Sep 3, 2013
Marshall-GWU Game Notes
"Our captains on offense this week will be Rakeem Cato and Gator Hoskins. Our captains on defense will be Alex Bazzie and James Rouse. That was based on their performance in the game on Saturday and also their leadership throughout camp. We tried to stress to our guys that there were seven teams sitting in the same boat we were last Tuesday and, whether it was preparation or overconfidence, they woke up Sunday morning and weren't very happy. Oregon State was ranked 25th in the country and got beat by Eastern Washington and all those things took place at their stadium. Kansas State has won the Big 12 conference two straight years and was beaten by North Dakota State. Iowa State is in the Big 12 conference and got beat by Northern Iowa. South Florida got crushed by McNeese State 53-21. UCONN got crushed by Towson 33-18. Eastern Illinois beat San Diego State 40-to-19. Georgia State got beat by Samford 31-to-21. The message to our football team is that you better be prepared every week to go play or you will get beat. We'll continue to drive that message home this week. Gardner-Webb has just as good of skill as we saw last Saturday. They're good at the receiver position and the tailbacks are good players. They have a nose guard on defense that is an NFL guy so we'll have our work cut out for us. It's going to be all about preparation and if we don't do that this week then we will get beat. Our kids need to understand that and it starts today, just like it does every week."
On James Rouse:
"He played very well. You're talking about a guy that has overcome adversity. If most the players or people out there had to go through what he's gone through they would've given up football. He sat for two straight years and dealt with back issues. He tore his Achilles last spring. He had no luck whatsoever. He just persevered and continued to work extremely hard. He has a great attitude. He played Saturday and played extremely well. It was great to see because he's a great player and a great kid."
On Corey Tindal:
"Corey just brings great energy. It's amazing that one or two guys can change the attitude and that team, in this case the defense. Brandon Spikes was like that at Florida. You get a few guys that play with the kind of energy that Tindal plays with and he's done that from the time he stepped on the field. It's not something that just happens on Saturdays. If you come and watch a practice, he's like that then too. He just learns the game and it's infectious on the other kids. It's not just him. Linebacker Neville Hewitt plays with that type of an attitude. I see a lot of guys running around on that defense playing really well and having a fun time doing it. Tindal and Hewitt are a couple of those guys."
On the performance of the offensive line:
"My opinion hasn't changed. I thought they took that game over in the second-half. Anytime you can run it for 300 plus yards that offensive line has had a good day. What was great to see was that not only the five starters went in and played well, but Clint Van Horn came in and played extremely well. The freshman center went in and got his feet wet. We're getting a lot more than just the starting five."
On the performance of the defense:
"The biggest thing that impressed me was that we only had four missed tackles. That's unheard of to be honest. To only have four missed tackles tells me that we have guys who are running around playing with great fundamentals, great technique and are under control. Anytime our defense comes back in Sunday and we have single digit missed tackles, there's a pretty good chance you're going to win that football game. That was the case Saturday. I think the other thing is that our guys got lined up and played with the enthusiasm that they played with and had fun doing it."
On the defensive morale following a couple big plays by Miami (OH):
"I was pleased. We talked a lot in the hotel before the game about how you're going to react when adversity hits you. It hit them a couple times there in the first half defensively. Then we go into halftime tied at 14. Our kids didn't panic. We came out in the second half and made adjustments and played extremely well. You're going to give up a play or two on defense, but you don't worry about it. Pick up and go play the next play. If you eliminate those two plays, their offense doesn't get a whole lot. I think our kids have done a great job at playing the next play and not looking back and overcoming adversity. We tell them to go play as hard as you can play. Don't look at the scoreboard. At the end of the day, we'll look up and see where we are."
On placing adverse situations in practice to get the team prepared:
"That's part of coaching. We try to them into every situation they could find themselves in in a game. When we do our scrimmages, we put them in the red zone and we'll run them off the field and have a sudden change. You try to put them in situations that they may find themselves in come gametime. So when it happens in the game, they just react and don't panic. Chuck Heater does a tremendous job. They understand that whatever is out there, he is going to fix it. There are always a lot of unknowns with the first game. They showed some things early in that game last week that we didn't prepare for and hadn't seen. Chuck was able to make those adjustments."
On Gardner-Webb's rushing attack:
"Anytime you can stop the run and force them into becoming a one-dimensional team, you have a shot. We have to do that. They ran the ball extremely well last week with those two backs. I'm sure they'll come in and try to do the same thing to us. We have to be able to stop the run. That's where it starts every week."
On Miami (OH) quarterback Boucher's hot start, cool finish:
"We got some pressure on him. We were concerned about him coming in. You go back to the bowl game where he was MVP of and he ran away from people. I didn't think he ran away from us Saturday. I felt like our guys ran him down when they had to. It was good to see. I think we're faster on defense. Hopefully those athletic quarterbacks can't run away from us like they have done in the past. He didn't do that on Saturday and our guys were able to get some pressure on him."
On the maturity level of the team:
"There's no doubt that we are a more mature team. There are only about three kids who are playing here that have been here for more than three years. The last couple of years we've had young guys who were good players for us, but they were still young. We have a more mature team right now and there is more leadership on this team then there has ever been."
On Cato's performance:
"He had a couple of times that he ran well with the football which is something he wouldn't have done in the past. He picked up a couple key first downs for us. He's a very unselfish player. He's continued to mature and has grown up a lot. He's taking what the defense gives us. He doesn't care if we throw for 300 yards or run for 300 yards. He just wants to win and that's why he is a captain this week. He's done a tremendous job as far as leadership goes. I'm proud of how he has grown as a quarterback."
On Cato's lack of fear to run:
"I'm not sure the kid was ever scared. I think he's just being mature and understanding what we have to do to take advantage of what they give us. Bill Legg has done a great job with him to help get that done."
On the chemistry between tight end Gator Hoskins and QB Cato:
"A lot of it has to do with matchups. Gator is a matchup problem for a lot of people because sometimes he's matched-up with a linebacker. He just has a good feel for the game. He's very athletic and runs good routes. He just finds a way to get open and he's a big strong guy. At times Cato will just throw it up to him and he'll go and get it."