Oct. 13, 2009
Opening Statement: We are excited to be coming off of a road win in conference. I like the way the guys approached the game last week and we were able to come out with a pretty significant win. Now we come back and step out of conference with an in-state rival. Our guys are excited to go up there, it is going to be a wild atmosphere, and I think we will be ready to play.
On the difference between this game being played in October as opposed to September as in years past: That is an interesting question. I will be able to tell you more next week, we feel like we have a little momentum going right now. But we step out of conference this week and get right back into it next week. I will have a better feel for that question next week once I see how the game plays out.
On the Confidence of the team: We have worked hard and we are going to be excited to go up there.
On the WVU defense: It is a challenge. I don't think they get enough credit. Their defense is playing at an extremely high level right now. They are very fast and experienced. They know what they are doing. No one is running the football on them.
On playing all four quarters: We have to play a complete game. That is what you have to do against good teams. This game is for all four quarters and that is definitely going to be something very important for us this week.
On Jarrett Brown (WVU Quarterback): He has a strong arm and is very elusive. He has waited his turn and is playing some great football. He's a big man.
On Noel Devine (WVU RB): He's just a good player. He is electrifying. He runs so low to the ground. It looks like he has a rubber-band in him with some of the moves he makes. He is difficult to tackle. He can freeze you, spin on you, and reverse the field on you. Those are dangerous combinations, and that's what makes him a good back. I can say the same thing about Jock Sanders. He can spin on you, freeze you, out-run you, and reverse the field. As a defensive coach, those are the guys that keep you up having nightmares at night. The risk-reward of having those guys is; if you get a clean shot on them, the ball might come out. But the number of yards they have gained outweighs the number of turnovers they have had.
On ECU and Tulane Running misdirections, how it will prepare for WVU: It helps some. But it is not a good week to come off a bad tackling Saturday. I have watched five games on WVU and no one has been consistently able to tackle them. As good as Auburn is, at times it was almost comical watching people try to tackle this guys. We will work on that today at practice.
On the game against WVU two years ago: They went big on us, and we were not able to match them. When I say big, they put tight ends and fullbacks in the game, and ran Pat White to the boundary. We weren't as big as we are today, and we just couldn't hold up.
On time of possession: Time of possession is going to be crucial for this game. We cannot afford turnovers and we have to control the clock a little bit.
On the WVU receivers: They are throwing a little bit more this year, and Brown's completion rate is very high. He is doing a good job. They have tall receivers and small receivers. It is a nice receiving corps. They ask their guys to do what they can do.
On the WVU/Marshall rivalry: We need to do our job. For two years now, we have to start doing our job to make this game competitive so that it can blow up into a full blown rivalry. I think the onus is on us right now.
On getting off to a fast start like two years ago: We hope we can get off to a fast start. We have to continue getting off to a good start. They are addressing their issues too but it would be nice to start that way. Any time you can start fast and build a little momentum it can only help.
On the WVU tight ends: They are doing a good job. They are getting them involved in the passing game a little bit, and pulling them. They are doing some good things with them.
On the Marshall defense and containment: It is almost like option football. You have to stick someone on the back side because they can reverse field on you in a heartbeat, and that's what makes them special. The guys on the back side have to stay home and not allow them to get to the edge. That is what happened to us last time. They got to the edge too many times. I said earlier, in the last game against Auburn, on WVU last drive, Brown must have spun four times before the defense got him down. Finally four of them wrapped him up. We have a picture we are going to show our kids at practice today. It is of Jock Sanders. There is an Auburn defender outside, inside, and coming head on. We froze that picture right there to give to our guys because Saunders scored on that play. That has to be our emphasis on Saturday, and there is going to be an emphasis at practice for those of you who stay at practice. There will be a premium out there today.
On the difference between the noise at Tulane opposed to the noise at WVU: There will be no conversations going on this week. We will crank the music up in the stadium on Thursday, but it will be hard to communicate come Saturday. I hope it is quiet enough to communicate, but I doubt it very seriously.
On how Marshall's team has grown up since the Virginia Tech game: I hope they have grown up a lot. I would be very disappointed if they have not. I think they have come a long way.
On Brain Anderson's play at Tulane and the confidence boost: It was huge, and it was all by design. We said we were going to come out and throw the ball to get his confidence back, and get the teams confidence back in him. He had four incompletion with two drops, one missed route, and one bad pass. He played extremely well and that was all by design. The broken play he had to Lee Smith was great stuff. That is the stuff you are looking for in the maturity and growth of your player. For me, that was the marquee play of the game to see my quarterback improvise like that. It was like Jarrett Brown with his spinning and freezing the defensive linemen, so it was good to see.
On what WVU defensive players jump out at you: No. 47 Reed Williams is good, Scooter Berry is good. Their secondary is playing well. They play extremely hard and they run to the football. They play a lot of cover two because they have to against their offense so they have that back side piece all the time, those guys coming from the back door. Nose guard two gaps all the time to allow the DE to rush up the field and allows you to drop eight in coverage, and still stop the run. If you can drop eight and rush three and stop the run you have something special going on. They can get away with it because they fly to the ball.
In general what do you do against a fast defense?: Run some misdirections. But, we are just going to run our offense.
On how the Herd defense has improved since the Virginia Tech game. We have improved quite a bit. We have simplified, but we didn't play that well on that Saturday. I don't know if our plan was that good and we just didn't play that well, but we have come a long way since then. I know we have.
On how the team is feeding off each other: I told them on Sunday, we are playing for one another right now. The biggest indication of that for me was when we had that goal line stand against Tulane. But then we took the ball and went on a 99-yard drive. The offense turns the ball over, but then we go and get it right back. That has happened for a couple of weeks now. We were down at halftime, but then get a turnover, score a tie the game up. I just think they are playing to one another right now, and I'm not so sure we have done that since I have been here. I think that is the maturity process that is happening with our football team. We have been able to go on the road and win some games. That comes from our captains and our leadership. No one is panicking and we have focus. We are playing with confidence.
On the scout team this week: We have to run Andre Booker in our offense, but I am going to bring him down a little for a Noel Devine. Demetrius Thomas is a guy who can do some of those things. We have a walk on that is a little guy who is pretty shifty and pretty fast we can throw in there. Obviously A.J. Graham will be Jarrett Brown, he has done a great job getting us prepared.
Any chance Courtney Edmonson will play? No.
Is everyone else healthy? Yes. We are just about over the hump with Albert McClellan. We will hold him out today, but he is just about 100 percent back.