November 22, 2019
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Football – Matt Luke Press Conference (9-30-19)

Starting off with a game re-cap, just always disappointed,
you know, when you lose. So you gotta give
Alabama some credit. They’re the number one team
in the country for a reason. A lot of things we
gotta get fixed. Third down showed up again. Gotta find ways to get off the
field on third down. Get some more pressure. Play the right leverage but getting off the
field on third down. But, and again, there
were some positives that happened that we wanna
build on moving forward. So I think that’s the key. Let’s get some things corrected. Let’s build on the things that
were positive moving forward. We did have some
injuries in the game. Patrick Lucas, a true
freshman, he tore his Achilles. He’ll be done for the year
and have surgery on Thursday. He did not play
in all four games so he’ll be able to
keep his red shirt. So moving forward, Ryder Anderson will also
have surgery on Thursday. Looking four to six weeks but we’ll know more
after the surgery. Jonathan Haynes
tweaked his ankle. He’ll be day-to-day. Matt Corral, he looked
better this morning. Still, I’m gonna be anxious to see him throw on Tuesday. So I’ll be able to
tell you more Wednesday as far as the reps go. But we’ll know more when he gets back out there. I think he’ll be able to
throw starting on Tuesday. But I don’t think it’s right
to give you an evaluation now ’til he gets out there
and actually goes, but really excited
to be coming home. Homecoming, it’s a evening game. We’re gonna honor Patrick Willis so I expect this
to be a great crowd and this is a huge game for us. Got a lot of respect for
Coach Mason at Vanderbilt. Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s one of the
premiere backs in our league. They run around, play
really hard on defense. So I’ve been impressed
watching them on tape. But this is a huge game for us and looking forward
to a great atmosphere at Vaught-Hemingway on Saturday. Into mic two. Matt, you mentioned
Patrick Willis. Is there anything in the
works to honor Jevan Snead? Yeah, I mean, we had
the funeral yesterday and Keith went over
there and but just it’s anytime that
you have a player that they put on the uniform that you did and something
like that happens. So I think we’ll do something,
there’ll be something in the works to honor him. Scottie Phillips rushing
numbers have been down a little bit the last two games. What do you see going on there? You know what, I think it’s
just more of a running back by committee, you know, getting
Jerrion involved, you saw they all had that twelve,
ten to twelve carry number and they’re all staying fresh
and they’re all being effective. So I think it’s
less about something that Scottie’s doing wrong and more upon us just
getting more people involved and staying fresh. Matt, you continue to
do well against the run. When do you get to the
point though where you say, “Maybe we need one
less in the box.” Or you know, I mean,
cause this coverage thing is really killing you right now. Yeah. So, and again, sometimes
it’s not always about having one less in the box. It’s about playing
proper technique, and some of those we
are playing coverage and you miss a tackle. So that means it’s
different things on different plays. And then, you know, some of
the time, you do play coverage and you don’t get there, and you know, he’s at back
there holding the ball. So you feel like, you
gotta get some pressure, so they won’t have
to cover as long. So it’s a different combination, but the whole key is us
cleaning up the little details ’cause we can be better. There’s some things
that we can’t fix. Some of the one-on-ones
that can happen, you can’t fix those, but there is some
things that we can fix. And that’s what you have
to do moving forward. Matt, if Matt is
healthy and able to go, do you have an idea of
how you might use Plumlee? Did he show enough
with his feet? Absolutely. I think he did, he
definitely did enough. You’re gonna see him,
no matter what happens. But again, you gotta see
Matt go out there and do it before you start
making decisions. You talked a little bit
at the beginning about wanting to get better
at fixing on third downs getting off the field. What are some of the
fixes that you think are doable this week? You know, I just, again, just going out
there and executing. You know, two other
touchdowns came on third downs and you know, if you can
get off the field there, you go to halftime
and you make it a four-quarter game and then it just kinda
snowballs, snowballed on us there at the end
of the second quarter. But you know, just find a
way to get the pressure off. I think we came clean one
time, free, we didn’t make the sack and then there’s
one time we were there and we didn’t make the tackle. It’s just those little things and making the plays
when we’re there. A lot of the time we
always gotta make the play but there’s some things
that we can do better. Just the attention to detail, but again, third down has showed
up two games in a row now. So I think that’s
important to get fixed. Do you create what you saw from John Rice kinda on
a bit of a sliding scale because first start at
Alabama, those conditions? Yeah, I mean, that’s
obviously a tough thing to do is get your first
start in Tuscaloosa. I was very, very proud about it wasn’t even an issue with the pre-snap
and communication. All the stuff that you think
with a freshman quarterback. None of that stuff was an issue. The moment didn’t
look too big for him, so I was excited about
all that moving forward. We were able to run
the ball effectively and that’s a good thing. I don’t know if we’ve
rushed for that many yards against them in a long time, so I was pleased with a
lot of things they did. Matt, the kick in game
which equated into a just great field
position for Alabama. So like a quarter,
it’s really high. How’d things get outta hand? I mean, talk a little about that and what ya gotta
do to clean it up? Yeah, there was the punt. Our punt team in particular
didn’t play very well. I’ll admit Waddle
was a great returner, so the plan was to
kick it out of bounds or kick it very close
to the sideline. And one of them, we kicked
it in the middle of the field and that’s what he does. So we just, you know,
we gotta execute better in that if we wanna you
know, wanna win close games. That’s a huge deal. The block we just
gave up penetration, excuse me, give a
penetration and a shield and the shield got knocked back into the punt so you
just gotta take them all and not get knocked back. Does Neil remind you of anyone you’ve faced so
far at quarterback? I mean, it’s hard to say. You know, he’s a guy that’s a
transfer and he’s a good player. Got a lot of experience. Maybe Garbers from
Cal, maybe similar, but he’s, you know,
he’s accurate, and he gives the ball out. He’s got in the leading and
returning receiver in the SEC. So he’s, you know,
they’ve got a really good running back so
they can do both. That’s the challenge
they present ’cause they got a
good running game. And they have some
good play actions. They’ve got some tight ends. They can get the ball too and
they got a very good receiver. So they have the ability to
score some points for sure. I know this is really late, or just late in the game. Tisdale looked good on some
of the throws that he made. Did he change his role at
all going into this week and is his role somewhat
impacted by Matt’s availability? No, it makes you feel
good that you got three good freshman
quarterbacks. I mean, he had to look at
his outmates out there, he made the throws. He kept it on fourth down and went and got a first down. Like, you know, made a
really good throw to Jadon, you know, another freshman. So I was happy to see him
take advantage of his reps when he got in there. Matt, the 279 rushing yards, what did you see that was
working well in the run game? How did you all get there? What did you think of
the line’s performance? I thought they played. I mean, it is when
you watch it, again, there’s always things
that you can clean up but I just thought dumb. You know, having some, you know, we had two backs in there, with a tight end some
and the ability for the quarterback to run
the ball and you know, we talked about even from
the beginning of the season, having to defend all 11 guys and that’s what you saw. You know, when you
have to defend all 11. It gets a little bit
harder to defend the run or the tight end or you know,
or the outside receivers and they get the
safeties in a box. So I think that you
truly saw maybe them having to defend all 11 guys. We’ll take a bunch from up top. Coach Luke, Joe Cook from
WAPT down in Jackson. Can you just talk about
the impact Jerrion Ealy has had and just
what you’ve seen from these first few weeks? Is he ahead of schedule or
you’ve been just surprised, or this is what
you guys expected? No, it’s what you expect but you don’t ever know
until they get out there and go do it on
these big stages, and you saw him, you know. He caught, you know,
a little naked route, and made a gap miss and
get into the end zone. And then a couple
times, he broke free against really good defenses. So the more and
more he does that, the more you realize
he is special and will continue to
get better and better. But he’s definitely
making an impact in the game and people are
having to account for him. We’ll come back down. Back to Grant, with the four games,
is there a plan to kind of try to red shirt
him or does that depend on Matt’s availability? Yeah, I think it all depends. I think it does give
us some flexibility and we definitely want
to see him go in there and throw the ball some. At the end of the game to
see, you know, just to let him go out there and operate. So I thought that was important. So he got some reps
under his belt. The four-game rule does give you a little flexibility with that. Matt, you were asked
about Jerrion Ealy but if you would, could
you expound on, I mean, you guys are playing
a lot of true freshman from that 2019 class, just they’ve been on
campus now several months. Your thoughts, on what
that ’19 class is doing? And I know some of
that’s by necessity. Yeah, no, some of
it is by necessity but it’s a very,
very talented class and I think that’s the
exciting part that you wanna build on ’cause these guys are
just continue to get better. But you also have
a lot of seniors that wanna win right now and that’s what I will
say in after the game is that’s the frustration. You know the future’s bright. You know we’re coming but we wanna win right now. You know, these guys have
been through a bunch, and we wanna give the fanbase something to be excited
about and go win right now. That’s why this is a
huge game on Saturday and you know, I think
that’s the fun part about being in the
Southeastern Conferences. Each week there’s
a new challenge. You gotta try to find a
way to put these young guys in position to go
win football games. Matt, Patrick Lucas specifically looked like his playing time
has continually increased. What had he done to put
himself in that position? I mean, he’s a big
physical athletic guy and you know, playing
that three-four scheme, he was a good fit for it. His effort was really good and you know, he got in. He didn’t play against Memphis but played some against Arkansas and really just kept
improving and he’s another one of those young guys that
has a bright future. It’s just disappointing
that that happened because he was really,
really starting to come on. But you know, if
there is a positive, you know, he had some learning and some experience
under his belt. We’ll get him fixed and
he’ll have four years left. Matt, you mentioned
Ryder Anderson. What was his injury? He had an ankle sprain
and a knee injury that he’s gonna have
to have operated on. Not ACL, it’s a meniscus but he has to have
it operated on.

Robin Kshlerin



  1. Dan Norton Posted on October 1, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Give Mat Luke a chance

  2. William Evins Posted on October 2, 2019 at 12:55 am

    Let's win this one for Snead!!!

  3. Scott Bishop Posted on October 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    The defense was getting off the field because Alabama was scoring touchdowns (haha).. Gosh Almighty man!