Richt and Bronco address questions about disgruntled fans
Both Mark Richt and Bronco Mendenhall answered questions about disgruntled fans during their respective Tuesday press conference.
Asked about the fans not being happy with the Georgia team, Richt responded, “They’re not? (smiling) Neither is my mom. Well, the state of the program is we’re getting ready for Mississippi State. It’s early in the year. We’re getting ready to play another Southeastern Conference game, trying to get one win in the league. ... Just keep supporting, keep fighting, and we will too.”
BYU fans are upset with performance of the 2-quarterback rotating system the Cougars are using. Mendenhall said, “I can't say I am in touch probably at all with the fanbase. There's so much to do right now with our team, in trying to improve. And what I have found is that from being booed in our first home game that I ever coached, to having those that don't like the way we play if we are beating someone 52-6. I try to do what I think is best for our program, and then I hope that the supporters will back our program.”
"But I am not unrealistic enough to know that every decision I make won't be popular. There probably will be frustration any time you are not having success. And so I wouldn't be surprised if there is that right now. But it won't have any effect really on what decisions I make."
Georgia is on the road in Starkville to play Mississippi State on Saturday. BYU will host Nevada.
Chizik very blunt about the key to beating South Carolina
Gene Chizik made it very clear during his press conference today that Auburn will have to play much more physical up front on both sides of the ball in order to beat South Carolina, who he called, “the best team we’ve played up to date. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Chizik has not been pleased with either side’s ability to change the line of scrimmage.
“The name of the game for us is going to be playing a very physical football game. I don’t think this past week we played a very physical football game. We’re going to have to play a much more physical brand of football to beat this team.”
“When we talk about being physical, we’re talking about the point of attack on the line of scrimmage. Playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage no matter who you are…for our offensive line playing on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage and that’s for our defensive line playing in the offensive backfield as well.”
“We need to improve in a lot of ways on the line of scrimmage. I think we need to be playing more physical. We’ve had that discussion over the last 2 days. They know it. We know it. If we’re going to win the game on Saturday, that’s got to be part of the equation.”
“Every thing starts in the SEC with the line of scrimmage. I mean, I say that, but really anywhere in football, it starts at the line of scrimmage.”
“Watching them (South Carolina), they play on the other side of the line of scrimmage. There’s no question about that. And that can’t happen on Saturday night.”
Kick-off is set for 7:45 pm EST from Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Audio: Gene Chizik's Tuesday teleconference
Tuesday lunchtime Coaches Quick Hits
Georgia OC Mike Bobo wants Murray to get rid of the ball: “I have to look at the tape. I don’t think all of the sacks were on him, but he’s got to get rid of the football. On the last one, he’s got to get the ball out.”
Mark Richt talks about quarterback Aaron Murray: “I’ll say this. When he moves up in the pocket, some very positive things happened and not a lot of negative things. There were times he tried to move up and then back and when he didn’t move forward, he got drilled. He has to work his way up and throw it in time and don’t try to create something that’s not there. If you try to do that enough, you’re going to get hit. Still, he’s made a lot of positive plays, and you can’t ask guys to block too long, and he’s learning that. Nobody questions his toughness, his arm strength, his competitiveness, his devotion to the team, his work ethic. He has a lot of positive attributes. He’s only going to get better.”
Mike Price pumped about UTEP win over New Mexico State: "We played really well and they didn't play like they could play. We were physical from the first play to the last play.”
"Our special teams covered fast. We have guys who can run hard and hit on special teams. ... We played penalty free in the second half, penalty free on special teams."
Houston Nutt wants Rebels to regain swagger: "Got to get your confidence back. Got to get your swagger back. You've got to do that by making plays and playing very hard."
"We've always been known for playing at your highest level. And I want to make sure everybody's doing that. We've got to play at a very high level, play hard. I can live with whatever happens, as long as I know they're giving everything they have and we're giving them the best opportunity to win."
"It is the mind-set we have to focus on. Our seniors have to play their best football. Those guys will put their stamp on our team and keep it going."
Bobby Petrino says Hogs don’t have to do anything extraordinary to beat Bama: "We have to really understand as a team that we don't need to go out and do anything extraordinary to win the game. We need to go out and play Razorback football and we'll have an opportunity to win the game. That's kind of what our theme will be for the week.
"We've got to try and slow him (Mark Ingram) down and do a good job on first down. I thought we defended him well a year ago."
"Going back to the Georgia game, it was a great win for us. I think the biggest thing is that we matured and grew up as a football team. We knew going into the game that it was going to take a team effort"
Dan Mullen says O-Line isn’t communicating well: “For an experienced (offensive line), we are just not communicating very well. It’s kind of taking care of themselves, instead of taking care of the line, and you need all five guys to play together. On our 13-play drive, nine of those plays, all five (linemen) graded best, doing the right thing. So we have just talked to them a lot about communicating and being on the same page to get the job done.”
“(Georgia is) going to run the football, and that is their No. 1 deal, to be a physical, running team. It’s a big game for both (teams). You know, you’re looking at someone coming out of this game with a pretty good jump start on the rest of the season. Both of us have been playing very difficult schedules in the conference.”
Auburn DC Ted Roof will try to reduce snaps for Josh Bynes: "It's something I've got to work on getting done. He's got a lot of value as far as understanding what he's supposed to do and also what the people around him are supposed to do. As a coach, I certainly appreciate that."
"Hopefully, you're giving more than you're taking. That's the No. 1 goal. It takes its toll because you have only so many collisions in you. The body won't go on forever. The kids here are conditioned to play."
Quoting Lane Kiffin: “The 2nd half was pretty complete. Now our goal is to put 2 halves together. That will be our goal this week.”
“Most pleased out of any position group (with the defensive line). We established the line of scrimmage. The sacks will come.”
(on the kick-off return for a TD) “Bax (John Baxter) does a great job showing our kids exactly what will happen.”
Troy DC Jeremy Rowell dealing with a ton of injuries: “What we’ve got to do is get our best 11 people on the field and stop somebody. Create some pass rush, stop the run, play the pass. What’s it going to be? Who’s it going to be? That’s what we’re in the process of figuring out right now.”
“You can’t wholesale change anything you do. You’ve got to make it fit (with) what you do. You can’t change your whole defense in three or four days and teach something new.”
Southern Miss DC Todd Bradford wants to capitalize on opportunities: “We dropped three interceptions and had four missed sacks. We felt like we should have had eight (sacks) with guys unblocked. Our goal was to have three interceptions and we could have really made it an outstanding night if we make a couple of extra plays.”
Larry Blakeney referring to Troy’s numerous injuries: “Our locker room looks like a war zone at halftime.”
GA Tech assistant Andy McCollum facing former staff at NC State: “I knew this week was coming. No one in the country has as much respect for Tom O’Brien and North Carolina State and those players, the ones I coached or the ones I recruited, and their staff. My three years were great. I know how good they are. The thing about North Carolina State was we played a lot of young kids when Coach O’Brien got there. They’ve been through the fire. People say they’re playing a lot better. Well, you play better when you get older.”
Lane Kiffin responds to Phil Fulmer's comments
During Tuesday's Dan Patrick Radio Show, Lane Kiffin responded to Phil Fulmer’s comments from Saturday’s CBS half-time show.
In case you missed it, Fulmer said, "And often his arrogant attitude turned people off. The bigger question in my opinion is how does a guy like this end up with two jobs with historic football teams like Tennessee and USC?"
Kiffin responded today by saying, "I was disappointed with that Dan and the reason I say that is because he's never met me. To say those things, and I reached out to him a number of times through people at the university and community as well as my staff did to try to meet with him. Oh, as soon as we got there and he always declined to do that. So I think that was the hard part to hear that said about somebody you had the opportunity to meet and never did.”
“But just as I said from the day I got there, I have great respect for Coach Fulmer and what he did there and the great run he had there. He deserves to be a Hall of Fame coach.”
Dan Patrick also asked Kiffin if he was having any fun, noting that it always seemed Pete Carroll was enjoying his job at USC.
Kiffin said,”I don’t know (laughs). We have to win a lot more games and then we’ll have some fun.”
Patrick then asked, “Then, when do you get to enjoy things?”
Kiffin explained, “When we get this thing back. When we get our depth back and the games are a lot easier than they are right now.”
USC is 3-0 and travels to Wazzu on Saturday.
Joker Phillips looking for first big win at The Swamp
If Joker Phillip’s first big win of his head coaching career comes this Saturday night at The Swamp, it will be Kentucky’s first win in 30 years at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Since Urban Meyer took over the Gators, Florida has defeated Kentucky 49-28, 26-7, 45-37, 63-5, and 41-7. That’s an average win margin of 26 points.
Phillips knows this is the type of game Kentucky needs to win to take the next step in their program. Kentucky won last year at Auburn and at Georgia. He said, "[A game like this] is what you come to Kentucky for."
Phillips added, “Florida has not scored in first quarter yet this year — It means we can’t let the game get out of hand. We can’t be down 28-0 in the first quarter. We can’t be sloppy like we were in the first quarter last week. Last week (against Akron) we sleep walked to start the game. If we do that this week, we will be down 21, 28 points in the first quarter if we do not match their intensity. If you allow things the Swamp brings to intimidate you, you can be down 28 points in the first quarter.”
“Every time we get on the bus we talk about it is a business trip, not a slumber party. We want to win the (Southeastern Conference) East. If you want to win the East, you have to go about this season as business only.”
Running back Derrick Locke said, “Even if we do beat some, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to beat the teams we haven’t beat, and then we’ll get respect."
Locke added, “This team will not be a team intimidated by The Swamp or playing in a game like this.”
Kick-off is set for 7:00 pm EST on ESPNU. You can see the entire Week #4 TV schedule right here.
Coaches talk about the stress in the profession
A day after Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack, several coaches from around the country talked about the stress in coaching.
Rich Rodriguez: "When you're in certain professions -- coaching is one of them and probably university administration, politicians -- you don't just work your job, you live your job. You're never really away from it. That probably adds more to it than it used to be. But you know that going into it. Some of it is just life in general, sometimes your health issues will come up."
"You have to take care of yourself, but it's hard to get away from your job. You don't leave the office, go home and leave your job at the office. That's not possible to do in this kind of profession."
"What's hard, a lot of coaches will tell you, it's hard to devote the time. You want to watch the film and you've got a lot of things to do. But you have to. I'm sure all coaches are the same way. You encourage your staff to do it and when it's lunchtime or early in the morning, give them some time to exercise and all of that because it's a busy time and if you don't devote yourself to it, you could get in trouble."
Bill Cubit: “That’s the business. You don’t eat right, you don’t get any sleep. ... There’s no other way to do this business."
“He’s (Dantonio) a great guy. It’s a shame it happened. I’m sure there are a lot of coaches going home tonight after a long day, looking at their wives and having their wives look back at them, saying, ‘You’d better take care of yourself.’ The job doesn’t allow you to do it.”
Kyle Whittingham: "Everything is more scrutinized and everything is more of a win now mentality. There isn't much patience with head coaches these days. It used be a four, five or six-year rebuilding program and that is a thing of the past. I work out every day and get something done physically. That is my relief. If I couldn't do that, I don't know how I'd hold up."
Pat Fitzgerald: ''There's a number of coaches right now who are battling some issues. Being a coach, you live in front of the camera and on the Internet. There are lots of people that have stressful jobs.''
Bob Stoops: "It's always been challenging. Mark is a close and dear friend of mine. That's part of our job. We have to listen to ourselves and make sure we're checked and keep up with our health the best we can. It's obviously a stressful job."
Mike Gundy: "I don't think there is any question my health is not good during the season."
Mike Leach: "There is nothing healthy about it. There's the stress of dealing with the day-to-day and the ups and downs of 120 different people, most of them ages 18-22. There is also the politics that go into a university and some of the bureaucracy."
Derek Dooley: "No. 1, you feel such a responsibility to the fans, to the program to do a good job and do your part, and that can weigh on you. You feel such a responsibility to the kids that you coach. Those two things alone, the responsibility you feel is enough. Then add to it the day-to-day scrutiny that you get publicly, and that certainly weighs on you. Then add to it the patience or lack thereof of universities with their coaches."
Nick Saban: “The one thing that I remember is he (Dantonio) was always in a hell of a lot better shape than I was so that’s kind of a wake-up call to me to make sure I’m doing the right things and taking care of myself. It was really kind of a shock because he was so into physical fitness, good health, and good conditioning all the time. Hopefully this will resolve and in a few weeks he’ll be back to normal and won’t have any future issues.”
Urban Meyer: "I just happen to think it's a high profile position and where you are you get a lot of attention.''
Joker Phillips: “I haven't changed my routine. I still work out every day. I still get the same amount of sleep. I just think that, this game is important to me there's no question about that. But my family and my personal health is more important. Am I competitor and do I want to win? Yes, no question about that. But I try not to let this game rule my life also.''
Dooley will not sugar-coat the Vols' performances
Derek Dooley simply isn’t going to sugar-coat anything. The first-year Vols head coach is as open and direct with the media as any coach in the country.
During his Monday pressers, Dooley goes in depth to explain the Vols’ weekend performance.
Here's part of what Dooley had to say on the Vols 31-14 loss to Florida:
“But probably the biggest disappointment offensively was the number of just breakdowns, doing things they never did in practice. It was almost as if we were more starry-eyed this game on offense than the previous two. I'm not sure why.”
“But ultimately what killed us on defense is our inability to win one-on-one at every level, and that's what got us on third down. Our pass rush was terrible up front when we could never win any one-on-ones. We weren't coming at them aggressively. We weren't aggressive in coverage, never denied them the ball.”
"If you look at the field position game, I think their average field position was the 41 and ours was the 26. That makes a big difference.”
“Quarterback, we had a lot of decision issues and accuracy issues that affected us. Our running backs, poor in pass protection, technique-wise, and jumpy when they ran the ball. Our receivers, getting lined up properly and using good route technique. I mean, it was essentially everything and it showed."
“The good returners, they commit and they hit it. We aren't doing that right now, and it shows. We didn't do a good job blocking, but there's been a lot of returns out there with a lot of air that we're not taking advantage of."
"I've always said this, that the special teams is always sort of a microcosm of your team. And our depth issues, it really shows up on (special) teams. They outperformed us in the big space areas.”
The Vols host UAB on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 12:21 pm EST on the SEC-Network.
Tuesday morning Coaches Quick Hits
Urban Meyer talks about concerns: “I think he’s (Brantley) got to get better. There’s one way we evaluate quarterbacks here. He’s 3-0 as a starter at Florida, so that’s pretty good, going on the road and winning a game. To say we’re thrilled with where we’re at offensively, and he’s the focal point of the offense, that would be a false statement. To say that he’s handled himself very well, to say he’s managing the team, to say that he does throw a very nice pass and hit five third-and-longs against Tennessee – those are all very good. We just need to improve. We’re pleased with where we’re at, we just need to keep improving.”
“On defense the only concern was, and it’s a major concern, when you turn guys loose in coverage. And that all can be corrected.”
Steve Sarkisian extremely disappointed: "I thought in the second half, there were moments there where we lacked the competitive nature that this program prides itself on. That will never happen again. You'll see us compete for 60 minutes, I can promise everybody that."
Spurrier says he’ll coach 4-5 more years: "Four to five years. I told some people this summer that I really feel like we signed a running back, Marcus Lattimore, that can do some special things for us. I also like this quarterback, Connor Shaw, and some of our freshman linemen.
“We have a pretty good team and we have taken care of the ball, and it has worked out for us that we have won a couple. But we have a long ways to go. We're not getting any turnovers. We haven't made a lot of big things happen in special teams. We aren't a great passing team by any means right now. We have a lot to work on."
(on this year’s team) "We have a lot of good, young players here. Our recruiting has been very solid the last several years, so we've got an eye toward the future. It's not like we have a senior team or anything. We have several seniors, but we have a pretty good balance of young guys and older players here."
Lane Kiffin talks about dominant defensive front: “I thought our front line defense played even better than I thought after the game. Our front seven / eight was pretty dominant. Our challenge all week was to play physical up there.”
“I do feel us coming together better. I feel like we are getting a better understanding of our guys. We definitely are better than we were three weeks ago.”
(on falling 2 spots in poll) “I doesn’t concern me one bit.”
Quoting TCU head coach Gary Patterson: "We played a Pac-10 team [Oregon State] and a Big 12 team, we did all right. And we treated a I-AA team [Tennessee Tech] like we were supposed to [62-7]."
Al Golden reflects on a big-win over UCONN: "It's a big win because we are 3-0 [for the first time since 1979], and because it was against a real physical opponent. An opponent that had gone into South Bend and won, gone to play South Carolina and won. That's the significance of it."
Chris Petersen calls Boise State “a work in progress” : "We're still a work in progress. We need to get through a few more games and see what we have."
Gary Patterson has not talked to June Jones in a while: "I haven't really talked to anybody in a month and a half. I don't talk to my wife much right now. So if I'm not talking to her I'm probably not talking to anybody else."
Sonny Dykes disappointed with 2nd half performance against Navy: "I'm not sure if our players expected Navy to lay down at halftime, but they certainly didn't do it. We dropped passes, threw the ball in the ground, missed tackles, gave up sacks "» we just need to be a mentally tougher team."
Dooley concerned about depth on special teams: “I’ve always said that special teams is sort of a microcosm of your team and our depth issues, it really shows up.’’
Akron head coach Rob Ianello staying patient: ''We believe in our plan. We believe in what we are doing. We are not going to panic after three games.”
Houston Nutt concerned about offensive line: “We’ve got to do a better job up front. We’ve got to do a better job with the running game, and take some pressure off the passing game. We’re going to see how things look,” Nutt said. “We’re just trying to find the best (players), the toughest, the most competitive.”
Cutcliffe reflects on Bama game: “I thought we were emotionally equipped to handle it, but we weren’t. I had deep hopes that we would respond and get better as a football team. First of all, you have to get over being shellshocked.”
“I can’t say I’ve been here before because that’s the worst defeat I’ve ever suffered. It’s the first game I’ve been here that it just all blew up in our face.”