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CB Tyrique Stevenson will be blogging weekly throughout the season on CaneSport.com. In this edition, Stevenson talks about the loss of the state of Michigan and its aftermath:
The most important thing I think about as we bounce back from the Michigan State game is that as an individual I have to start working a little harder on my own, putting in more of effort than I already do in many more things.
And as for one of the leaders, an older man on this team is taking things in new directions.
I feel like there has to be a better plan, all the coaches and all the staff and everyone feels like that. We’re going to take this next step to make sure things get back on track.
Adversity will strike every time, however, even when you don’t expect it. Just to deal with it, be grateful to catch your breath after adversity, take the next step after adversity.
All I do is think about the positives – take the positives, apply the negatives as well to create more positives.
The games that I wish I could pick up, I have to push a little harder, focus a little more for a longer period of time, and make sure I make the plays that the team really needs.
THE LONG PASSANT TD THAT I ABANDONED IN THE FOURTH QUARTER
They weren’t really trying us out during the game because they hardly can outrun us in terms of men’s coverage. We saw that.
I was wrong (to assume that). I didn’t expect them to do the stop-and-go.
No. 1 [Jayden Reed] was much faster than 8 [Jalen Nailor, who had the 39-yard TD to make it 31-17 with 4:12 remaining]. It had been their main focus. I lost focus on this game, I just fell for the stop and go route.
We worked on this all week, we knew what they were going to do. During the game I felt they were holding it for the right time, because they didn’t do a stop-and-go game and it was in their movie.
These last two games, first down, third down, any down, we just lost our focus.
It didn’t sound awful to me. I did not get discouraged. It didn’t hurt my feelings or anything like that. You accept this piece, you film it. People are going to try to come back to this later and use it as your weakness, but you have to understand that you have to come back and work harder because you’re putting something like that on film.
As a corner you have to learn to forget, to move on to the next room. We are truly on an island in every room.
THE FOURTH QUARTER LAST WEEKEND
I had the impression that as a team, in the fourth quarter, things were not going well.
I would say we’ve kind of stopped the fight.
We went there, played hard. Just in the fourth quarter, things took a turn for the worse for us.
We really weren’t ready for this type of adversity. We took a big hit towards the end of the match. It all comes back to us going back to the drawing board, making sure it never happens again.
We will stick to what the coaches give us. You have to believe in what they say, come every day, be coached by them. So we think they’re going to have a better plan.
It’s just going back to the basics of everything, starting to rebuild and following the plan that the coaches give us.
We need to do better as a team than we did, even better as a defense by maintaining our physical level, attacking, maintaining it for four quarters, but not two or three quarters.
THE PROBLEM OF RESOLUTION
Tackling is very important. Just being the last in the nation …….. we understand that we have to make it bigger.
We are happy to be able to face this type of adversity because it is something that is changeable. It’s only been three games, it’s not like it’s towards the end of the season and things are going badly.
We got what we needed early on, we’ll come back to the drawing board and just work on the tackle, the form, work on whatever happens with the tackle.
In Little League, you attack someone and they fall because they don’t have full control of their balance.
High school, college and the NFL … it’s the same techniques. You apply these techniques to every tackle and don’t go out independent.
We were taught the same tackling techniques in Georgia as here. It’s pretty much the same for any defense, for any defender who plays football.
We lose a bit of focus, fundamentals and techniques when we get into the game. We get angry. We need to stop doing things that we don’t actually do, which is to work on the techniques, whatever they got us into.
We want to take a big turn now and are working to understand the fundamentals of the game even when we are tired.
Once you get tired and start to think differently mentally, sometimes your fundamentals and techniques tend to slip out the window.
When faced with a better or even a very similar opponent, you tend to lose battles when you lose your technique and your fundamentals.
We have to work on the tackles and the coaches have given us a plan that we will take much more seriously. It hurts us individually and hurts the whole team that we have an issue to resolve. The focus by the coaches this week and the rest of the season should be excellent.
We just need to keep working on it, stay alert, just remember once we’re in the game to stick to our fundamentals.
On the pitch you have the fans, the cameras, everything else that keeps you from focusing. It can have a tendency to happen, you just lose sight of your techniques and sometimes try to fly away. And it never works.
We entered into this knowledge to get better, to continue chopping wood.
By playing this position (corner back), you are taking a risk with every move. You are trying to stop another adult from running away. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but at the same time keep chopping so that when you lose it doesn’t happen again.
THE “OUPS” ROOM OF THE GURVAN ROOM
We looked around the room and laughed about it. We all kind of got what he was thinking. The outside world will always have its opinion on this. We figured out what he was doing, but the receiver made a good cut and faked it. He thought he was going outside the blocker towards TC [Te’Cory Couch] and it just happened to cut when he made his decision, you know? This game is a game of thumbs and split decisions. He made a bad decision at the wrong time that felt right, and the receiver made a great decision at the right time.
This game does not define who he is or our defense. One mistake and everyone makes mistakes. The outside world will always have its opinions.
Not everyone who comments or jokes about it is coming up and doing what we do. You tend to let things like that go in one ear and come out the other.
CONNECTICUT CENTRAL STATE IS NEXT
We do not treat this game any differently from the first three games. We attack every week like we’re playing Alabama or the No.1 team overall. We work harder and put more effort into the things we need to work on.
We understand that the conference program arrives quickly. Coach Diaz pointed out to us that we weren’t going to worry about it until it happened. Right now we have to work on improving ourselves. His motto is one day at a time.
The mindset is to beat them, obviously, and to win. But above all on us.
We are going to work on the fight, as a team, to stay together, not to divide us and to let the outside world define who we are. We know who we are. Right now we are in a bad spot and have to dig ourselves out. We are capable of doing it.
It’s just coming in, coming in with a better frame of mind and getting ready to work.