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Coach Snyder's Weekly Press Conference

Sept. 8, 2009

September 8, 2009
Mark Snyder Press Conference
Prior to Virginia Tech

Opening Statement: They are a very good football team. Coach Beamer has done a very good job. What can you say, that guy is a legend. We are excited to go and our kids are excited to go play.

Question: Where does the atmosphere rank amongst college arenas?

Answer: It's a day game, and in talking with Coach Beamer, their night games are a little more special than their day games, but it is a great environment. It ranks right up there as one of the toughest places to play in the country.

Question: Impression on Tyrod Taylor

Answer: He is a special player. He's a guy that will drive you crazy. You can play perfect defense, and then all of a sudden there he goes. He did it three or four times last year, in particular, watching the Virginia game. He single handedly beat UVA with his feet. They had that game, and those are the things he brings to the table. I watched the game the other night, they had a DB on him, Alabama did, and he outran that guy. He is just special, and when things break down that is when he's at his best.

Question: Is this a quicker Tech team than when you were there three years ago?

Answer: You know, they were pretty quick back then too. Eddie Royal was there, and they had some pretty fast linebackers and they do now, so they are very similar. The only difference is that I think we have improved. Our talent has increased since two years ago.

Question: What efficiencies did you address on the field last night that you saw in the game on Saturday?

Answer: I saw a lot of positives and I saw some negatives. We came out in the second half throwing the ball very well. We spread the ball around, we protected our quarterback, and we scored when we got into the red zone, seven, not three, for the most part. I was really proud of our special teams. As I watched the landscape of college football, a lot of teams had special team's errors, including Virginia Tech. Except for the kickoffs I was pretty pleased with our special teams. Some things we have to get is turning the ball over. We can't do that like we did against Southern Illinois. And things we worked on last night were two-minute defense and defending third-and-long.



Coach Snyder on defensive line not playing well: The truth is the truth, and it will set you free. We played a little high on the pads. It's a base fundamental and we have to get it corrected. The good thing is, I started yesterday's meeting with watching Alabama's defensive line and their pad level, watching how low they play. When we watched our game, you could see the difference. They had speed, the pad levels were low, and they got off blocks and rushed the quarterback. We have the same type of bodies on our line, now we just have to make it happen. It is always great to have an example of a team like Virginia Tech or Alabama to show your guys what it is suppose to look like.

Question: Is Virginia Tech's running back Ryan Williams as good as the hype?

Answer: He is as good as the hype. He's a good back. Against a good defense like Alabama, he played well. He didn't look like a freshman to me.

Question: Will it help having your corner backs back?

Answer: Yeah it will help, but the biggest shocker to me was the drop off at the tailback position. That's just not the product we have been seeing before. There was a significant drop off, and I didn't think that was going to happen. I am more happy to get Darius back. I'm happy to get our corners back, lets make that perfectly clear, but the biggest difference I saw was at the tailback position. There is a reason Darius is our one. Our corners held their own against SIU, but we will be facing better wide outs next week, but they did well and got some game experience. But it will be nice to have T.J. and DeQuan back.

Question: Were you please with your run blocking or does the run blocking look a whole lot better when you give Darius (Marshall) the ball?

Answer: The truth lies in the middle. Anytime you design a play, you would like to match your running backs up on the corner. There were about five or six times where we had our back on their corner. We say all the time, `no finesse corners,' but they don't tackle a lot. They tackled us 100 percent of the time. You would like to think that one or two of those, that they were the last line of defense before the end zone and that we would have an opportunity to break a tackle or make one of them miss. But we didn't do that.

Question: What are your thoughts on Terrell Edwards' first start and Martin Ward?

Answer: You only get so many opportunities and the ship only comes in every so often. When the ship comes in you better jump on board. They will still get their opportunities and I still think they're going to be good backs. But there is a difference between them and Darius Marshall.

Question: Thoughts on Chuck Walker?

Answer: You guys have been at practice and have seen what he and Antavious Wilson, Jamal Wilson, and you've seen some things that Troy Evans can do; Wayne Bonner, but Chuck Walker is just further along mentally. He and Cody Slate got more touches because they know what they are doing. I think as the season goes on we will be talking about those other guys too. I was pleased with everyone. Antavious, Jamal, Wayne all had a catch. Troy handled our punts, so I was pleased with that group.

Question: Thoughts on Brian Anderson after his first mistake?

Answer: He knows he should've gone the other way with the ball. But in his defense, after looking at the film the corner sat on the sticks and made a good play. So I'm going to protect him a little bit on that one. They had a 200-pound back and he squared up as a linebacker in the hole - we opted to go cut, which we had not taught - he leapt us, hit our quarterback and created a turnover.

Question: Thoughts on Omar Brown's performance?

Answer: We have been saying that he has tremendous range. I looked over at Mike Cassity and said `I told you his range would come in to play.'

Question: Thoughts on playing Virginia Tech in their home opener and following a loss?

Answer: They're going to be jacked up. We are excited to go play, and our kids will come ready to play. I know coach Beamer won't let them look past us to Nebraska or Miami. That isn't going to happen; he's too good of a coach. We're going to have to bring our A-game and match their special teams and not turn the football over. They are a steady football team. They win it by running the football, playing great defense and superior special teams. They are opportunistic offensively, but that's what they are -tremendous defense, tremendous special teams and opportunistic on offense. We are going to have to stop the running game and make them throw it.

Question: How much time are you dedicating to matching `Beamer-ball?' (special teams)

Answer: It's interesting, in 1997 or 1998 Coach Beamer allowed me to come in to Virginia Tech for three days and share and visit with him. I took that back to Minnesota, they're still using it. I took it to Ohio State and they're still using it. I brought it here to Marshall and we're still using it. So what we are going to encounter, we've been seeing it every day. There won't be a whole bunch of surprises there. We have a pretty good feel for what they're going to do - they have a pretty good feel for what we're going to do. So again, we are just going to have to go in there and match their special teams.

Question: Thoughts on last time you played at Virginia Tech?

Answer: I remember the first drive...Ahmad Bradshaw was running the ball pretty well. We felt pretty good at halftime, because we had the ball coming out of the second half. But then Bernard Morris got hit, the ball went up in the air - they recovered it and the crowd went crazy, and the game was over. We can't do that this time. We're going to have to play a certain amount of Beamer-ball when we play Virginia Tech.

Question: What was your biggest problem stopping their two-minute offense?

Answer: The weak-side curl, every single one of them. It was a different guy every time. It was a nice new system/scheme for them. I call it the Purdue series, that's what Purdue made their hay with back in the day. They executed it very well, on defense we didn't and we couldn't get off the field on third down. There are three or four guys on the team that I came away really impressed with. The quarterback, linebacker, two defensive backs - they have some pretty good players. That team is going to win a lot of football games.