Quotes/Notes/Video from Doc Holliday's Nov. 7 Press Conference
WKU week information below
Press Conference Video
Captains this week are Ryan Yurachek on offense, Tony Pittman on special teams, and Chase Hancock on defense. Those guys will represent our football team and I'm sure you guys feel the same way on the importance of this game ... what it means to our community and our fanbase. Anytime you play that game closest to the memorial, which of course will be next Tuesday, there's an extra little incentive with our fans and also our players. They understand the history of our program, they understand the importance of this game, and I know they will have a great week of preparation to get ready for this team coming in here.
It starts with their quarterback (Mike) White, who was a conference preseason player of the year. A lot of their receivers are back. The center and right guard are both all-conference players and are back. It will be a great challenge for us and we've got to get ready to go.
On the importance of the young players learning to play for the 75:
I think a lot of it has to do with Yurachek and Pittman and the older guys explaining the importance of it. Anytime we start this particular week, for example yesterday we did some things before practice and we will continue before practice this week doing some things. By the time the game rolls around, they understand the importance of this game and what it means, not only to our football program now, but our community and our fan base. We start it in the summer. Keith [Morehouse] does a great job explaining the importance of it, and that's where it starts and it continues throughout their careers.
On Doc's remembering the plane crash:
I [remember]. I think I was 13, but I was down in Putnam County growing up in Hurricane when it happened, so absolutely I remember.
On the team's history of playing well on this particular weekend:
We have played well, fortunately. The first time we put the 75 on the helmet was down at Tulsa and it was ironic because it was played on the 14th. Mike Hamrick and our administration have done a tremendous job of representing the 75 during this game. Every year since then we have played extremely well, and it's going to be important to play well on Saturday.
On Western Kentucky's new coaching staff:
At this point in the season it's a little different than what it would be early on. We have plenty of film to evaluate what they're doing offensively, defensively, and on special teams. The thing though is, we've played against these players. Ferby the running back has been there forever. We know what they're all about and we have plenty of tape to understand what schemes they're running.
On WKU's running game:
They've run the ball extremely well in the past. They've run the ball well with the same quarterback, running back, and three of the five offensive linemen back. They haven't run the ball as well this year because they want to throw the football around and they've done a good job of doing that.
On the importance of Saturday's game:
I think every game is a must win. Our goals and expectations will never change. I told our kids last night this is a big game number one because it's the next one, number two because of who it is, and number three it's the game that represents the 75 that we lost in that crash, so we have an awful lot to play for. We have great kids, it's a great bunch of kids who play extremely hard and work really hard at it.
On the players having last year's loss to WKU on their mind:
I would think they would. It's kind of a hard one to forget, that's for sure. That was about as ugly as it gets.
On staying mentally sharp against WKU:
You just have to prepare. This all started back in January with what happened there. The way these guys go to work every day, their preparation and everything that goes into it. They'll play extremely hard.
On returning to action after two losses:
I like this team. I know we didn't come out of Boca Raton with a win but you turn that tape on and like the way they played. You like the way they encourage each other. This is a team that's fun to be around. That won't change because of the kids they are and the work they put into it. They're a fun group.
During the first seven games, we took care of the football. You have to follow the plan to win, and if you do that, you win the game. It starts with playing great defense. We've played good defense but you can't give up big plays. We had double-digit missed tackles for the first time in a while, you can't do that. We've done some really good things on special teams but we missed an extra point and a short field goal. We just have to put those three phases together, which we did in the first seven primarily.
On Chase Litton's play:
The first seven games he played really well and took care of the ball. He's just got to get back to what he was doing. The thing with Chase, and I talk to him all the time, it would be one thing if he was forcing throws and making bad reads. He isn't. He's throwing the ball where it's supposed to be. A couple of balls took off on him, sometimes those are incomplete and they just happened to be interceptions. He understands. He's a competitor, and there's nobody that wants to correct things more than he does. He'll go to work as he did last night to make things better.