JMU's Mickey Matthews: The dirty little secret is...
James Madison head coach Mickey Matthews told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, "The dirty little secret is the top six to eight teams at our level can play with anyone. We struggle to find guaranteed games because no one wants to play us. I don't know if we're a top 25 team on the FBS level, but I'm sure we're better than Virginia Tech wanted us to be. They needed to play somebody they could dominate."
In his column today, Schlabach wrote, “The night before James Madison University pulled off the biggest upset of the 2010 college football season, Dukes coach Mickey Matthews asked his players if any of them made a recruiting visit to Virginia Tech.”
“None of the Dukes raised their hands.”
"I promise you they're going to want a lot of you after tomorrow," Matthews told his team.
Matthews added, "I think when Appalachian State beat Michigan, you didn't hear any football coaches saying it was a big upset. You heard a lot of media saying it was the greatest upset in college football history, but you didn't hear any football coaches saying it."
JMU returns to action on Saturday against Liberty.
Monday afternoon Coaches Quick Hits
Mike Gundy talks about Oklahoma State’s issues: “We need to limit penalties and do a better job of taking care of the ball. Defensively we have to defend the pass down the field better and tackle better in space.”
“They’ve got a ways to go but I like the way this team practices. I like the way they work together. Over the last few years you’ve heard me mention the team is close and they care about each other a lot. It takes time to be able to say that.”
Cutcliffe wanted Alabama game on campus at Duke: “(Neutral site) would have been short-term thinking. I think if we are going to change the culture of our program, there was no way I was interested in playing Alabama anywhere this year but Wallace Wade Stadium.”
“We will have the defending national champion here. I have had a great rival relationship with Nick Saban, a great respect for what he’s done. Boy, we had tremendous games when I was at Ole Miss and he was at LSU.”
Quoting West Virginia OC Jeff Mullen: "(Offensive line coach) Dave Johnson did a nice job of adjusting some chip protections to help the young right tackle out there, which helped us. Whenever you win, you play good enough."
West Virginia plays says Marshall DL called out cadence: "They were calling out a cadence during the game. We don’t play like that. That’s just dumb. The refs did nothing about it. I think if they wouldn’t be yelling, ‘Go,’ a lot of those penalties wouldn’t have happened."
Larry Porter looking for Liberty Bowl sellout vs. MTSU: "We're looking to challenge this city to sell out the Liberty Bowl this weekend."
Les Miles talks quarterbacks: "Our quarterback play, we have to get better. I think everybody knows that. I think Jordan Jefferson has run this team and can run this team."
"[Lee] is a very strong consideration, but first ... I want to see if we can get Jordan on track. I enjoy him and I enjoy his leadership."
"We just want him to play, have some fun, smile. Maybe do some things that he's more comfortable at, maybe simplify the game plan. ... We know he can run the team, we know he has leadership ability."
"I think we just need to let [Jefferson] play."
Bob Toledo talks about loss to Ole Miss: "It stabs you a little bit in the heart. It hurt a little bit, but the kids didn't get down. The talk on the sideline was phenomenal. The talk in the locker room prior to us coaches getting in there was phenomenal. These kids, their attitude is completely different then every other year since I've been here. And that hurt, that was a big blow, but they didn't give into it."
“I talk to (offensive coordinator) Dan (Dodd) about this all the time, and I talk to the quarterback about this all the time. When you get man coverage you can't shuffle up in the pocket. You have got to throw the ball. If he plants and he throws the curl, we've maybe completed. Instead he shuffles forward and it's knocked down. He shuffles forward and he gets sacked. He's got to realize that pressure is coming, he's got man blitz, he's got man coverage. Those guys are going to break on the ball fast. We got to pull the trigger and get rid of the ball quicker. You can't be shuffling and moving your feet when guys are dogging you."
Dooley: We got spooked. Not much to say about our next opponent.
Derek Dooley just finished his Monday press conference in which he expressed disappointment with the Vols' response to adversity during the Oregon game.
Trailing 20-13 in the 3rd quarter, Tennessee threw a pick-6, and then the Vols' totally collasped mentally.
Dooley said, “We got spooked. That’s where inexperience hurts you. We allowed it (pick-6) to affect us. They could probably see what it did to us psychologically. It probably energized them.”
“It’s like addiction. We have to acknowledge something happened (mentally after the pick-6). We can’t give up 21 points in the 4th quarter, especially when it’s a 14 point game. We were a bad football team in the 4th quarter.”
“The good news is we have plenty of adversity ahead of us. We’ll get that situation again. We’re not going to be short on that situation.”
This week, another top 10 team visits Neyland Stadium. This time, it's the Florida Gators.
“Not much to say about our next opponent. We know all about ‘em. My biggest focus is on how we compete. They (Florida) have set the standard in the last 5 of 10 years in the league. We have so much work to do internally. Until we fix those things, it doesn’t matter who we play. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Kick-off is set for 3:30 pm EST on CBS.
Mack Brown extremely focused, beginning preparation for Texas Tech
Here at FootballScoop headquarters, we just watched Mack Brown’s LIVE press conference.
Talking about a guy who is focused…Mack rolled off about 30 stats about his team and this week’s opponent, Texas Tech. After losing in Lubbock two years ago (Crabtree), Brown’s focus during his presser made it clear he isn’t in the mood for a repeat result.
A couple of interesting quotes from today's presser:
“On this week’s depth chart, you will see some “name OR name.” That just means we don’t have to tell our coordinators who is in the game. It doesn’t change anything. Will and Greg don’t need to know because it doesn’t change our game plan.”
“Tommy is one of the greats when in come to giving back (to the community). He went to Iraq when he just left Auburn. Told us the trip was nice and easy. Halfway through the trip, we would talk to him. He said, “Well, if I had told you different, you wouldn’t have come.”
(on Virginia Tech) “Why play tough out-of-conference game if you’re not going to gain from them. The one loss to Boise probably beat them twice.”
“We’ve played really, really well on the road here. I think it’s because we have confident players.”
Here are some on Mack Brown’s post-game quotes after defeating Wyoming 34-7:
“I’m pleased with the game. I’m happy to be 2-0. I felt much better this week about the balance that we had on offense. We used a lot more formations. Garrett [Gilbert] put us in some different things. We went through a game offensively without a turnover again. We did not have a sack again. [That is] two weeks in a row. I think - with a quick look - we had two plays we lost yardage again like last week. We still sputtered some. We didn’t finish drives consistently. We dropped a touchdown pass. We’ve still got some things we can improve [upon]. I do think we’re getting some identity now and we didn’t have a lot last week.”
“We had too many penalties on defense that were not only huge penalties, but they stopped third down stops and gave them first downs and let them stay on the field in the third quarter much longer than we hoped. Defensively, we also did not come up with a turnover this week, and that’s something we’ve got to do.”
“I saw a lot of improvement. They had more fun tonight. I thought they were more into the game instead of kind of standing around watching as a bunch of freshmen would do.”
“Tonight we wanted to be more balanced. I thought really and truly that happened. Wyoming came in with the way we ran it last week and stacked everybody inside. They were playing inside techniques. Greg [Davis] was trying to be stubborn early and we just decided to go ahead and be who we want to be and be more wide open and be more balanced. That’s why we picked up the second quarter.”
“Certainly over the last two years, we knew going into the ballgame exactly how we were going to play and the direction that we were going to go. We are still in a process. We were not under center as much tonight as we were. We told the players going in that we were going to work more from the gun, but we still wanted to be able to run the ball.”
Paul Johnson: Some teams are good enough to punch the clock and get by. We're not.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson was disappointed with the special teams play in the 28-25 loss at Kansas.
"As poorly as we played on offense and defense, it killed us. We did enough stupid things in special teams to cost us the game. Couple that with penalties and there you go."
"Nothing's easy," Johnson said. "You have to learn it every game. Until you go into it with that mentality, you're not going to be successful.”
Georgia Tech travels to North Carolina on Saturday for a 12 pm EST kick-off.
Ed Orgeron breaks his foot, Kiffin following Pete Carroll's advice
USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron broke his foot during last Thursday’s practice. Although details of the injury have not surfaced, Orgeron not surprisingly said, “I’ll be fine.”
In other USC news, Lane Kiffin has absolutely had it with the penalties. After two games, USC is ranked 119th nationally in penalties yards per game. The Trojans have been penalized 24 times for 240 yards.
Kiffin said, "Maybe our players are drawn to it because we put so much attention to it," Kiffin said during a conference call with reporters. "So we're going to go the other way with it and [we're] not going to talk about it all week, because it can't be worse."
"There's a couple questionable calls, but I refuse to buy into that 'Because it's SC or people are jealous' or whatever the reasons are that people think that," Kiffin said. "I actually heard that [Sunday] in our staff meeting. Someone said that. That won't be said again around here."
Instead, Kiffin will take a cue from Carroll and not influence his players with the power of suggestion.
"It's not that it won't be noticed, but I'm not going to talk about it on a daily basis like I did last week," Kiffin said. "My predecessor's whole deal was, 'Whatever you talk about they draw toward.' So maybe I screwed that one up."
USC travels to Minnesota this week. Kick-off is set for 3:30 pm EST on ESPN. You can see the entire Week #3 TV Schedule right here.
Note: You can follow Ed Orgeron in the FootballScoop Twitter Center. His latest tweet was a few days ago, "Trojans are having a great week of preparation! Focusing on Virginia and playing in the greatest Football Stadium in the world LA Coliseum!"
Monday morning Coaches Quick Hits
No smiling this week for Brian Kelly: "I know we're going to play hard, but that's not good enough anymore. So you showed me that you're going to play hard, that you're going to fight. That's a great dynamic to have on a football team. But that's not the end-all.”
"What we have to do this week is we have to win a football game, and that means, quite frankly, that we've got to execute better. We've got to line up in the right position and we've got to be assignment-correct. That happens on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and we're going to make sure that that gets coached hard during the week."
"There won't be any smiling faces around here until we get a win."
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone takes the blame for foolish calls at Washington: “I made some bad calls. I made the toss-reverse in the red zone. We wound up kicking a field goal, making it 10-0. I could’ve just kept doing what we were doing, and it could’ve been 14-0. … I was just trying to be aggressive. That’s my nature when it comes to offense.”
“I made a poor decision early on. We had vertical routes in the end zone. I thought we could score a touchdown and get some momentum going in with the lead. And they ruled it a fumble. And we lost the time. And we could’ve kicked a field goal. So that’s my fault.”
Quoting Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno: "Teachable moments, I hate that term."
Bo Pelini not pleased with his team following win over Idaho: “That wasn’t to our standard. I told them – I’m pretty honest with our group – defensively I wasn’t happy last week (against Western Kentucky) and offensively they just got a good you-know-what chewing. They know we have high standards around this place.”
“It was pretty obvious. We were careless with the ball and we were undisciplined and made too many penalties.”
Quoting Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild: "There's a lot we have to correct. We didn't tackle very well. There's a lot of things we can do better. But they're close. I like our leadership. I told the team I think we're going to be a very good team. . . . Right now it's just about staying positive. We have a game Saturday (at Miami of Ohio). It's winnable."
Doc Holliday talks about overtime loss to WVU: "I was never on a high because the game was never over. I knew that. It's a 60-minute game. Unfortunately we didn't play all 60 minutes."
Les Miles talks quarterback situation: "We're going to continue to evaluate our quarterback situation, and frankly, we're going to expect more out of the position, period. I think Jefferson definitely can, and we're going to encourage Lee."
Texas Tech DC James Willis says New Mexico changed: “We made some adjustments. Early in the season, a lot of times you don’t have enough stuff on film to really get a good bead on a team. They came out and did a lot of things that were totally off from what they did last year — the first game also.”
“We kind of had to adjust as the game went on, and I think our kids on the sideline did a great job of adjusting. That’s what shows the maturity of a team.”
Joe Paterno: Outcoached us, outplayed us, kicked the crap out of us
83-year old Joe Paterno wasn’t in a good mood following a 24-3 loss at Alabama on Saturday night.
At his post-game press conference, Paterno stated, "Out-coached us, outplayed us, kicked the crap out of us. Anything else you want to know?"
When a reporter asked Paterno to repeat his comment about being outcoached, Paterno wasn’t too happy. "Oh, I don't know, I said it. I haven't got the slightest idea," he yelled.
Told he was difficult to hear, Paterno responded, "Well, OK, that's tough. Get a hearing aid. I'm not in the mood."
Although Alabama took control early in the game, Penn State did have some bright spots. The Nittany Lions did not allow a sack, did not allow a single yard of punt return, and limited Alabama to just 3 of 10 third-down conversions. Penn State was penalized just 1 time for 5 yards in the game, but the Crimson Tide outgained the Nittany Lions 409 to 283 in total yardage.
"It's over. Alabama deserved to win it. They were the better football team today, a better coached team today and they deserved to win it."
Penn State hosts Kent State on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 12:00 pm EST.