Mark Snyder Press Conference

Oct. 9, 2007

HUNTINGTON - We're going to face a very good team this week. They are a very well coached team that is putting up a lot of points right now. It all starts with their quarterback. I had opportunity to meat him as a lot of you did at our media day. He is a special kind of person. He carries himself like quarterback. He is very sharp, and he has been very well coached. Everything starts with him. I think they're doing a lot of things to allow their offense to be successful. They don't put a lot of heat on their offensive line. As you look across their offense, everybody is getting touches. That creates a lot of excitement. They have just about everything, a very good deep threat all the way to the running game. It starts with the quarterback. Defensively they move quite a bit. They try to create negative yardage plays or zero-yard stops with a three man front. At times they play bend but don't break defense. They don't give up the deep ball and hope that their offense out scores you. They are also very sound on special teams. They're just an all-around good football team. I have never been to Tulsa but the coaches I've spoken with say that it sounds like old Fairfield Stadium. The students are right on top of you and they're very boisterous. It should be a big challenge for us.

On Tulsa's defense blitzing ... They're going to bring a fourth from somewhere. Sometimes they bring a fifth. They've played some pretty good offensive teams. Sometimes they've gotten them and sometimes they haven't. They do a lot of movement. That gives them a chance. Anytime you're moving and bringing a fourth and a fifth, it gives you a chance to create. Offensively, you've got to make sure that when they do that you hurt them.

On the need to score early against Tulsa ... We're starting to get a little healthier on defense, but we're going to have to score some points. There is no question about that.

On getting John Jacobs back this week... We get (John) Jacobs back today. It just helps our rotation. Our defense has played a lot of snaps. We've had two young freshmen out there playing defensive end. They don't know how to practice yet, much less play a full game. This is going to give us a chance to give those guys a blow. Any time you're facing a team like Tulsa, it's all about speed and (John) Jacobs can run a little bit. It's really going to help us a lot.



On Josh Johnson playing this week... I don't know. We'll see. Today we will move Maurice Kitchens to "Mike" linebacker and Mario Harvey will move up to "Will". Josh (Johnson) looked a bit gimpy out there yesterday. We didn't play as well at "Mike" linebacker as we needed to last week with Josh (Johnson) out. So we will move Maurice (Kitchens) over and move Mario (Harvey) up. I've been pleased with Maurice (Kitchens) so far this season, and I hope he's mature enough to take this step. Right now we don't have a choice.

On why Marshall has struggled to score early ... We're going to have to this week. This team we're playing starts fast. We're going to have to start fast too. We have to break that habit. That's a bad habit to get into. We need to start fast and score points and build some enthusiasm. It's like we spot them two touchdowns and then we decide to play football instead of going for the jugular from the start. A little bit of that is philosophical and we've got to change that over the next few weeks.

On why Marshall's defense has struggled to create turnovers... Right now we're trying to get lined up and play fast. We do preach turnovers as you see in practice everyday. The veteran defenses you see are the ones out there creating turnovers because they know what they're doing and they can go play fast. We've been a little bit unlucky too. The five balls we've gotten on the ground have bounced right back up the quarterback or they've rolled out of bounds.

On why Marshall's offense has turned the ball over at critical times... Credit the defenses we've been playing. They've been making some plays. We're not sure that Darius Marshall can run the ball five plays in a row. He's still a freshman. He's not very big yet and for us to think that he can carry the load is probably fooling ourselves a little bit. We need to give him a break after every two or three carries. It seems like the one or two time he has fumbled, he has been fatigued. Sometimes that's hard to see from the field. We make take the redshirt off of Terrell Edwards. We'll see.