into the game knowing I had to perform at my top level seeing as we were playing a really good team and we needed the win to get a better spot in the SoCon. I didn't realize until after the game when somebody came up to me and said they may had counted 17 tackles for me. I didn't realize I had that many until after the game."
On how tiring a triple over-time game is as a defensive lineman
"I looked back at the sheets and I recorded 72 snaps. That was probably the most snaps I've ever played. It's definitely tiring. My mindset was just to win. I wasn't even focused on being tired. Even if we had gone into five overtimes my mindset still would have been that we had to win."
On his mindset going into Western Carolina
"My mindset is to practice the same way we have been practicing and still work hard. We shouldn't change anything. We need to work around their offense and bring our offense and defense together to beat these guys."
Jacob Huesman, freshman quarterback
On how comfortable he is eight games in to the season leading the offense
"I feel very comfortable with it. I don't know if it is being eight games in or if it is because of the situations we've been in. We've had a two minute drive to come back and tie the game, we've had a triple over-time game. That was the first over-time game I've played in a long time. It was good to face that kind of situation. I'd say that is probably more what makes me comfortable more than being eight games in."
On how hard it is to bounce back from the Georgia Southern
"As much as you can immerse yourself in the next opponent, I think that helps. The more you think about Western Carolina and what they do on defense the less you can think about how close we were against Georgia Southern. You have to get back in the film room and be consumed by what Western Carolina does and focus all on that."