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Transcript of Head Coach Doc Holliday's Tuesday Press Conference

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday

Aug. 30, 2011

Opening Statement:

                Here we go again. It’s hard to believe it’s upon us. Summer is over and football is beginning. Its official…(Rakeem) Cato will be our starting quarterback Sunday and we are looking forward to an exciting game.

On Cato practicing without crowd:

                Number one he’s a young guy right out of high school. He grew up in a tough area and has been through a lot of adversity in his life. I think that will carry over to the playing field this season. He’s a mentally tough kid and I think he will handle it well.

On WVU’s Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin:

                Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin may be two of the best players in the league. A year ago, WVU had the best talent in the Big East conference. The coaches and the media picked them to win the Big East Conference again. They have the best talent again this year. You have to know where Miller is because he will create issues for you as far as the passing game is concerned. Then on offense they have two of the best players in the league with Geno Smith and Tavon Austin who are exciting players.

On WVU’s offense:

                Coach Holgorsen has done a great job there and seems to adapt the personnel to his offense. I’m sure he will do a great job at West Virginia, as he has elsewhere.

On Doc returning to Morgantown:

                This is a different team. We have a lot of young kids and most have never been to Morgantown. We’ll do a great job this week with preparation. We’ll talk about the job at hand and we are all looking forward to it. It will be an exciting game.



On Tyler Warner’s missed FG last season against WVU:

                There’s nobody that wanted to make that kick more than Warner did. At that time in the game the only thing you can do is try to rev the kid up a bit. He came out and had a 33-yard field goal against Tulane at the end of the first half that helped us win that football game. He’s a much improved player and, if we get in that situation again, he will make that kick. 

On Doc being in visitor locker room in Morgantown:

                I’ve never been in that visiting locker room before. A locker room is a locker room. It will be different until the ball is kicked off. At that point it’s all about finding a way to win the game. We’re going to do everything we can possibly do to be prepared and rested as we take the field this Sunday.

On possible distractions in Morgantown:

                I have a lot of friends there. I was there for a long time and still have plenty of friends who are still there. I have great respect for them and have great respect for that University, but for that three hour period on Sunday, it’s all about doing what we can do to win that football game. That is the only thing that is on my mind.

On Doc’s knowledge of game atmosphere:

                You constantly talk to the kids about leadership and being mentally tough. We will have crowd noise during practice all week to help prepare the focus of the quarterback and other players. You can’t actually simulate it until you walk in that arena. We have some older kids who have played in tough arenas. I have confidence that our kids will play hard and play well this Sunday.

On Marshall RG John Bruhin:

                I was happy that Bruhin was able to get through camp and he’s a great kid. John Bruhin is all about doing good things in college football. He brings leadership and toughness. Knowing he is in the huddle means a lot to our staff and our football team. I’m glad he’s back and this will be the first time he’s played in a while. I’m sure he will be excited.

On decision to name Cato the starter:

                I informed Cato today at meetings, but the decision has been made for a couple days. Cato is beyond his years in a football sense and I believe he will be fine.

On Doc’s feelings about first game of second season with MU:

                After going through it for a year you get more comfortable with it. The excitement of the first game and getting to see your team out there after two-a-days, you just want to go play. We’re at that point. We are tired of practicing. We need to tee it up and go play. We are all anxious for Sunday to get here.

On Tavon Austin:

                He is probably the most exciting player in that league. If he gets the ball in his hands he can score at any time. He’s probably going to catch kickoffs and get the ball 10 to 12 times as a wideout. They’re going to complete some passes. It’s important once he gets the ball that we get him on the ground and get him tackled. You can’t let five and six-yard gains turn into 40-yard gains. We have to understand where he is at all times and make sure he is accounted for. He is a really good player.

On similarities with WVU and CUSA teams:

                The most similar team to what WVU does is East Carolina. Their coordinator was at Texas Tech along with Leach and they are all tied in together.