Mario Cristobal at the mic
FIU is 2-0 and has UCF, also 2-0, coming to Miami this weekend for the first ever matchup between these programs.
2010 Sun Belt champs versus 2010 CUSA champs. Tough opponent for FIU; but we're 100% confident that Coach Cristobal is not afraid. The man believes in his team and his team has bought in.
Watch Coach Cristobal handle this press conference, he's prepared. No fluff in these answers. He knows the opponent inside and out. Should be a great game.
Field goal block tips
In Saturday's game versus Utah, USC was clinging to a 17-14 lead with seconds remaining. Utah was in position for a 41 yard game tying field goal attempt.
USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil blocks the kick, USC wins.
Take a minute (and five seconds) and watch Kiffin explain the block. A couple of good coaching points in here. Credit special teams coordinator John Baxter who Kiffin calls the best in the business.
Paul Johnson: I remember Kansas in the victory formation
Georgia Tech is 2-0 and has Kansas coming to town this Saturday. You might recall Kansas beat Georgia Tech 28-25 in Lawrence.
In his weekly presser today, Paul Johnson was asked what the most vivid impression he has from that Kansas game last year...
"The end of the game, them taking a knee in victory formation. I remember that."
There was then a 13 second pause before the next question. Silent room. Awkward.
We think Johnson will have his team motivated for this game.
Later, a different reporter asked Coach Johnson if he ever get's tired of answering the question "Can we win with just a passing game?".
Johnson's response was great...
No, not really...it's what you're not doing that people want to talk about...I remember talking to June [Jones] when he was at Hawaii...after a couple of years there, people complained that they didn't run the ball...I really don't think it matters. The bottom line is do you have more points than the other team at the end of the game. And you don't get any more for throwing than you do for running...Actually if you're trying to win the game, which is better a one play 77 yard drive or a 19 play 98 yard drive that eats 8 minutes? I bet you the guys on defense would vote for the second.
Air Force HC Troy Calhoun calls out a writer
The Mountain West held their weekly coaches conference call today. Half an hour in, not much of note. Then, it's was Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun's turn. Reminder, Air Force is 1-1 after losing this past Saturday to TCU.
"And the next question comes from The Mountain West senior writer Mick McGrane..." (editor's note...did anyone realize the conference had a senior writer?)
Here's the exchange.
McGrane: Troy, I was just curious, it seems like everyone is screaming that the sky is falling after Air Force loses one game. How is your kids resolve right now?
Calhoun: Who did you say did?
McGrane: I was just curious as to what your kids resolve is now. It just seems like everybody is screaming that the sky is falling because Air Force lost a game.
Calhoun: Who was that? Who specifically said that?
McGrane: No, it just seemed to be general sentiment. I was just wondering how your kids were holding up.
Calhoun: Is there one or two people that said that? Just throw me a name, one or two of people that have said that.
McGrane: I don't have any names.
Calhoun: OK, shoot our kids like to play football.
McGrane: Thank you Troy.
Calhoun: You bet Mick.
As you might expect, McGrane's tone was of rejection at the end; whereas Calhoun's was of confidence. You can listen to the whole exchange if you want at this link (jump to the 30:20 mark).
Spurrier: Navy will play anyone tough...well not Alabama
Head ball coach is always good for a quote. South Carolina hosts Navy this weekend (6PM on ESPN2).
It's always tough to play against Navy's option offense and Spurrier spoke about that today. Some quotes from Spurrier:
Navy might be as good an independent team as their is in the nation.
We're gonna have our hands full slowing these guys down.
Our defensive coaches have been watching how other teams play against the option...
Navy takes care of the ball, gets the most out of their players, very well coached.
Navy will play anybody tough...maybe not Alabama. Alabama seems to know how to stuff people. But these option teams seem to play us well.
Is it important to win pretty..."No"
We took the time to listen to Lane Kiffin's presser from yesterday. He made a few great points in here.
First, at the very end of the press conference a reporter asks Coach Kiffin if it's important to "win pretty after two ugly wins" this week vs. Syracuse. Kiffin, "No. It's important to win and it's important for the team to improve."
Kiffin was also asked about special teams coordinator John Baxter's decision to play starting left tackle Matt Kalil on field goal block (yes, he got the block to save the game vs. Utah). Kiffin's response, "best special teams coach in the country."
Reporter stated that the punts this far haven't been pretty...Kiffin, "you have to look at the whole thing, we also haven't given up a single punt return yard the entire year...we're angling them...the punt may only go 34 or 35 yards; but since there is no return so that's a lot better than when you kick it 50 and they return it 20..."
For what it's worth, Houston is currently leading the nation with a 50.8 net yard / punt (including opponents returning 3 punts for -5 yards). Tip of the cap to special teams coordinator Tony Levine.
More new Nike Unis: LSU, Stanford, Army, Navy, Michigan State, Ohio State
Nike unleased another set of their "Pro Combat" series uniforms today.
Pics are below.
Bobby Bowden: I had prostate cancer surgery 4 years ago
This morning, Bobby Bowden is announcing that four years ago he had surgery for prostate cancer but didn't disclose it to anyone other than his family.
Bowden is going public this morning in conjunction with his role as a compensated spokesman for On The Line, a national prostate cancer education initiative.
In making the announcement, Bowden states that he didn't tell anyone about his diagnosis or the surgery for fear that it would impact recruiting. "What I knew was something like that happens to a coach and your opponents find out about it, the first thing they say is 'Don't go to Florida State, Coach Bowden is about to die'."
"If I knew then what I know now, I would have considered it my moral duty to bring it out in the open. I thought it was the right thing to do then, but that's not the message now."
Bowden says he is now cancer free, thanks to the fine work of Dr. Joe Camps. Camps, who played for Bowden, admitted Bowden to the hospital (under a fictitious name) at midnight to keep the secret. The surgery took less than an hour, after which Bowden was brought to a secure part of the hospital for recovery. He was discharged by 5AM.