Around the country - Monday afternoon
Utah head coach Kyle Whittinham talks about TCU: "You don’t need to say much. We don’t need to harp on that (last year's blowout loss) at all. We hold the advantage 3-2 at this point. They got us last year, but the previous four games were extremely close."
(on if an undefeated team should play for the national championship over a 1-loss team) "Yes. Absolutely. How can you not, if you run the table, (have an undefeated team in the national championship). How can you not put those teams #1 and #2 if they are the only two undefeated teams. I don’t see any way around that."
$386: The average price on StubHub for a ticket to LSU / Alabama in Tiger Stadium.
Mack Brown praises Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder: “Bill Snyder is one of the great coaches at all-time. We’re great friends. He is what Coach Royal is to us. He’s a living legend. He’s one of the best coaches in the country.”
Paul Johnson says, “That was their trademark” in reference to VA Tech special teams: "They probably have not been as productive the last couple of years as they have been before. That was their trademark but they are still very good on special teams and they can change the game at any time, be it blocked kicks or returns. They cover kicks well."
Houston Nutt says Rebels have to get back up against ULL: “We’ve just played top 15 teams back to back to back and gave tremendous effort. We have to get back up for this one. We’ve got to reach down and give more.”
Quoting Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell: “It’s kinda like the keystone cops. We’re managing to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
“We’re not quite a no huddle, up tempo team. We’re on the bubble of it. We’re back and forth. Right now, we need some playmakers to do that.”
(on long-term plans) “We’re all kind of debating that right now, what our plan for the future right now. We have one in place, but I’m not ready to present it right now.”
Dooley explains what happened at South Carolina: "On defense it was a very similar script as Alabama. Played pretty good and then gave up just five huge plays -- three of them in the fourth quarter, which was the difference in the game. It all came down to either poor execution of the defense or an inability to tackle the runner, and we've got to get better at those things."
Charlie Strong's Monday press conference:
In case you didn't have a chance to watch
This weekend there were a number of extremely impressive performances led by some great coaches. Take a minute and check out this week's Game Changing Coaches.
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Monte compliments Chip Kelly, Canales explains style and new motto
Monte Kiffin compliments Chip Kelly, says it’s not the tempo, but their execution: "That guy is such a good coach. I respect him so much just from watching their tape. It's the discipline they have. The offensive line does a great job. The receivers do a great job of downfield blocking. They don't beat themselves very often."
"I mean, you're hanging in there, but then they just get you. You get a lot of guys up to stop the run and then, they play-fake. You can't get beat like that. Arizona State played them like that and they get four or five big plays. I don't think it's so much the tempo, it's really just that they execute so well."
North Texas interim head coach Mike Canales talks about his style and new team motto, North Texas defeated WKU 33-6: “The only way I know how to coach is to have high energy and show emotion. That is what I brought and I expected [the players] to play a certain way. If they were not going to meet our expectations, then we were going to leave them home.”
“Our motto is going to be that we are going to lock the gate and go to work. If it is at 2:40 or 2:50 or whatever time we are going to practice, that gate is going to be locked. There is a time to play and a time to work, and we are going to work. I am going to demand a lot and expect a lot.”
Ralph Friedgen pumped up about Terps’ special teams play: "One game [Clemson] we didn't play very well. In all the other games we've played, special teams has been a decided advantage for us."
"I'll bet you couldn't go to another college in the country and find as many wide receivers helping on special teams."
Ron Zook completely focused on Saturday’s game against Michigan, not rankings: "You'll see my last (ballot). I hope we're on that last one because that means we have continued to improve.”
"It doesn't matter who's ahead of us or behind us. It's what are we going to do right now? The only thing I want our guys thinking about is this next game. This is a critical game for us."
Mississippi State AD talks about Dan Mullen
Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin says he isn’t surprised by the Bulldogs 7-2 record because of their head coach Dan Mullen.
Stricklin talked this morning with Bo Bounds of 105.9 The Zone in Mississippi about the growing speculation that another program will attempt to lure Mullen out of Starkville in the next couple of months.
Stricklin said, “I don’t want to say we are surprised (by our recrod). Dan is a winner. Dan is so smart at taking what he has to work with and maximizing it. We’re not the fastest or biggest, but we are a pretty good team.”
“We’re like that guy in the US Open each year. We hit it in the fairway, not very far. We’re not very fancy, but we’re there in the end.”
“We’re not surprised that other people might be looking at Dan Mullen. We’re going to be smart and aggressive with our coaching staff going forward. Dan and Megan love Starkville. They were out in costumes last night trick or treating. He’s focused on how can I make Mississippi State as good as it can be.”
“We’re set up to be pretty good the next few years. I joked with him the other day about putting a statue in his next contract. We’ve never built a statue here (of a coach). There’s a number of different places (where one coach built it and stayed). You look at Frank Beamer, Oregon did it mainly with one guy, Boise has taken a consistent approach. We want to put ourselves in that situation.”
“We have access to talent. There’s a ton of potential here. The first time we talked with Dan in that hotel (interview), he didn’t talk about the problems. He talked about the opportunity.”
Mississippi State is OPEN this weekend. The Bulldogs will travel to Alabama in two weeks.
Mack Brown talks about 2010 struggles
Mack Brown, disappointed with the 30-22 loss to Baylor, emphasized during his press conference today that turnover margin and red zone touchdowns are the stats that matter to this Texas team.
Brown said, “People got to understand I’ve been 2-20 at one point, so I’ve been here.”
Criticizing coaches, pulling players, and finger pointing won’t do anything, said Brown.
“They (fans) want you to make them feel better, but none of those things help you win. There is absolutely no finger pointing. We have to make plays in the kicking game, which we haven’t done.”
Brown pointed out that last season’s team had 26 takeaways at this point in the season, but this year’s team only has 11 takeaways. The penalties are the exact same (59). The third-down conversions are down 3% from 44 to 41%. The problem is last year’s team scored touchdowns 63% of the time inside the red zone. This year’s team is scoring touchdowns just 42% of the time inside the red zone. Last year’s defense allowed touchdowns 53% of the time inside the red zone. This year, opponents have scored TD’s on 14 of 22 opportunities.
“The offense moved the ball probably the best all year. Goes to show you turnover ratio and red zone touchdowns are what’s important. Garrett Gilbert had his best game. We had 5 dropped passes and 2 of them for touchdowns. We have to get better and catching the ball.”
“We have to make more plays in the red zone. We feel like we’ve got to be more wide open and make plays in the red zone.”
“Robert Griffin is really good. Their receivers are really good. And their punter was GREAT.”
“We stopped the run, but for one big play. You take out the 69 yard run, they run for 2.9 per rush. But you can’t take out the 69 yard run.”
“We did a very poor job on kick-off returns. We have not been very good there all year.”
“Punt block & return has been a struggle to say the least.”
“There were 5 balls on the ground that we didn’t get.”
Texas is 4-4 and travels to Kansas State this weekend.
Lane Kiffin takes blame, Neuheisel passes on post-game question
Lane Kiffin upset with his own performance following 53-32 loss to Oregon: “We were terrible on offense. I wasn't very good myself. I didn't get us in a rhythm. Matt didn't play very well. (But) I didn't help him very much.
“They blitzed over 80 percent of the time. I should have helped him with easier completions. I felt we had to press and be aggressive because of who we were playing against so we didn't have a lot of 4- and 5-yard completions.”
Trailing 26-21, Rick Neuheisel decided to go-for-it on 4th & 11 from the UCLA 19 yard-line with 2:23 remaining and three timeouts: "That's all speculation, and since I don't have to, I don't have to answer the question. I make decisions based on the facts at hand. I felt like it was the best choice."
TCU head coach Gary Patterson doesn’t care about polls: "What difference does it make if we're third or fourth? It makes no difference. It doesn't mean anything to me. We have to beat Utah, period."
(College Gameday is going to Salt Lake) "They know all that stuff. Athletes aren't like that. That's for fans. All they care about is the next opponent."
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly wants Irish to improve as a program down the stretch without numerous players due to injury: "There's so much more to it than just winning the game. We can still be moving forward and being closer and closer to where we want to get to, even without those (injured) players. … We can continue to make progress even though it's not how progress is defined."
(Kelly was criticized for a play-call late in the game) "Over my career I have not second-guessed my play-calling. You always look at the execution of a play, and whether the players are in position to execute it."
Hawaii offensive coordiantor Nick Rolovich disappointed despite 45-10 win over Idaho: "It was a little sloppy. We dropped some balls. We missed some protection. We missed some throws. We're going to need to clean that up going into next week's game. But the kids played well enough to win. They made some plays. And Mo had a great game. You don't expect him to go (1-for-7) to start the game, but I thought he made some big throws down the stretch. After the first (two) series, he was pretty lights out, I thought."
Dan Mullen is happy about 24-17 win over Kentucky, but knows Mississippi State passing game has to come along: "No matter how many things we have to improve on, which (is) an awful lot, it always leaves a big smile on your face. And we'll enjoy it, I promise you that."
"What we have to do is clean up our pass game. I don't want to change the 214 yards a game running. I just want it to be over 200 passing as well."
Friedgen, Cutcliffe, Sherman, Berry, and O'Leary talk about wins
Ralph Friedgen happy to see Maryland’s perseverance during 62-14 win over Wake Forest: "Well I thought we played a complete game tonight. I asked the kids last night to make a statement and I think they did. It's a great bunch of kids we work with. To see them so excited and so happy on the sidelines, and just thinking of where we were last year, to me it's a lesson in perseverance. We were just hanging in there, never giving up, just keep working and that's what I think our team has done. Now we're bowl eligible and these next four weeks will probably be the most important four weeks of our players' lives.”
"I always expected this, I really have. I knew the type of kids we have. I saw how we were losing games last year. If you look at our team [last season], early on we lost games because we were turning the ball over ... so that is a reflection on myself and coaching. I wanted to get that corrected. That's corrected.”
Following 34-31 win over Navy, David Cutcliffe call his team “the most resilient group of young men I’ve ever been around” : I think for the first time all three phases did what they had to do. We got a little bit on our heels defensively late, but what a performance we gave in the first half. Kicking game held up extremely well and certainly offensively, we played the way we are capable of playing.
"This is the most resilient group of young men I've ever been around. I complimented Navy and I think it is the same way here at Duke. That is how you grow into a program. We won what we had to win in the fourth quarter to win the football game. When you are 1-6 and things start going away from you, it is very difficult to grasp hold of the momentum again. We had people step up and it was huge."
Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman pumped about team effort and offensive line play during 45-27 win over Texas Tech: I asked the guys all week long and in this ballgame in particular to raise it up a notch and play with fanatical effort, and show our fans what we're capable of.
"On the offensive line we have two freshman tackles. I thought the offensive line did a great job today. They really gelled together. (OL Coach Jim) Turner talked to me last night and he said he thought this would be the game they really came together. I think the whole group really gelled.”
ULM head coach Todd Berry happy to see his team “respond” with 28-14 win over Troy: “We challenged them this last week, we scrimmaged them on Sunday and other kinds of things. This group continues to respond. I’ve said this before, there is a difference in responding and reacting -- responding is when you know that things are going to happen and you are prepared to handle what happens good or bad. I thought we did a great job of that today.”
George O’Leary relieved following 49-35 win over East Carolina: "Good team win, give them credit, they (ECU) made a bunch of plays and we made a bunch of mistakes, but the kids hung in there. Offensively, we moved the ball and the chains and moved it very efficiently on the ground and in the air. Good team win, we will enjoy this win tonight and get ready for Houston tomorrow night. Each game a different group has their day, offense, defense or special teams."
Muschamp snaps, London and Graham talk about huge wins
Will Muschamp’s booming comeback ends post-game interviews following 30-22 loss to Texas: "Well I can honestly tell you they don't feel good, OK?"
Mushcamp blasted in a tone that one might think he'd yell at his players in. Then the reporter tried to interject and say he knows they don't feel good, but then Muschamp fired back again.
"I'm just trying to tell you they don't feel good. These guys are working their butts off, do you understand that? All right then, let's understand that."
Mack Brown praises Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin: "It all goes to Robert Griffin. He made play after play after play.”
Quoting Baylor coach Art Briles: "Our players are about as resilient a bunch as I've ever been around.”
USC announces it will break ground in January on a $70 million football complex: The new complex will take 18 months to complete. You can see the drawings right here.
Lane Kiffin says conditioning was important before playing Oregon: "I think our two weeks of conditioning paid off. It sounds weird because we got blown out ... I've really seen a difference in two weeks, so I can only imagine the effect [conditioning] has had for Oregon in two years."
Mike London talks about his team’s resilency have defeating Miami (FL) 24-19: “I have to talk about this team being resilient regardless of what people say. In that locker room right there is a group of proud football players and coaches. We always knew there was something about this team, that we can be a good enough team to compete with people.”
Tulsa head coach Todd Graham talks about 28-27 win at Notre Dame: "These kids will be talking about this game when Coach Graham is dead and gone. Fifty years from now, they'll be saying 'I just didn't go to Notre Dame. I went there and won.' "
"To win in a big game, you have to play defense. We played defense today. Our kids just wouldn't be denied today. They played with unbelievable heart and unbelievable character."