CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head football coach Russ Huesman and senior running back J.J. Jackson (Marietta, Ga.) sat down with the media Tuesday to discuss last week's game at Jacksonville State and Thursday's home-opener against Glenville State.
Thursday's game has also been declared a Gold Rush. The Athletics Department will be giving away 3,000 Gold Rush shirts, 3,000 gold pom-poms, 3,000 gold thundersticks and 1,000 gold sunglasses at the gates leading up to the 7 p.m. (E.D.T.) kickoff.
Head Coach Russ Huesman
Thoughts on last week's game at Jacksonville State
"It was a tough loss. Those are hard to handle. In some aspects, we played really well, but in some aspects we didn't play well. I thought offensively we did a pretty good job. Defensively, even after watching the film, I wasn't at all pleased. We didn't tackle very well, we didn't fill gaps great, we didn't take great angles to the ball, and our eyes weren't in the best shape throughout the course of the game. We have got to get those corrected. We came out Sunday and last night and practiced really well with a lot of excitement. I like what we're doing here, and I like the last two days of practice. With a short week we have to condense what we're doing and how we're doing it. It's a lot of late hours for everybody, but it's great to come home and play a home game on a Thursday night. I hope we have a great crowd."
On matching up against Glenville State
"Glenville is going to have some players. There's no question about that. They've got some talented receivers, a red shirt freshman running back who's really good, and their quarterback can throw it. They do a nice job offensively scheming people up and taking advantage of what they get. They don't force things and they haven't taken a sack this year, so they're doing a great job there. Defensively they've got some big kids up front. We have our work cut out for us this week. But we need to worry about Chattanooga, what we're doing right and wrong and get it fixed, and make sure we're doing things we're supposed to do to win a football game."
Thoughts on this week's defensive plan
"We will probably go with the same starting lineup. We just have to play more aggressive on defense. Our eyes need to be better. Sometimes young guys just want to see one thing, but to be great you have to have great eyes and see the whole field. I think we have good enough players on defense to be where we want and need to be."
On JSU gaining 400 yards
"It was not shocking but a little frustrating. We knew coming in that they were really good on offense. They moved the ball up and down the field on Arkansas, and they had a great scheme. Both of their quarterbacks are good. They're different, but they both make plays. The freshman tailback ran for 85 yards against Arkansas. We knew they were good, but I thought we could have played better. We gave up 20 points on defense. While a lot of places would take that and feel really good about it, we don't. Our guys were a little embarrassed about how they played, and they'll play better this week."
Senior J.J. Jackson, Running Back
Thoughts on playing the final home opener of his career
"You definitely have a different outlook on football when you know it's your last go around. I'll just try to go out and have fun. That's the biggest thing, to go out and just take it all in because it will be over before you know it."
On the confidence the offense gained from the final drive at JSU
"Two minutes has been something that we've kind of struggled with at practice against our defense. Then to come out when we really needed it and come through with a pretty nice drive down the field. I think the offense took a lot of confidence from that. We took a lot of good things and bad things from the loss that we can work on, which I think is very important for a team to do. We just have to take it and run with it. We need to put that game behind us and work on Glenville State."
On if having a short week makes rebounding from a loss easier
"I think so. We've turned around and had some pretty good practices. I like how we have a Thursday night game because we didn't have the weekend to sit there and think about it. We got back into it. Practice meant a little bit more to people. You could tell it meant something to them. I like how the quick turnaround put it in the back of their minds so they could get better."