Head Coach Randy Edsall
"It's good to get some heat here because they're predicting for 89 degrees and about 72 percent humidity and winds out of the southeast at seven miles an hour on Saturday; so this weather this week will be good for us to practice in as we head down to Tampa to play South Florida. They're coming off a really good win with performances by two freshmen, 275 yards rushing, so we are going to be very challenged defensively to stop the run this week and then facing a defense that gives a 3-4 look. Their defense can give you different looks and pressures so we'll have to make sure we step up our preparation and our efficiency this week in order to go down there and play the best game we can to give us the best opportunity to win.”
On the injury to wide receiver Taivon Jacobs and its impact on the wide receiver position:
"Well, we pretty much knew what the situation was with Taivon after the game. He had an MRI yesterday and he'll be going in for surgery on Thursday. I've been told he'll be out for the remainder of the season. It's unfortunate for Taivon. He's worked extremely hard to put himself in a position to be a starter, but injuries are a part of football. It's unfortunate and we all feel bad for him but it gives other guys the opportunity to step up. We're not a one-man team and now we create some other opportunities for other people. Our two-deep is reflective of what we're going to do. Juwann Winfree is a guy that has been sitting in all the meetings with the receivers and working with the scout team, but he knows he has to be ready to go at any given time. I will look at our roster and I say, how can we make our team the best we can make it. I made some promises to Will Ulmer during recruiting. Will and I had a chance to sit down yesterday and it's ironic that he was about to come see me to talk about exactly what I wanted to talk to him about. We're going to move Will to wide receiver so he'll start going into the meetings and doing everything as a receiver. He played some receiver on scout team last week because you have to do that when you have limited numbers, but he's all for it and believes that wide receiver will be his best position going forward. It was a very good conversation and one that was on his mind even before I mentioned it to him. We also have DeAndre Lane there ready for us. We'll be fine. Unfortunately injuries are part of the game. Hopefully we won't get any more, but I'm sure we will and if we do we have the faith and the confidence in whoever we put in will go in and do a really good job.”
On the preparation for USF running back Marlon Mack:
"They're a pro-style offense with a lot of 21-personnel; they'll go 22 and they'll go 12. Mack is very talented. He's a true freshman who's shifty, quick, and fast. He broke two 60-yard runs last week. He has good vision, good patience getting to the hole and then good vision to see things. We're really going to be challenged. We'll have to tackle well, get to the gaps, run to the ball, and when we run to the ball, we're going to have to take good angles.”
On the confidence in the wide receiver position:
"Marcus Leak has been a starter here. I know he can go do the job. He's done the job before and now he's got the opportunity to get the job done again and I know Marcus will do everything he can to do that. Amba Etta-Tawo is another guy who has experience. Jacquille Veil is a guy that is still in the process, he only moved to wide receiver two weeks ago. He's not going to all of the sudden turn into Jerry Rice overnight. He's learning. He'll make some mistakes as anybody would who makes his transition. He wants to do well and he wants to do it exactly the way it's being taught to him. He'll keep getting better each game he plays, each rep he gets. I'm not worried about him. It's just a matter of getting him reps so he can get better and he can settle in a little but more in that position because it's all new to him.”
On the progression of offensive lineman Michael Dunn:
"He's just a great young man. He's a really good student, he's a really good person and he's developing into a really good football player. I say that from a positive standpoint. I think the growth that he's made here from a strength standpoint, from a technique standpoint and from a movement standpoint causes him to deserve all the credit that we've been giving him. He's put in hard work and made a commitment to be the best he could be. Out of high school, we thought that he wasn't one of those guys at that point in time that was a candidate for a scholarship because you only get so many, but he still decided he wanted to come here. When he got here, he just worked. He didn't worry about being a walk-on, I didn't worry about him being a walk-on and our team didn't worry about him being a walk-on. It's just a great example that if you take your ability and combine it with your work ethic and make a commitment to being as good as you can be than this is what can happen for you. I still remember the day I brought him into my office and told him he would be on scholarship. It's one of the happiest things that happen to you as a coach because he had no idea that he was going to be offered a scholarship. Just to see the look on his face when I offered it was a look of surprise, but joy. It’s great as a coach to be able to do that and have those moments because you know how much he's invested into making himself what he is and the thankfulness that he has. He was so unassuming. Even now, he's still getting better and he wants to get better. Sometimes guys get rewarded with something and they hit a plateau, but not Michael. He works even harder.”
On USF's passing defense:
"I think Western Carolina had a game plan that they were going to go in there and throw the football. They did short, possession-type routes and tried to get rid of the ball quickly. I think South Florida defensively is a team that has good athletes. They have guys who can run, so we've looked at them and dissected them and are going to put together a game plan that we think fits what we do compared to what we see on film."
On improving the passing game:
"We always try to be a balanced offense, but some days when you have a game plan, it doesn't always go the way you would like them to go. You have to adjust. Similarly to a pitcher, you might want to throw a fastball, but you're having control problems, you may have to go to the curve or the change-up. Last week, we weren't having so much success in the passing game, so that's when we decided to run the ball more. We want to be balanced and take advantage of all the opportunities and weapons we have."
On running back Wes Brown's performance:
"Wes played a little better than what he had been practicing during the week. I think he's just going to continue to get better, and we will see how it all works out. I think we have three tailbacks that we can and are going to utilize. We knew what Wes could do, and everyone can always improve, but it's great to have all three of them."
On quarterback C.J. Brown’s self-evaluation of his performance against James Madison:
"I think the quarterback always has to be hard on themself, and I think C.J. was just saying what he thought was the truth. He's not afraid to take the blame or admit that he did not play up to his expectations. I don't worry about C.J. He is going to come back out and practice well this week and get himself ready to play on Saturday. He didn't throw as well as he is capable of throwing, but he did so many other things well. It's hard for the quarterback unless he plays a perfect game, but I'm glad that C.J.'s under center doing it for us."
On USF's run defense:
"South Florida is athletic, they can run, and they don't stay blocked very long. Those are the types of things that can make it very tough on an offense. They are a well-coached team, and their defensive coordinator [Chuck Bresnahan] coached in the NFL for a while. The kids are from Florida, and they have talent."
On Will Ulmer's transition to wide receiver:
"Will is very fast, smooth and can get in and out of cuts. He's got to continue to learn how to do some of those things, but those are things we can work on. I give Will credit, because it was on his mind. He evaluates and looks at things, and is trying to look at where he can help the team. He feels like this is where he can impact the team the most. Will can play special teams as well, so he gives you a lot of options. Will understands the game and has great skill level."
On adjusting to early-season injuries:
"It is close to when we had camp, when a lot of guys get reps, so we can put some guys in there, but the thing that happens, is that we can petition to get another year for Taivon [Jacobs]. Since he's missed some time with injuries coming out of high school and then now, we can petition for him to have that sixth year.”