Stoops, Arizona build team chemistry at Fort Huachuca

Mike Stoops and the Arizona Wildcats recently spent five days of training camp away from Tuscon in a place called Fort Huachuca.

Fort Hauchuca is an Army post 75 miles southeast of Tucson, where according to the NY Times, “The Wildcats bunked in cinderblock barracks, sharing latrines, foosball tables and war stories — some figurative, some real — with soldiers.”

Mike Stoops says of the decision to spent part of camp at Fort Hauchuca, “This is the only good decision I’ve made in six years.”

Arizona director of football operations Erick Harper says the trip has resulted in a tougher-minded team and will battle through adversity. 

Harper says, “Three years ago, if we’d have lost a game like that (Oregon 2009), we would have probably lost the last two. Do they mindfully think back to Fort Huachuca? Maybe subconsciously, there are some experiences they turn back to.”

Arizona opens at Toledo on Friday night, September 3rd.  Other non-conference games for the Wildcats include The Citadel and Iowa. 


Monday afternoon Coaches Quick Hits

Some interesting quotes from around the country:


Duke DC / DL coach Marion Hobby says defense will attack: “We’re going to be aggressive.  When you are aggressive, it’s feast or famine sometimes.  But we are going to err on the side of aggression.  I don’t think we will err on the side of aggression, I know we will.” 

“We’re going to give them different looks.  We’re going to be a little unpredictable.  We’ve got to frustrate the quarterback – sack hit, hit him, flush him, knock balls down. We’ve got to do a lot of things to frustrate him.” 


Sark talks about turnovers: “In winning and losing, there’s no more telling stat than winning the turnover battle leads to W’s.  Potentially, a lot of turnovers happen on quarterback sacks, which they aren’t allowed to hit our quarterback right now, so that’s a little hard to tell.” 

“I think our defense is ball hungry.  The reason the way they are is by the way we practice.  The focus by our defense on the football, now it’s become a focus for the offense.”


Gene Chizik talks about his 2 biggest challenges: “Consistency and wining the penalty battle.  That’s it.  It’s that simple.  That message has been pretty clear to those guys. Overall, it has been a good camp for everybody, but just to say one unit is head & tails above the other…that would be hard for me to say.  I think we are on track pretty close to where we envisioned us being.”


Quoting Army OC Ian Shields: “We just want to operate without errors and delays, get off the ball and play with great pad level. Our goal is to be the best turnover team in the country. That’s the main thing. Games early in the season are usually decided by turnovers and the kicking game. If we can master those early in the season, as with anyone in the country, you’ll like those results.”


Florida quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler says 40-second clock a concern: “Right now, they’re just worried about getting in the right play; get to the line of scrimmage and being able to run our offense before the clock hits zero. They have to get the signal from the sideline, get the wristband call, get in and out of the huddle and fight that 40-second clock. If you don’t own the 40-second clock, the 40-second clock is going to own you.”

Norm Chow doesn’t think Tebow is ready: “I don’t think Vince (Young) was ready because of where he came from. I don’t think Tebow is quite ready because of where he came from. The intricacies of a pro passing game are unbelievable. It takes time. […] They said they were going to change his throwing style and that’s a bunch of bologna. You don’t change, in one summer, the throwing style a guy has been using for 20 years of his life.”


University of Pacific AD Ken Schumann says it’s $17,000 per player: “For every student that we bring in, after you take all the costs, the net revenue generated for the university is a little over $17,000.


Behind-the-scenes highlights from South Florida training camp:



Vandy head coach Robbie Caldwell mic'd up

The summer of All-Access.  Add Vanderbilt to the growing list. 

More and more head coaches around the country are allowing short All-Access footage to their programs to enhance recruiting and generate even more fan excitement.

Recently, we’ve seen programs such as Arkansas, Virginia, North Texas, USC, Alabama, Boise State, Maryland, and others highlight their programs and coaches through All-Access type of video.

Today, Vanderbilt released a mic’d up version of head coach Robbie Caldwell.

According to VUCommordors.com, “Off the field, Robbie Caldwell has become known for his country style, Southern drawl and quick wit. On the field, he's the man in charge of Vanderbilt football, eager to encourage players and prepared to correct mistakes.”

Take a look.  We thought it was a well done production.



Les Miles talks expectations and #21 pre-season ranking

LSU head coach Les Miles spoke with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN radio this afternoon about expectations and the Tigers #21 pre-season ranking.

Miles stated, “The pressure that we have here has always been to play to great expectations.  The expectation of the 92,500 (at Tiger Stadium) is that the LSU Tigers are fixing to beat the living tar out of somebody.”

Van Pelt asked Miles if the 21st ranking bothers the head coach or his team.

“I don’t know that it’s bothersome.  Our football team recognizes you earn what you get.  We all recognize it’s not a compliment to us.  It’s a compliment when you’re over-ranked.  I think our guys are looking to make a point and prove they are a little under ranked this year.”

Asked to describe the atmosphere at Tiger Stadium, Miles responded, “Our fans are intimately involved in every play.  So many other places, it’s 3rd down or a key drive late in the game.  Here, there is impact made by them on every drive.  It’s louder than anywhere I’ve ever been.  They (our fans) know their names, what their numbers are, their majors.” 

LSU opens against North Carolina on Saturday night, September 2nd in the Georgia Dome.



Idaho HC Akey energetic and positive following Saturday scrimmage

Following the Idaho scrimmage on Saturday, head coach Robb Akey probably popped a Red Bull, then met with reporters.  Given the dog days of training camp, we thought Akey’s energy, charisma, and positive comments were refreshing.

You can watch Akey’s interview at the bottom.  Does he sound like John Madden in the first few seconds?

Akey said, “Defense is playing their tails off.  They are playing physical.  They are playing aggressive. I thought it was a good final scrimmage.”

“I think there were 2 penalties today, so that was greatly cleaned up. There were no surprises.  I wanted to see them come out and perform better, and I think they did.  I think there was a great sense of urgency, things were much cleaner.” 

“I think I’ve got a bunch of cranky guys that are tired of hitting on each other.  We need to play against somebody else.  It’s seems like we’ve been here forever, getting ready.” 

During the off-season, Akey received a contract extension through 2014.  His new contract could earn him over $514,000 in 2011 up to $544,000+ in 2014 if he meets all seven performance-based incentives within the contract each year.

Idaho hosts North Dakota State on Thursday, September 2nd.  The Vandals travel to Nebraska the following week.




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