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Quotes from Doc Holliday's Sept. 4 Press Conference

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday

Opening Statement:

"Our team is looking forward to coming home and playing this week. The important thing our coaches and players have to understand is that we have to prepare to play every week or you're going to get beat. There are a couple of examples of that last week. Pitt was upset by Youngstown State, Houston beat by Texas State and Memphis losing to Tennessee-Martin. We have Western Carolina coming in that we have to prepare to play. I know our guys are anxious to get back on the field and get better."

On the staff of Western Carolina:

"They did a tremendous job at Appalachian State. They're all good coaches. They played well last week with their true freshman at quarterback and they have athletes. Today's age of college football it doesn't matter who you play you better be prepared and play your tail off or you're going to get beat. It's amazing in college football every Sunday you'll pick up the paper and see a team get beat that shouldn't have been beaten. We just have to make sure we're prepared."

On freshman quarterback Troy Mitchell:

"He runs around well and throws the ball well enough. He did a nice job running that offense. Appalachian State has given teams fits throughout the years and he's doing the same thing they did at Appalachian State. "

On Eddie Sullivan:

"Eddie [Sullivan] was their starter prior to getting suspended. I would guess we will probably see both Eddie and Troy [Mitchell] at quarterback. Troy came in and played the one, but I'm sure we'll see Eddie too."

On game planning for Eddie Sullivan:

"I don't think they will change what they are doing offensively whether it is Eddie or Troy. We just have to prepare for what they do. Regardless of who is in there we have to make sure we do a great job and get stops."

On the defense knowing Eddie Sullivan's play:

"They are a little bit differently with what they're doing. Our guys know his strengths and his weaknesses. We will prepare for that. I'm sure he will come in and play well."

On Eddie Sullivan's leaving Marshall:

"It's an odd time to leave, but I think our kids understand that quarterback is a little different of a position. This happens all over the country. If you're not going to play then you might transfer. I'm sure he left for the opportunity to play."

On the offense of Western Carolina:

"They're a little bit of a read option team. They like to get the kid out on the perimeter. They'll run their quarterback and they do a good job at it."

On the defensive approach against Western Carolina:

"We will be a bit more 4-down on defense. That is our base. We had some issues last week with [Marques] Aiken not being able to play that first half. We had some injuries with [Steve] Dillon and some other guys early which forced us to go to more 3-down stuff. We want to get back into some 4-down so you'll see more of that."

On Rakeem Cato's performance against WVU:

"He did some good things and he's a year older. You can't put a price on experience and going through the whole year getting an understanding of the offense. As a year ago as a freshman I think he did some good things. We've seen him grow up as a quarterback this year and I thought he made great progress in that first game. We just have to get better every week. Offensively we have some skill players that can make some plays. We have to get better in all three phases."

On the tackling against WVU:

"There's no question we have to do a better job at tackling. Our goal is always to have single-digit missed tackling when you play. That's one area that we have to make sure we get better this week. We have to become a better tackling team and we will."

On corrections that need to be made:

"I felt coming out of that game I knew what our issues were on defense. I felt offensively we did some good things and in the kicking game we did some good things. That offense [WVU] is going to that to several teams this year. They're good and you have to give them credit, but we have to get better and more on."

On many players getting catches:

"I know there were a lot of guys that had catches. I believe there were 13 different receivers that had catches. From a defensive standpoint it's hard to stop a team when that many people touch the ball. We were also able to run the ball a little bit. Travon [Van] and the two freshmen were able to run the ball and that's important for being able to throw the ball."

On Travon Van:

"He's finally healthy. For the first time since he's been here, he has a new hip and a new knee. He's feeling good and it's important that we keep him that way. We have some backs that can play and we can hopefully roll the two young kids, Remi Watson and Travon in there. Keep a fresh back coming at them all the time that's a good thing."

On Kevin Grooms:

"Both the young kids have proven that they can make a difference especially in space. I can see those guys playing early.

On being able to run more plays:

"The speed of the offense is what will help us do that. We were snapping the ball with 19 or 20 seconds left on the play clock. The other thing is being able to move the chains. If you're able to sustain drives and getting first downs allows you to keep snapping the ball. A combination of the speed of the offense and creating first downs are all positive things that have to continue."

On the tight ends play:

"There's no question that all three [Gator Hoskins, Eric Frohnapfel, C.J. Crawford] bring different things to the table. You have to take advantages of the strengths and Billy (Legg) does a nice job at doing that. It's nice to see all three of them in there and giving reps.  They've done a great job."

On filling the slot position:

"Andre Booker is always a punt returner or kick returner, so if he returns the kick then we will run Tommy Shuler in there. That way Booker can get a break then we will get Booker back in there. Jermaine Kelson is going to go in there and play as well. We're going to play three different slots and play six or eight other receivers. We'll run three or four tailbacks in there and three tight-ends.