Quotes/Notes/Video from Doc Holliday's Aug. 29 Press Conference|
Aug. 29, 2017
Press Conference Video
As you know, with the opening game, there are always a lot of unknowns. The one thing you do know is that Miami returns 19 starters. This will be a big challenge because this team is extremely tough and physical. It starts with their quarterback Ragland. The biggest thing they do is take care of the football. They have a tall wideout who can go up and get it.
On captains for Saturday:
Offensively, it will be tight end Ryan Yurachek. Defensively, it will be defensive end Marquis Couch and on special teams will have kicker Kaare Vedvik.
On the first game:
It's great to get here because you spend all of that time, starting in January, to get to this point. Especially in football, where you put all that time in to get 12 opportunities, to get to 13, to get to 14 hopefully. You're excited about it. Camp was all different this year. We've been going at it since July 23. It's time to go play someone else and see exactly where we are.
They are one of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference, obviously. By the end of the year last year, that was an excellent football team. It will be a tremendous measuring stick for us.
On the matchup:
You just have to do what you're coached to do and go make plays. Most of our receiving corps really hasn't played a whole lot so it will be good to go watch them. We have a different guy (Trey Rodriguez) in the backfield so I'm interested to go see our guys play someone else.
On wide receiver Tyre Brady:
I like Tyre. I'm eager to see him go play on Saturdays. Knowing Tyre and how he has practiced, he'll go out and play well.
On offensive tackle Tarik Adams:
The good thing about Tarik is he has some guys lined up with him and around him who have played a lot of football. The biggest thing is the preparation. The way we practice, he will be ready to go play in that game. If you're prepared, you don't worry about it and you go out and execute what you've been coached to do. (Offensive line coach) Alex (Mirabal) has done a tremendous job, not only preparing him, but that entire offensive line.
On linebacker Frankie Hernandez:
Frankie's a guy who loves to play the game. He's healthy now and he's bigger, more physical and stronger. He's looking forward to going out and playing Saturday, as all of our guys are. As I've said before, linebacker is one of those positions where, if you have to coach the heck out of him, chances are you don't have one. Linebacker is a position where, once that ball is snapped, they have to have a nose for the ball.
I like this group a lot. The guys who are here right now have a lot invested. This has been as tough a winter, spring and summer since I've been here and maybe wherever I've been.
On quarterback Chase Litton:
Our goals for him were that he understands the responsibilities of being the quarterback at Marshall University and everything that comes with that. He has done a great job embracing that. He has worked extremely hard to become a better player. He has put on weight and become more physical and has a better understanding of the game. What he did to improve over the summer, including what he did at the Manning Passing Academy, are some of the things you'll see out there on Saturday. He has been great in practice and this point and that has to carry over to the games.
On Miami's defensive line:
Those two inside guys ... one is 330 pounds, he's a man in there. They are both really good players. It's important that our offensive line does a great job blocking and getting after their guys, but they have good players and it will be a good matchup for our guys to see where we are.
On kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik:
Vedvik is probably one of the most athletic kickers that I've ever been around in all of my years of coaching. He's an unbelievable kid who goes to work every day and takes great pride in what he does. He's a talented guy who is fun to watch and be around.
On defensive back Jestin Morrow:
He's another talented guy, a young guy who hasn't played. The one thing we had to do was get more athletic at the corner position. If you look at the three guys we have out there right now, we've done that. We like where we are there and at the safety position. He (Morrow) provides the athleticism we need to line up at the nickel position, over the slot, and do what we ask him to do.
On defensive back Jaylon McClain-Sapp:
He's another young guy who has had a great camp. He's a talented young player who continues to get better. Chris (Jackson), of course, got a lot of snaps under his belt a year ago. (Defensive coordinator) Chuck (Heater) is happy with what they've done. Our defense starts on the outside and works its way in, so those guys have to play well for us and they will.
On tight end Xavier Gaines:
He's a very talented guy. When you watch him out there, he can do a lot of things for us. He reminds me a little bit of (former MU tight end) Gator Hoskins, who transitioned from playing quarterback to tight end and had the opportunity to play in the NFL. Now, he's not there yet. He's still in the learning phase of what we're doing. We're also working him into some special teams stuff. But yeah, he's a talented guy who can create some matchup problems once he's ready to go.