KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- HEAD COACH BUTCH JONES
"Good afternoon, thanks for coming out on this holiday weekend but just some closure on the Austin Peay game, and then moving forward. First of all 800th program win, I don't think that should ever be undervalued. That's something that's very, very special in the world of college football as part of our tradition and now there's only eight total teams throughout college football that can speak in those terms relative to winning 800 plus games now in a program. And again, I want to thank all the former players, coaches and everyone that has really laid the foundation and the hard work for this football program.
"You know looking at it, going into the Austin Peay game we wanted to have a very clean game. For the most part I thought it was a clean game but nobody at all in our football program should be satisfied with their performance. We have a long ways to go. We have a lot of work to do. As we continue to move forward, I said after game one I'd have a little better idea of where we're at as a football team and I do know where we need to move on and where we need to improve and I think it gets back to all of our players being accountable and understanding what it really takes to play winning football and the commitment level required to play winning football and we talk about power position and every position group playing winning football. Its individuals and then it becomes a collective effort.
"You know, going from week one to week two to me this is the biggest week in the growth and development of football teams. And the greatest growth and development occur from week one to week two and so obviously this week of preparation is absolutely critical. First of all, concerning ourselves, is great improvement in our fundamentals, the small details, owning our technique, owning our conditioning and you know we put our football identity on video. You know now every team is studying us. They're seeing which players they're going to attack. They're looking at their technique, they're looking at their eye discipline, they're looking at their fundamentals. You know so now that's when you're really going to see game forms or the game plans really be formed and shaped to our personnel and our players will understand that.
"Moving forward with Western Kentucky, extremely, extremely talented football team. Knew that in the summer and everything has been confirmed by video evidence. A lot of NFL prospects and a lot of confidence. They're an extremely confident football team and rightfully so. Andrew [Jackson] is as good of a linebacker as I've seen in a long, long time. He can impact the football game. He can change the course of a football game and I think they feed off his energy. Jonathan Dowling, free safety, another NFL football player. These players understand what it is to compete in these venues. They have a great running back. I think their quarterback has really managed their offense.
"Last year they led their conference in total defense and again they're going to present lot of challenges for us. Very, very sound in the special teams game. They remind me a lot of our football team we had in 2009 at Central Michigan that finished in the top 25, went on to win on the road. Beat a Michigan State football team. They have NFL personnel, they have swagger, they have confidence and they believe they can play with anyone and everyone in the country and I think that's been evidence by their body of work over a period of time.
"I'd like to thank our crowd for coming out, 4th largest crowd in the country this past Saturday night. I want to especially thank our student body, they were outstanding and we're going to need everyone now. Your time clocks change. It's a noon game and it becomes a little bit different and we need everyone there to help us win and impact this football team and so I want to say thank you to our student body and we need you. We need you again and we need our fans and I want to thank them for the great experience but it's time to move on and we're playing a very talented football team Saturday afternoon."
(On the secondary)
"The thing that I wasn't particularly fond of or we need to make great strides is our eye discipline. We had way too many what we call eye violations. You know peaking in the backfield, you know reading the eyes of the quarterback instead of - see a little, see a lot. You know the one wheel route they hit up the side our corner was peaking in the backfield and got run by so that was a mental error there but just the overall eye discipline, being much more physical in our re-route of wide receivers. We've got a long way to go and our back end especially from the small details. It gets back to what we talk about playing sound football and truly understanding the fundamentals and small details that it takes. Everything from the back end of a defense is about eye discipline and especially in our younger players. They're all relatively young but our younger players, you could see the lack of discipline at times with their eyes so that obviously is always a point of emphasis but we emphasize even that much more moving forward this week."
(On Bobby Petrino)
"I have coached against him twice when we're at West Virginia. We had two great games in '05 and '06. I want to say the one in Morgantown, I believe a three overtime victory for us and then we had to go play at Louisville and they came up. You know he does a great job obviously of preparing his football team. They're well coached, they're very dynamic on offense. They're going to challenge you defensively just because of the different personnel groupings they use. They always do a great job with they're tight ends. They mix their formations up with different tempos they present to you breaking the huddle, no huddle, all the different things that really keep a defense on the edge, their different cadences. So we're going to have to be extremely disciplined and they do a great job creating matchups backs on linebackers, receivers on linebackers so they do a great job and now that's why like I said you know our Identity is on film, on video from the first game and now you're going to see more matchups that teams try to create against us."
(On Western Kentucky's victory over Kentucky)
"Well we have great respect for Western Kentucky and I think our players understand they're extremely talented and they're going to be a great challenge for us and you know we're out there with our football team you respect every opponent but all you have to do again, all you have to do is watch a couple clips and they have your attention. They have SEC talent, and you know they've gone on the road and played Alabama when they were no. 1, they've gone on the road and played LSU when they were no. 1. They understand the different venues. They're extremely competitive, they're a competitive football team. You can see it in the way they play the game. They have a great competitive spirit, great competitive character so it's going to be a great challenge."
(On how much of the offensive playbook was used Saturday)
"Well you know, we showed the base and some other things but we'll continue to progress as the season goes on in terms of offensively in different formation, in different sets and different things. You know each game plan is modeled towards the opponent and what you see in the front, the coverages and different things. So you know as each week progresses you'll see a little bit of a different flavor just because of the different style of opponents we'll be facing."
(On newcomers response to first game)
"Yea I see confidence. I said it after the game I thought we benefited from that open practice, you know I really do. We had 23 individuals make their Tennessee debut Saturday night and I think having that experience in front of fans prior to that really helped but you could also see the lack of discipline at times come through in the first year players and lack of experience you get back to the eye discipline and keeping them in the backfield and all the things that first year players and the mistakes they make but the great thing is all the mistakes we made Saturday night are correctable. We still effort wise, still not up to our standard of expectation you know we have to do a much better job of pursuing to the football and swarming to the football. Same thing offensively, I didn't think we finished. I didn't think we finished in the offensive line. You know we didn't finish blocks, we didn't finish blocking at the second level and now when you go play an individual like Andrew [Jackson], they're entire linebacking corps is extremely talented. They do a great job of getting off blocks, you know they have disruptive quickness up front so we have to learn to do a better job of finishing and that's usually the case you know in game one and I think the big thing for our football team when we get back and review the film today is nobody should be satisfied in their performance. You know we talk about pride in your performance and there's a lot of work to do. A lot of ground to be made but I will tell you this, our kids - I said it - they hang on every word you say now they're learning how to win, and they want to win now it's just a process."
(On if he was disappointed with how the second team performed)
"No I think if you look at it we still won the half 3-0 didn't we. You know that's the way I look at it. Shut outs are hard to come by in college football, they're extremely challenging and it doesn't happen very often but also that's where we're at in the program. You know I said it in training, we lack overall depth and that's an issue but you know games like that really help because we have a teaching tool, now I really know where we're at, now I know really where we need to go forward and we can coach, critique and correct all these individuals who put their game on video but you know they only way you solve that is by recruiting and developing your current players and I think you know how we're going to recruit here and that's how you develop a program."
(On if he saw some 2nd team guys he thought could help)
"Well you know I think (Trevarris) Saulsberry did a great job up front and I talked to him this morning and we see some explosiveness out of him and I think it's all in how he perceives himself. He can help us. He can help us win football games here. We're going to need a lot more from him. Greg Clark's another individual, you know I liked his body language at the end of the game. I wanted to see when those twos or threes are in the game, I wanted to see their competitive spirit, you know I wanted to see their competitive character you know it doesn't matter what the score is you're getting the opportunity to put your identity on video. You know to prove that `hey we can win with you' and they do it every day in practice and even the individuals who are on scout team we evaluate every rep on scout team. So again we just have to continue to progress and get better each and every day. That's the only way to do it, you come to work each and every day, you give everything you have, you go home and you get ready for the next day."
(On if he tried to keep the score from being too one-sided)
"Well I think it was more a tremendous opportunity to play some young players and get them some valuable reps and you can simulate game conditions all you want in practice but nothing beats live game repetition. So I thought it was a great opportunity to give some individuals an opportunity to prove themselves so what they could do in game live situations so I think that's going to be invaluable for us as we continue to move forward."
(On scripted plays)
"Well we do script plays you know but everything we do is about a rhythm and a flow to the game and I think sometimes when you script too many you never come back to what you're doing successfully so we script - every down and distance is scripted, every field position is scripted, you know the first plays of the game are scripted all of our openers are scripted but then once they game really starts after the first series or two you really get into a rhythm. You know a lot of the time you may throw different personnel groupings out there to so you can write it down to see how they're going to defend different personnel groupings and formations and then it kind of becomes a chess match."
(On Marcus Jackson not playing against Austin Peay)
"Well I think that was an opportunity to get some other players some valuable reps and we will continue to address Marcus' situation as we continue to move forward. It is nothing that he has done, he has had a great training camp, but I think it was an opportunity for other individuals, to see what they can do. We know what we have with Marcus and he is a very talented football player but I said it. My concern with this football team, especially the offensive line is our overall depth in number 6, number 7, and number 8. Saturday night was a great opportunity to do that."
(On some of the second team offensive line not dressing)
"Yeah it did. We had some individuals who were banged up. Dylan Wiesman wasn't quite ready to do yet. It was a great evaluation tool from where we are at currently and what we need to do in recruiting as well."
(On the passing game)
"It was a combination of both. When there is an incomplete pass, a lot of times everyone wants to point towards the quarterback. Obviously, Justin would have like to have those back, they were thrown behind the receiver. Everything is about rhythm, timing and spacing. It was actually a young receiver not running the correct route. That is what threw the timing and rhythm off. We talk so much about being consistent in the throw game and in everything that you do with the precision. Everything is timing and rhythm and spacing, the appropriate landmarks, reception areas, and depths of the routes. On a couple of those the receivers ran the wrong depths."
(On Justin Worley's performance Saturday)
"I thought he played winning football for us. I thought he was in command of the offense, I thought he managed it well. I thought there was a couple of times when he was challenged with the decision making process, when he had to make a quick game time decision. One time when we had an unblocked defender and he had to beat the free heat and he knew exactly when Devrin Young was supposed to be and he did a great job. I thought he managed the offense particularly well. There was a couple deep balls that we would like to have back and we would like to complete those. The overall big play makeup of our football team, we have to have big splash football plays. In the world of college football you can't play perfect. When the play is blocked for four yards we can't get four years we need to get six, we need to get seven yards. We have to have the ability to throw a three-step slant or a five-yard hitch and turn a five-yard gain into a 30-yard gain. Our running backs have to do a good job of making the second, third level defenders miss. You look at successful offenses, they have the ability to score on any area of the field and that is where we need to grow and continue to get better."
(On pass rushing)
"There is so much that goes into being a great pass rusher. The first thing is your feet and your hands, being violent, being explosive with your hands. The best pass rushers have great hands, great hips and great feet. There is a point of working the edges of the defender. If you think about it you really have about 1.9 to 2.7 seconds to run an 11-yard arc too affect and impact the quarterback. Everything has to be thought out, everything has to be habitual. It is all about habits and making quick decisions and understanding your points on a quarterback. There is so much thinking that goes into it and game planning and understanding when the tackle is heavy on his pass set. Understanding is his tired? Having a great counter off your a move. Steve Stripling is best in the business, it is a process. It is learning to do things fast. A lot of times, especially with younger players, the mind ties the feet up. It is just doing it over and over. But there is a lot that goes into impacting the quarterback. If you really break down sacks, we look at wins, but there is also what we call opportunity sacks. Very rarely do you just flat out beat your man. There is team sacks, what do we mean by that, it means the defensive end doing his job, forcing the quarterback to push the pocket, it is the nose guard getting a great inside, internal push upfront and because the quarterback is pushed the back side ends spins into it and gets a sack. That is an opportunity sack because everyone else is doing their job. We talk about that everyday. Those are the elements of being a great pass rushing defense and being a great pass rushing football team."
(On the development of past defensive ends)
"You look at Dan Giordano who is now with the Arizona Cardinals who unfortunately got hurt and is on their injured reserve. Walter Stewart, who is now on our coaching staff. He developed into a great pass rusher. Frank Zombo who is with the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Stripling coached Lamarr Woodley. Coach Stripling has a Domata Peko from the Bengals. Derek Wolfe is a great illustration of how far he has come from when we got there to where he is at right now. He would be a great resource for you to talk to. We have had a lot of great individuals but it takes time, commitment on their part too and a mental toughness. That mental conditioning that we talk about. You never know which play is going to be the difference in getting a sack. The mentality when it becomes one minute defense. That is time to get paid. There is no mystery. You know they are throwing the football. Rev it up and go. There is so much that goes into that."
(On Mo Couch, Dan Hood, and Dan McCullers)
"It is critical. We will go as well as they go. They were disruptive in the middle. They made some good plays. I think Mo Couch has to continue to progress with his conditioning levels and be able to give us valuable reps. We have some older players in that group that have played a lot of football and we expect a lot from them and demand a lot from them as well."
(On Jacques Smith)
"One of our awards we give is the Juiceman Award and it is the individual that displays the most juice on the sidelines. I like energy. He was into it all game long. He was into it at the hotel. Obviously it was hurting him not being on the field. But it will be a decision that we will make throughout this week at practice along with Curt Maggitt. Right now, it was a relatively clean game in terms of health. We will know more on Curt's status and Jacques' status as the week progresses. There are no depth chart changes as of this time."
(On the young cornerbacks)
"Valuable experience, but they will be challenged. You could see the eye violations accumulate over time. I think they were a little bit anxious. There were times that they jumped routes, they were anxious. I saw what I have seen all camp. I saw a competitiveness to them, I saw poise about themselves and I saw confidence about themselves. They are going to continue to be a work in progress. They are freshmen. They are going to get challenged Saturday afternoon. They know that and we understand that and that is why that progression from game one to game two they are going to have to mature and grow up in a hurry."
(On the team's conditioning)
"I was pleased. But as we continue to move forward, we didn't play a full game. That is one of the points of emphasis that we will be making this week. We had some individuals that only played 33-34 snaps. Usually it is 70-80 a game. That is an area of concern that we will demand a lot from them this week in practice. We always talk about owning your technique but also owning your conditioning. We will do some different things to really make sure that they are in condition. They have had a great camp. We pushed them, we have a great strength and conditioning staff so we are in shape, but it is more the mindset. That is the big thing, the mental stamina. Not telling yourself you are tired. That is where that mental toughness comes in and the ability to sustain. We always talk about straining and sustaining. I wasn't pleased with our overall sustain. We have to become a team that has to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. That is part of those conditioning factors and part of playing winning football. The teams that win football games, they are mentally tough, they are mentally strong. We always talk to our players in terms of controlling your self-talk. Self-talk is everything. You speak about 600-800 words a minute in your mind. You have to control your self-talk. Those are all things, when we talk about playing winning football, you probably get sick and tired of hearing me say that, but there is so much that goes into it. Championship teams do that."
(On making big splash plays)
"We threw it about four times deep. We have some individuals that are capable of making big splash football plays. There are a couple times where we have the perfect play call and we have an M.A. That is supposed to be a deep football. It is a young receiver making a young individual's mistake. We can't have those mistakes. The more you win, the more is at stake, the more this season progresses, the caliber of competition increases. Saturday is going to be a great test to where we are at as a football team and how far we have matured and developed from game one to game two. Like I told you they are extremely talented."
(On the tempo of the game)
"The tempos change up based on the situation. I thought we played slow. We have to do a better job of getting lined up fast and playing faster and the ability to strain and sustain when you play fast. A lot of times when you play fast your technique suffers. The ability to sustain suffers. We don't want to be that. When we played great offensive football in this offensive scheme we were able to play at a very high tempo and never relinquish the ability to play physical and fundamentally sound with the small details. That is part of that mental conditioning. That is part of that development process that we are working now through as an offensive unit.
(On the receivers)
"I think there were a couple times where our receivers were digesting it but I thought for the most part they did a good job. When I talked about a clean game too, when you play in that type of game it challenges you with special teams substitutions. It challenges you with having the right people on the field and I thought our game day management for the most part our coaches and players did a great job with that. The everflow of the game is constantly changing with substitutions and injuries and all that. We are going to have to play a four quarter football game this week. It is going to be right down to the wire. That has to be our mindset with everything that we do."
(On stepping up to the challenge and a few great players making a team better)
"It is extremely challenging. You get the benefit of a couple transfers and one, two, three players can change the whole football team. Not just from a physical standpoint but from a mental standpoint. From an expectation standpoint, from a leadership standpoint. All it really takes is one or two individuals that have that high standard of expectation and they bring others around them. The mark of great football players is they elevate the play of others around them. You look at all the great players, the Michael Jordans and all of the role players during the Bulls runs. You look at LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. That is something that Erik Spoelstra had talked about. Is the great players, make others around them that much better. From the standard, their work habits, their expectations, the competitive drive to win.
"That is something we have to continue to recruit here. Individuals with great competitive character. We want individuals that hate to lose more than they love to win. That if you give them a challenge and it is racing to the drinking fountain, they will race you there. That is why everything we do is based on competitiveness. That is why that question of getting back in the second half of last week's game, I wanted to see what individuals could run on their own gas. What individuals had that competitive character to be the best. `Hey I am out there on the football field? I want to be the best player on the football field.' We talk about terms in blinking lights and that mental mindset is now, are you the guy that when they are game planning they think that they have to double team you and stay away from you. Or are they guy when they are sitting there with the clicker they are talking about exposing and game planning and taking advantage of him. There are great coaches around this conference and throughout this country. They sit in a dark room and they watch video and they study technique and everything is a match up. My guy. On your guy. That is what it comes down to and why we say good players make good coaches. It is up to the coaches, good coaching is putting your players in position to succeed in their one-on-one match ups. Football is a game of one-on-one match ups. It is me vs. you."
(On the running backs)
"I thought we left a lot of yards out there. I thought Rajion Neal's first touchdown he did a great job in terms of keeping his shoulders square, hitting the jump cut and finishing the run. It was one of the best runs he has had. Jason Croom did a great job of blocking at the receiver position and he had to keep blocking. Usually when you have big runs, your receivers are blocking downfield. I thought there were too many times that we bounced things to the sidelines. And I think the other things is a four-yard run is good. A lot of times I think we were bouncing plays looking for the big play and instead we should be looking for four yards first and then looking to make somebody miss. There was too much spinning and too much lateral. I want to be a football team that hits it vertically, has the ability to make someone miss and then hit it and go north and south, run behind your pads.
JUNIOR QUARTERBACK JUSTIN WORLEY
(On creating big plays)
"We didn't have many opportunities to take shots like that. In the flow of the game there are opportunities to take plays like that. Different situations we will be faced with, that will call for those. All it is is preparation during the week for those type of plays and execution."
(On feelings of the game)
"There were a few things, some technical things and fundamental things we need to work on. No game is ever going to be perfect even though you may come off of the field thinking it was about as good as we could play. There are things here and there you can work on, and I know Ja'Wuan (James) will say the same thing, there are definitely things we need to improve on and hopefully we can take strides into the second game."
(On the previous game against Bobby Petrino at Arkansas)
"That last game was in Arkansas, and it was a pretty rough night for the Vols. Hopefully we can go out and have a little bit more success."
(On his performance Saturday)
"Coming off the field I was pretty pleased with the overall offense, our game, and how we executed our game plan. We had no penalties and our third down conversions; I was also pleased with those. After watching the film, though, there are still things that you see that I need to work on. A lot of it is small fundamental details, so that is just day in and day out, through practice I can improve on it."
(On his accuracy)
"There were a few throws that I missed. I miss targets that could have ended up being big plays. I missed Marquez (North) twice, a little bit behind him both times. I think that is just trying to get a feel for his route running. In practice you may get the same route that you get in the game but depending on how tired these guys are in practice, it may not be as fast as you are going to get in the game. Hopefully we have an opportunity to work on these full speed routes that we are going to get in a game type situation."
(On his timing with the receivers)
"I think it is good. There is definitely still some work to be done but as a whole I feel pretty good with this overall group."
(On being in control of the offense)
"I felt comfortable out there and each and every series I gained a little bit more confidence. After being in the flow of the game for a little while you start to get in a rhythm and I felt good out there."
(On growth since game against Arkansas in 2011)
"I have made big strides. I was a true freshman at the time, and that is definitely in the past now. Just being able to take a leadership role, command these guys, and have them respond to me and my playing style has been a big thing for me."
(On Western Kentucky's defense)
"They are physical, and they fly around to the football. They are an impressive group, and we definitely have to prepare like we would any other opponent for this game."
(On creating bigger plays)
"I missed Marquez North a couple of times, and it could have been a couple of big completions. There really wasn't a need or opportunity for those type of plays. Hopefully this week, we will have time to work on those plays and have an opportunity come Saturday."
(On wanting to play in 2nd half)
"That is the coaches' call, and I respect their decision. It would have been nice to play a little bit more, but I guess they wanted to see some of the other guys play."
(On role in making offense go fast)
"A lot of it is getting the signal from the sideline and being able to communicate it as quickly as I can to the offensive line and understand what I am looking at and the reads I go through. I just need to be able to do that a little bit quicker."
SENIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN JA’WUAN JAMES
(On feelings of the game)
"We need to be more consistent. The little things and technique wise, things like that, we just need to be more consistent."
(On the previous game against Bobby Petrino at Arkansas)
"It was like he (Justin Worley) said, it was a rough night. But that was the past and we are a new team, Team 117, and we are looking forward to playing against Western Kentucky."
(On the Offensive Line finishing better)
"We are never going to be satisfied. You know 300 yards looks good, but we have to continue to work on our technique and work on finishing. That is going to be the main emphasis, finishing our blocks and maintaining and straining at the end to not let guys get off blocks."
(On growth of Worley since Arkansas game in 2011)
"He has definitely matured. I see confidence. It was great to see him feeling confident. You could tell as the game went on that he got a little swag in him. He just started playing, and I like the way he is playing, and I like his leadership."
(On establishing rush against Western Kentucky)
"We definitely want to establish it. It will help our passing game and our offense if we can create at the line of scrimmage. I think we will if we just go out and have a great week of practice. We need to focus on straining and finishing out the end so guys can't get off blocks."
(On playing slow)
"I feel like we started out fast, and then Justin Worley came to the sideline a couple of times saying we have to step up the tempo. I feel like that is just going to get better over time. Just practicing it, and that was the first game and game situation. As an offensive lineman, you have to line up faster, and receivers get the call so they can line up faster."
(On conditioning being tested this upcoming week)
"It will definitely be tested, but I feel like we are up to the challenge. We want to play fast, and that would be to our advantage if we play fast. I think it will definitely help us, and I saw Austin Peay's defense getting tired. I watched Western Kentucky vs Kentucky, and they were getting tired. I feel like we move faster than Kentucky, and if we keep the tempo, it will be at our advantage."
(On Western Kentucky beating Kentucky)
"We knew they were a good team cause Coach Jones talked about them. They have a great defense and offense. They have two great guys on defense with a linebacker and a safety. We just have to bring our "A" game and prepare like we would for any other team, and just go out there and play."
(On leaving out a few yards for the rushing game)
"Like Coach was talking about finishing and straining, those change those 6-yard runs into like 20-yard runs or those 4-yards into 8-yards. We just have to do a better job as an offensive lineman. I'm pretty sure the receivers could look at something they could have done better. I think everyone could say I could have done something better, but I feel like we will get that all worked out this week so we will be ready for Saturday."
SENIOR LINEBACKER BRENT BREWER
(On special teams)
"I think we did really good especially on kickoff. We let one guy break for a little bit but the other kick-offs we did really good. Kickoff return, punt and punt return all looked pretty good out there. We will watch the film today and correct the mistakes."
(On adjustment as a linebacker)
"I feel really comfortable. I am basically going with the mentality of hitting anything that moves. When the line comes off the ball just go attack them, get off blocks and make the tackle."
(On eye discipline)
"I feel a lot better now than I did before. It is a big thing, see a little see a lot. If you focus on your assignment then you will see more of the different things a team is trying to do like a trick play. Then you can react and make the play."
(On confidence of not giving up big plays)
"It gives us a lot of confidence. We preach swarm to the ball and that is exactly what we did. We are going to come out, keep doing that in practice and take it to the game this weekend."
SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK BYRON MOORE
(On the secondary)
"I think we did pretty good for the first game. A lot of young guys got to play, a lot of guys got to play a period. I think Malik (Foreman) and Cameron Sutton did really good holding down the other side of that corner spot. I am looking forward to them getting back out there this week and improving."
(On importance of eye discipline as a safety)
"It is really important. We are back there like another quarterback of the defense like the mike is, so we have to be able to read our keys get those run pass keys and just keep our eyes on where they are supposed to be. We can't take any bait or fall for any fakes."
(On what eye discipline means)
"We play a lot of quarters (defensive coverage) so a lot of my reads come off the tight end or in the slot. So I have to be able to keep discipline in my eyes and see what that tight end is doing. If he is blocking then I am in the wrong fit, but if he is passing then I have to keep my eyes on him. I can't be looking all around or looking at other people or looking in the back field too much because I will lose my guy in coverage."
(On key to not losing guys)
"I think just playing fast football and swarming to the ball. It starts up front with the front seven because they put a lot of pressure on those guys. The DBs have to keep tight coverage on those guys all night long."
(On Bobby Petrino)
"He does a lot within his offense. He is has a lot of different route combinations that we are going to work on this week. A lot of crossing routes to make sure we are tacking the corners and the safeties at the same time. It isn't standing around concepts. It is a lot of tricky stuff. We really have to lock in and focus on our discipline and techniques. We will watch a lot of film and get a feel for all the different route combinations he will throw at us."
(On if the young corners are ready for a Bobby Petrino offense)
"We have been telling them all summer that they have to grow up quick. So it is just another week under their belts. They finally got one game experience so they know what it is like. They know what it is like to play at home now. The fans do a great job of giving us that home field advantage. So now they can just settle down more as the season goes on, practice more on their technique and get the defense down."
(On growth of the new corners)
"As the game went on and on I think they got more comfortable out there."
(On the true freshmen corners knowing their side will be picked on)
"They know that got the target on their back. They welcome the challenge. That is one thing I like about them, they are not backing down. They are willing to step up and be on that island out there."
RS-SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE BACK BRIAN RANDOLPH
(On overall thoughts)
"I think we all did good as a whole. We didn't have too many missed assignments, everybody was hustling to the ball, we didn't have too many missed tackles, so I think we had a good performance in our first game."
(On young players' attitudes)
"Especially the young guys, I saw they had, they wanted to succeed, I could see it in their face. They didn't let their crowd get to them. They didn't let all the distractions of game day get to them. It was just impressive to me to see that they were game ready."
(On season opener win)
"It was a good confidence builder. We're never satisfied. We know we have to improve on some things, such as like our footwork and stay low and our back pedal and stuff like that, so we still have stuff that we can get better at, but it feels good to go out there and perform well."
(On Western Kentucky playbook)
"The thing I remember most is the routes. They had a lot of pick routes. I think we're going to do good this week to get prepared for that. They like to run the ball too. They like to mix in some runs in there. It's just a really balanced offense. I think we just have to do a good job all week of preparing."
(On corners getting playing time)
"I think it helped them a lot. I could pretty much see it in their face. It's good to get game experience under your belt. There's nothing like it. You can practice all the situations, but as as soon as you're out there in a game, there's not much that can compare to it. I believe that's going to help them a lot."
(On being familiar with WKU playbook)
"I give him a lot of tip. For example, I know we have to keep an inside leverage on the pick routes, little stuff like that, so I can help them with their technique and their footwork and stuff, basically their leverage on a receiver and stuff."
(On pick routes)
"For the most, pretty much, a lot of crossing routes and stuff like that, but it's nothing too much out of the ordinary. It's nothing that we can't handle, so I think we're just going to game plan for it and we're going to get it done."
JUNIOR LINEBACKER A.J. JOHNSON
(On Western Kentucky's running back)
"Pretty much they have a good running back--just going to come out this week and practice hard and be ready to play."
"I really haven't studied that much about him, but I know he's been watching past games and stuff about him. It seems like he runs hard and stuff like that, just going to come out this week of practice and prepare, get the run fizzed down and get ready to play."
(On tackling improvements since spring)
"Yes sir. We've improved a lot, just by our performance the other day, everybody flying to the ball. We're the Orange Swarm, so that's our motto--everybody get to the ball or somebody might mess up and have a missed tackle, we're going to have somebody running behind you make it up. We've improved as a whole, as a team, just in tackling and stuff for the defense. That's one thing we worked on and we got better at."
(On Jacques Smith)
It helped a lot. Like you said, Jacques [Smith] is on the sideline, you see him walking around with his little arm and stuff, he's talking 24/7 the offense out there, the defense out there. He's out there talking and keeping everybody into the game. Just from this past Saturday, I had a great time just on the sideline with my teammates. If I wasn't in the game, I had a great time on the sideline turning up with my teammates having a good time. That's one of the best parts of the game."
RS-SENIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DANIEL HOOD
(On giving players a hard time)
"No, just had to coach them up a little bit on how to catch lately."
(On improved tackles)
"It's improved a lot. The easiest way to make a tackle is to have six people there to bring him down at once. So, it's like A.J. [Johnson] said, the Orange Swarm has been our motto, and so, if we can keep swarming to the ball, have multiple guys there, then you're not going to miss tackles with four people there."
(On Western Kentucky beating Kentucky)
"To be honest, I wasn't really that surprised. We've been preparing for them really since the summer. We knew that they had a lot of talent coming in. We know they have a great coaching staff there, so we knew they were going to be really talented and be a tough team to beat, so when we saw the score, it was kind of what we expected."
(On what Jacques Smith said to him after interception)
"It was hard to understand what he was saying. He was saying so much stuff, I think he wore himself out. He woke up at like 4p.m. yesterday. No, it was great to have him out there to keep us going and to keep us into the game. Jacques does a lot for us even without playing right now."
(On what Coach Jones said to him after interception)
"Good job--play the next play."
(On his interception)
"Yes. They ran their screens really quick. Watching all the film from last year, it's like they threw 11 a game last year or something like that. Once I saw our end come in, I felt the lineman go out, I went out with him and then was able to bat it down and catch it."