Sept. 22, 2009
On the Rutgers offense:
"Offensively, they have an issue with quarterback right now. Tom Savage was the starter and he got a concussion the last game. I don't know what his status is. He's a regular freshman. He's a pretty talented kid. He's a classic passer. Jabu Lovelace is kind of their wildcat guy. He's normally associated with running, and Domenic Natale started the first game and then came in to replace Savage. They've all played in every game so we don't really know who we are going to be facing.
"They have two good running backs. Joe Martinek is 6-foot, 215 pounds and averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and Jourdan Brooks is 6-foot-1, 245 pounds and averaging 5.7 yards per carry. So they have two big running backs that are doing pretty well. They also have a freshman De'Antwan Williams, who played a lot in the Howard game.
"Their offensive line is experienced and big and talented. Anthony Davis is 6-foot-6, 325 pounds. He's a junior and plays left tackle. He's an excellent football player. (Right tackle) Kevin Haslam is a former basketball player. He's a senior and a good football player. Ryan Blaszczyk is a senior who's up on the Rimington watch list. He started 26 straight times and he actually started against us two years ago. Howard Barbieri is a 6-foot-5, 295-pound right guard and Art Forst is a 6-foot-8, 310-pound redshirt freshman. So they are very big and a very experienced.
"They have two really outstanding wide receivers. Tim Brown is very fast. He's averaging 24.9 yards per catch, and Mohamed Sanu is a true freshman. Between the two of them, they have 30 catches this year."
On the Rutgers defense:
On the Rutgers special teams:
"Defensively, six out of their 11 starters returned. On the defensive line, guys we are really going to have to deal with include George Johnson and Alex Silvestro. Ryan D'Imperio is their middle linebacker that played against us two years ago. He is still starting and is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. Joe Lefeged is a very aggressive safety which they like to blitz. Their leading cornerback is Devin McCourty. He's 5-foot-11, 185 pounds and leads the team in breakups. He's an excellent corner. He's also their kickoff returner."
"Ted Dellaganna is their punter averaging 44.2 yards this year and his career he's around 41 yards. He's an excellent punter and also kicks off for them. Their field goal kicker is San San Te. He's 6-for-9 this year with a 39-yarder being his longest. He's had one blocked. For his career, he's 15-for-21 with a 50-yarder being his longest. The punt returner is Mohamed Sanu."
On the season to date:
"We are in a tough situation right now. This is a time where a season hasn't gone along exactly as we wanted it to. I think we've played three very good teams. We are facing some hard luck. Sometimes you have to change your luck to make your luck, I understand that. I think our kids are playing hard. I think we are getting better. But you have to eliminate mistakes. Snapping the ball too early, off-sides on a fourth-and-1, third-and-8 in a big part of the game and we go offsides again. Those kinds of things we have to correct and get better on. Our effort is still good. I think there is improvement in the offense. We had 158 yards rushing and 446 yards total offense last week. But it's fumbles and turnovers and penalties that we have to start eliminating. Defensively, we are getting better against the run. We had 10 TFLs and four sacks. We are just giving up big plays and we have to stop that. I thought our tackling was better and I thought our pursuit was better. I didn't think we played well in our special teams. I think we can do better than what we did there."
On correcting mistakes:
"When I addressed the team last night, I told them there were a lot of things that we are doing well. The reason I told them I was showing them these particular plays was because these are things that need to get corrected. Strangely enough, if the 31 plays that I showed them had been for us, we might have won the football game. And that is how close that game was. We turned the ball over four times and three out of four were inside the 30-yard line. They got 17 points without having to drive more than 30 yards. We can't do that and win football games. There are some things that we are doing better. We have a young team and I know that people are tired of hearing that, but that's the way it is. We emphasized penalties. I don't think there is anyone in the conference more fanatical about penalties than I am."
On Da'Rel Scott:
"He had two fumbles (last week). But when he had the opportunity to find some running room, he showed great explosion. I thought he ran the ball in some instances very, very well. He can't fumble the football. I think Da'Rel knows that. I think he will get it corrected and will improve from that. I haven't lost any faith in Da'Rel. That comes with being a running back - you can't turn the ball over."
On what team is capable of the team in ACC play:
"I think we are 0-0 and there are some teams in our division that have lost but I really don't worry about that until next week. Right now we are focused on Rutgers and we still have to continue to improve and get some guys back that will help us in the depth standpoint."
On his initial reaction after the Middle Tennessee game about `getting tougher' this week:
"When I watched the tape, you need to understand I am maybe too emotional of a person and I don't take losing well. It eats away at me. Especially because we lost the way we lost. Even in the two-minute scenario with no timeouts they ran the ball on the second down. We practice that all the time. I always look at what I need to do better, and obviously I think I could have done better."
On bouncing back this week:
"We had a good practice last night and I was very pleased with the way we practiced. It was a little tougher than what we normally do. Today I'm not going to do anything different than we normally do. I am going to add a couple periods to work on things that we need to get better at. I am going to do what I have to do to get us to be prepared and win. I think this team really needs to have a coming out. If we can do that, I think it would really help our guys."
On the difference between having 30 seniors (last season) and 14 seniors on the team:
"Whenever we got frustrated last year, we had guys that would look at me and say, `Coach, its ok. We got it. We've been here before.' With this bunch, they are eager and they want to do it. But sometimes they don't know how to do it, and what they are learning right now is how to do it. If you persevere and keep working at it, you fail, you run, you grow, and you get better. If you have that attitude, eventually you will be good. And that's what I think is going to happen with this group. Once you start experiencing success you gain confidence and that's what you have to have to be successful."
Senior Defensive Lineman Deege Galt
On the team's preparation this week after Saturday's loss:
"It's the same as every week. You try to come back on Monday and watch some film, correct the mistakes and by Monday at 5 p.m., you're focused on Rutgers. We had a good practice last night. As far as our morale, the guys seem pretty good and ready to get a new week started, definitely. Saturday can't come soon enough."
On what he knows about Rutgers:
"They're big up front. They have a lot of speed on the outside. They're tough runners in the backfield. They can beat you in a lot of different ways. First and foremost, we have to be able to control the line of scrimmage to have a chance at beating this team. They're really good, really experienced up front, as far as defensively, that's one thing we really have to be focused on.
Junior Offensive Lineman Paul Pinegar
On the loss to Middle Tennessee State:
"Nobody wants a loss like that. You've just got to look forward to the next game. You look at the corrections on tape and you might use it as motivation for practice next week, but we are using this as an opportunity to bounce back."
On Coach Friedgen's message to the team:
"He wanted to reiterate that he's not quitting on the team or anything like that. He still sees that we are fighting really hard and we still have that work ethic. We see we've got to make corrections. We've got to play better and get faster."
On becoming one of the veterans of the team:
"Yeah, I figured I'd see myself here after a few years. To consider myself one of the veterans, it's a little unusual to think about."
On the team's communication:
"You have your individual relationships with each person, but for the most part, everybody knows the game plan. It's not like you have to tell somebody one thing and they're telling you something else. We pretty much just have to communicate, it's not too difficult."
On the switch from right tackle to left tackle:
"It's really just mirroring the footwork on your pass sets and your run/block technique. I keep telling people it's like switching a pen from one hand to the other. You've got to learn to write with the left hand."
On feeling the pressure of playing left tackle:
"At times I do. It's the blind side. Chris (Turner) might be able to see pressure coming from the right side versus the back side. I'm always afraid that I might let some guy slip off through the cracks up the backside. That's always something you've got to keep in your mind. It's almost like a motivation. You've got to raise your game to that extra level."
On the team's desire to win going into this weekend:
"I wouldn't say now or never, but we want to win every game we can and that needs to start now. Being a young team, it would definitely be a confidence booster [to win this weekend]. We want to go out there and bring it all on Saturday."
On if he tries to lead the team in tough situations:
"Definitely, I'm not too old in age, but I have a lot of experience compared to the rest of the team. I try to take on my role as a leader and try to make sure everyone stays on task. We want to win. It's not like we go out there and try to lose. We're trying to be ourselves. That's definitely one thing we're focusing on - minimizing mistakes like penalties, missed assignments."
On if he was worried about how Coach Friedgen would react after the loss on Saturday:
"I understand its emotional going into it. I really wasn't too worried about it going in. My true freshman year was when he was at his toughest and in comparison to how he is now, he's lightened up a little bit. I really wasn't worried about it because I just want to win. Whatever he thinks we have to do to win, I'm willing to do it."
On the offense:
"Different teams run different defenses. Certain plays work against certain defenses, and certain ones don't. (The coaches) just want the team to get better and better each week."
On what it would mean to win the next game:
"It would be real big on a confidence level. Hopefully, get the fans behind us again and just try to make a statement of what kind of ball club we have. There have been some rocky games, (but we're) just trying to get our swagger back."
On dealing with a loss:
"Yeah, don't get me wrong, it's not easy walking to class every day after a loss like this. There are some things that we focus on and some things we don't, and that's not one of them. We've got to come by and just play the game of football. That's what we've got to just try to do regardless of who is behind us."