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Lane Kiffin: 12 new guys from science class haven't broken depth chart

Brian Kelly, Chip Kelly, and Lane Kiffin have all recently complimented, above and beyond, Jim Harbaugh’s team at Stanford.

When USC travels to Palo Alto this weekend, Kiffin has two major concerns.  His place-kickers were 0-6 in practice on Wednesday and Stanford’s overall physical play could potentially become a problem for the Trojans.

Kiffin said, "The style that they are playing is exactly the style that we hope to play. They don't make many mistakes and they are very physical.  To that end, the head coach amped up the hitting in what he called "the most physical practice since the Spring."

Depth continues to be a major problem for the Trojans.

Kiffin made us laugh when he said after Wednesday’s practice, “We brought in those 12 new guys from science class and none of them seemed to have really broken into our depth chart.  We counted today we think there are 5 guys on our defensive service team that have never played football before.  We really haven’t found more depth and we’re not going to.” 

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Saban & Nutt talk BYE weeks, big wins for Al Golden & Bob Toledo

Saban talks about BYE weeks: "Everybody out there assumes that having a bye week is an advantage. I've always answered that question by saying, 'I don't know if it's an advantage or disadvantage.' "

"I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong, but the statistics kind of prove that it's not an advantage or disadvantage to have a bye week.”

 

Houston Nutt jokes about Bama: "First of all, everybody should have an open date against Alabama, because they're so good. It hasn't helped too many people it doesn't look like. ...We'll just have to wait and see. All I know is we desperately needed it."

 

Al Golden calls win over Army “biggest win since I’ve been here” :  “That’s the biggest win since I’ve been here, make no mistake. In that kind of environment, to stay together, to be down 15 and then reel off 29 straight, that’s a big win and credit to our coaches. Matt Rhule on offense called a great second half and then Mark D’Onofrio did a tremendous job setting the defense down. That’s the biggest win I’ve had here.”

 

Tulane head coach Bob Toledo talks about BIG win over Rutgers: “It starts giving you credibility because you’ve been saying, ‘This is what’s going to happen, it’s going to take a while, we’re doing it with freshmen, they’ve got to mature and eventually it’ll happen. And then all of a sudden this happens and they say, ‘Maybe he knows what he’s talking about,’ instead of, ‘He’s an old fossil who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’”

 

Pat Fitzgerald would like Northwestern to put it all together: "We have not put together four quarters of Wildcat football yet. We've been fortunate to find a way to win, and we've got a lot of work to do. No one around here is feeling fat and happy. There's a real focus and an attention-to-detail attitude right now."

“I take full responsibility for that. The discipline of a football team falls on the head football coach. We've got to do a better job with some of our substitutions with some of our young receivers. ... We've got to have better communication and better focus. We had five presnap penalties [against Minnesota] that were all communication-based and three of those were on [quarterback] Danny [Persa]. We've got to be better than that.” 

 

San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke concerned about KOR and penalties: "We aren't doing some things right. Number one, our kickoff return is abysmal. We're not doing great there. We have way too many penalties for where we'd like to be, and those penalties that are before the ball's snapped are the ones that just drive you nuts as a fan and as a coach."

 

Paul Rhoads talks about Utah: "That's a team that understands exactly what it is they're supposed to do at all phases, and plays it lights out. You do that when you have a culture that's established, and they clearly have that culture established. When you do that, you start winning games, and when you start winning games like that, you start to feel very confident and invincible when it comes to taking the field. They play extremely, extremely confident."

 

Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green proud of defense: "I'm really proud of some of the young guys that hadn't had a whole lot of playing experience. I think they've gotten better and better."

 

Quoting Tommy Tuberville: "I’ve been through this before. There’s nothing you can say. I’d love for the Dallas Cowboys to be undefeated, too. I’ve been a (Cowboys') fan all my life. It happens. Other teams play, too. They don’t care how good you’re supposed to be or how good you’re not. They’re going to play and try to play better than you.''




Army head coach Ellerson won't assess team

Army is 3-2 heading into this weekend’s game at Tulane.  The Cadets only losses have come to Hawaii (31-28) and Temple (42-35).

Head coach Rich Ellerson wants total focus on defeating Tulane.  When asked to assess where his team stands at this point after 5 games, Ellerson responded, "I'm not going to address that. I want to honor the expectations of our football team, and that's to win our next game. This is not a moment to be sticking our head up and looking around and trying to gauge where we are from a season perspective. I'm not going to engage in that, and I'm praying that our players are not engaging in that. Those are the kinds of discussions, those are the kind of thoughtful distractions that will subtract from our chances of winning this week. We have to try to be 1-0 this week. We have to be prepared for the next practice. You've heard me over and over again say that, but the good news is that we're playing well. I can honestly say that. I think we're playing well enough, and have played well enough, in every phase of the game. We're close enough that we feel like we can play with these guys. We've got a chance, but it's so fragile. We have to be so right. We have to be so on point. We have to be emotionally calloused so that as the game ebbs and flows, we can clear and stay in the moment and win the next snap. That's our challenge. The good news is I think we're up to it. Now, we have to go out and practice and prove it."

Part of the reason the Cadets are playing better is their #2 national ranking in turnover margin. 

Ellerson said during Tuesday’s press conference, “We're not going to run anybody out of the stadium with our speed and strength and athleticism, but we're strong enough, fast enough and athletic enough. If we're on point and precise and executing our systems we can play with anybody on our schedule. That's the good news. The good news is we can compete. The bad news is there's no margin for error out there. We need to be on point, and we need to be there this afternoon."

Kick-off in the Superdome is set for 2:30 pm on Saturday.




Wulff trying to bring team together, encourages fans to come watch coach's film

During Paul Wulff’s regular Tuesday night radio show, the Washington State head coach explained not wearing a headset during the Cougars’ 42-28 loss at UCLA.  Wulff also encouraged the Wazzu fans to come watch the coach’s film at a weekly luncheon, so the fans can see first-hand where the breakdowns are occurring. 

Wulff explained, "It really was strange.  I have never been a head coach in a game where I never wore a headset, ever.  There are times during a game where I might take it off, but this was the first time I never wore one.  As to why, I felt I needed to do this for the team, and I wanted to see how they are communicating on the sideline, what their attention level and focus is during games.  I was also able to interact with players a lot more, and I really liked that.  I still did have a headset available, and I did put it on occasionally, but I stood by our coordinators and talked to them directly.  I was more concerned about the players on the field and what was happening on the sideline." 

A frustrated Wulff told the Wazzu fans, "IF people come to the Spokane Club luncheon every Monday, I CAN HELP people see and understand what happened with different plays.  If they come out see the coaches film, I will explain to them what we are looking for and what is happening, then they will understand.  It is part of my job, and I want to explain and educate people what we are doing right now, going through building the program.  A lot of things you have questions on, when I explain it in depth people usually come away from it with a better understanding of what's going on."

"Just yesterday I showed 8 plays from the UCLA game - 2 poor plays, 6 really good plays.  On the really good plays, I told them that this is PAC-10 football, this wins you games.  Other plays showing the blown assignments and how those can hurt your chances.  These plays weren't the only mistakes we made in the game, but if 2 of the 11 on the field make a mistake or blow an assignment, look at the result.  WE CANT have that!  It's not about the individual, it's about all 11 of them doing the right thing."

Wulff, no doubt, is trying to hold his team together through this difficult streak.  For the first time, the Cougars entered the field for the second-half with interlocked arms in a swarm.  Wulff said, "It's all about bringing the team together.  We have got to get them to bond and form together as a team.  These little things we have to do to pull ourselves together. We know people are unhappy with the results but we have a job to do and continue to work and grow together.  Nobody on the outside will help us win or lose, what we have to do is get together to grow and win." 

Washington State returns to action on Saturday when the Cougars host the Oregon Ducks. 

 




Kelly wants no distractions, McGee wants Mallett to understand run game

Chip Kelly all about avoiding distractions: "We don't deal with outside expectations. I've had people tell me last Saturday was a statement win. It wasn't a statement win for anybody on this football team. I can tell you that. We expected to win that football game. We don't let people govern us from the outside, whether we're losing and people say we're not supposed to win games, or we're winning and people say we're supposed to be winning by that much."

"If you go to Dairy Queen every day and get a Blizzard, the Blizzard doesn't taste as good on the sixth day, you know what I mean? If you get one once a week, or once every two weeks," it tastes better.”

 

Arkansas OC / quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee talks about running game problems: “We’ve tried to get committed to a core run game and get our kids to concentrate on our run schemes and run to the ball with their pads lower and accept the contact, and not run away from contact. All the small details that go into building a run game we’ve tried to go back to this off-week. Part of it is Ryan Mallett has to get us out of bad plays. If we’ve got a play called and it’s a bad look, and they’ve got extra guys, we’ve got to change it. Our quarterback has the ability and freedom to change it. It’s a part of playing quarterback for us. He has not done that at times in each game."

“I do know we’ve got good kids. They’re willing learners and they want to do good. They’re not fighting it so I have a feeling you’ll see some of the work we’ve put in the last week come to life.”

 

ULL head coach Ricky Bustle concerned about Oklahoma State tempo: "Middle Tennessee was an up-tempo team and caught us off-guard a couple of times. So we've seen it already and learned from our mistakes. If you think Middle Tennessee is fast, wait until you see Oklahoma State."

"If we can't stop the running game, we are going to have problems."

 

Paul Johnson’s response upon hearing a lineman say “we all need to get on the same page” :  “Maybe it’s just me, but I get tired of hearing that stuff. If you’re supposed to block a linebacker, there’s only one page to get on.”

 

Mississippi State OC Les Koenning says Relf’s job tied to ball security: "He has to realize that's part of his life - ball security, job security. If it wasn't for turnovers, we'd be in really good shape."

 

Ole Miss DC Tyrone Nix looks to address pass-rush during BYE week: "We're just trying to give guys an opportunity to show flashes and see if they can make a play for us, especially in passing situations. Who's the guy who gives us the best chance to get pressure on the quarterback?"

 

Cam Newton compliments Gus Malzahn: "During recruiting, he mentioned that he and I have to be very close, that I had to start trusting him. I trust Coach Malzahn, that he has my best interests. Anything he tells me, I’m going to try to do it 110 percent. That’s not only my position coach, not only my offensive coordinator, but my father figure away from home. A person like that, he’s a great leader to look to. I’m striving to be good every day because of him."




Tressel and Petersen talk philosophy, Al Groh downplays UVA story

Jim Tressel’s office philosophy: "We have a saying with our players that nothing good happens past 10 (p.m.). That's fairly well-documented. We have a saying with our coaches that any idea after 10 won't work. And that's pretty well-documented."

 

Chris Petersen talks about creativity: "After meeting a few times, I had an epiphany. Bam! I started realizing game-plan wise, there wasn't enough creativity. I started looking at things a different way. We need structure, we need order, we need schedules and we need our system taught a certain way. But within that there needs to be a creativity to keep growing, to keep the energy and the enthusiasm. What new wrinkles do we need to make us better? I think that's one of the reasons we're not afraid to take chances and do different things. We have to do that to be who we are."

 

Note: Rememember that you can now follow us on twitter @footballscoop.  Also, don't forget to check out the "Video of the Day" just below the articles on the FootballScoop homepage.

 

Al Groh downplays game against Virginia: "This is the eighth time I've coached against the team that I've previously coached for, including doing it against Virgina once before (when he was head coach at Wake Forest). I have the veteran professional's perspective on that.”

"I'm not sentimental about institutions. I'm sentimental about people. I have a great affection for so many players and coaches who were part of our successes and they continue to be among my best friends and the most admired people in the whole world. Those relationships have remained where I happened to reside. Those are the things I remember the most and mean the most to me."

"We do what we do, especially since we are in the process of installing our system of a radical change right now which really throws our compass off. Clearly, the advantage is on the Virginia side. I say that because one, I taught our defense that we are doing here to the head coach and to the secondary coach. They have all my play books and all my cut-ups. Those two coaches and the linebackers coach have sat through endless hours with me discussing defense, making game plans, and analyzing our performance. There is no dilemma or no secret analyzing how Al Groh thinks."

 

San Diego State DC Rocky Long talks about progress: “When you understand the scheme a little better and play harder, you get better. I think we’ve added some talent; we’re playing a lot of redshirt freshmen in the secondary and at linebacker who’ve been in the scheme for a year, which helps some. But it’s mostly veteran players deciding to play harder and try harder.”

“Here, I don’t think it has anything to do with coaching. It has to do with the players responding. We’re maturing. This was foreign to them. We’re pretty complex. It’s totally speed and quickness. Every once in a while you might run into a team that’s big and strong — it could be this week — that wants to go shoe-to-shoe with you and mash you. But, with the spread offenses, few teams just run the ball now.”

 

Mike Stoops concerned about Oregon State: "The immediate concerns are stopping the two Rodgers brothers, and understanding Oregon St., how dangerous they are in the as an opponent.This is going to be an important game in deciding the outcome of the Pac-10 championship."  "I think it’s important that we get out to a better start than we did two weeks ago against Cal."

 

Steve Addazio says moving Pouncy is ridiculous: "Change for what? Absolutely not. Are you kidding me? We're talking about a first-round draft pick, the best offensive lineman in America and a phenomenal football player and the leader on this football team. Unequivocally, that never even entered the realm of possibility."

You think Kirby Smart knew the jump-pass was coming?  See the 1:13 mark:

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Neuheisel stunned, Erickson frustrated, Spurrier talks Ryder Cup

Rich Neuheisel stunned about Stanford & LSU poll rankings: “That doesn’t make any sense to me. For Stanford against maybe one of the more explosive teams in recent history and to be in the game, I think at one point they were ahead 21-3, and to fall like that and for LSU to stay at No. 12, no disparaging remarks towards LSU, shoot they found a way to win the game, but they beat Tennessee and Tennessee the week before was in double overtime against (Alabama-) Birmingham. But that’s kind of the bias that the West Coast kind of feels.”

“The Alabama-Florida game got all kinds of notoriety but by the end of the score it didn’t seem like it was quite the game it had been built up to be. It was built up but other than Alabama against Penn State who had they played? And yet it was built as this monster rivalry. Certainly both programs are proud programs and deserve all the recognition,  but I think we award things before it needs to be awarded. But certainly the Pac-10 has no apologies to anybody for being where we are as a conference. ” 

 

Dennis Erickson frustrated with being close, turnovers, and red zone offense: "Obviously there's frustration when you lose that many games in a row, very close games, but being close doesn't do it. We do some good things during football games, but our lack of consistency on both sides, doesn't do it. ... It's solvable, there's no question about it. A lot of it is mental mistakes we make in coverage. Missed tackles."

"Offensively, it's a pretty simple statistic. We're last, or either close to last, in the country in turnovers. It's a stat that if you're on the losing end -- whether it's high school or in the National Football League -- you're not going to win. The red-zone problems everyone asks about it ... our problem in the red zone is we're making it too many mistakes. Throwing it to the wrong spot. We had a bad snap. We're not finishing drives."


 

Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe describes quarterback situation, says “impossible” to be consistent: "Sky [Jones] has turf toe. He looked good last night, but we didn't ask him to do a whole lot. Tanner Price is back right now, and that's a good thing. It looks like Brendan Cross has a sore non-throwing shoulder, and Ted Stachitas will be out. Right now it looks like Tanner Price and Sky Jones going into this Saturday."

"It's impossible. It's not a tough job, it's an impossible job. One of the things that you worry about is the amount of reps you give guys during the week. Last week we gave each quarterback a third of the reps because we didn't know who would be the best guy in the game or who would be the most durable, and as it turned out, we needed all three."

 

Interesting quotes from Steve Spurrier today: “If you watched Texas against Oklahoma last Saturday, athlete-wise I don't think Texas is close to Alabama now. I think Alabama's athletes compared to Texas's are a pretty huge difference in strength and speed and so forth.”

“Our goal is to be very competitive and see if a good break or two can't happen for us as we go through the game. It should be a fun day in Columbia. It's the first big sellout of this year. Obviously Alabama helps do that. They helped all my buddies at Duke.”

“In my 30 years of coaching quarterbacks, I never taught one to slide feet first. We taught our guys to protect themselves, get what you can and get down.”

“We (Saban) first coached against each other in 2000 to 2001. Those were two of the good offenses we had at Florida. We looked like we were a lot smarter than he was those two games. Recently he's a lot smarter than I was last year, lets put it that way. Who knows who'll be the smartest this year. I read something interesting in the paper about the Ryder Cup teams. One writer said whoever wins the Ryder Cup, that captain will be considered between John Wooden and Vince Lombardi. The loser will be considered like an SEC football coach after a loss. That's just the way it is. As coaches we all know that. Of course sometimes you can win and still be a dummy. We've learned that recently. Anyway that's part of coaching we all accept. The winner is a smart guy and the loser is a guy looking for help somewhere.”

 

Chip Kelly says Ducks preparing against a vision: "We prepare against a vision, and we'll go out and compete against that vision Saturday, and that's what it's all about. (What others say) shouldn't really influence how you practice and how you prepare.''

 

Chizik realizes weakness, says Auburn tried to get Cam Newton experience as a pocket-passer last week: “There were times in the game where Cam could've made some better choices and he knows that and I think he was disappointed in some of the choices he made as a pocket passer, but I think that was invaluable experience. One great think about Cameron is that he is a very smart player. He understands when he makes a mistake and the value of not doing it twice. I think he experienced a little bit of that Saturday."

Quoting Derek Dooley: “Look guys, don’t forget what I said. We could have controlled the outcome of the game despite everything that happened, and I won’t back down from that because it’s true.  For us to say, ‘We could have, we should have, if they did that ...,’ we’re not being true to ourselves.”

“We could have done better. And a championship team, if we’re going to win championships, that’s what we’ve got to do. That’s the standard.”

 

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Turner Gills defends 2 policies, George O'Leary calls meeting "garbage"

Turner Gill says cell-phone and no women after 10 pm policies could affect recruiting: “I guess it could. But we can explain it. It’s not that big of a deal.”

“We’re just trying to teach them discipline. I’m not going to get into all the details … on our team policies and those things. But everything we do is about disciplining our guys and preparing for life with football and without football.”

 “It’s really just a situation of trying to teach guys how to do things the proper way and be respectful to women and be respectful to everything that we do in our society. It’s teaching people all about the things of life.”

 

George O’Leary calls players-only team meeting “garbage” :  “That’s garbage. That’s garbage I don’t know why they do that. I was having a meeting right after it and stuff. It concerns me that they have to do something like that to remind them that we have a whole season to play. That bothers me as a head coach. When players call meetings, as a head coach, that’s for show. That’s nothing.”


 

UCF offensive coordinator Charlie Taafe moving to sideline to help freshman QB: “Coach O'Leary felt like he needed me to be there to talk with Jeff. I've done it both ways. I've been up in the box most of the time recently, but I think that's a good idea. I'll have a chance to settle him down a little bit and be able to talk to him."

 

Dabo Swinney praises DeQuan Bowers: “DeQuan Bowers is playing as well as anyone in the country.”

 

Carl Pelini expects “old-time Big Eight football” type of game at K-State: He keeps you off-balance. He's got enough option mixed in there. The wildcat. The throwing game ... They're a pretty balanced football team and create balance in very imaginative ways. Just look at formations and personnels and how he bounces around."

"They're very physical, very well-coached. Technique wise, they're as good as anyone we've played. It's going to be a hard-nosed, hard-hitting football game, with two teams hitting each other square in the mouth. It's going to come down to fundamental football. I can't emphasize that enough with our guys. It's about getting off blocks. Being good tacklers. Controlling the line of scrimmage -- old-time, Big Eight football."

 

Quoting Art Briles: "We have a team that feels pretty confident in what they're doing on the football field, and we have to understand that the reason they've been able to do that is the high level of practice and play on Saturday. If you have confidence, it helps with your production a lot of times. So we've got to make sure that we use what we have going for us right now."

"Like we've said all along, field position, turnovers and momentum determine the winner of the football game. If we can keep that margin in our favor, we'll have a lot of smiley faces, because that helps a lot." 

 

UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck wants to run the football better: "We need to play better. It's nothing really more than that. We need to come off the ball and get bodies on bodies and be consistent."

Mike Price wants UTEP fans to affect Rice communication: "They make all their offensive calls from the sideline, they yell it out to the players on the field. If you want to help UTEP football, come Saturday night and scream and yell when they have the ball. Fans can be a factor; they can help a lot. This place can really help against this team. The crowd being aggressive can help us win."