Quotes From Tuesday's Press Conference

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Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement:

“Looking forward to getting back on the practice field today, and preparing for UConn this Saturday and get our guys to really focus and concentrate, because this will be our first road game this year. We got to make sure we have total attention to the task at hand and again, I think our guys will do that. Go out and have a good week of practice and get prepared to go up and hopefully come away with our third victory and first road win of the season.”

On quarterback C.J. Brown’s impact so far this season:

“C.J. is a young man that has tremendous confidence in his own ability through his hard work, preparation. And I think what happens is the people around him and the players around him see how he handles himself and how he goes about his business, I think it just brings a sense of calmness. You know  a sense of confidence to everybody else. And then to have him perform the way that he’s been performing it also brings a tremendous amount of confidence in C.J., but also the other guys. I think I might have said this after the game that it just seems like the game is very slow for him. He’s got everything just under control. He’s just Operating at a level that is very outstanding. And just very smooth and hopefully that will continue. But you know when you look at him. He’s in grad school; he’s the old man on the team. The level of maturity and everything else that’s there and again I think he’s one of those guys that feel like he’s got something to prove after what happened to him with the injury. And I think there were people that doubted him, and all he did was just work extremely hard, kept his mouth shut, and did the things that you’d expect a fifth-year grad student to be doing. And like said, hopefully it will continue, which I think it will.”

On the defense’s ability to generate turnovers

“Again I think it might get back to a guy’s confidence when you take a look at the guys who have those interceptions. Dexter has one that he made. He put himself in good position, made a nice pick there. Isaac Goins, same thing. [He] has a year under his belt in the system. And then also when you look at it technically, and then going and getting the ball at the highest point, and then Sean Davis put himself in a position based on film study, and what he saw. And then the other one is you get the tip ball with Yannick [Ngakoue]. I think its just guys doing their job, and putting themselves in positions. Again I think guys are playing a little bit faster. And I think they’re a little bit more confident, because they know what they are doing. And like I said, they got a year under their belt. They have some experience.”

On linebacker Yannick Ngakoue:  

“Yannick is getting better. He’s learning every day and getting better. It’s tough coming from high school and playing as a freshman. It really is. And I got a lot respect for the kids that are doing that. I think it’s a great compliment to them, in terms of how hard they work and how hard they have to study to put themselves in a position to get on the field as a true freshman. I think it’s a lot of credit to the coaches that are coaching them. To get them to understand. But he’s just barely scratching the surface and  we have high expectations for him. We think he’s going to be outstanding as he continues to play and gain experience. He’s a guy that wants to be good. He wants to work. Comes from a great high school program, where he was well coached. I like where he’s at right now. And again he’s got some good mentors in front of him that he’s learning from in terms of Marcus [Whitfield] and Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil. But right now he’s in more of a situational type deal for us. And as he continues to go, then those things can probably expand from there.”

On Connecticut:

“When you take a look at them offensively, I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for their running back Lyle McCombs. He’s a really good running back. He’s quick, he’s shifty, and he’s tough. They got a veteran offensive line. When you take a look at their offensive line, they got Kevin Friend who’s a fifth-year senior at right tackle, Gus Cruz who’s a redshirt junior at right guard. I think Tyler Bullock might be back this week for them, he’s a redshirt senior. If he’s not,  Alex Mateas is there who has starts under his belt. You got Steve Greene and you’ve got Jimmy Bennett, all fifth-year seniors. So when you look at their offensive line, they have four fifth-year seniors starting and then a fourth-year junior starting for them. So that’s an experienced, big offensive line. Geremy Davis and Shakim Phillips are two very good receivers who catch the ball well. I think the same thing what you got to do is stop the running game and be able to put pressure on the quarterback to disrupt the passing game. Defensively, they’re a disruptive bunch from the standpoint that they have good athletes and they try to disguise and pressure you in way to confuse you. Old Dominion was a team that just really liked to throw the ball. Connecticut is a team that will want to run the ball and pass the ball. They’ll give you different personnel groupings. They’re not going to be a four wide receiver team, at least we haven’t seen that, like Old Dominion, and then again, defensively, they changed a little bit offensively from a year ago and then defensively they’re pretty much the same as what they were a year ago. They got two fifth-year seniors back as their place kicker and their punter as well.”

On linebacker Matt Robinson’s transition from safety:

“Matt is a very versatile player. Again, I think sometimes, and we were talking about this the other day in the defensive staff room, you really don’t realize how big a young man he is. I mean he’s got the height, the broadness, and the width to him and just a great kid.  I think he’s doing a really good job of making that transition from safety to Sam. Again, there’s no doubt in my mind that’s the best position for him and I think he’s got a chance to be an outstanding football player at that position. Again you’re dealing with a young man who’s athletic, who’s long, who’s smart, and who is physical. It’s neat to see him come back from two shoulder injuries and come out and play the ways he’s been playing. And also he’s contributing to special teams. Just very happy with the way he’s playing. I still think he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet, that he’s just going to continue to grow and develop with the more reps he gets. When you take a look in terms of what we did last week with him, he’s gone in and he’s played in substitution packages, he’s played the mole spot, he’s played the Mike spot. That’s what really helps you become better on defense, when you have guys that have that versatility and have that intelligence that you can do those different things with to be able to defend the people that you have to defend.”

On rating the offensive line through two games:

“They’re a work in progress, but I mean that in a good way. I thought they got better week one to week two. There’s still a long way to go and again you look at them, they haven’t played a whole lot of football. But my thing is, and the evaluation is going to be, are they getting better from each week. Not only in terms of executing the game plan, but also in terms of how they’re performing from a technique and fundamental point of view. So, I like the improvement, but I know we still have got a long way to go and those guys have been working extremely hard in practice and I just want to keep them all improving and keep improving as a group.”

On running back Brandon Ross’ performance against Old Dominion:

“I just told him to keep doing his job. We don’t make it complicated around here. We keep it very short and sweet and tell them what they do right and tell them what they do wrong and help them get better. All we need to do is to have Brandon continue to do the things he’s been doing last week. Again, we had an issue where we thought he was dancing a little bit too much and we talked to him about it. We showed it to him on film and then he went out and played better. That’s what you like because it shows that he’s coachable, he understands it, and now he sees it and he’s doing it. That’s all we want him to do, that’s all we want all our guys to do. Just go out and do everything to the best of your ability. When we make a correction just take it as such that we’re just helping you get better.”

Linebacker Matt Robinson

On his versatility:

 “It’s been a change, but I think I’ve adapted pretty well. I’ve always had a good grasp on the defense so just moving down into the box wasn’t that hard to adjust to, just the physical nature and how fast it comes.”

On this game week being any different:

“Just approaching it as another game on the schedule; first opportunity a lot of us have had to be 3-0 as Terps.  We’re just really focused on that. It doesn’t really matter who the opponent is, just going up there to get a win.”

Quarterback C.J. Brown

On the offense through two games:

“We’re going out and executing, that’s the biggest thing. We’re all on the same page, we’re just going out and doing what we do in practice. Go out there have fun, put the ball in playmakers’ hands and guys are going out and making plays. The biggest thing is we’re not shooting ourselves in the foot, we’re not going out and turning the ball over or having a lot of penalties.”

On what it will take to defeat Connecticut:

“They just had a bye week so we don’t have too much film on them this year. They have a new defensive coordinator.  They showed a lot of man coverage so it’ll be interesting to see how they play against us.  If they want those matchups on the outside, maybe they do, maybe they don’t.  We just gotta go in there and play our game.”

Linebacker Yannick Ngakoue

On the defense’s expectations for Connecticut:

 “I’m expecting it to be a pretty good game because they just lost to Towson so I know they’re going to play with a chip on their shoulder.  Basically, I expect it to be a dogfight and it’s going to be a pretty good game.”

On preparing for Connecticut’s offense:

“We have to prepare this week, all day on and off the field; watching film, studying the tendencies.  Also, we got to practice hard, practice how you play.”

On being the first road game of the season:

“It’s going to be pretty fun because it’s my first road game of my college football career.  So it’ll be pretty fun like bonding; flying on the plane with my teammates so it should be a pretty good experience.”

Defensive Back Dexter McDougle

On how the secondary performed against Old Dominion with defensive back Jeremiah Johnson in the lineup:

“I think we stepped up to the challenge. We knew ODU was going to pass the ball and they did, but we prepared all week, we were ready even if JJ couldn’t play.  Before the game, I knew Isaac [Goins] was going to make some plays, you know he had an interception and Will [Likely] is always going to make plays.  So I think we played pretty well, but there is always room to improve.”

On the confidence level with defensive backs Isaac Goins and William Likely in the lineup:

“I’m real confident; I know those guys put the work in.  They want to be good, they want to be great.  DBs just feel like this is our year, we want to step up and do whatever we got to do and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

On the expected reception by the Connecticut fans:

“Since he was the coach there a couple years ago, you know they are probably just going to ‘boo’ us, but we expect that.  We’ll let the fans do what they got to do and we’ll do what we got to do.”