Nov. 22, 2011
With ECU it all starts with Dominique Davis who has thrown for 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. Their offense is centered around him.
Their defense is greatly improved, they have switched to a three down front from the four down front they have had in the past. They are a lot better than last year and looked a lot better against UCF.
They will come very prepared Saturday I am sure and we need to do the same thing.
What are some of the things you have to do to limit Davis?
You have to tackle because they throw the short routes, the five yard hitch routes and such. You have to get the receivers on the ground and when you get pressure on him you need to make sure you cover up the hot routes.
How many three man fronts have you faced this year?
Just about everybody has some sort of it. We have used it some and use a three-man front when we go spread.
How difficult is it to prepare for the three-man front defense?
It's different for sure. When you have a three man front, your indicators are different, and the blitz scheme is harder to pick up. We have got to spend some spent extra time with it and get to prepare for it with these extra days.
Do you believe it is easier for your kids to get ready for ECU since they won last week and still have lots to play for?
I think it is easier for us because we have a lot to play for. We get the chance to get the most wins (5) for Marshall in Conference USA play, chance to go to a bowl game, and finish towards the top in a variety of things. Our kids know that and are ready.
Plus Saturday, we have our seniors who have given a lot. They are a great group of seniors whom have put a lot of hard work to this school.
Thoughts on Senior Vinny Curry and his decision to return (instead of entering the NFL draft)?
Most important thing is he gets his bachelor's degree in December, something he would not have gotten if he did not return. It's very important because at some point in life he is going have to go out and use it. He gets to go out his door each morning with a smile on his face because he has his degree. Plus he has helped his draft stock with the year he has had.
But also we also have a great group of seniors from Tyson Gale to Omar Brown, Ryan Tillman, Rashad Jackson, and Delvin Johnson, who has had his best year. They all hopefully will go out on a positive note.
How much did the four-year and five-year players help you and your transition to becoming the Head Coach here?
They bought in and they bring along the other guys (underclassmen). They have brought great leadership to our squad. We have a great group of seniors and almost all of them will walk out of here with their degrees.
How hard is it for players to adjust to a coaching change?
It's very tough. You have to adjust and usually the coach that recruited you is gone, and your position coach is gone.
What did you see out in (Quarterback) Rakeem Cato against Memphis?
Against Memphis I thought he looked like a freshman and that comes from a short week. When you're the starter, you usually get about 80% of the repetitions during practice and with the short week he got about one day of practice.
With the full week plus Sunday he should be able to do a better job as he will get most of the repetitions as a starter.
Your thoughts on backup quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and his game preparation?
With the situation last week, the only game prep he got was with (assistant coach) Tony Peterson on the plane ride to Memphis. Add that plus game day, that isn't much time.
He is a smart kid, who is at every meeting, with a great attitude and will be a great player here.
What have you tried to do and what will you do to try and protect Cato more?
We have to do what we need to do to win the football game. There will be some changes, but in the end it's what needs to be done to win the game.
On the crowd for Thanksgiving weekend?
It is very important because they can come out and honor our seniors and what they have brought to this program. In return, our seniors and team want to thank the fans with their play on the field.
What are your thoughts on the senior class?
It is fun to see them progress over time, while at the same time hard to see them go and play their last game at Edwards Stadium. Hopefully they will get another game after this because, for some, this will be their last game.
Thoughts from you on year one to year two?
Really excellent conference. If you look at Southern Miss and Houston both being ranked and Tulsa receiving votes, it shows you.
Are you proud of the effort from your team?
At Marshall we play for championships and we still are because we are alive for the conference title Saturday. But as a coach and this staff, we will not be satisfied until we win a championship. Our goals are to win the conference and go to and win a bowl game. We want to achieve all of those goals.
What stands out from the East Carolina defense?
Both cornerbacks are good, they have an excellent linebacker and a roaming safety who makes big plays. A very athletic defensive line.