Butch Jones Weekly Press Conference Quotes: 10/2/12

Oct. 2, 2012

Butch Jones Press Conference 10/2/12


Opening Statement:

“Good afternoon. Just to go back, put the finishing touches sort of speak on Virginia Tech and moving onward to Miami. Obviously a great win for us, it was win number three. I thought our kids showed some character. I thought they showed some resilience. You need time to basically go on the road, a hostile environment and be able to win a game like we did I thought at the end of the game, we stepped up we made the critical plays that we needed to make to win the game but I still think we need to be more consistent in our execution. We have to do a better job of finishing. I point to when we get the ball at the minus-forty yard line with a little over six minutes to play in the game and we’re up by three and that’s where we have to take the next step as a football team and finish the game. We need to take the ball and drive the length of the field, keep them off the field and score a touchdown to win the football game. Obviously defensively in that situation we have to close them out and there are a lot of things we need to take great strides as we continue to improve. This week is going to be a great challenge, a very talented football team coming in here and I know everyone wants to talk about the quarterback, but they have very good football players not just at the quarterback position, but you look at the challenges that they pose coming in here and the offense is a quarterback-oriented offense. He (Dysert) is the only quarterback in the history of the game, we’ve been playing this great game for a long period of time, to throw for over 500 yards and rush for over a 100 yards and you know I’ve said it and you guys probably get sick and tired of hearing it but I am Zach Dysert’s biggest fan. We all know what he’s capable of and able and willing to do so it’s going to be a great challenge for us so we have to do a great job obviously of applying a rush but the thing where Zach hurts you is, he’s very cerebral. He’s getting them in a run check. He’s to man and boom he’s checking quarterback draw and so he has another element and I think once he gets outside the pocket, when the pass rush lanes collapse, that’s where you see him make some very big plays not only with his legs but obviously with his arm. He definitely has the ability to defeat tight coverage, he can throw the ball in a window so obviously it’s a great challenge for us but our players also understand what they’re representing. It’s the 117th edition of the longest-standing rivalry in the country that’s non-conference wise. So I think our players understand what goes with it, it’s going to be great to be playing in the Nip, a sold out crowd, that’s been a number of years since we can actually say were actually playing in a sell-out. So I think our players are looking forward to it, but we got to concentrate between the lines and obviously it starts with our preparation today.”                                                                                   



On where UC is defensively after three games:

“Well I think we’ve been able to generate a pass rush and I think it’s going to start first of all with us not letting them establish the run game around the football. Then when they throw the ball obviously we have to be disciplined in our pass rush lanes and we have to play the ball in the air and in the back end we have to be disciplined, that when he scrambles [Zach], to not come up. There was a game last year were at the end of the game he scrambles and there in cover 2 and the safety comes up and hits the vertical and they win the football game in a one-minute drill. So I think it’s going to test our overall discipline as a defensive unit especially in the back end, to answer your question I think we’ve done a pretty decent job in years past of applying pressure but as we know a lot of those individuals that applied the pressure are gone, they’re in the National Football League and now the test is for some new individuals. They really haven’t played in this game before with the Adam Dempsey’s and the John William’s and the Silverberry Mouhon’s that we can generate a pass rush, a constant pass rush play in and play out. I think defensively I like the way we play with our level of physicality last week. I think we still need to be much more opportunistic. We need to generate more turnovers. We generated three last week but one was at the end of the game, but you look at the one turnover that Arryn Chenault made, that kind of changed the complexity of the game a little bit obviously with them being down going in and the other one in the red zone. We got to do a better job offensively of capitalizing off the turnovers our defense generates, but I just think overall opportunistic, we have to do a better job at that. We have to continue to improve. I think our pass coverage, and this is why this game is so important, really for the first time all year we are really going to be challenged in the back end. This is going to be a great test to our defense. From our linebacker’s drops and disciplines, to being able to tackle in space, to our overall pass rush lanes. They like to spread you out, get in a number of empty formations and so we have to prove we can play in space. I think those are some of the things we are really working on to move forward defensively.”

On what problems Miami (OH) has been having defensively:

“Well I think it is a combination of things. They have given up some big plays, they have missed some tackles. We have to do a good job of establishing the run game. Creating space for us and playing our type of game and playing with an up-tempo style of play.”

On the state of the linebacker play after strong performances against Virginia Tech:

“I thought our linebackers took a step in the positive direction. When you look at Maalik Bomar, he is playing like a senior should play. He is leading like a senior should lead. We are going to need him, but again I think Greg Blair is really coming on, he is improving, but again I get back to that word consistency. It is still an overall level of consistency with him. With his eye discipline, taking the right reads, his pass drops, his body position, his overall effort on every single snap. That is something where we have challenged Greg (Blair) and we will continue to challenge Greg (Blair). But I just think at that position, it is overall depth. We need to continue to develop depth at that spot.”

On if Munchie Legaux got over a hump with his strong performance against Virginia Tech:

“I thought he played well in leading us. Like I said, in the one minute drill, the mark of a good quarterback is the ability to lead your team to victory in a one minute drill on the road. He made some critical plays, especially on third down situations. But again I still think it is an overall level of consistency. He wasn’t helped out in the first half. I thought we left a lot of points out there walking into halftime. We didn’t make the critical plays that we needed to make in the first half. That gets back to the level of consistency. We had too many dropped passes. A dropped pass in our offense is the equivalent of a turnover; it kind of stifles our momentum. I thought we let some things get away. I think the biggest thing what Munchie did from improvement from the first half to the second half is taking what the defense gives you and if it’s not there, get rid of the football. I thought in the first half he held onto the ball too long. He took some unnecessary hits, ball security. Where in the second half, he was a little more poised, a little more under control. And if it wasn’t there, he had the confidence and the poise to throw the ball away and play the next play.”

On the snap and clear mentality of a quarterback:

“I think the hardest thing for a quarterback is the management of a game. It is his overall management style. That is why a lot of people, to the naked eye, want to talk about completion percentage and we harp on completion percentage, but sometimes a throw-away is a positive play. If it is third and nine, and nothing’s there, a punt is a good play or put the ball on your check down. I think those are the things if you say, where does her have to take the greatest strides, it is overall management of the game. That is where I thought in the one minute drill he did a great job of managing the game.

On if the game-winning drive against Virginia Tech helps with the confidence of the young offense:

“Oh, I think absolutely. Everything is confidence and the thing that was very pleasing to me is just their overall demeanor, their body language, the way they conducted themselves in the huddle before that drive. They knew what they needed to do. ‘Hey we have no timeouts, let’s take care of the football, make good decisions, get the ball north and south, stop the chains.’ I thought our players were dialed in, they were locked in. They had that look in their eye and they had that confidence. I think every man to a man believed that we were going to find a way to win the football game. Now, we have to take the next step. That’s one game. That’s over with. Now, what do we do with that game? Do we move forward or do we get full of ourselves? Do we get infected by success? Do we now all of a sudden think we are better than what we are and take a step backward? We cannot allow that to happen and that is going to be driven into our players. It starts with us, it starts with me, it starts with our coaching staff, but it starts with our leadership of our football team. We are going to be challenged and we have to focus on the process and not the end result and if we do that we will be fine. We have too much at stake to go backwards. I think you’re finding now in college football these games now that we are getting into, this is what separates teams, this next part of the season.”

On running Munchie more:

“For Munchie, it’s an instinctual thing. Making the decision to either be a high vision quarterback; when the rush lanes break down, does he have high vision when he’s still looking in the scramble or does he have a low vision where he goes in and tucks the ball. He’s done a great job of being a high vision quarterback, not bending his knees when the coverage is down and when the other team is applying the pressure. I think it’s the overall consistency he reps and as the season progresses, you’ll see him continue to get better with that aspect of his game”

On Drew Frey’s Status:

“He’s going to practice. He’s back and he’s good; he’s done a great job in terms of rehabilitation. He had a sprained neck and sprained his back and we error on precaution. With all the heightened awareness across the country, we err on the side of player’s safety. We took him out as a precautionary. It was towards the end of the game, a few seconds left, and he went out but he’ll be coming back 100% because of Bob Mangine, our associate AD/sports medicine and Dr. Angelo Colosimo, our director of orthopedic services.”

On playing after an emotional win:

“First of all, you have to look on film; they’re a great football team. It’s not all doom and gloom with us. When I went back and watched the Delaware State game we actually played pretty well, we just turned the football over six times. Those six turnovers were at critical stages and critical points of the game but we were at that field position wise. We cannot turn the football over. You turn the football over six times and you’re going have a hard time beating anybody. I thought our defense played pretty well. They gave up the one long touchdown run but to only give up seven points and six turnovers by our offense. If we turn the football over against Miami it’s going to a long night but there isn’t anyone who knows the Mid-American Conference better than our coaching staff. They are well coached, they play exceptionally hard and this is a rivalry game. In a rivalry game we can throw in all the records, throw in whose won games in the past but what it really comes down to is the one game play off and that’s what this game is.”

On if he thinks this is still an important rivalry game:

“I know this; it means a lot to our football team if we win, as does Miami’s football players. Wearing that Bearcat uniform and having that C paw on the side of their helmets is having that understanding of who we are representing in this football game. We are playing for our alumni, for our fans because they know and understand the C paw and the meaning behind this game. This football game means everything to our fan base but more importantly to our football players who bleed and sweat red and black every day.

On why beating rivals is so important to college football:

“Rivalries are what make college football very special. It’s all a part of that pageantry that surrounds college football. They say it lives with you especially the rivalry games. These rivalrty games live with the players 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. If you talk to any football player from the University of Cincinnati who has played in the rivalry games, they remember every rivalry game. It’s something that lives with them and on top of that, if there is a trophy behind it, that trophy is a reminder of that rivalry game and the blood, sweat and tears put into that game. Not to mention that year is put on a victory belt for a reason and that is what makes college football very special.”

On if he'll have to talk to players about being overconfident:

“No, we don’t take anything for granted. Each week is a new season in and of itself; each game is a new game. All the past games can be thrown out because it’s about this year. I will tell you this, if they are on our sideline or in the Nippert, ringing the victory bell after the game, no one’s going to look back and say we beat them six times in a row, but rather, look at the game and how players are going to be remembered for this year; I think that is very important. We don’t take anything for granted and don’t take anything lightly around here.”

On what he thinks Miami's coach is saying:

“Don Treadwell doesn’t need any motivation because his players understand what’s at stake. I’ve been on the flip side and I’ve been at Central Michigan when we went to play Michigan State. Michigan State was ranked, I believe, twenty third in the country. Nobody gave us an opportunity to win but we went into that Spartan stadium and won that football game. I’ve been on the other side and that’s what makes college football. That’s why the football isn’t round; the football is a different shape and the ball can bounce any different way, you never know how the ball is going to bounce therefore the only thing that can be controlled is the preparation, mental conditioning, and everything in planning the execution.”

On what he will do with the Victory Bell this week:

“The bell will be around at practice and our players understand what this represents. This is just one game towards our goals, our dreams, our aspirations and I think we can’t get ahead of ourselves. This Miami game is the most important game because it’s the next game but it does have a little bit more meaning. If a coach sat up here and said this rivalry game doesn’t have any extra meaning for us then I think they are lying because it is a pretty special football game.”

On if he's brought in any former players to talk to team about Miami:

“We may have some players that are around like Armon Binns but our players understand what is at stake; they don’t need anyone telling them the importance of this rivalry game. Every player knows this is the 117th game of this great rivalry between us and Miami but what it really comes down to is the way we prepare and the way we play on Saturday.”

On UC's fan base this year:

“Well, I am very excited about our fan base and the sell out of Nippert stadium each week. It is very important to our football program to sell Nippert out each week and it is where we need to continue with our football program and it’s an overall education playing any football team, no matter who we are playing. Obviously it’s a great rivalry game playing Miami but also with Rutgers and South Florida; it doesn’t matter and that is part of elevating our football program.  Our job is to train a football team to go out and be that product on the field that wins games and makes our fans proud of us and want to come see us play our best. We have worked extremely hard for this but again, we can’t get worked up, we can only control what we can control and that’s our preparation and how we play the game.”

On the strength of the Mid-American Conference this season:

“The Mid-American Conference is a quarterback oriented offense. Looking at some of the great quarterback right now and I’m being told they could have upwards of four quarterbacks drafted in the National Football League. When you look at any time we have a great quarterback, just a couple weeks ago when we had work week and were off that Saturday; Look at Central Michigan beating Iowa, Northern Illinois beating Kansas, Ball State beating South Florida; I have the upmost respect for the Mid-American Conference because there is great coaching, great players, and everyone wants to say when I walked in the door here from Central Michigan to Cincinnati. There were seven kids my last year at Central Michigan that are starting in the National Football League and one of those guys is the premier player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown. I just think the level of competition that they play definitely has our respect and it’s going to take everything we have to win this football game on Saturday.”

On Miami wide receiver Andy Cruse:

“He’s playing exceptionally well. He catches the football, gets in and out of breaks; he can win in transition and plays very strong. It will be a challenge and the quarterback at Miami Zach Dysert, has a number of weapons he can throw the football to, so again, we can’t just zero in on an individual. They do a great job with their empty sets, of really spreading our players out and creating some mismatches.”