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Photos: Illinois' new unis
Luther staff issues a challenge
Nebraska's top recruiting tool?

Eye-opening stats, Shannon puzzled, Bronco's decision

Eye-opening stats: Nebraska is averaging 8.3 yards per play.  That’s unreal. 10 teams are averaging over 7 yards per play (Michigan, Boise State, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Arkansas, Auburn, USC, Alabama, and Utah.) Only Texas and Boise State are allowing less than 4 yards per play on defense.  4 teams are allowing more than 7 yards per play (Wazzu, Minnesota, Indiana, Eastern Michigan).


Randy Shannon says UM has 30 drops in 5 games: "We've had over 30 drops in five games. That's the biggest thing that's going on. It's not just the receivers. It's not the tight ends or running backs. It's all of them."

"Jacory, he's got to be consistent on dropping back 5 yards. Not 7. Not 6 — 5. The consistency will help the timing. The receivers, you've got to run the route at the same depth. Tight ends, running backs, you've got to do it the same way. You can't vary it 1 yard or 2 yards. Then it throws off the timing."


Bronco Mendenhall not ready to commit to being defensive coordinator long-term: "I am going to think very hard about it. I am not ready to commit to that answer yet, but I am going to think very hard about the role that I am currently playing. I am enjoying it. It certainly is a lot of work, and longevity could be an issue that way. But it is more fulfilling currently."

"Probably from the minute I gave up coaching the defense a number of years ago, and the play calling just a year ago, I have struggled to find my place, particularly in how to help our team most, not only on a daily basis, but on a game day. And I finally just reached a point where I thought I could be more effective in helping our program and helping these young men to be involved. So it certainly wasn't just all of a sudden, a random decision."


Kyle Whittingham really pleased with special teams: "Typically on the special teams, it's the young guys. It's your 2's and 3's that are comprising the majority of those units. I think our recruiting efforts the last couple of years are starting to be manifested in the special teams."


Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham praises Utah speed: “We said Utah had the most speed we’d seen in a while. Oklahoma’s got just as much, if not more.”


Steve Addazio defends Florida offensive line: "I feel great about my guys. I don't think Mike Pouncey has ever played any better than he's playing right now. I don't think Marcus Gilbert has ever played any better than he's playing right now."


Quoting Colorado special teams coach Kent Riddle: "Well, I feel everything can be fixed.Obviously the field goal deal has been something that has hurt us for awhile. We`ve got to straighten that out. We tried another guy in there. I think a true freshman went in there and got a first taste of reality and kind of let his technique get away from him just cause he got caught up in the moment. So we continue to work with that. We`re going to open it up and see who does the best this week and be out there Saturday."


Jeff Tedford says Cal can’t have an offensive weakness to win consistently: "This week, we have to mix it up. There's no way you can live on one phase. To compete week-in and week-out, you've got to be able to do both. I still have a lot of trust in the passing game. In this conference, there's no way you can do one thing and hope to be successful."



Ruffin McNeill set for interview with Mike Leach on Friday

When Ruffin McNeill and East Carolina host NC State on Saturday at 12 pm EST, former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach will be the game-analyst for CBS-College Sports.

Six current East Carolina assistant coaches served under Mike Leach at Texas Tech.  Lincoln Riley, Brian Mitchell, Clay McGuire, Duane Price, Brandon Jones, and Dennis Simmons each worked at Texas Tech.

McNeill says, "We (Leach) had an interview on satellite radio. He's talked to Lincoln and those guys a couple times to check up on them. It'll be neat Friday. I know I have an interview with him then. That'll be wild. I'll put him on the fire during that. I'll ask him about being on the other side.”

"I'm looking forward to seeing him. He's a knowledgeable guy. He's an offensive genius. He understands the offensive thought processes in general."

East Carolina (3-2) is coming off a 44-43 win at Southern Miss, but the Pirates rank 117th nationally in total defense and 101st nationally in turnover margin.

McNeill was glad the defense made several big stops at Southern Miss. He said, “I think our defense stepped up and swung the bat. Looking back at the game, the defense held Southern Miss to field goals at times with tough field position. Our defense did a great job stepping up and holding them to field goals early. Looking at the final score, that was big.”

"Defensively, third-down conversions were big for us. Southern Miss was 3-out-of-17. Facing that team, I thought that was enormous.”

You can see the entire Week 7 TV schedule right here.


Torbush wants better players, Zook says "put your big boy pads on"

Kansas defensive coordinator Carl Torbush hoping for better players: "You always try to make sure that every guy you recruit is better than the guy you play with," Torbush said. "That doesn’t always happen, but ideally, in a perfect world, that's what you'd do. Just like when you're buying a car. It may not be the best car, but normally it’s gonna be a bigger car, a more luxury car. We gotta continue to recruit and recruit our needs and what we need. Ya’ll see the same thing, that we gotta be able to get more pressure on the quarterback. You normally do that by speed and athleticism. I think our guys are doing an adequate job. It's not a detriment to what we're playing with, because you’re always playing with good players. What you want to do is recruit a guy who’s better than who you're playing with. That’s the only way to get better as a football team."


Nevada defensive coordinator Andy Buh pumped about challenge of slowing down Hawaii passing attack: "Heck yeah. Heck yeah. We're going over there against one of the best offenses in the country and we'll see what we're made of. We'll find out what this defense is all about. We're hungry for the challenge."


Ron Zook tells team to put on your big-boy pads in preparation for Sparty: "I told them yesterday, 'You better put your big-boy pads on. These guys are tough guys.' They've always been that way ... The crowd is right on top of you — not a lot of room on the sideline. It makes for a very close confined area ... We're going to play some phone booth ball."

"We had the opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the nation and kind of let it get by, so our guys are looking forward to playing the only other undefeated team in the Big Ten. Our guys enjoy going into these hostile environments.”


Rich Rod extremely concerned about depth due to injuries: "I don't think I've seen this many season-ending injuries. It's frustrating. I'm holding my breath during Tuesday and Wednesday practices because we can't afford to lose anybody else."


Sarkisian says Arizona State put it all together against UW: "In a few of those losses, they had shot themselves in the foot. I was fearful they would put it all together against us. Unfortunately, they did."


Kiffin hasn’t heard back yet from Pac-10 officials regarding poor calls in Stanford game: "I've moved on. I don't think they're going to give us the win."


Cutcliffe says watch out for Army: "Army's fast on their way to becoming what the other academies seem to be doing right now - a bowl team on an annual basis.”


Turner Gill wants knockdowns: “The times we’ve been successful offensively, and even defensively, we definitely have had a lot of knockdowns, we’ve had that 80-plus. It all depends on how many plays you have, so I think 80 is a pretty good number. We’d like to get into the 100s.”


Ralph Friedgen says Terps working on offense: "If we can stay on the field longer [on offense] then we give players more opportunities to make plays. That's one of the things we really tried to work on during the off week - not having the dead plays on offense."


Good quote from Auburn quarterback Cam Newton: “You can’t go to Walmart and buy team chemistry. Just being in the tough games and being in tight situations, that can build a team or it can separate a team."


Tuberville upset at failed surprise onsides attempt: "We worked on it all week long and it just didn't work. We made mental mistakes, but we will keep doing those things. We have to try and find ways to get more possessions for our offense when we are having a tough time defensively, as we did this [past] weekend."



Spurrier praises OL coach Shawn Elliott, cautions all about Gamecocks

During Tuesday’s press conference, Steve Spurrier immediately shifted the focus towards Kentucky.

Spurrier praised offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, cautioned anyone who would listen, and pointed out that he hasn’t done any national interviews since defeating Alabama.

Spurrier began, “OK. We’re going to go the Kentucky and try to win a road game.  This is probably one of the biggest games in school history for us.”

He went on to say, “We do have a chance to win the East.  We may fall on our face.  I don’t know what’s going to happen.  The opportunity is there.  We’re not a lot better than these teams, but we can play with them (all). We may play our best and still lose.  Kentucky may just out play us.” 

Spurrier then warned anyone who would listen, “We don’t have a great team.  We have a pretty good team.  We’ll see what happens.”

“No, no, no.  We haven’t done enough to be considered (for SEC championship).  We just won one really big game.  We’re not complaining, but we realize we’re not even half-way through the conference schedule.”

Spurrier praised first-year offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, who joined the staff from Appalachian State, “Shawn Elliott is really the guy that’s brought in a lot of what we are doing now.  So Shawn has been a really good hire.” 

“We noticed now since we’re huddling at the line of scrimmage, we don’t get delay of games.”

Kick-off at Kentucky is set for 6 pm EST on ESPN2.



Harbaugh resting team, London continues to build team

Jim Harbaugh says USC game was a 3 ½ hour arm wrestling match: "We knew this game was going to be a three and a half-hour arm wrestling match. We thought we would be the game-winners if we didn't quit. We had to overcome big hurdles and obstacles. To a man, everyone on our team overcame those obstacles. They found a way to get it done. It was a character win."

"I'm giving my team more days off than I've ever given a team. Our team needs to get some rest."


With 2-3 record, UVA head coach Mike London staying positive & building team: "Yeah, it's a challenge. We're disappointed. You're discouraged, but you can't let those feelings last very long, because you start to develop that defeatist type attitude and mentality. There's plenty of that went around last year."

“You're not looking at anybody that's feeling sorry for themselves or down or anything like that. We're a work in progress and we said that at the beginning when we first started. Trying to build what these guys think about themselves.”

"Our players are together. We're all on the same page. Coaches are with each other, the attitude and atmosphere around the McCue Center is high. And that's the way it should be, because of the way things are changing.”


Doc Holliday compliments George O’Leary for always protecting the ball: “That’s George O’Leary. Whether it’s Syracuse or Georgia Tech or UCF, wherever he’s been they don’t do that. They had a couple of unusual turnovers last night, a couple turnovers in the red zone that they normally don’t have.”


Mike Riley talks about Oregon State kicking woes: "(Special teams coordinator) Bruce Read had a long talk with him. Its one of those deals he'll have to fight out of a slump. He's not hitting the ball well. It was obvious with the PATs and obvious on the kickoffs. He has to get back and technically get comfortable again."


Larry Porter says Memphis still searching for identity: "I think we're still searching for our identity. If you look at all the inconsistencies of our lineup, all our youth, the newness ... at times it's been difficult to do certain things based on not wanting to put certain people in positions they haven't been in."


Neil Callaway says UAB desperately seeking a win:  "I didn't mean that to sound like the world is going to come to an end. I didn't mean it like that. But for us to have the kind of season we want to try to end up with at this point, we need to win a football game."


Quoting Bo Pelini: "If we win a lot of games, good things will happen for us. I have confidence in that. I don't think about it any other way, to be honest with you. If you start thinking about any of that stuff, you're going to get humbled really quick. My only concern is Texas and what we have to do today to win the next football game."


Greg McMackin proud of his Hawaii team: "I think it's great for the confidence of our team. That was a good football team. It was a packed house and everybody knows how hard it is to win at Fresno.”



Whittingham loves his team, Frustration setting in for other coaches

Kyle Whittingham loves this year’s team at Utah: “In the 16 years I’ve been here there hasn’t been another team I’ve enjoyed more than these guys. They care about each other and there is an unselfish streak that runs through this team. That is a tremendous asset for us. They are blue collar and don’t feel like we have major headliners, but a group of guys who don’t seem to be concerned or care who is getting the press. All they care about is winning. It’s a good group to be around.”


Rich Rod says defensive staff frustrated: "Our defensive coaches, they're like everybody else — all frustrated we're not making progress like we want, but there are moments. There were moments in the last game."

"We've gotten to the point we've simplified our schemes as best we can. If you're too simple, they'll find a way to go against you. So you've got to be able to slowly add to your package and change things up so they don't always know where you're at.”

"If you just line up in one defense — ‘That's who we are, come get us’ — most teams will find a way to move the ball. We don't want to limit ourselves to not give us a chance to win defensively, but we've got to balance that between not confusing our young guys as well." 


Al Golden says the Temple players and coaches are on notice: “We’re not a good football team right now. We weren’t tough enough last Saturday; we played without energy, without passion. We weren’t focused, and we didn’t deserve to win.”

“The players are on notice, and the coaches are on notice: there are going to be a bunch of changes. We’re going to see some new faces.”


Urban Meyer talks about Florida’s major problem: "The biggest issues I have right now are the lack of production in the red zone and the lack of big plays. That's why we've run the reverse (in the past two games). We haven't run a reverse around here in quite a while because we didn't have to. It certainly will be in our package now more than ever."


Tuberville pleased with offense, says defense must improve: “Offensively, we were a lot more consistent and a lot more physical. That’s what it is going to take for us to continue to get better and to improve on what we are doing. It’s hard to improve on 45 points and over 600 yards — but we can do that.”

“Our defense has got to improve. If we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win this game, we’re going to have to play better defensively. Offensively, we’re in a rhythm, but we’ve got to continue to go out and do that. We can’t take any weeks off.”


Gary Pinkel pleased with Missouri defense: "I think we're playing good team defense, basically. We've also improved. Those are the two things that kind of stand out. We're getting better each week with a lot of little things, attention to detail things that we need to do."

"We haven't arrived in any way. I'm not implying that. We've got some great tests ahead of us, including this week. But it seems like we're playing real well as a unit. That's what I've been most pleased with."


Bret Bielema answers if this is his best team at Wisconsin: "I think elements of it are, but more of the season will tell us that. From when we came back in January to where we are today, I have more seniors than ever who have been starters at anytime in my career, 13 guys.

“We are a workman's program. We don't lose a lot of kids because we really, truly understand that we are going to have the best players two, three, four years down the road that we possibly can have because of the way we develop kids."



Best coaching performances of Week 6

Five more coaching staffs have been recognized this week as part of our 2010 Game Changing Coaches series presented by Family Relocation.

Every Tuesday during the season, we recognize the coaches involved in the most outstanding coaching performances from the past weekend.  This is our third year of this award winning series. 

This year, we are very proud to have Family Relocation, rated the #1 moving company in the country by coaches wives, as the title sponsor of Game Changing Coaches.

Family Relocation has been helping coaches move for nearly 100 years. Regardless of how far you’re moving or where you live, if you want your move to be handled professionally, trust the team at Family Relocation. You and your family will be glad to you did.

See the coaches we have recognized for Week #6 right here.

Saban: Last year we proved it. This team hasn't proved $#&T

Saban isn’t too happy.  He just dropped, "Last year we had the best team in the country and proved it over 14 games. This team hasn't proven $#!%. (Pause) Excuse my language.  That's how I feel about it.  So I'm really upset I used bad language and I'm sure I'll get some letters and emails about it.  And should."

More to come once the presser is over.

Ought to be good.

UPDATE: Saban said Julio Jones broke his hand in the first-half, continued to play the entire game, and has already undergone surgury.  Saban did not rule out Jones for Saturday's game against Ole Miss.

“Offense, we moved the ball effectively most of the time in the game but when we got in the red zone we were unable to make plays to come away with the kind of points that we could have.  And that’s really the difference in the game and there’s really nothing else to talk about.”

(asked about how his LSU team of 2003 responded after their only loss) "2003. What is it 2010?  You think I can remember this stuff 7 years ago.  Kristen was in what, 6th grade?  I don't remember her birthday party either."