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Quotes from Doc Holliday's Sept. 17 Press Conference

Marshall coach Doc Holliday

Sept. 17, 2013

Marshall-VT Game Notes

Opening statement:

                "The captains for this week on offense are Rakeem Cato and Chris Jasperse. Our defensive captains will be Darryl Roberts and James Rouse again. Of course we have a great challenge this week in Virginia Tech. Coach Frank Beamer has done a tremendous job there over the years. They're an excellent football team and have an outstanding environment. I've probably played against Virginia Tech 20 plus times and it always starts with their defense. They are second in the country in total defense. Nobody has been able to move the ball very successfully against them so that will be a tremendous challenge for us. If you look at them offensively, it starts with the quarterback Logan Thomas. Many people thought that if he comes out a year ago that he would be a top four pick in the NFL draft. He's a very talented guy. They have a freshman tailback Trey Edmunds whose father played in the NFL. They have great players and coach Beamer has always been known for his special teams. That will be a challenge for us too. It's a great challenge and we have to have a great week to get ready to go down there and play those guys."

On the differences of this 2013-14 Virginia Tech football team and what East Carolina was able to do against them:

                "East Carolina played extremely well on defense. They are much approved on defense. For Virginia Tech it's not a different team at all from a defensive standpoint. They're as good as they've ever been on defense. Offensively they struggled a little bit running the football, but with that quarterback that they have they've been throwing it a little more and have very talented wideouts. They're a good football team."



On Virginia Tech's wide receivers:

                "They have a lot of young guys. They have a couple of freshman receivers playing for them and a freshman tight end. They also have the freshman tailback. Anytime you play young players like that they are going to go through some growing pains. They have a new offensive coordinator in Scot Loeffler who was at Temple University with Chuck (Heater) and who was recently at Auburn. They improve from week to week there's no doubt."

On Coach Holliday coaching against Coach Beamer many times:

                "Coach Beamer has always been known to be exceptional on special teams. Bud Foster, the defensive coordinator has probably been there as long as coach Beamer has. They're extremely physical, they run to the ball and are very well-coached. Offensively they have had a couple of changes, but the one thing he wants to do is run the football. They've worked extremely hard to get that done and I'm sure they'll continue to try to do that this weekend."

On player seeking motivation for upcoming game:

                "Our Virginia guys are motivated, just like when we play a Florida team our Florida guys are motivated. The Virginia guys know these kids playing for Virginia Tech. Anytime you can go play on the national stage your kids are going to get excited to go play. They need to be excited because it is the next game and I know that they will be."

On defensive lineman Jarquez Samuel stepping in for the injured Brandon Sparrow:

                "Jarquez has done a great job all through camp. He played exceptionally well on Saturday."

On the pressure Marshall was able to get on Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton last week:

                "Defensively we're improved overall. There's no question about that. We are getting a little better at applying pressure because of those inside guys like Jarquez Samuel, James Rouse, with the addition of Gary Thompson and Arnold Blackman, who is going to play more. He'll play this week. It's going to be critical this week that we get our pressure packages going and get after Virginia Tech."

On the performance of defensive lineman Gary Thompson:

                "He played well. He didn't play quite as well as he did the week before. He was really good the week before. He's a young guy that is continuing to get better every week and it's important that he continues to do that because he is a guy that we think can put pressure on the quarterback because of his ability to run."

On how well Marshall played against Ohio despite the turnovers:

                "Bottom line is when you turn the football over four times then you have no chance to beat a good football team. Chances are you won't win no matter who you play. You can't win a football game turning the ball over. Take away the turnovers and we actually played pretty well. But you can't turn the ball over. You have to eliminate turnovers. That's part of the plan to win. It's unacceptable and you can't let that happen."

On emphasizing the importance of not turning the ball over against a good Virginia Tech team:

                "That's something we do every day and it's not going to change. The skill players are always working on ball security and good players will come back and respond and not let it happen again. That's what good players do. Those kids are good players and I expect them to be better this week."

On Virginia Tech turning turnovers into points:

                "Defensively, they are as good of a football team as you'll find in this country. I'm not just saying that because we are playing them. Their stats prove that and Alabama moved the ball up and down the field against Texas A & M, but had a lot of trouble against the Virginia Tech defense. They're extremely well coached. Their front guys are like clones. They roll them in and out of there and they're all like 6-foot-2 and 300-pounds and can run. They're good players."

On Virginia Tech's quarterback Logan Thomas:

                "He looks like a big tight end out there, but he can run. They say he's 6-foot-6, but he looks bigger than that when he gets out on the field with the uniform on. He's impressive and he makes all the throws."

On preparing to tackle big guys like Logan Thomas:

                "Arm tackles don't work. You have to wrap him up. East Carolina had him sacked a couple of times and couldn't get him on the ground. He is a big, physical guy and you better wrap him up and you better get more than one guy there. He is a physical player."

On simulating Logan Thomas's size for practice on taking him down:

                "You don't. Number one you just try to simulate what he does like we do every week. Every day in practice we go good-on-good. We are just working extremely hard to get better."

On playing a big name team following a disappointing loss to Ohio:

                "This is a great group of kids. They have great leadership, worked extremely hard and football is very important to them. They took the loss awfully hard, but they also know that one game does not define a season. We have a lot of football left to play and they're going to be good. Whoever that is, it just happens to be Virginia Tech. But it's important because it is the next game and they'll go play. Effort has never been an issue with these kids. They play hard. They don't always play smart at times, but they always play extremely hard."