Joker's change, Dooley's warning, and Petrino's advice
Joker Phillips says Kentucky players ask for practice change: “It was another upbeat and positive practice. Again, we are working together even more on Wednesdays, which makes it that way. We only had a 15-minute period where we were with the scouts. A couple of our leaders asked us to do it, which I respect. We went more with ones vs. twos instead of scouts. I think that definitely helped practice, especially if they think it helped practice.”
Dooley warns team LSU fans “out to hurt us” : "I tell them that they've got to be ready for Mike (LSU's live Tiger mascot) standing there waiting for us when we run out of the visiting locker room. That's always the first shock of the opponents. Our crowds here have been phenomenal (102,455 capacity in Neyland Stadium), but they've helped us. The crowd that we're going to is going to be out to hurt us."
Bobby Petrino says Hogs need to learn from Bama game: “When you have a situation like this, you can either have an excuse for the rest of your life, or it can be the most motivating factor ever, and that’s what we’re trying to use it as, a motivating factor to come out and practice and get better this week in practice.”
Mike Locksley says he’s the “luckiest guy in the world” : "I'm the luckiest guy in the world, developing and working with young men. Adversity is fuel for you to work hard. Life lessons. I've gone through it my whole career."
"It takes time. You want to put it in the microwave and pop it out a minute later. But I've been through this at Maryland and Illinois. It takes time. I've become accustomed to that. It could start this week, but typically it takes three years.
"It's a process. We're trying to win this year, trying to go to a bowl game and we still have enough games to do it. We're fighting uphill, but that's always the goal."
Sonny Dykes talks about building a program: "That's part of growing as a program. You have to change the culture. It's the hardest thing to change. If you're worried about bad things that are going to happen, bad things are going to happen. You can't coach that way; especially offensive football.”
"There are two different ways to build a program. You can win like Alabama does, on defense. They recruit the best defensive players in the country year in and year out and say, 'We're going to win on defense and on special teams because our talent is so much better than yours. Our young players are going to be better than yours and we're going to be more explosive than you and just try to get by on offense. If you do that and you're at Alabama that makes a lot of sense. We need to build our program differently."
Larry Porter says Memphis needs a play-maker: ''We've got to have a consistent playmaker. It's not about showing up for a game, it's about showing up every game. That's something we have to establish within our wide receiving corps.''
''When you look at the way our running backs are starting to play, if we can get at least one of (the receivers) we can rely on every game, we can make (this offense) work as coaches. When we call their number, they must be able to respond.''
''I'm done with flashes. I want consistency. They've got to understand there's a certain level of energy that comes with it as well, an energy that propels you to (a higher) level.''
USC quarterbacks coach Clay Helton talks about Matt Barkley: “The kid has incredible vision. He's made throws throughout his career that baffle us. As you progress as a quarterback, you start to learn that there's another guy that's going to be open in the offense."
Dave Wannstedt talks about scheduling: “I don’t mind playing a strong schedule. My only complaint since day one is like, the entire conference, let’s all play top 25 teams. That’s fine with me or let’s not. The parity in (non-conference schedules) has always been my stance on this thing. The schedules... you’ve got to play them.”
Willie Taggart talks about bye-week plans: “This off-week’s going to test the character of our football team. I’m going to get emotionally hijacked if I come out here and see someone take a day off of practice. We’re not doing that around here. We’re going to work, and we’re going to get better.”
“We haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t done anything but get better, and like anyone else, we want to win. And we have to continue to work to get there.”
Paul Johnson: We were like 2 rabbits peeing on a bunch of cotton
Over here at FootballScoop headquarters, we were just listening to Atlanta sports radio when the show re-aired a sound bite from Paul Johnson’s radio show from Wednesday night.
Johnson, obviously disgusted with the way his team performed against NC State, said, “I knew at North Carolina, we were ready to play. In pre-game we were knocking the snot out of each other. The other day (in pre-game against UNC) we were like 2 rabbits peeing on a bunch of cotton.”
Georgia Tech travels to Wake Forest this weekend. We wonder what practice was like this week at Tech following the 85 missed assignments against NC State.
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Richt's warning to team, Gary Patterson's new policy, and Saban's mistake
Mark Richt warns team “it could get worse” : “We are where we are. We’re going to have to get better or it’s gonna get worse. It’s not going to stay the same. I told the players, you think it’s bad now; it could get worse.”
“We’re not gonna lose our poise, we’re not gonna lose our integrity. We don’t want to take our frustrations out on anyone, except maybe Colorado. … We just have to keep working hard and keep together. We must stay together.”
Gary Patterson will not talk about future: "I said a little of 'In the future' last week and you can see how well it worked out for us. We're going back to the Gary Patterson philosophy of the seven-day window. We're only talking about the people we need to talk about. I tried to find a way to motivate them after an emotional game against Baylor and changed my philosophy a little bit; and it's kinda like trying to get an extra 10 minutes at the driving range when I was supposed to be doing something else. It just didn't work very well. So we're just going to worry about Colorado State this week."
Nick Saban on mistake of not hiring Urban Meyer when he was at Toledo: "Obviously one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I really kind of messed that one up. Terry really interviewed him, that's my wife.''
Mike Stoops says USC made everyone better: "They made everyone better. They made everyone commit to be all in or you're going to get behind. … They raised the bar quite a bit."
Dabo Swinney talks about key to Miami (FL) game: "We’ve got to just try to not give up big chunks of plays. They like to get their offense in chunks. They’ll throw it up and they got really talented wideouts that we’re going to have to do a great job with. The biggest thing is just getting pressure on the quarterback. We’ve definitely got to affect him, not let him get comfortable in the pocket. He likes to be in the pocket. We have to make him get on the run, so to speak.”
Quoting Gene Chizik: “The last 3 weeks have all been different scenarios how we’ve won. We are a beat up football team right now. It’s been a few weeks of physical football. I think Ted has done a great job on defense with our guys. We are knocking balls loose. We are making tough interceptions with the game on the line. We’re putting our money on our d-line. There’s no question about it. If you are really good there, it gets easier on back.”
Houston Nutt talks about his running backs: “You gotta break glass. Gotta run downhill. You gotta hit it, unless you got a little Dexter McCluster in you. We’ll let him bounce around a little bit, but other than that, you gotta hit it.”
What Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley have in common
Derek Dooley and Lane Kiffin take special teams’ preparation to the extreme.
Dooley, who served as Nick Saban’s special teams coordinator at LSU, takes as much pride in special teams as any coach in the country. Just listen to his press conferences. Better yet, watch the Vols practice or watch Dooley’s sideline reaction to poor special teams execution. It kills the guy.
Kiffin, when hired at Tennessee, went out and hired arguably the best special teams coordinator in the country, Eddie Gran, who had served as Auburn’s special teams coordinator for years under Tommy Tuberville. When Lane took over at USC, Gran had already joined Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Florida State, so Kiffin turned to former Fresno State special teams coordinator John Baxter.
On the day of Baxter’s hiring, Kiffin said, "Hiring John Baxter is something that I thought could probably never happen, so this is a great day for USC. Having him here will be huge for our team on and off the field. He put together a 13-year run of special teams at Fresno State that were better than any in the country.”
Shortly after August practice began at USC, Kiffin said, "We hired the best guy in the country by going out to get John Baxter and his resume proves that. I can already tell a difference in the emphasis and in our players and their response. We're going to need to be good on special teams as we look at [the team] in the long run if we're going to be limited scholarship-wise with these penalties.”
The Trojans have been terrific on special teams thus far under Baxter who said yesterday, "You get what you emphasize. A special teams meeting here is not like anywhere else. We've got a lot of music and creative energy and we jump up and down. It's fun."
This week, Dooley returns to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, a place where he once coached arguably the most dominant special teams unit (2003) in the last decade. Dooley and Saban offered no lip service about playing the best players. In fact, All-SEC wide receiver Michael Clayton and BCS Championship MVP Justin Vincent ran down on kick-off coverage just to give you an idea.
The challenge against LSU on special teams in enormous. Dooley’s team at Tennessee, without question, doesn’t have the depth on special teams he would like due to attrition.
Not only outmanned personnel-wise, but LSU play-maker Jai Eugene says the Tigers are feeding off the home crowd during kick-off coverage. Eugene told the LSU student newspaper, "The more the crowd gets into it, the more we get into it ... the more sense of urgency to run down the field and try to take somebody's head off and try to make a big play for the team. The coaching staff, the whole team knows [that] if you're on kickoff team here, it's a lot of pride."
It also put the Vols at a disadvantage when #7 is returning punts for the Tigers. Dooley said on Monday, “If we serve one up to him (Patrick Peterson), it will be the fastest 6 points you’ve ever seen. I promise you.”
Not to say that Tennessee is going out-play LSU on special teams, but the Tennessee faithful should be happy knowing they have a head coach that will die trying. Should be fun watching his plan.
Stealing signals, old tricks, Oregon's mindset, advice from HOF coach
Doc Holliday says Ohio U was stealing signals: "Ohio, they've done it for years, (they were) stealing signals. They have a coach, that was all he was doing was trying to get our signals and we were just making sure it didn't happen."
Lane Kiffin responds to Sarkisian’s comment that USC is the deepest team in the PAC-10: "That's an old Lou Holtz trick he heard, to call a team that has the least amount of scholarship players the deepest. Our special teams have guys from the science class."
Bobby Bowden’s advice to Mark Richt after 0-3 start in SEC: “Just stay the course. It's all you can do. All you can do is stay the course and recruit better. It's all you can do. Whoever has the best players is gonna win, unless you screw it up. Now you can screw it up - the coach can screw it up. But if I've got better players than you, you ain't gonna whip me. Unless I blow it. And if you've got better players than me, I can't beat you unless you blow it. Mark's just gotta stay the course and keep recruiting. Keep recruiting.”
Chip Kelly explains Oregon’s mindset: “The whole mindset of our football team is we don’t worry about things we can’t control. Just tell me when we’re playing and we’ll go play.”
“We started school this week. It’s a little bit different. It’s important for us to get into a new rhythm.”
Ellis Johnson talks about Gamecocks performance against Auburn: "I just thought we were totally confused all the time. We never looked like we were sure of what we were doing."
"A lot of it was we were out of position. Then, when we were in position, I tell you what, we couldn't get him on the ground. I don't think it was fatigue; a lot of times, I just think it was poor tackling."
Texas A&M DC on the notion he has Dana Holgorsen’s number: "This year is a different year with different players, and he's done a great job up there. We've got to play well to have a chance. If you don't, they'll embarrass you and hang half a hundred on you in a hurry."
Frank Bearmer’s terse response when asked about throwing the ball 2 of 74 plays inside the red zone: "Well, did you count the number of wins we had? Did you throw that stat in there?”
Noel Mazzone: I'm just now getting over the hangover...
Arizona State ranks 12th nationally in total offense, averaging 495 yards per game, but first-year offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone knows the Sun Devils missed a golden opportunity last Saturday night. Mazzone watched his offense turn the ball over seven times in the 42-31 loss to Oregon.
The Sun Devils threw four interceptions and had three fumbles in the game. Just one week earlier, ASU didn't have a single turnover in the 20-19 loss at Wisconsin. Fifty-three teams in D1 football have yet to turn the ball over seven times this season.
Mazzone told The Arizona Republic, "I tell you, I'm just now getting over the hangover from yesterday. It's kind of like I went to the prom and had a really good-looking date and I went home alone."
“I'd trade all 600 yards we had last week for five less turnovers, but that was one of the lessons we learned. It was amazing with seven turnovers that we were even as productive as we were. Usually with seven turnovers you're getting beat 50-0. There's light at the end of tunnel, now we just have to learn how to do some of the basic football fundamentals.”
“The things that make the Tom Bradys, the Drew Brees and the Peyton Mannings the guys they are, is how they execute in the red zone. Because let's face it: that's our job. Anybody can call plays from the 20 to the 20. Anybody can run those plays. But in the red zone the field gets a little tighter. There is a little bit more on the line. The game's got to slow down a little bit down there and I think that definitely will happen."
"It's orchestrated confusion. We really don't have a lot of football plays. We don't run a lot of different types of runs schemes or pass schemes. Pretty much we have a core of about 18-20 plays.”
Arizona State travels to Oregon State this weekend.
Spurrier really upset, compliments Auburn OL coach
Spurrier was back at it again on Tuesday.
Upset with the play of his offensive line, Spurrier said, "Our line looks pretty good running out there. They look pretty good and then the ball is snapped and sometimes we just don't compete hard enough. But they're our guys and we're going to try to get them to play better."
He then indirectly gave a shout-out to Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes.
Spurrier said, “Those Auburn guys played pretty well. Their guys could block. I don’t know who their line coach is, but he’s a hell of a coach.”
"When losing begins to hurt these guys as much as it hurts some of us, we'll have a good team here at South Carolina. But I'm not convinced losing hurts these guys much, or else they'd play better. They would really play their assignments and play better. They're either not smart enough to play or losing doesn't hurt - one or the other because they're big, strong guys.”
As far as the quarterback situation, Spurrier said Garcia will start in two weeks against Alabama, but he’s not too thrilled with Garcia’s two fumbles in the second-half at Auburn.
Would you love to see Hard Knocks - South Carolina football?
Cutcliffe explains his state of mind after 3 game slide
Despite a three-game losing streak (Wake, Bama, Army), Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is not panicking.
During his weekly press conference today, Cutcliffe said, “Doesn’t concern me at all because everything we do we do it like winners. You’re only a loser if you let yourself be a loser. I don’t care what walk of life you are in, it doesn’t matter when it’s college football, or sport, or business. If you carry yourself like a loser, you will eventually be that.”
“We will continue to carry ourselves like winners because that’s all that is expected here. And if we continue and we like winners, and work like winners, not just carry yourself, but work like winners, that’s how you work your way out of it. You know how big that reward is? That’s huge. And it’s lasting and carries a long way. I’m honestly not one bit concerned about it. That’s why I’m not in a bad state of mind because I know we will not give in to being a loser. We are not going to have losers in our program.”
Duke travels to Maryland this weekend.
Cutcliffe said, “I view this as an absolutely awesome opportunity to continue to grow our program where we want it to go. We will not give in to this.”
“My hat’s off to Maryland. They had a tough year a year ago. They are a 3-1 football team. They (Maryland) have obviously done the same thing. They’ve worked themselves right out of it (tough times). We will by far and away have to play our best football this year to be able to be in the game and to play well enough to win this game.”
“The two disappointing things thus far are probably the number of big plays we’ve given up on offense and the turnovers on offense.”
Kick-off is set for 6:00 pm EST.