Transcript of Marshall Head Coach Mark Snyder's Weekly Press Conference





Sept. 5, 2006

HUNTINGTON - The following is a transcript of Marshall University head football coach Mark Snyder's weekly press conference for the week of the Hofstra game.

On opening at home...

It's good to be home. Obviously we're excited to come back here to the Joan and get back to our own environment. The kids had a little bounce in their step yesterday, which was good. It's amazing how players are resilient. They're a little bit more resilient than us coaches sometimes. We had a good practice yesterday; so we're looking forward to coming back and playing a very good Hofstra team, a very scrappy Hofstra team, and being back home.

On playing a I-AA opponent...

Hofstra has always come in here and played us extremely well. They have a new coach but they haven't changed much, they still throwing the ball all over the field. They've got a quarterback that can do it. They had a wideout who came out this week and had a great game. He was catching the ball all over the field. Looks like that kid might have been young out there (the Stony Brook cornerback); we have young corners so I'd imagine they'd come out and try to do the same to us.

On last Saturday's season-opener at West Virginia...

We just didn't play very well fundamentally. I was a little disappointed in our defense. Fundamentally, it wasn't so much what we were doing it was how we were doing it. Tackling wasn't good. There were some bright spots though. I was pleased with a few areas with our offense. We cut down our negative yardage plays, we only had three, which was a far cry from where we were last year when we gave up them sacks. Ahmad and Chubb hung on to the football which always frightens you the first couple games of the year. We were 54 percent effective on first down, which was great. The key offensively, when it comes time to have to make a play, Bernie is going to have to bury his head and get that first down. We can't just go out of bounds; this isn't NFL football, this is college football. He's got to keep that drive alive by putting his head down and getting that first down. The one crucial fourth down down there when we were still in the game we had a procedure penalty - the ball wasn't snapped. We've got to get those type of things fixed. Good teams don't do those kinds of things.

On quarterback Bernard Morris...

I was proud that he took what they gave him. If they gave him a chance to take a shot down the field he took a shot down the field. We dropped the ball, but we took the shots when we had the shots. I thought he played a smart game and took exactly what they gave him and that's the key to being a good offense.

He looks like a different guy. He was in a hostile environment against a pretty good defense. I thought he showed some calmness, some poise. He took what they gave him. That's always going to give you a chance if he'll continue to do that.

On lack of offensive balance vs. WVU...

We weren't on the field much offensively in the first half. It was hard to get any continuity; it was hard to keep any balance. Our defense felt like they were out there the whole first half.

On placekicker Anthony Binswanger and the rest of the special teams...

It was good to get Anthony out there. It (43-yard field goal in the third quarter) wasn't a chip shot. It was his first one in a hostile environment and he put it through the uprights. I felt good about our special teams except for the first two punts, we can't start that way. We've got to correct that this week or they'll be a change.

I was pleased with our special teams. I thought West Virginia had good special teams and I thought we matched them. Again I think the difference in the game was fundamentally on defense we just weren't there. We've got to get that corrected.

On nerves for the home opener...

The beautiful thing about coming home is we get to do our walk, get to see the fans, take our field for the first time, play where we've been practicing and have the fans cheering for us. I think we'll be in great shape this week, I don't anticipate any letdowns.

On the performance of Matt Morris...

Matt has done really well. He left it all out on the field Saturday, that's for sure. He was wiped out after the game. He's a great young man. We'll continue to play him and he'll make some of those catches that he missed down in the end zone. The beautiful thing is he dropped one and he caught one, his confidence will build.