Nov. 6, 2012
Press Conference Video
When you talk about UAB, you have to start with their offense. They're scoring a lot of points on some good teams. They scored 40+ against Tulsa at home and took them right to the wire. They did the same thing with East Carolina. Their quarterback Austin Brown has done a good job at managing their offense. They do a good job at spreading the ball around. I felt when we played UAB last year that their skill people were as good as anyone in the league. Jamarcus Nelson is probably the fastest guy in our league. They have three receivers that can go get the ball. They have a tailback Darrin Reaves that averages right at five yards a carry so they will present a lot of problems. For us offensively, we have to make sure we do a good job. Defensively, Marvin Burdette is their leader. He flies around and is second in the country in total tackles. We have to have a great week of preparation.
On UAB liking to take shots down field:
On the first play against Tulsa, they threw a post to Nelson for a touchdown. They're going to take shots. The quarterback has done a nice job at throwing it and they have some receivers that can go and get it.
On the shots down field with running back Darrin Reaves getting his feet under him:
In that Southern Miss game last week, he took the game over in the second half. He rushed for over 200 yards. They won that game because of the running game. Reaves being able to run the football like he has creates a lot of issues with play action and in the passing game. They're doing a much better job at running the ball. Adding that dimension of running the ball is going to make them that much more dangerous, especially with the play action.
On the effectiveness of D. Reaves' running ability:
I think a lot of it is that the offensive line has stepped up a bit. They had a freshman in there playing and had some players banged up. They did a nice job blocking Southern Miss in the second half and found a way to get the run game going and I think that won the game for them.
On freshman quarterback Austin Brown:
He is dynamic. He's a red-shirt freshman. Just like all freshman quarterbacks it's the first-year in the system and he's getting better as the season goes on. They found a way to win that game and you have to give him credit. He is a tough kid. You see him sitting there taking some shots, but he just gets right back up and goes right at it. He's a good player that is managing that offense very well.
On similarities to Brown's and Rakeem Cato's first year as quarterback:
There probably are some parallels because he has a new coach and it's his first year in that system. You see the improvement he's made from game one to now, just like you saw from Cato.
On Marshall vs. UAB being a potential shootout:
I hope not, but it (could be). It seems both offenses have been able to score some points this season. It's going to be important that we go in there and play defense and be able to get them stopped. We have to be able to get them off the field. Offensively, we have to be able to score some points.
On the UAB atmosphere:
We'll start talking to our kids about that today. Comparing it to Rice is a great example. A lot of our players were there two years ago. We walked in there two years ago and found a way to win that game. The circumstances were very similar. A lot of our kids have been there, but for the ones that haven't, this will remind them of the trip to Rice and it will be very similar. So we will have to prepare the same way.
On Marshall getting wins on the road:
Fortunately, we have gone on the road and played pretty well. We have to play the same way this week. It will be a great challenge going into that arena and playing.
On UAB having a nothing-to-lose attitude:
We have to worry about ourselves. We have a lot to play for. There is a lot left out there on the table for us. I mentioned last week that we had four shots and now we're down to three shots. Good things can happen for this football team, but you have to take them one at a time. Shot number one we took care of Memphis and did what we had to do. It's important that all the focus goes onto UAB and all our preparation and efforts have to go to finding a way to win that game. Preparation will be the key to that. We have to be able to walk off that field today feeling really good about having a great Tuesday. We have to do the same thing throughout the week and then Saturday will take care of itself. I told the kids last week that we had some adversity just to practice out here. It was awful, but we have to find a way to go out there and get better as a team. I thought that we did. This week the weather is not an issue. We have to go out there today and practice like we always do on Tuesdays. We have to walk off there a better team and be prepared for UAB. That has to happen.
On back-up players coming in and performing:
Fortunately those guys have gone in and done some pretty good things. During the past two years we wouldn't have had the ability to do that. We had five guys (on the offensive line) and that was about the extent of it. Now we have six or seven guys that could possibly go in and function. There are a lot of teams out there that are having the same issues as we are right now. We have some guys banged up, but it's week nine and you have to go in there and some guys have to step up. Aaron Dobson goes down on the first play last week and we had two guys that haven't played a whole lot go in there and get 11 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. We had to have the same production that we've been getting out of Dobson and that happened. You have to be prepared when your number is called. We talk about that constantly. Where I think it really shows up is on special teams. You start getting some guys banged up and that's where it gets you. You have guys that have not played special teams and you have three corners on your team that are usually on special teams, but aren't on there because they're not practicing. They're going out and playing. That's where it shows up and we have to get better players in that area too.