Brian Kelly Press Conference Quotes - 9/22/09
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gobearcats.COM

Sept. 24, 2009

Head Coach Brian Kelly - Press Conference Quotes - September 22, 2009

Opening Statement....

"We're busy preparing for arguably the best offensive team we've seen in quite some time in Fresno [State], but I do want to go back to the Oregon State game. Certainly for our football team, as you're developing and you're starting to learn more about your football team, you need to be challenged and tested, and we were challenged by playing an Oregon State team that had won 26 [games] in a row at home, and has shown to be very difficult in the Pac-10 with nine-win seasons. We were going to find out a little bit more about our football team, and I think we found out we can handle the challenges that we are confronted with. We overcame some early adversity, and we fought and battled to a victory on the road. So we know a little bit more about our team, but it is a process. We are not a finished product, by any means, and we'll have other challenges. The one we face this week is the ability to play consistent football, and we're going to need it. We're going to be challenged against Fresno State defensively more so than I can remember. From an offensive standpoint, they're about their running game, their ability to throw the ball deep, and big plays. It starts with Matthews, the running back, and they have three legitimate wide receivers that can go up and get the football. Defensively, they play a lot faster than on the film we have of them from last year. So it's a better football team. Yes, they've lost two games, but if you look at it, they were on the road against Wisconsin and lost in overtime and then almost beat Boise State before giving up some big plays late against them. Two pretty significant things are occurring obviously we're back in school, so to have some other people on campus is pretty exciting for our football team, and then obviously playing Fresno State, which is a team that will play anyone, anywhere at any time. Pat Hill has done a great job with their program, so I think those are pretty significant for this weekend."


 

 

On how far the program has come to be mentioned as a legitimate national title contender...

"I think it proves that, again, you can do it at the University of Cincinnati. I've said from day one that we've come here to win championships and compete for national championships, and you can now say that with a straight face. We've got a lot of work to do to get there, but we certainly can put a product together at the University of Cincinnati that has national relevance."

On what the team needs to improve on...

"I would say special teams is probably the one that stands out the most. If there's one area that I'm a bit disappointed in, is that our special teams have not been as consistent as I would have liked, and it's not just the kicking. I'll give you an example: against Southeast Missouri, we have a thing called hidden yards, which is an accumulation of all the yards, all the special teams, and where you net out versus your opposition. We were plus 204 against Southeast Missouri, and we were minus four against Oregon State. We gave up over 200 yards in field position, and that's unacceptable. So, special teams is an area that I'm concerned about not playing at a high level. From an offensive standpoint, the thing that concerns me the most is that the first two weeks we almost played flawless, and we had more mental errors in this last game than we had in the first two games. That, to me, is the consistency that I brought up. We have to play at a high and consistent level, because we've already set that bar. From a defensive standpoint, I think it's more about 11 guys getting used to each other, playing with each other, and not trying to do too much individually. We had a little bit of that at Oregon State, so looking from the inside-out, that might not be a big deal, because you see 3 - 0, but you're absolutely right, there's a lot of things that we need to do better, and consistency is the next level that this program needs to maintain."

On Fresno State's difficult cross-country travel schedule...

"I don't know Pat [Hill], but he coaches with a toughness and tough-minded approach, and I'm sure that he's instilled that way before taking this trip. If he's had to spenda lot of time talking about how to acclimate, they're probably not going to play to the level. I think Coach Hill has probably been teaching these kinds of scenarios and situations his entire career, because I think they've done it more than just this year. I think after us they go to Hawaii, so you don't just start teaching and coaching this way. I think he's instilled it in his program."

On if playing Fresno State's offense is like playing Cincinnati's offense...

"I would say that they [the offenses] are different from the standpoint that we're going to get the ball out quicker, and there's more of a dispersal of the football in all areas. They're not as much of a concept team, as they are a vertical team. That ball is going down the field, and you know it, I know it, and everybody that's going to be in the stands knows it. You won't see much ball-control, or a quick passing game, or high percentages. You can see that their percentage is a little bit lower, but their yards per catch are much higher than ours. So it's a different kind of passing game."

On worrying about Jake Rogers' confidence...

"The only thing that concerns me with Jake is that I don't want one bad kick to influence the second, and the third, and the fourth. It started with the punt that was shanked, and then resulted in another bad kick. There's going to be those times when you don't kick it perfectly. I think he puts too much pressure on himself to be absolutely perfect, so I had to spend a little time with Jake, and I reminded him that Tony Pike threw an interception at a key time in the game, but he came back to lead our football team on a key drive. This is all new to Jake, and he's experiencing different levels. He does not want to let anybody down, and I pointed out that he really changed the momentum of the football game after the safety when he kicked it out of the end-zone from the 20 yard-line. That's pretty big stuff. So even though he had some bad kicks, he can't let the next one, and the next one affect him."

On UC players still playing with a chip on their shoulders...

"I think as long as you're playing in the state of Ohio, and you're not looked at as an equal or partner, you're going to play with a chip on your shoulder. And I'm not saying that we should be looked at as an equal or partner, but our players sense and feel that every day. So they're going to carry that, and I'm certainly not going to tell them to change the way they think, because as a coach, I kind of like that role we have."