Oct. 8, 2013
Game Notes vs. FAU
Press Conference Video
"Captains this week on defense are two new ones. They are linebacker Neville Hewitt who has played extremely well and has become a great leader. The other is defensive lineman Ra'Shawde Myers who had his best game yet last week with the interception. What's great about that defensive unit is all the leadership that we have. It's good to see and one of the reasons the defense is playing so well. On offense we have two repeat captains in quarterback Rakeem Cato and center Chris Jasperse. Those will be our four captains. I will also tell you that offensive lineman Jordan Jeffries' career is over. He has a hip that the doctors told him every time he steps on the field will affect the quality of his life down the road. He's made that decision and he made the right decision. Unfortunately, we have lost defensive lineman Jeremiah Taylor and have lost Jordan Jefferies. Someone else has to step up to fill the void and they will. Jordan will be no different than Jeremiah and will be at practice every day. The only difference is that instead of having a uniform on he will have a whistle and a hat on. He's a great kid that will be an engineer one day. He'll be fine. If you look at FAU and what they done, they are a very dangerous team. They've gone on the road and beaten South Florida who just went up to Cincinnati and beat Cincinnati this last weekend. They also went on the road and beat UAB and got a road victory. That's two great road wins for them and they also took Rice to the wire and did that without their quarterback. Anytime you are located in Boca Raton, Florida and a brand new stadium and a great school you are going to have players. There are a lot of players around there. They are very athletic and FAU is second in Conference USA in total defense. They run extremely well. They have a quarterback in Jaquez Johnson that missed the game against Rice and they started a true freshman and just about beat Rice. He looks like he is starting to come into his own. He had 400 yards of total offense last week against UAB. He can beat you with his feet. I know he had over 100 yards rushing against UAB as well. He's had well over 60 carries in the last four games. He not only can throw it, but is a big part of their running game. He throws it plenty well enough to beat you if you are not prepared. He's an excellent player; they have good skill and good running backs. It will be a great challenge for us and we have to make sure we do a great job as always of preparation this week."
On Marshall's Florida players being able to meet with family in Florida:
"We started talking about it on Sunday that we have 34 kids from Florida. It's a good thing because they are good players. When you go on the road and go to where some of these kids are from you have to eliminate distractions. The players going home is going to be a bit of an issue for us, but we have a two hour window from seven-to-nine that Webber room set aside and they can come and see their families for two hours on Friday night and I'll be there with them as well. After that, it is all business and football. I can't take those kids down to Florida and not allow them to see their families. They'll get a chance to see a lot of them. They haven't been able to see mom and dad in a long time and we have a few guys that mom and dad have never seen them play a game. It will be a first time for some of them and this will be a great opportunity for the players to get to see their families the right way, but our kids understand that this is a business trip. We're going down there to try to find a way to win the game."
On players being quoted saying this is a "business trip":
"Fortunately we have some mature players. These kids have all been here and they are starting to mature. Rakeem Cato is one that has matured a bunch. We have some leadership on the team from our Florida guys and from guys from other places. We have to make sure it is handled properly. There's a lot invested in this team. It's a conference game and its game number two. They understand that importance of it and if you don't go down there and make it a business trip then you get beat. They understand that and I'm sure they'll do a good job too. They'll take care of business."
On playing against the same style quarterback in the last couple games:
"Seems like every week we have the same conversation. First it was Tyler Tettleton. Then it was Logan Thomas, then Eric Soza. It's every week. Someone asked in the last press conference do I think the dual threat quarterback is becoming the new thing and it looks like it may be. We have to face it again this week. It will help us that we've played a lot of this style of quarterbacks. I told the team the other day that the reason we were so good against UTSA last week is because the scout team prepared us for those two weeks really well. It's critical that it happens again. Kevin Anderson did a tremendous job at doing that last week. It's going to be up to him to be Jaquez instead of Soza this week."
On the athleticism of FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson:
"I think he's a little different. Eric Soza was more about perimeter runs and this guy is more of a power quarterback. He's a guy that they'll run on inside zones and run sweeps to get the ball not only on the perimeter, but inside on the power game. He's 220-225-pounds and 6-foot-1. He'll be a challenge for us."
On the performance of Neville Hewitt and Stefan Houston:
"That's where it starts when you play against quarterbacks like Eric Soza, you have to take him out of his game. You have to take away what their good at and they're good with the quarterback runs. That doesn't mean that they don't have running backs that can run with it and wide outs that can catch it because they do. Part of the equation is being able to defend the quarterback and it'll be no different this week."
On the speed of the defense in game against UTSA:
"I think that has kind of been the case all year with that defense. Those kids are extremely well coached. We had six missed tackles in that game. They are tackling very well and are very athletic. Four of the five games we've played we have had single-digit missed tackles. The only game we had more was against Gardner-Webb. We have to get more athletic in the linebacker position and in the secondary to defend. Darryl Roberts has become a tremendous tackler there on the perimeter. Cory Tindal gave us more athleticism, A.J. Leggett and Taj Letman. For the most part I know we did a great job at defending that."
On the mixing and matching on defense:
"We're playing a lot more 21 personnel or 12 personnel. 21 is with two running backs, 1 tight end and 2 wide outs. 12 is two tight ends, one running back and two wide outs. When you get into that personnel grouping, you get an extra linebacker in the game and the nickel goes out. We've felt all along that Stefan Houston is one of our better players. We didn't get him involved early because of a high ankle sprain and some things. We felt to get our best 11 on the field we had to get him to be one of those 11. When they went to that 21 personnel, he became part of that 11. He played 23 snaps and had 29 production points. He played and led the team in tackles. He brings a more physical, athletic presence to the field against 21 personnel. When we get out of that, they get back in their 11 and four wide stuff. 11 and 10 personnel, which is three wideouts and four wideouts is when Cory Tindal will come in the games and match up there too. Defensive coordinator Chuck Heater and that staff have done a great job at rolling 9 different defensive linemen out of there. Most plays that anyone has played are about 38-to-39 snaps. There's no reason that they can't go in there and be extremely athletic and play really hard. That has helped us with our depth and that kind of thing."
On the defense playing fewer snaps:
"We are playing 80-to-90 snaps because we are being able to get off the field on third-downs. We're playing in the sixties because we're 4-of-14 on third down conversions. We're doing a lot of things as a total team and we try to be good in all three phases. Saturday we played our most complete game. On offense, defense and special teams and that has to continue throughout the year. The defense has to feed off of the offense and the offense off of the defense. That's when you become a total team and I think we're getting close to that point."
On the depth up front with the loss of Jordan Jeffries:
"Clint Van Horn didn't play much last week because of that concussion, but we'll get him in the mix. He's plenty good enough. We'll get him in there and then roll Garrett Scott back to left tackle a little bit. We'll be able to roll Scott, Van Horn and Gage Niemeyer at the tackles and Michael Selby is playing really well too. Selby played more snaps than anyone else on the offense line except for Jasperse. You don't ever want to lose anybody, but we feel pretty good at where we are."
On the development of Ra'Shawde Myers:
"He was about 215-220-pounds when he played last season. Now he's at about 245 pounds. Best thing that ever happened to him is getting married to his wife, Queen. She's a great lady. He's had twins and thank goodness they are doing okay now. He's living right and making good decision. He's matured just like the rest of these guys. We were so young and were playing freshmen and sophomores that shouldn't have been playing and hadn't grown up yet. Now they are starting to grow up and understand what is important to them. It's fun to watch them mature and grow up and he is one of those guys that fit that mold."