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Quotes from Doc Holliday's Sept. 25 Press Conference

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday

Sept. 25, 2012

Video: Coach Holliday 

Opening Statement:

                “It’s obvious that we have an excellent challenge this week. We are back on the road facing a Purdue team that many believe to be a part of the Big 10 championship at the end of the year. They are a much improved football team from a year ago. Their defense is what really stands out for them. They’re only allowing 293 yards a game. Their front four have a couple of guys that will probably be first or second round draft picks. We have a great challenge offensively. We have to make sure we have a great week of preparation before we get on that plane Friday.”

On Purdue DT Kawann Short:

                “He’s an inside guy. I believe he’s 6’3” 315 pounds and an excellent player. Then they have Ryan Russell at defensive end that is 6’5” 275 pounds. That entire front four could play for anybody and they’re a talented bunch.”

On Purdue’s corners:

                “We’ve done a good job offensively of mixing things up. We aren’t one dimensional as far as getting the ball just to Aaron [Dobson] or Tommy [Shuler]. We’ve been able to spread the ball around. We were able to run the football a bit last week and hopefully that will help us. We just have to continue doing what we are doing. That is getting the ball in our playmakers’ hands and hoping they make plays, but there is a reason they are giving up 293 yards a game and that’s because they’re pretty good. We have to do a great job preparing and do a great job at calling the game. We need to take advantage of what they give us and see what happens.”

On Marshall’s run defense against Purdue:



                “Get better. We have to stop the run. There’s no doubt in that. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m happy with our defense because I’m not. We have to get better in that and we’re working extremely hard to get that done. We will continue this week to get that done.”

On Marshall’s defense:

                “We just have to make more plays. You have to try to make every play and when your number is called you have to step up and get it done. We will play well at times then we’ll give up the big play. We have to become more consistent, more aggressive and become better tacklers in all areas. We are working hard to get that done.”

On getting off the field on third downs:

                “We just have to play better. Guys have to make plays. We talk all the time as a football team about competitive excellence. When your number is called you make a play and we have 10 plays where we had someone in position to make a play and just didn’t do it. If you’re going to be good defensively then that is what needs to happen. We will continue to work on that and improve in those areas. Offensively we’ve been pretty good on third down and fourth down. We just have to get the same thing on defense.”

On Travon Van’s role and performance:

                “He got thrown in the fire a little bit. You put him in that situation with only two days of practice and that isn’t an easy thing to do. He’s got the skills. He just needs to get in there and get comfortable. At times we were coaching him from the sidelines and that’s not a good thing. He’ll be fine.”

On the players’ trust in coaches with position changes:

                “I think it’s important that all of our kids trust us. The number one thing is program based on truth and trust. They’ve got to trust us. Vinny Curry trusted us to come back for his senior year and to get his degree. He became conference player of the year and helped his draft status. I’m at a point in my tenure here that I hope they all trust us. We are making decisions that are good for the team as a whole, but also good for them as individuals. I think they understand and know that we are going to help them in the long run.”

On the young running backs:

                “We didn’t get to see Steward Butler and Kevin Grooms until the spring. I knew they were talented guys. It doesn’t take long to tell whether a guy can play tailback or not. If you have to coach the heck out of a tailback then chances are you don’t have one. You give him the ball and watch him run that’s about what it amounts to when they’re really talented. You all have seen that with Ahmad Bradshaw. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they’re good players. When you have good players you have to do a good job at getting the ball into their hands. One stat that I didn’t even know was out there is that we are the number one in the country with plays of 10 or more. That is 88 plays in four games. I don’t think we had 88 plays in two years that gained 10 yards. I think we are getting our guys that can make plays in space. We’ve seen the results of that and we have to continue it. It can’t just be a four-game thing. I’m excited to get the ball in those guys’ hands.”

On punter Tyler Williams:

                “I can tell you I thank my lucky stars we have him. During the summer, I didn’t think we had anybody that could punt the ball. He’s such a tremendous kid. He’s third in the country in net punt and that is the important thing. He changed field position totally on Saturday. That’s what good punters do. Tyler was in the back yard of Purdue but our coaches did a great job of talking him into walking on. I’m happy he’s here. He’s not only a great punter, but a tremendous kid that cares about football and he’s going to be a good punter.”

On Purdue’s defensive line penetration:

                “We can do a lot of things with our offense that we don’t need to block the front guys as long. We have some things in our offense now that can allow Cato to get the ball out of his hands quick. We have the ability to run the ball if they give it to us. We have the screen game to where we don’t have to block those guys as long. That’s a good thing because they are really good. I’ve watched our offensive line and they’ve gotten better. At some point we have to be able to block them and we will.”

On the inexperience of the defense:

                “I’m not going to make excuses for them. We have to make plays. We had a lot of freshmen on that last play on Saturday on the two yard line. They ended up getting it done. They’ve got to get lined up, ready to make plays and they will. We will get better there. We have to. There is no choice.”