Jen Smith on UK Football

Q&A: Eddie Gran on operations errors, communications issues and getting ready for EKU

EDDIE GRAN

On what he took away from Southern Miss film: “You know what? Technique and fundamental weren’t the greatest. I thought that after the game and our operation — we really talked about that — Bunchy being there for the first time. That will get better. Usually from game one to game two it gets better. It really came down to fundamentals. We’ve got to get better. That’s what we worked on today, had a really good practice and can’t wait to get back to Saturday, especially in front of our home crowd.”

On operations and what that means: “Get up, get down, get set, make the calls and let’s go. Too much talking; there’s going to be times when we don’t have the perfect play. Let’s just get on a body and let’s go. That’s going to come with time. It’s going to come with those guys working together, us getting a nice jell with the guys that need to be in there. I think from what they saw on film and what they did today, that will be corrected.”

On if the talking was within the line, with QB and line or whole offense: “Line talking among themselves, quarterback talking to the line, a little bit of both.”

On if that communications/operations part falls under the easy fix category: “Yes. It does.”

On if Snell got impatient and tried to do too much after fumble: “Well, it was two-fold. A couple times we went the wrong way schematically and we had guys come free and therefore he had to be impatient and he had to just go. Then when we got it right, he was impatient. So he saw that on film and had a great day of being technique sound today. He really, really worked on it and I don’t foresee that happening anymore. It was a little bit of a discumbobulation in there and we got it fixed at times and when we got it fixed, we looked like us. When we weren’t right, we didn’t look like us. It was not good. It was second down and 12. And that’s not good.”

On if Southern Miss was a good first test for the offensive line: “Yeah it is. I think any time you get movement, you’re going to going to get movement all the time. People are going to move on you. That’s all we got last year. Little bit more with this group right here. But we’re gonna get it all year long. We did it all fall camp too. There’s no excuses. It’s about anticipating, watching film and seeing pre-snap what’s going on and anticipating. We’ve gotta be better at anticipating.”

On if he still thought he was being stubborn after watching the film: “Yeah a little bit. I got a little bit stubborn with it. But we were close so many times. Couple of those were 12 yards and if he breaks a tackle it’s going to be a house call. I could’ve opened it up a little bit more. We were 6 of 9 efficient in passing the ball, but we won the game. Period. The end. That’s a great road win for us. We were plus-2 in the turnover margin. That’s huge. We can build off that.”

On grading Stephen Johnson: “I thought Tavin (Richardson) had a chance to make a play. I thought a couple of the third down conversions we didn’t convert, we’d be saying we did a really good job. It all came down to that 3rd down conversion. It was 3rd and 1 and then it goes to 3rd and 6. Then we have a guy wide open and we don’t hit him. He’s still running right now. He’s still running if we complete that and it changes the game. You never know in this game what play is going to change the game. You’ve gotta be ready every single moment. Hopefully we’ll learn from that. He’s hit that same play 50 times this camp. I would bet that our execution is going to be better this week.”

On what happened on the third down pass to Richardson: “Just overthrew it. Technique.”

On what Eastern Kentucky does well on defense: “They’re coached really well first of all. They run to the ball, they swarm, their backers are downhill. I think up front they get in the midline of you and it’s hard to get off on combination blocks. They do a great job. This game is not about them at all. This game is about us. This game is totally about us.”

On if Isaiah Epps had shown in camp that he could stretch the field: “Yeah, he is one guy that can take the top off. We have found that out. Him and Josh Ali both are guys that we feel like can get that ball and take the top of the safeties and have a chance for big plays down the field. You know, Kayaune (Ross) had a really good day today. He’s a guy that we’ve got to get involved. Throw it up there. You look at a couple of there’s, they just threw it up there and guys made plays. Sometimes that’s what you’ve gotta do — give them a chance. We’ve got to give our guys a chance with those deep balls.”

On if he wants to get Lynn Bowden more involved: “Absolutely. We’ve got packages for about four guys, four positions, and then it goes to individually. It didn’t work out, but Benny got his opportunity about Week 3 when he was ready. Lynn was late, and he understands that. But absolutely more touches as we continue for sure.”

On if they’re any closer on knowing if Bryant Koback will play this year: “No, we haven’t. Right now everything is status quo for him. He’s up developing, learning and really looking good.”

On if anybody pleased him that he had questions about heading into Saturday: “No, you know, I expected C.J. (Conrad) to play well and I thought he played really well. You take a lot away from the tight ends because you get to see the catches, but the stuff they’re doing blocking, I thought he did a good job blocking. He was our player of the game. If there was one person, I would say he stood out. And Landon Young competed and did some nice things, too.”

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