Oct. 4, 2011
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"This week we have a different type of challenge in front of us with Georgia Tech. They are a team who runs the triple-option very well. We are going to have a couple of days to get prepared for it. We are looking forward to the challenge of heading down there. They are ranked first in the nation in rushing offense and second in the nation in both total offense and scoring offense. It will be a tremendous challenge.
"The thing you have to do against the triple-option is you have to have everyone play assignment football. You have to take away the dive and be prepared for the quarterback to keep it or pitch it. This year Georgia Tech has also been throwing the ball extremely well. They have gotten some big plays off that.
"Defensively they are a 3-4 defense that is playing well. We have to make sure we have a good week of preparation. I know the kids are excited to go down there for our first road game. The good thing is that we have the same routine on the road as at home. We have to leave a little earlier to fly down there but once we are down there we are in the same routine."
On the play of Titus Till and the other freshmen:
"Titus (Till) played well. He is a guy who is still learning. He doesn't have a lot of experience but we expect him to keep getting better. The big thing for him is to make sure that he is a sure tackler and that he has his eyes where they belong. That is a big thing with young defensive backs - that they are looking where they should be. For the most part he did a good job with that on Saturday.
"As far as the other freshmen go I think they made an impact in the game. I thought they played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The biggest thing is we are looking to win as many games as we can this season. One of my philosophies in recruiting is that we are going to play the best players no matter the class, whoever the best player is they are going to play. I give them credit because A.J. Hendy and Tyrek Cheeseboro were down on the scout team and they made an impression. The way that they practiced and the things they were doing elevated them and put them into the game. A.J. (Hendy), Cole Farrand and Alex Twine they are now all backups at their positions. Since they have been in on special teams if there is an injury at their positions they will have some experience to get in there and play. They are realizing that if they work hard and are productive they can move up the depth chart. That's the thing that we are trying to get across to recruits. If they are the best, they can come in and play early. Those young men took advantage of the opportunity."
On the skill set of Georgia Tech QB Tevin Washington:
"He is a good athlete. He plays with a lot of confidence. We have to be sound on defense. They will run the triple-option and throw the ball as well. They are number one in pass efficiency in the country only throwing it about ten times a game. They get a lot of big plays off of the play action. He isn't the typical triple-option quarterback. He throws the ball well and has good receivers who go up and get the ball. The biggest thing is for us to read our keys because he is a guy who can hurt us running and throwing the ball."
On his message at halftime of the Towson game:
"My message at halftime was to not panic. They didn't panic. To me some of the things that happened were self inflicted wounds. If we had gone out and executed the things we called offensively and defensively we would have been in much better shape at half time. I learned a long time ago from someone I coached with that repetition is the mother of learning. We always will be very repetitive in telling them about the team concept. The more people hear something the more it is engrained in them and the more they will do it themselves. The message has gotten across we just need to keep being repetitive to them to get the message engrained in them."
On the play of junior linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield:
"I think that Demetrius is getting better each week. He is a guy who needs to play well for us because he has been on the field a lot. On our defense there isn't a lot of experience out there right now. When we have a guy who has been out there we expect them to keep things under control and take care of his responsibilities while pointing things out to the younger guys. Moving him from Mike to Will was us trying to get the best players on the field. We expect him to play even better than what he has been playing. He has that in him because he isn't maxed out in his ability."
On true freshman running back Justus Pickett:
"The thing that Justus (Pickett) does is that from the day he came in he has done everything we have asked him the way we want it done. Whether it is in pass protection or footwork he has been a quick study in picking up the offense. He has gone through and made blocks on multiple people in a single play. That is something that you can't teach. He has put himself in a position to get more playing time due to his play. That is how we are going to do things around here. If you go out and perform then you have earned the right to be on the field a little bit more."
On what he learned about the team on Saturday:
"I learned that if we go out and execute we have a chance to be a good football team and win games. I saw a team on defense that was opportunistic and created four turnovers. Our team saw that if we don't give turnovers on offense and commit penalties we give ourselves an opportunity to win. What we need to continuously do now is to practice and keep getting better in all phases of the game."
On the importance of running the ball against Georgia Tech:
"With Georgia Tech's triple-option offense and being able to pass the ball we have to take advantage of each possession we have. We might not have a lot of possessions. They move the ball and eat up a lot of time. We need to be efficient when we do have the ball. Hopefully we can steal some possessions from them with turnovers. With any team you have to be able to run the football. On defense teams are going to try and make you one dimensional by stopping the run. Offensively we want to be able run the ball so we have balance. If we just throw the ball we won't be as successful because we need balance. I think we have people that we can have that balance with."
On the play of Georgia Tech's defense:
"They try to make you make the mistake. They are a very solid defense, well coached, and we've played some very good defenses already and this is no exception. We're going to have to be really sharp in execution, so I feel like it's a really big challenge for our offense. I don't think we've played four full quarters of Maryland football, what we're capable of doing, and we're going to have to do it to win this game. They're a very good defense overall."
On the offense's preparation this season:
"I think we're just getting a feel for how we approach games and how we get into things. We're kind of used to it now, we're comfortable, so it's just about executing, and we just want to get better each week. We want to pick up where we left off with the second half of the Towson game and take it to the next level."
On getting back receivers Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree:
"I think having the opportunity to get them out there against Towson, it kind of shook the cob webs off. Getting back into the flow of things felt good. Ronnie [Tyler] is really hard on himself always in his performance and he's really ready to get out there this week and make some things happen. I know he will."
On the play of the offense and the team this season:
"I think it's been up and down, it's been a roller coaster. In one month we've experienced a lot of highs and a lot of lows already, but I think that's going to be good for us. We've already experienced a lot of adversity in the team, a lot of character has shown as far as pulling us out of some slumps. It's made us mentally tougher and tighter as a team, so I think overall we've played ok, but not consistent by any means on offense. But that's the beauty of it - we have another challenge this week and another opportunity to play four quarters of good football, which we haven't done yet."
Junior Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano
On his play against the triple-option dating back to the Navy game:
"I think the biggest thing on the option is if you get caught, is just stay alive and get in on the play. They're going to make plays on you, and when they do you're going to come back and they're going to run the same thing. There really isn't too much trickery, it's just assignment football."
On Georgia Tech's ability to throw:
"When they throw, they throw to score. They get you to always think option, and try to get you to play out of your assignment. But everybody just reads their keys, and when they don't throw you read the tackle. The biggest thing is assignment, and the toughest thing is just trying to replicate it in practice. The scout team actually did a good job on Sunday already because the coaches are meeting with them now too."
On if the team is ready to play a disciplined assignment defense with so many young players:
"Yes, I mean everybody just has to focus in and do your job. It's a `When it comes your way, it comes your way' mentality. And when it's not, get to the ball, if you get caught get up. You're going to get cut, it's tough. Everybody might start playing hesitantly when that happens, but you can't do that, that's the biggest thing."
On what the team has learned as an offense so far this season:
"The biggest thing is that we have three running backs who can play, and that's a confidence booster going into a game where you know you're going to need to run the ball. In addition to that, I think that for an offensive line to run the ball the way we did in the second half in the Towson game, you need to click. I think that there was a nice flow and nice rhythm across the line, and that's something good to have playing a ranked opponent your first road game of the season. We're feeling pretty good right now, but now we just have to keep building on our success last week and get ready for a big game."
On playing the team's first road game and his message to younger players:
"There's a little more emphasis on staying focused. You're not going to have the home crowd with you, that's what you have to keep in mind. At the same time, one of the biggest things when you go on the road is not beating yourself. It's just you out there, sometimes especially on offense, here's the noise factor, so that sometimes poses a problem. But I think we're going to implement certain things in our game-plan that will help us take care of that. I think we're ready."
On if there is an excitement or anticipation playing the first road game:
"I think once you know you can win at home, now we can find out if we can win on the road, that's a big confidence booster. It's also the second ACC game and we're excited for ACC play. We're 1-0 in the conference and we want to continue our success. We're positive, we believe and we're ready to play some football."
On if road games are good team building experiences:
"It's our first road game, and in the situation we're in right now I think we're going to have to draw on successes from different games we've had this season so far. It's going to be a true testament to how we respond under pressure. It's a pressure game, they're a ranked opponent and they have a great venue to play in. We're excited."