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Dino Babers Discusses Rutgers Loss

Full transcript of his postgame press conference.

Reporter:

The decision to take out Tommy and put in Shrader, was that something that you had before the game or is that a game-time decision based on what was happening in the first quarter?

Dino Babers:

Before the game.

Reporter:

Hey coach, just talk about the frustration of just not seeming to get it going, making mistakes. What’s tough about losing a game like that?

Babers:

I think the biggest thing is, you know, I got to be a little bit more specific than that. That's too vague. I thought the defense played extremely well. I thought there were numerous mistakes in the kicking game. I think the kicking game maybe have cost us as much as the offense not scoring enough points.

Reporter:

Coach just to go into fourth and ten in Rutgers territory with inside eight minutes to go just a decision to punt going back to that.

Babers:

The defense has stopped him before. I’ve got three timeouts. If you take the field position, it was a 50/50 call. I decided to go with the defense to see if we could stop them. If not, it's a fourth and ten. If we'd have got five yards, four yards, six yards, on the third-down play, I'd have definitely gone for it, but with the fourth and ten, that's a tough one.

Reporter:

Hey Dino, we didn't get a clear picture of what happened in the play where Mikel (Jones) got the penalty called on him, and then seemingly you maybe got whistled as well. Can you walk us through what happened, what they said to you, and all that?

Babers:

I'm not quite sure what happened. I thought I saw a play, and I'm trying not to get fined. I thought I saw a play where we tackled a guy, and he got pushed back. And then I asked. I was sitting there waiting like I saw a personal foul call being called. I'm like- I didn't see a targeting. I didn't. I'm trying to figure out how the personal foul thing got called. And when they came over and told me, they said that the back was picked up and body-slammed. Now I couldn't see it, so you guys have to help me with that, and I was like I didn't see anybody body slam anybody. And I got a personal foul penalty called against me. You can go back and check it, Stephen, because I know you'll do a good job but as far as I know, I've never, I know I've never had a personal foul penalty called on me as a head coach. I know I've never had one called on me as an assistant coach. And I'm pretty doggone sure I've never had one called on me as a player, and I've been playing since the 60s. So I didn't use any profanity, but I guess my English was too strong.

Reporter:

Coach 0-0 at halftime a defensive battle. What was that conversation, and really kind of what were you talking to the defense about and then the offense?

Babers:

I thought the defense needed to continue to do what they were doing, and I thought they came out in some tough situations with some amazing energy and some fantastic stops. You play defense like that. I want to say we kept them under 200 yards. I mean, you're going to you're supposed to win those types of games unless you turn the ball over more than the other team and you lose the kicking game because then those numbers don't come out the correct way.

Reporter:

Dino, were you aware of how animated coach Schiano was on the other end towards the officials, especially after the personal foul call on you?

Babers:

You're the second or third person that's told me this after the game, and the answer is no, I didn't. I couldn't see him, but I had everybody in my ear talking about him. I don't know. I did not see him. I don't want to say anything more I couldn't see him, so I don't know how animated he was to answer your question.

Reporter:

You had eight penalties called on your team today. What is the message that you have to give to your team in order to lessen those amount of penalties? Because some of them were pretty impactful in the game.

Babers:

We're going to go back and check the tape on the eight penalties.

Reporter:

Coach, what went into the decision to take out James Williams for Colby Parker in the fourth quarter?

Babers:

We were executing a unique kick in that situation, and our second punter was better than our first punter at doing it in practice. He had demonstrated that over and over again. When we put him in the game for the very first time, he didn't do so well.

Reporter:

Hey coach fans back in the dome, how do you feel that affected your team, especially on the defensive end?

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Babers:

Oh, I thought it was a huge plus. I think it was a huge plus for the offense as well. You have to remember we had some plays in the first half offensively we didn't make. We had, I want to say, one or two balls to one of our receivers which I won't use my name because you guys know how I am, that I thought were catchable. We had a ball turned over on the five-yard line. We missed a field goal early. There are 10 points right there. And we're not sitting here. We’re in overtime down there, so that's how football is as though you've got to make those plays to make your life a lot easier, and we didn't make those plays today, and that was disappointing.

Reporter:

The coach we talked about what went into the penalty call, and you're not going to go into specifics, I understand, but you know the penalty against you resulted in the first touchdown for Rutgers. How much of an onus is on you for that play?

Babers:

I'm 60 years old. That's my first personal foul penalty, and I'll say the same thing I always say. None of us is worth 15 yards in a game.

Reporter:

What was the biggest reason your offense was not more consistently good today?

Babers:

I'm going to go back and check the tape, and you can ask me that question on Monday.

Reporter:

But the mistakes like inside your own ten and then inside there tend to. I mean that that was a part of it?

Babers:

Are you referring to drops or passes?

Reporter:

Yeah.

Babers:

Yeah, we have to hold on to the football. First of all, Taj gets the ball in there, he's probably going to get tackled, and we're going to have to kick a field goal. He makes an amazing move and makes a guy miss, and then he gets it into a first down situation, but he gets the ball knocked out from behind, not good. If you didn't get the ball knocked out from behind, you would like to think we have at least three points with Andre Smith, so because how many times have you ever seen Andre miss twice in a game because? He normally doesn't miss once. So it's things like that that are disappointing. Our guys know that, but I’m not going to get mad at Andre. Andre is one of the most accurate kickers I'veI’ve ever been around. Okay, so he missed one we'll get over it, and he'll make the next nine 10 or 11. Taj needs to hold on to the football. He’s one of our playmakers. We need him out there on the field. He needs to make plays for us.

Reporter:

Dino, I know it was only one of the special teams’ things, but guys struggled to get lined up correctly on several punts. Was it the same thing multiple times, and what do you make of it as a coach when you know you're struggling to get lined upright when you're not pressing to make something happen?

Babers:

It wasn't lined up one time. We didn't have a guy out there, so I decided to run the clock and call a timeout. We didn't have a guy out there the second time they were calling again. You guys are going to get me in an official situation. You know I'm not going to talk about it because I'm not going to get fined over something silly.

Reporter:

I know you said you had gotten a few yards on third down. It .would have changed your thinking on the fourth down call late in the fourth quarter. What do you think is holding back your offense from being explosive enough that you would feel confident in a fourth and ten and going for it like that?

Babers:

Well, first of all, here's the deal, it's fourth and ten. Fourth and ten is hard to get. Third and two are hard to get fourth, and ten's are different situations. If it's third, I already answered this question. If it was fourth and five, fourth and six, give me something to lean my hat on. Fourth and ten, with a defense play in the way we've been playing and having three timeouts, we can kick them. Pin them keep them in there, keep the clock alive, get the ball back, put the ball back on the 50, and have an opportunity to go in on sidekick, go for three. It left us some options okay as long as we got him on the three and out, which we didn't do.

Reporter:

Coach, what did you see from your defensive backs today and holding Rucker's offensive weapons, and can you talk a little bit about Garrett Williams and his status?

Babers:

I'm not going to talk about Garrett and his status because that'd be too much of an advantage for our next opponent. But if he wasn't in the game, you know it's something that we need to, we need to deal with. I thought that AC came in and played a really good game for Garrett, but obviously, we need Garrett to get better. You know we had one of our better players not out on their football field, and then the other thing is Garrett's very involved in special teams as well, so not only did it affect our defense, but it affected our special teams.

Reporter:

You guys lost a handful of games like this last year where the defense kind of had a big onus. I know it was frustrating, and a lot of the veterans on your team talked about this year. You know they wanted to handle situations like that better. They’re personnel things that hold you back, but what do you take from this and what do you take from last year as to how you're approaching that the next two weeks, and you know what I mean, maybe handling things a little differently?

Babers:

I think you asked a good question. First of all, that doesn't matter to me. The thing that matters is we're not going to do this again this year, and we need to be better. As coaches, we need to be better, and as players, we need to be better. That’s the bottom line.