Nov. 4, 2008
Brian Kelly WEEKLY PRESS LUNCHEON - NOV. 4, 2008
DeAngelo Smith, Sr., CB
On Passing Game: "Earlier during the season they were more into five wide and they were doing more passing than running. They are getting back to their running game." Changing Coverage for WVU: "You really don't change much. You put as many guys in the box as you can, be alive and pass coverage. You are bobbling in between the two."
On Noel DeVine: "He brings quickness and speed to the game. DeVine and Slaton were similar, but Slaton had more to it. Then they had Owen Smith, who helped too, and now they have Noel DeVine and Pat White this year.
On Being 4-2 Against Top 25: "The guys get more amped up than they do in any other game. Maybe they are seen more as a highlighted game. It's experience and guys getting under the pressure. There is a lot pressure for the big time games."
Meaning of the Game: "It means a lot. We are on a one game season right now. It could put us in a different position if they win this game."This game is going to be big. If we win out, it could give us a BIG EAST title. This game alone, we haven't beaten them since we have been in the BIG EAST. Hopefully, guys will step up and get us a victory."
On Playing in Morgantown: "It's fun to me. It's a good atmosphere to play in. I love to play home and away."
Head Coach Brian Kelly
Opening Statement: "Good afternoon; obviously, it's an exciting week. Anytime we are in November and you get a chance to compete for a BIG EAST Championships that's exciting. Our football team is anxious to get on the field against a very talented West Virginia team. Recapping last week, a great home victory over USF. I think what stands out to me was not just on the victory but also the atmosphere in Nippert Stadium. To me, I think it was the most energy that I have played in front of since being here in Cincinnati. The win was nice for us because we were able to bounce back. The energy created was great. All the extra things - the fireworks, being on national television, and the crowed - added to making it exciting. We closed the book on that and then started working on West Virginia. It's the team that you have to beat if you want to win a BIG EAST championship."
On Pumping The Team Up: "West Virginia beat Oklahoma last year and the year before that they beat Georgia. I don't have to say anymore to our team because they know what is at stake. Their superlatives I could go on and on about Pat White. He is running the ball effectively, throwing it, and they are balanced inside out with DeVine. A very strong defensive unit, their kicking game is outstanding, and we know we have a great challenge. We are looking forward to it.
Changes on Film This Year: "I think I saw more changes early on. I think they are settling into what is more comfortable them. They are rushing and passing with Pat White. I think they maybe were searching for a new identity but they now have settled on. It starts with Pat White running the football, and I think they have gone back to that for the last three or four weeks. That old style is coming back relative to how they are running the football."
On QB Dustin Grutza's Condition: "He had a full day of practice yesterday and took second team reps. He wasn't a 100%, but as he got more reps, he felt better. If he didn't pick up any swelling or isn't sore today, we will progress him further along. He can't start this week, but he could possibly be in the #2 role, which obviously with Tony's situation he could compete at a higher level than our two freshmen. I haven't made that decision relative to him being number 2. I am looking for somebody who is not out there humbling, but I think it will be pretty easy to tell. If he is out there limping and hobbling, he won't be number 2. Theoretically, he could compete for a starting role at Louisville."
On Quarterback Injuries: "It's been a unique circumstance to have the amount of injuries we have had at the quarterback position. We managed it the best we could, but we think it is getting better. We feel as though we are moving in the right direction. Obviously, this becomes a good situation if we have both Grutza and Pike healthy. Than I have a lot easier decisions to make.
On Tony Pike's Condition: "He is a lot closer. He went yesterday without a cast protecting the arm. He didn't have the big cast because he has had enough healing on that bone. He isn't at the point where he can take direct snaps. We still have concerns about the nerve and wrist."
On Chris Jurek's Condition: "We had him in a boot yesterday, but we will move him around today. He will be at full go by Wednesday, and we expect him to play at West Virginia."
On WVU Leading the BIG EAST in Scoring Defense: "They have good players. We have seen this scheme. Southern Miss, Akron, and West Virginia all run the 3-3-5 package. They wouldn't be that good if they didn't have good players. They are just a really talented football team on that side of the ball. We are comfortable with the scheme they run, but they have good players too."
On WVU Recruiting: "I think when Rich Rodriquez got there he turned that program around really quickly. He was competing and on television. West Virginia has tradition with being in the BIG EAST and playing high-caliber football. They had a good reputation and great tradition."
On Pat White: "One of his touchdowns was off of a design pass where he dropped back and didn't have anyone. He's a little like USF's Matt Grothe. There are some similarities in the both of them. You better keep them in the pocket or you will chase them down. They are back to running veer option and he is part of that read. That is a dangerous duo with him and DeVine. I think a lot of his stuff that turns in to big plays is that he is improvising.
On WVU's Offense: "You are playing an option offense. So bringing pressure to an option offense instead of a traditional is not as effective. You have to change things upfront. It changes the way you defend, and it is the uniqueness of the spread read game that they have. You better play assignment football."
On Being 4-2 Against Top 25 Teams: "I really haven't thought about the implications of that. I know our guys certainly understand when they are playing a ranked team. They read about it in newspapers. I'd have to look at it. I haven't really examined it. I think our kids get excited to play big games. They have a chance to get in 5-2 with playing a ranked team this weekend."
On WVU Game Being Historical: "I think it is part of the territory. At the end of the day, you want your football team to come to work every day with the same demeanor. I think last week we came with great demeanor. Then you play consistent, great football. Our guys have a good understanding of what is expected; if that is the case, than you are a consistent team."