Nov. 8, 2011
"We play an away game this weekend but we are treating it like a home game. We are going down to FedExField to play Notre Dame. Offensively they are playing very well; I have been impressed with Tommy Rees at quarterback. Michael Floyd is a tremendous wide receiver, a tremendous line and great skill players. Defensively they play a 3-4 scheme. We are looking forward to playing at 7:30 on NBC. I know that we will have a good week of practice and that we are looking forward to playing on Saturday night."
On Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly's style of play:
"They are going to play what we call 11-personnel, that is three wide receivers, a tight end and a back. He is going to give us some problems in the passing game and they run the ball as well. He is a good coach. I played him at Cincinnati when I was at Connecticut and had some good high-scoring games. It is an offense that tries to utilize the whole field. Defensively they are going to play sound and fundamental. We expect a tough physical football game."
On Justin Gilbert taking over as starting right guard:
"When I look at our team I try to see where our best players can fit in. I know that Justin Gilbert had played tackle before, but when I look at our team I felt that it would be in our best interest to move him to guard. Knowing that we have Max Garcia and R.J. Dill at tackles I thought that was the best move to make. We put him there and I thought he played well. We think he will play better this week with a game under his belt."
On measuring the team's progress besides wins and losses:
On eliminating mistakes:
"All anyone looks at from the outside is how many we win and how many we lose. That is the business we are in. I look at the big picture though. When we are installing a program there is more than just wins and losses. I feel that it is the total program that we are installing that needs to develop. We are improving in a lot of areas. We just aren't winning on the field right now. That will happen; I am confident in that. I think that it is important to develop the entire program and have things done the right way. As long as I am the head coach I am going to make sure that we install the entire program, it is more than just on the field. I understand that we are judged by the outcome. But it's about making the young men better students, men and athletes. We better not lose sight of that. When we do that we can get the wins on the field. We have an obligation to the parents."
"We have to practice better and consistently. We have been getting good effort in practice we just have to be more consistent. If we look at the film out of the 75 plays there were 45 or 50 that we did very well. The other 20 we had some issues because we weren't consistently executing. There are times that we can call better plays both offensively and defensively."
On his comment's Sunday comparing the transition at Maryland to his past experiences:
"The problem is that sometimes my quotes can get taken out of context. What I was saying there was going in to Connecticut there was a team that was 10-2 and coming off going to the D1-AA playoffs for the first time in school history. Expectations were very high with what we were going to do. There were some variables there though. They had lost 25 guys who were very good players. The first year didn't go so well and that is what I was saying. I was comparing going in there and [having high] expectations and coming in here, not the state of the programs. I came in installed my program, stayed consistent and good things happened."
On if he anticipates his second year here being easier than the first:
"There is no question it will. As a coach I have had the opportunity to talk to [Georgia Tech head coach] Paul Johnson and [Virginia head coach] Mike London and what they have gone through. We are all in the profession and we all understand it. Everyone has a philosophy and a plan of action and you are going to install that plan of action. As you continue you can see the progress. The press and the fans only see what happens on Saturday and they judge us on that, and I understand that. But it is more than just that. It's a big part of it but there is a lot of progress being made. Talking to the young men you will hear that."
On the biggest positive he's seen on the field:
"I see the guys competing, working hard and giving everything that they have. That is the stuff I see. I see the guys understanding what we want to do offensively and defensively. I see guys working each and every day. Everyone wants to get better and you can see it on the field, it's just not consistent enough. That's the biggest thing for me is [our play] just isn't consistent for 60 minutes."
On transitioning this team and whether it was realistic to have an ACC title goal this year:
"My philosophy is every year I want to win the ACC title. If you don't feel that way you are cheating yourself and everyone involved. So it's not wrong for me to think that way. But when you look at things from a realistic standpoint it may be different. Each and every year the number one goal of a program is to win their conference. Then there will be other goals that we set for ourselves. Some years you don't get there and other years you do."
Sophomore Quarterback C.J. Brown
On if playing the Notre Dame game at this point in the season is a type of missed opportunity:
"I mean it depends how you look at it. Any time you play Notre Dame I think is a great opportunity, especially in the environment that we're going to be in at an NFL stadium. We haven't played Notre Dame in a while, and this being my first time being able to go against that type of caliber opponent will be a great experience. Everyone is looking forward to it. It's going to be a great game, a night game on national television and I think everyone is really looking forward to it."
On Notre Dame's defense:
"They're going to be good. They're tough, they're physical, they have experienced linebackers, and they're an experienced team. Their coach is doing a great job and they're going to fly to the ball. We're definitely going to have to play our game."
On what he's improved over the season:
"I think through the course of games I've been managing the game better. Being able to read defenses I think comes with time and it's a lot different than practice out there. The speed of the game is still a lot faster; you're not going against the same guys every time. You can always improve on the passing game and the timing with receivers because everything changes when you're out there and the lights are on. Every day you just have to get better and better in practice."
On Notre Dame's offense:
"We know they have a very good receiver, they have a very good tight end, a very good and very experienced offensive line, so I feel that they're going to spread the ball around, run the ball, and throw the ball. We just have to be prepared, go through practice this week with a lot of energy, study really hard and come out and play."
On if Notre Dame was a game on the schedule that players were excited for:
"That was definitely one of the games you looked at when the schedule came out, like saying that was going to be a big game for us."
On eliminating mistakes on offense and defense:
"Concentration, just being mentally tough, fundamentals are a big part of the game. If you miss a lot of tackles and drop a lot of balls, most likely you won't win."
On playing in an NFL stadium:
"Well one thing is it's an NFL stadium and the first thing that goes through your mind is `this is where the pros play' and now I'm playing here. You kind of feel a little different because this is where you want to play and this is where you want to get to. Last year we played in Miami's stadium and the Raven's stadium, and those were two totally different experiences than playing at home or in any other college stadium. There's more people there, it's a bigger stadium, you can see the differences on the field, from how the NFL plays so you really want to drive yourself to make it there and be able to play there every week."
Junior Offensive Lineman R.J. Dill
On the struggles of the offense this year:
"I kind of live in my own little box, I try to block the guy in front of me. I let the other people worry about the stuff with Danny [O'Brien], C.J. [Brown], and the receivers, that's their deal. The offensive line has done an OK job of doing our part, so we're going to continue to do that and keep working. The only thing you can do here is keep working."
On Notre Dame's defense:
"I think they move a lot up front. They show us one look then give us another look and I think that's the biggest challenge they present. They're pretty good up front, they're a national program and they're able to recruit at a national level, so they have some pretty darn good players. But I think their movement up front is kind of the big problem they present."
On if playing Notre Dame is Maryland's `Bowl Game:'
"No it's the next game. Each game is the next most important game, because it's the next one. We're not going to approach this one any different than we approached the last nine, hopefully we get a different outcome, but we're going to approach each game each week as best we can and hopefully come out on Saturday and get a `W'. That's the goal."
Junior Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano
On the importance of the exposure the team will get Saturday:
"We just have to step it up kind of like we did against [Miami] on Monday night in the beginning of the year. Just step up and make plays. Everyone's going to be watching these younger kids who haven't been playing, our whole team in general."
On if you feed off that big game atmosphere:
"I mean you have to. You're playing against this team at 7:30 on Saturday night in a pro stadium. That's just huge for recruitment too when you win those games, those are the ones you really want to win."
On Notre Dame's backfield:
"The biggest thing I would say is up front they're really good. They have three seniors, two juniors, they've all played in a lot of games, and they go up against good players every week. That's the best thing a running back can have is a good offensive line really."
On if it's a conflicting feeling having a successful individual year with a team that isn't playing as well:
"You know it's tough but you kind of get older and you're just supposed to make plays and stuff like that, and you raise your game every year. I just try to do my part to win."