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Quotes/Notes/Video from Doc Holliday's Oct. 17 Press Conference

Oct. 17, 2017

Press Conference Video
Game Notes

Opening statement

Our captains this week: on offense is Ryan Yurachek, on defense is Blake Keller, and on special teams is Artis Johnson. They will represent us and, like always, when you go on the road you need to take your leadership and toughness and this will be no different. As always we have great respect for Rick Stockstill and Middle Tennessee. He does a tremendous job coaching those guys. They're extremely well coached, they have good players, and it will be a great challenge to go on the road in a short week and play that football team.

Offensively they have the best returning wide receiver in the league in [Richie] James. He was a first team All-American and a tremendous player. He's back. They have great skill, their offensive line is back intact, and they now have a quarterback who has five or six games under his belt. Defensively, they're just all over the place. They do a tremendous job of creating pressure, and can create issues for you offensively. So again, we're going to need a great week to identify where they are and get them blocked.

On MTSU's trio of James, Anderson, and Lee

They targeted [James] 19 times last week in his first game back. That tells you what kind of a player he is. They're going to do whatever it takes to get the ball in his hands. He'll be a week healthier and he has a game under his belt so there's no doubt that they're going to try to get the ball in his hands. Lee is also an excellent player and they have a freshman tailback, Anderson, who has stepped up and done some really nice things for them. All three of those kids have the ability to beat you in space and are excellent players.

On MTSU quarterback John Urzua:

He understands what they expect out of the offense. He's just a lot more comfortable right now running the offense. Anytime you can get guys with experience at that position and with games under their belt, they're going to be better and he is.

On Marshall's road performances:

I've always felt anytime you go on the road you have to be an extremely tough football team, I think we're a tougher football team. We have a bunch of guys who are extremely tough-minded football players, and I think there's the leadership part of it. With the addition of Blake Keller being a captain, I think that's 14 guys, six weeks in, who have had the opportunity to be captain so that gives you a lot of leadership on the team. Anytime you go on the road, you have to have that.

On the offensive line:

Alex [Mirabal] has done a tremendous job with all three of those freshmen, Tarik Adams, [Will] Ulmer and [Alex] Mollette. And of course there's Levi [Brown] and [Jordan] Dowrey. The development of young players is evident with what you've seen. There are a lot of young and new players who have developed and continue to grow.

On preparing for the short week:

Everything is about preparation. The game just got bumped up a day. I told them after the game [on Saturday] to enjoy it for a couple of hours but come back here ready to go on Sunday, because Sunday was "Monday". We actually had a "Monday" practice Sunday evening. Last night, we were here under the lights at 7 p.m. having a "Tuesday" practice. It's a grind. When you get to this part of the season, what separates the teams that go in a positive direction from the others is "can you handle the grind part of it"? The young kids have to embrace it. They have to take care of themselves, and they have to eat right and get proper sleep to come back here and recover and have a "Wednesday" practice after walking out of here about 10 p.m. Monday night.

On being on national television:

Every Friday night, we're sitting around in the hotel watching everyone else play. We're sitting as a team in a room watching ESPN, whoever is playing. That's what other teams will be doing Friday night, watching us play. Peers will get the opportunity to watch you, so our kids should be excited about that.

On the team's drive:

When you're a young team, and you have a bunch of players who are invested as much as these kids are, you have to get better every week. That's what great teams do, they continue to get better every week. Up to this point, we've done that, and we've got to continue to do that.

On C.J. Reavis:

I think C.J. played his best game on Saturday against Old Dominion. He needed that. I think he'll tell you he hasn't played his best up to that point, and he got to start. I was proud of the way he handled it. He went in there and played well. We don't have many seniors but we need the seniors we have to be playing their best football. He did that on Saturday and it's going to be important that he goes in there and does it again Friday night.

On tackling:

I think we've been an excellent tackling team in every game we've played, and that will be especially critical playing guys like James and Lee this week. And the tailback Anderson, you better get those guys on the ground. We need to do a good job of getting those guys to the ground this week.