Nov. 4, 2008
Opening Statement: We're excited to be in the position that we are in right now. Obviously East Carolina and us control our own destiny. As you look at us statistically, its frightening, we're very similar teams and we try to build the programs in very similar fashions. I don't think ECU had as far to go as we did, but we're there now and it should be very exciting.
On going into November in the position the team is in: That's what its all about. November is for contenders, September is for pretenders, that's been a mantra at a lot of the places that I have been. To be right in the thick of it, we're excited.
On the team searching for consistency: We're going to try to build on what we just did, we need to move forward, we have a little confidence right now. I like the way our kids have responded in the last week, its been very businesslike. There's a look in their eye, that was a good win that we had, much needed and it looks like we have that confidence back and have had a very businesslike approach so far and hopefully that will continue today.
On ECU head coach Skip Holtz: Skip's had an opportunity to lead a program at UCONN and get his feet wet. He's grown up around football his whole life, did some good things as a coordinator and has done good things at East Carolina.
On the possibility of getting ready for two QB's against East Carolina: They run the same offense with both guys. I think that gives Coach Holtz a change of pace, as you look at the UCF game, when Pinkney came in, he kind of sparked them and I thought he threw the ball extremely well, I was sitting in my office wondering why Kass was even starting but as you watch their other games, against Houston, Pinkney may have been off and Kass played well, so it gives them two options, but this would really be a question for Coach Holtz.
On the injuries affecting ECU: As I look at Coach Holtz's program, guys have the opportunity and they are stepping up and taking advantage of those opportunities, finding ways to win and that's what a good program is supposed to do. It's going to pay off in the long run because those guys are getting valuable experience. We feel good about the position we are in now, but talk is cheap, we have to go down there and play.
On the improvement of the defense: I thought our defense played very well against Houston, that was one of the best performances I've seen in a long, long time and I've seen some good defensive performances. We'll be going to another tough environment and we've proven that we can do that already.
On the ECU running backs: I thought Whitley came to play on Sunday night. I was very impressed with that kid. That kid is going to be a good back for them.
On Sunday's ECU/UCF game: I thought they played great defense, it was a battle of field position. I thought Coach Holtz made a good move putting Patrick in and they got ten points, then UCF had two turnovers.
On having to start fast and finish fast in the game: We have to do that, especially on the road.
On the environment at ECU: It's a good environment. Two years ago we went down there and they had Military Day, it was a tough environment. We did not play very well and again, we gave them life, two turnovers, a blocked punt, it gave that crowd life. We could feel the mood swing, it's a good environment, a hard place to play.
On the play of Michael Janac: He needs to keep going. Albert McClellan has done an awesome job with him. We talked before the Houston game and I told him that I saw a maturity in Mike and it showed Tuesday night and hopefully that will continue. It seems now like he has a little confidence. He stopped by my office every day now, just to come in and say hello, that's a good thing. The older guys do that, but the younger guys tend to keep on walking.
On the play of the special teams: I'm very proud of them. It was good to see our kickoff team show back up. We've been challenging them and they finally showed back up. They need to be an offensive weapon for us, so that was good to see.
On the game being a rivalry at ECU: You would have to ask the players, obviously, I'm going against a guy that I know very well. Anytime you go against one of your peers, its fun to go compete. We always talk about the process and what you are going through, when you are not playing each other, you talk quite a bit, its always neat, just like playing Kevin (Sumlin) last week was neat, its good to see those things come together and go out and compete. I don't care if you are playing a hoops game against your best friend, you are going to go out there and compete and try to win that hoops game, this is kind of the same thing.
On Albert McClellan: He looks fine at practice. He's freeing up some other guys. I'll be shocked if that game (getting four sacks) does not come at some time.
On the key matchup being their defensive line against the MU offensive line: Absolutely, inside is going to be the key. Our guards and center against the guys. That's the key.