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Lane Kiffin has 2 big concerns going into Hawaii game

Lane Kiffin answered questions for seven minutes today during his Hawaii week press conference.  Interestingly, the presser seemed controlled as all seventeen questions were asked by the same person.

Having not tackled since the first week of camp due to low numbers, Kiffin said he has two big concerns.

Kiffin stated, “Those are our two biggest concerns going into this game will be how well are we going to tackle and holding on to the ball having not taken big hits with our ball carriers.”

(on if the D-Line will be the most dominant unit for USC) “Yeah, I think so.  They’ve had a great camp.  They will be the key to our defense up front.  Staying healthy, playing extremely physical, and stopping the run after this week because these guys (Hawaii) don’t really run the ball, but after that.”

(on if the special teams will be improved) “It better. We spend enough time on it.  From the first day we got here, we spent a whole bunch of time on special teams.  We’re going to have to do a great job on special teams in order to continue to operate at a championship level.”

(on the trip to Hawaii) “A lot of distractions.  A long flight.  Going out there…foreign atmosphere.  A very tough, physical team that we play.  A loud crowd.  We have to limit distractions.  We’re not going out there for vacation.  We’re going out there for business.” 

 

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Caldwell: I hope it doesn't come down to me and Coach Fitz, Lord have mercy.

Vanderbilt hosts Northwestern on Saturday night in Robbie Caldwell’s first game as head coach of the Commodores.

During Monday’s press conference, a reporter asked Caldwell, “This game is being called the 'Brain Bowl.' Did you ever think you would be in a game like that?”

The pure and honest Caldwell responded, "Oh, I hope it doesn’t come down to me and Coach Fitzgerald, Lord have mercy. I have an education I just don’t care to use it."

In regards to joining the twitter world, Caldwell said, "I tell you the truth, I don’t know much about it. I just need to thank Michael Hazel and everyone else around here for that. One thing they haven’t done is shown me how to do it on my phone. I don’t get to a computer, they forgot about that. I’m not a computer man. I like to get in the office and meet with people and watch tape and all that stuff so that’s the one thing they didn’t think about so it’s hard for me to get to. When I do I like to peck on it though, it’s fun. I had to look up the word ‘Tweet’ or ‘Twitter’ was and whatever it meant. I’ve had a few players we’ve had over the years that we’ve called ‘Chirp’ or ‘Tweet’ so maybe we started that, I don’t know. We might have invented that term. We have a coach down in South Carolina right now that we called ‘Chirp’ because he tweeted all the time. He was always chirping about something. Could be."

Ask what will be different for the head coach personally, Caldwell said, “I have brothers and sisters coming who normally wouldn’t leave the outskirts of our little town so it’s going to be pretty neat."

Remember, you can follow Coach Caldwell’s tweets in the FootballScoop Twitter Center

Kick-off between Vanderbilt and Northwestern is set for 7:30 pm EST.  CSS will broadcast the game. 

 

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Les Miles pumped about 25k Tiger fans invading Georgia Dome

LSU head coach Les Miles knows the Tigers’ offense will face a defense stacked with NFL-talent on Saturday night against North Carolina. 

During his Monday afternoon presser, Miles got the juices flowing in Baton Rouge.

The fifth-year LSU head coach said, “I can tell you that our team has been told that around 25,000 LSU fans will join us in the (Georgia) dome and we can't wait. Our team enjoys when the purple and gold files into a stadium that we are playing in.”

“Our push certainly is to play an LSU style of football. That involves a quality running game, a very capable throwing game, a defense that flies to the football and tackles, and special team units that are dominant with great speed in coverage and great speed on those that can return kicks. That is our plan is to play LSU football.”

One of the keys offensively, according to Miles, will be for the Tigers to run more plays than last season’s average number of offensive snaps per game.

"It is going to be based on execution. The more that you have first downs, the more that you move the chains it stands to reason that the longer your drives the more plays you get. If we can run the football more efficiently and if we can throw it more efficiently you are going to find that your offense is more capable of getting more plays, so that is our push.”

Kick-off between LSU and UNC is set for 8:30 pm EST on ABC.

Saban: If hot peppers give you a belly ache, you can't figure it out until you eat hot peppers

Shortly into the first game-week presser of 2010, Nick Saban set the tone.

Saban said, “This is really the beginning of the journey for our team.  How you define yourself individually and collectively as a group.  How you play, how you compete, how you are able to play with discipline to execute your job.” 

“There is only certain people that can effect that identity and that’s the people on the team.  It’s the coaches, players, and people on the team, the people in the team meeting. It’s up to them and us to how we go about this year.” 

 (on his biggest concerns) “What the maturity is, what the identity is going to be, what’s the chemistry of the team, are the young players going to mature, are there enough older players that have played to provide the leadership and example to effect those guys and help their maturity.  I think we have some young guys in critical spots and specialists that will be interesting to see how they grow and develop.”

Highlighting some youth and inexperience, Saban added, “Some guys play better when the game comes and some guys who practice pretty well don’t compete nearly as well when the game comes.  I don’t think you can figure that out until the game comes.  If hot peppers give you a belly ache, you can’t figure it out until you eat hot peppers.”

“In regards to San Jose State, Saban stated, “Nevada-Reno was the #1 rushing team in the country, and supposedly that is the offense this team (San Jose State) is running, but we no evidence of that.  So we are preparing for all kinds of stuff.  It’s option type football that we’ve never really experienced before, so it makes it a difficult preparation for us.  Whether they have the personnel to do that or they are going to do something completely different, we are not sure and we have no way of being sure.”

Saban added, “It’s about what we do.  It’s always been about that.” 

Bama hosts San Jose State on Saturday night. 

Tressel explains no Heisman campaign for Pryor

During Monday’s press conference, Jim Tressel discussed the challenge of opening against a new coaching staff, complimented Mark Snyder, and shed light on why Ohio State isn’t campaigning Pryor-4-Heisman. 

Regarding the season-opener against Marshall, Tressel said, “We don't really have a great handle on what they're going to do offensively, defensively or in the special teams. We feel as if offensively they're going to spread it out. That's kind of what's been talked about and they're going to fling it all over, but I know Coach Holliday has been in programs that, making sure you have balance are very important, so I know that will certainly be a part of it.”

Tressel compliment his former DC and former Marshall head coach by saying, “One thing I've known about Mark Snyder who recruited all these kids is that he had a tremendous eye for talent and he knew what you needed to have. He was one of our best recruiters from a standpoint of selection and he knew what you needed to be to be a great football player. My best example of that is I don't think anyone in the State of Florida collegiately offered Santonio Holmes, and Mark Snyder thought he was going to be pretty good, and he was better than that, so I know from a talent standpoint they're going to be much more talented than the team we face, none of our players, of course, that we faced in 2004.”

As to why Ohio State has decided not to run a Heisman campaign for Terrell Pryor, Tressel said, “Our benchmark in that world is Steve Snapp (associate AD) and Steve has always told us you don't even start thinking about that until you're three or four games in and if you don't have any production that would point toward that, don't bother. So we've always kind of followed that school of thought, we don't come out the beginning of the year, as far as I know, saying, hey, this so and so is Heisman candidate and so and so is this candidate. We kind of wait and see how they do.”

Ohio State hosts Marshall on Thursday night.  The game will air at 7:30 pm EST on the Big Ten Network.  You can see the entire Week #1 TV Schedule right here.

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