COACH SPAZIANI: Correct, we've got the Maine Black Bears coming in, and we need to build on our positives from last week, and manage our problems if we're going to get victory number one. So with that, where are the questions?
Q. In terms of improvement from Game 1 to Game 2, what areas are you focusing on this week?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, there are a lot of areas that we need to focus on. Obviously, we need to play better defense. That is the first thing that would stand out about some of the problems that we had. We certainly have to shore up pass and run defense.
We'd like our kicking game to get a little better. I think we have some issues there that we have to address. Then we'd like to run the ball a little bit better, among other things.
Q. When your next opponent is an FCS opponent, how do you gauge the improvement when it's not measured against the same kind of team you faced last week?
COACH SPAZIANI: We measure against ourselves. Once again, opponents, everybody has players that can beat you. It's a well‑coached football team. They were 8th in the nation last year in their division. There is not too much difference in college football today. So having said that, we look at ourselves and we know whether we're getting improvement or not, and that's the bar that we use.
Q. I just wanted to ask you to talk about your offense a little bit. You had more yards than you had at any point last year, or more points against a 1A opponent or FBS opponent, I'm sorry, I'm still doing that, than you had last year. Can you evaluate that 50‑something yards, 32 points, and you could have had more if you had held on to the ball a little better?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, you could evaluate it. It was a very positive step. As you alluded to. There was a tremendous amount of improvement over there, albeit a sampling of one. But once again, you alluded to it. We had no samplings of it last year.
So, yeah, we like what we've seen over are there, but once again, there is always areas to improve on, and we certainly need to build on what we did over there and go forward with it, and that's what we're trying to do.
Q. How much do you think the improvement was due to the fact the new system that Coach Martin's put in? How much of it is just the maturity and the growth of Chase Rettig has more experience, Amidon has more experience, that kind of thing?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, that's an excellent question. I don't know if I could put a percentage on. I do know this. The cohesiveness over there being on offense was excellent from day one when everybody arrived on campus here.
Doug is certainly an excellent football coach, and he has an enthusiasm and a plan, and he understands how to do what he wants to do. And Chase is everything that I've been saying he is. He's a student of the game and he wants to do well.
So a lot of that stuff is meshed together. What it does dispel is the notion that whatever it is, it was positive and it was good for us. I don't have a percentage for you.
Q. From somebody who was watching the game on TV, you obviously have a different perspective on it, but it seemed that the momentum certainly seemed to shift when Miami had that pick interception returned for a touchdown right at the end of the first quarter. Is that a fair assessment?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah. There are ebbs and flows in all of the game, and there are momentum shifts. I don't think it was a momentum shift that wasn't reversed. And, okay, this is where the game turned. It certainly was a big play, and kudos to them for making it.
You know, we came back later on and had some opportunities to put the ball in the end zone and didn't do it. Once again, that is the way it is with all games. There are plays that you can do it and turn the game around. But that was a momentum shifter, but I don't think a determining factor in the game.
Q. When you reviewed that play on film, what seemed to happen there?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, their linebacker was a good football player that made a nice play. We might have gone to the well a little bit too often. Chase didn't see him, obviously, and we might have been able to help him out a little bit there. But once again, kudos to the Miami kid. He made a nice play.
Q. Do you expect Deuce to be ready to go this week after getting himself healthy last week, and how's Colin doing?
COACH SPAZIANI: Deuce is a hundred percent now, and he's been practicing full go. Last week we were a little bit cautious with him because he was a hundred percent, but he had just gotten thrown into the fire a little bit. So he'll be ready to go. Where he's at in the depth chart will be determined by this week's practice.
Colin left the game with a lower leg (lower extremity), and that remains to be seen how he participates this week.
We'll find out more tomorrow.
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