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Coach Holliday's Weekly Press Conference Transcript

Sept. 21, 2010

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - 9/21/2010
Doc Holliday Press Conference
Marshall vs. Ohio

Opening Statement: "We have really high expectations for this program and I don't think we achieved those expectations last week. We were disappointed as coaches, players and staff. We have to work very hard this week to make sure we play up to our standards. Coach Solich is an excellent coach. His team will be well prepared. We have played them 53 times and it is a great rivalry to play for the bell. There are not many teams in the country that can overcome turnovers and we sure as heck are not one of them. There are only one or two teams that can overcome any turnover, but we turned the ball over five times and you can't win football games like that, so we have to get that corrected for this Saturday."

On Ohio's two quarterback system: "They (Phil Bates and Boo Jackson) are very similar. They are not doing anything different offensively. They have some of the same issues we have, they are turning the ball over too, and I know Coach Solich will work hard to get that fixed. But both quarterbacks can throw the ball and run the ball and they are an option football team."

The differences between last year's Ohio team and this year's Ohio team:"They are very similar. They lost their quarterback and some other good players but coach Solich doesn't change his offense much. They are still an option team that can throw it. The one thing they did a year ago was lead the nation in take-away's. I think they had 37. That is just a sign of a well coached team. And his teams have been well coached no matter where he has been, Ohio University being no different."

On the Marshall players motivation: "Our kids haven't waivered. They have done everything they have been asked to do. We just need to stay the course. We can't flinch as coaches, they can't flinch as players and we just need to continue to prepare and get better as a team. We don't prepare any different for any team. Whether it be Ohio State, West Virginia, Bowling Green or Ohio, we prepare for them all the same, so we just need to stay the course."



On a fast start:"A fast start is important anytime you play. We need to get out of the blocks and take care of the football. If we do that, we will have a chance to win the game. It starts with playing great defense and the second thing is to not turn the ball over. If we held onto the ball we would be sitting at 2-1 instead of 0-3, so we have to be able to do that to win games."

On the quarterback play: "The interceptions are unacceptable. But with that being said, there are a lot of factors that go into that. We went back and looked at the film as a staff and worked extremely hard to find out why we were turning the ball over. It's not just Brian Anderson. There were some breakdowns up front, we have to protect better and we have to catch the ball when it is thrown to us, plus Brian has to protect the ball. All three of those things go into it. We are going to play the best players that we think will give us the best chance to win, and if that changes at some point during the game or down the road we will make that decision. Everyone is going to be held accountable. Whether it is blocking, catching the ball or whatever, we have to do a better job all around."

On A.J. Graham: "We are just trying to take advantage of all the talent we have, and if AJ can go into the game and give us a lift in certain situations, we will continue to do that. But we are just trying to take advantage of all our resources. He does certain things better than Brian and Eddie. We played all three of them last Saturday and we might do that again this Saturday. We have to play the players who give us the best chance to win, and we will continue to do that."

Continuing on the interceptions: "A couple of them were tipped, and a couple of them were protection issues. Unfortunately, we have to get better with the guys that we have there because people aren't going to drop out of the sky. We have some personnel issues that I have mentioned before that can't be fixed overnight or in one recruiting season. The guys that we have there have to get better, and we have to get them better as coaches because that is our job."

On Brandon Campbell: Brandon understands that he let a lot of people down, and he not being there led to some issues because we had to switch some people around. We had C.J. Wood out there playing on one leg, and that is an issue for us. Brandon is back, and as long as he does what we ask of him, he will be there for the rest of the year.

On C.J. Woods status for Saturday: "He is questionable."

The status of D.J. Wingate: "He should be full speed this week. That being said, Darryl Roberts filled in and did some good things. He needs to learn when to stay in the end zone and when to come out, but that is a freshman mistake and he will learn. He will continue to play and he will be a good player."

What the Marshall vs. Ohio rivalry means to Marshall:"We have played 53 times, and we play for the bell, so it is important to us. But every game we play is important to us. It will be that game from here on out. That's how it was for Ohio State, West Virginia and Bowling Green, so Ohio is the next one up so it is very important to us."

On the importance of a win: "Our kids need to go out and win a football game. It is important that we go out and play extremely well because if we don't then we will get beat. We are not a good enough team to go out and not play well and still expect to win. We could win the rest of them or lose the rest of them. We have to play our A game every week to have a chance and that is the bottom line."

On the health of Kellen Harris: "He should be back this week. He didn't practice last week but still played a little in the game, and that is hard. But he should be back at practice this week and should be ok."

On the play of Eddie Sullivan: "He is a young guy that is going to be a good player. Unfortunately he doesn't have any experience yet and he isn't ready yet. However I am happy he is here because he is going to be a good player, he just isn't ready yet."

More on Darryl Roberts: "It was to the point where he had no choice to play, because we had no one else, but he went in there and played very well. Darryl has been a guy that it seems like he has made plays since he has stepped on campus. He is going to be a really good player for us and he has to play as a true freshman for us."

On Marshall's young wide receivers Demetrius Evans and Jermaine Kelson: "They need to play more. The issue for us is that we have two wide outs that have played almost every snap in [Antavious] Wilson and [Aaron] Dobson. They are playing too much. When we get into the fourth quarter they have to be ready to go. They have played 80 or 90 snaps, that is too much. So those young guys, we have talked about it as a staff, they have to be ready to go in there and play. You are going to see a lot more of Demetrius Evans and Kelson and hopefully Courtney Edmonson is healthy and can take some reps."

On considering making any changes on kickoff return: "I talked to [Andre] Booker this week. Booker is our best option back there. There was a guy at Ole Miss named Dexter McCluster who was an All-American. He fumbled his first two kickoffs and continued to become an All-American. I told Booker that story. I told him that he has to do that because he is our best guy back there. But he has to hold onto the ball. He needs to come back and do what Dexter did. These kids care, they have a lot invested and it means a lot to them. But we just have to go play. I see guys who make millions of dollars that put the ball on the ground. We have to work extremely hard to make sure that doesn't happen. And we do that. We spend a lot of time on ball security, whether it is putting the ball on the ground or through the air, because we have to eliminate turnovers."

On Ohio's Noah Keller (Middle Linebacker): "He is very active. He plays extremely hard. That whole defense does. It looks like they love the game and they get after it. But he is a very good player. He is probably to their defense what Mario Harvey is to ours. He is their leader and he does a great job."

On Mario Harvey: "He is a bit like the guy we just talked about. He loves the game and he works very hard at it and is dedicated. Where Mario has stepped it up is with his preparation. He worked extremely hard in the offseason and in the weight room. He is reaping those benefits because he is playing extremely well."

On Marshall's defensive front: "They have to play well on Saturday. If they play well we have a chance, if they don't, we don't. They are the strength of our defense and with our youth in the secondary it is especially important for the front seven to play well. They need to."