Nov. 8, 2011
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"As you all know, we have a great challenge at Tulsa this week. They opened up against three difficult opponents and, since then, have not lost. They are (5-0) in conference and have won ten straight conference games and won ten games a year ago, including the bowl game. Every good team we've played has had a good quarterback and this one is no different. G.J Kinne is an excellent player, he is a senior, is surrounded by a good cast of players and we'll have our work cut out for us to get him stopped. We are looking forward to the challenge and it's important that we have a good week."
On comparison of G.J. Kinne and Tim Tebow:
"He is a big physical guy similar to what Tebow is. When you think of Tulsa, you probably think they are throwing the ball all over the place and they are, but they are second in the conference in rushing offense. Kinne is a guy that doesn't look real flashy running the ball, but if you watch that UCF game, you look up and he has gained 67 yards. He is a physical guy, finds a way to make yardage and finds a way to make the plays. I say it all the time, you have to stop the ball to win and, in this case, we have to. They do designed runs just for him as in the quarterback power, read and they run a lot of the same plays we do. We have to be aware of where he is at all times. He can beat you with his arm and with his feet. You thought at times with that knee injury he had earlier that they weren't running the ball with him as much, but that's not the case. They are putting the ball in his hands and have been very successful running it."
On recuperation during the off week:
"You go into off weeks and when you're playing well you don't want one because you're concerned about not maintaining that edge that you had if you're playing well. I thought we made the most of our off week. In the situation if we would have played last week, we would probably have six or seven guys that wouldn't be playing this week, but will play now. It's a positive. We had four days of practice last week, we had a good practice on Sunday and we have to get out there today, get the pads on. This is our work day and we have to get better. The recruiting part of the off week went well. We covered the areas we needed to cover. Now it's back to work and get ready to go play again."
On the effect of tough non-conference teams on the schedule:
"It helps you if you can survive it. I think the biggest problem that teams in our conference have had is that you get a lot of kids banged up and beat up. The one thing that Tulsa did is they came out of it healthy because they are still playing the same kids. They were battle tested. They came out of it relatively healthy and haven't lost a conference game since. Going in, they had all the guys back from a year ago and won ten games. They are an experienced team and have a lot of seniors that have played together for many years. They are an excellent team."
On the rest of the season:
"We have a three-game season. There are a lot of things that are still out there for this team to accomplish. They understand that, but what they also have to understand is how you get there and that is preparation. We need to have a great week of preparation, great week of practices and you end up playing well on Saturday. It never changes. We are going to make sure we have a great week today."
On Marshall's run defense matching up against Tulsa's rushing offense:
"You watch those guys on tape and they are very well coached. Their special teams are as good as we will have played all year. I think you can tell a lot about a team and if they are well coached by watching the special teams. You watch the techniques they use for the return team. Bill Blankenship has done a nice job at coaching them. They are good and solid in all phases. They are the same way on offense and defense. They are just a team that has a lot of guys that football is important to them. They like to play, are extremely tough and are very well coached on all three phases. So we have to make sure we're the same. We have to make sure that we are prepared to go too."
On the consistency of the Tulsa program even with the coaching changes:
"Anytime that you've won the amount of games they have over the last four or five years then you are going to recruit well. They've been to bowls. They had about ten double digit wins a year ago. They were picked to be one of the top teams in the league this year. Number one, those kids know how to win. There is a culture in that program that they believe in themselves, expect to go win every game that they play. They've been able to recruit well with the success they've had and are in a good location. There are a bunch of players in Oklahoma. There are a bunch of players in Texas. They are going to be able to recruit good kids because of where they are and they've done a good job of doing that. Like I said, they have a program that their kids believe in themselves, believe they can win and that's where we're getting to here too. That is where we have to be on Saturday."
On Coach Holiday crossing paths with Tulsa Coach Bill Blankenship:
"We only see each other at the conference meetings. He has been very successful everywhere he has been. It hasn't changed at Tulsa. He has done a nice job. That team started out (0-3) and he has done a nice job of holding them together, going on and winning the games he should win. You watch his team and can tell they are well coached."
On Tulsa's offense and running attack:
"Willie Carter, number 34. He is a player. They have a bunch of good players at every position. They have backs that are big and physical. They have 240 pound backs. The quarterback is a big man. We are going to have to tackle extremely well to win this football game. You watch that UCF tape and see that they broke a lot of tackles, including the quarterback. We have to make sure we tackle extremely well and get hats on them. One thing you have to do is make sure you are swarming to the ball, which is an area where we've done pretty well. Their personnel group can create some issues for you because, like you said, they line them up in the backfield, they split them out, they flex them and they do a lot of different things. Those kids have played together a long time. Carter can line up just about anywhere, so you have to know where he is."
On Tulsa's defense:
"They are a physical defense. If you eliminate those first three games, they are pretty high in our conference. They do a good job at stopping the run, they swarm to the ball and again they will be a challenge."
On Marshall getting an early start:
"I liked it last time (UAB). We are not going to change things. We'll stay on the same schedule and we'll start talking about that today because it is important when you have an early start like that, that they take care of themselves all week. We're going to be getting them up early. They did a good job at that the week of the UAB game and we have to do the same for Tulsa."