Brett Hodges admits he was pretty disappointed about his performance at East Carolina last weekend, but UCF's starting quarterback says he's ready to move on. He feels he didn't play "smart" by throwing four interceptions against the Pirates and vows the mistakes of last week will be corrected when the Knights suit up to play Memphis this Saturday.
Click here for the audio of this interview with Brett HodgesClick Hodges talked to reporters following Tuesday's practice.Here to view this Link.
How have things been going this week preparing for Memphis?
"They've been going all right. I came yesterday and looked at the film. Saw all the mistakes I was making on the field and they're very correctable mistakes. So, learn from that and work on the game plan for Memphis."
Are you the type that beats yourself up all weekend or did you get over it pretty quick?
"I didn't really beat myself up. I was pretty disappointed about it. I just didn't play smart on Saturday. I think that's kind of what makes me, 'me,' is playing smart. I was pretty disappointed in myself, but you've got to move on. It's time to prepare for Memphis so that's what we've got to do."
Are you guys doing anything different in your preparation?
"No. The same thing we've been doing since week one. Installing the game plan, coming out here on Tuesday and Wednesday and implementing it, and go from there."
Did any of the interceptions drive you crazy, maybe the one near the goal line when you had pressure in your face?
"All of them drove me crazy. I don't like throwing picks. We were already having trouble in the red zone so that didn't help too much with the problem. I don't like to throw picks, but I just wasn't playing smart. That's something that will be corrected this week."
From a wide receiver standpoint, how big was it for A.J. Guyton to begin to emerge. He missed last year with the ACL and this was a pretty big game for him.
"It's great. It's great to have playmakers out there. It was good to get A.J. back on the field and give him an opportunity to come back and he took advantage of it. Like I said after the game, A.J. is the talkative guy of the bunch so he's always coming at me saying, 'I'm open here, I'm open here, run this, run that.' It's kind of nice as a quarterback having a playmaker like that who wants the ball."
Where do you think the troubles have been in the red zone?
"We're just not finishing. It's one thing every time, whether it's a fumble, a missed field, a blocked field goal or I throw an interception. It's always one thing. I think if we can just eliminate one thing I think we'll be all right. We're getting the ball down there. We're moving the ball, so that's not the problem. It's finishing there in the red zone. I think if we can do that, we'll start putting more points on the board and we'll be all right."
You talked about the confidence of the offense after the Buffalo game. How confident is everybody now after a tough game like that?
"We're still pretty confident. I thought our offense played really well on Saturday. Truthfully, I held us back a little bit with those interceptions, those four turnovers. I thought the line did an outstanding job, I thought Brynn ran really well and I thought the receivers made a lot of plays. This Saturday I was kind of the weakest link there as far as offense goes. I don't think our confidence has lowered too much. It's another week, another season as O'Leary says, to try to get another win."
What have you seen from Jah Reid?
"He's a big guy. Sometimes it's not good because I have to throw over him. But no, Jah is definitely a hard worker in the weight room, film room and on the practice field. If he makes a mistake, it's one that he'll correct the next play. He rarely messes up two times in a row. It's nice to have that. Jah and across the o-line as well. I think they're really improving every day this season."
That's NFL size, don't you think?
"Like I said, it's great for him to block, but sometimes when I have to throw over him I have to look around him a little bit."
What have you seen from Memphis so far?
"Very similar to ECU. Pretty athletic defense. I expect them to bring the pressure a little bit. They have a lot of similarities to ECU."
People have wondered about the motivation. There's still a lot of football to be played, but it's harder now to win the conference championship after starting 0-2 to other top teams in the division.
"We all know winning conference is going to be a lot tougher now, but that can't distract us or deter us away from the rest of the season. We've got to come out here and win. What happens, happens. All we can do is try to win. If we keep winning, good things will happen, whether it's other teams losing or if not, we go to a bowl game. Right now our focus is to take one week at a time for the next eight, nine weeks, however many we have left, and see how it plays out."
Is it frustrating when you guys kind of beat yourselves with turnovers after being able to move the ball down the field?
"Yeah, it's really frustrating. It's really frustrating in the red zone because once you get down there you're expected to come away with points whether it's three or a touchdown. Like I said, we're moving the ball and why when we get down in that red zone area, we're not converting points on the scoreboard, that's frustrating a little bit, but at the same time we know what we can do, we've just got to do it. That just hasn't been the case so far this season."