Q&A WITH BRIAN SCHOTTENHEIMER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Brian Schottenheimer hasn’t talked often with the media since he came on the scene as Georgia’s offensive coordinator. But, to his credit, he came out of the Bulldogs’ locker room to face the music in the wake of Saturday’s embarrassing 27-3 loss to Florida.
Schottenheimer essentially fell on the sword and took the blame for the decision to give Faton Bauta his first career start against the Gators and for the Bulldogs’ offensive woes the last month. Georgia hasn’t scored a touchdown in 134 minutes and 54 seconds, dating back to the fourth quarter of the Tennessee game. It was the first time in 46 years the Bulldogs failed to score a touchdown in back-to-back games. The 1969 Georgia team failed to score a TD in its final three games of the season, all losses.
Here’s a selection of what Schottenheimer had to say outside the Bulldogs’ locker room underneath the stadium at EverBank Field.
Q: How do you feel about the play of your offense tonight?
Schottenheimer: “Obviously it’s not a lot of fun. Obviously it starts with me. I understand that. We certainly need to play better. But this is a game where you’ve just got to move forward. Didn’t play very well, didn’t execute very well, we didn’t have a lot of fun.”
Q: What went into the decision to start Bauta in this game?
Schottenheimer: “Well, we had talked about a lot of different things. Obviously the thing with Greyson throughout the year, he’s been really good at times and he’s been off and a little bit inconsistent at times. We were looking for a spark. We thought Faton could give us some things possibly moving around in the pocket and stuff like that. It just didn’t play out very well today.”
Q: You say it starts with you. Do you think the performance was more about play-calling or execution?
Schottenheimer: “You can’t come off a game like that and not have calls you’re going to second-guess. There certainly is going to be some I look at tomorrow and say, ‘hey, those weren’t very good.’ But we didn’t execute very well. We knew we’d need to win the line of scrimmage and we didn’t do a very good job of that. We had a couple of third-and-ones and fourth-and-ones and, quite honestly, they got after us a little bit up front. We need to be better. But again, it all starts with me and I understand that.”
Q: How do you fix this mess?
Schottenheimer: “There’s not anybody in that locker room who’s going to sit around and finger-point. Certainly offensively we know we have to play better. We have to catch the ball better. We have to protect better when we have Malcolm (Mitchell) open on a double move down the field. Again, each guy needs to look at himself and find out what he can do better. And, again, I need to look at and the staff needs to look at the plan and see what we can do better.”
Q: In light of Bauta’s poor performance, what happens now with the quarterback position?
Schottenheimer: “We’ve got to look at the film. It wasn’t all Faton’s fault. We’ve got to look at each play. There was one he didn’t see the safety and cut it, the first (interception). He was kind of getting dragged down on the one in the end zone and trying to make a play. We’ll look at it and go from there.”
Q: Should he have played before today?
Schottenheimer: “I don’t think so. Obviously this was a situation where we had a bye week to think about it and go through some scenarios. He had a really good week of practice. We just didn’t play very well and Florida did.”
Q: When was the decision made to go with Bauta?
Schottenheimer: “We’ve been working on it. During the bye we gave all the guys some different reps and things like that. We kind of finalized it late this week.”
Q: Did you consider taking him out and replacing him?
Schottenheimer: “No. The last interception he kind of leads Brendan (Douglas) a little bit, but Brendan should make that play. You’ve got to look at the film. You can’t speak on emotions. But we never talked about taking him out.”
Q: Was this your decision?
Schottenheimer: “No, we talked about it as a staff. Coach Richt and I talk all the time. We were all involved in this decision. It was just one of those decisions that didn’t work. We’ll look at the film and try to get better.”