Head Coach Butch Jones Press Luncheon Quotes - 11/15/11

Nov. 15, 2011

Head Coach Butch Jones
Tuesday Press Luncheon
November 15, 2011

Opening Statement

“Good afternoon, I will be extremely brief on the West Virginia game and then I will be moving on to a very exciting challenge in Piscataway this Saturday against Rutgers. I’m very proud of our players, the way they battled back on Saturday. The way they persevered and the way they put us in the opportunity to be attempting a field goal to go into overtime. But we still overall collectively as a football team, I didn’t like our fundamental details. You know the small attention to details that is associated to winning collectively in all three phases, offensive, defense and special teams. But again I can’t say enough about our team and battling back. Moving onto Rutgers, a great challenge; if you look at them defensively, everything from a statistical category defensively, the marks of the defense they have. Number one in total defense, number one in scoring defense, number one in takeaways, number one in red zone defense, great third down defense, 30 sacks, so obviously that is going to be a great challenge. Then you look at special teams with all the blocked kicks that they have had, they have been able dominate the game in special teams. Then offensively, their psychical approach, they are going to run the football but then they can throw the football. We all know about (Mohamed) Sanu and what a great player he is but he’s not the only one in that receiving core. Again, you put too many guys in the box and here comes a play option pass. Again, that’s going to challenge our eye discipline in the back end. Obviously have to go on the road in the BIG EAST conference is a big challenge as well. But also we are looking forward to getting back on the field on Saturday. So I will answer any questions that you have.”

On replacing Zach:



“You can’t replace it. But also you look at Munchie (Legaux) and what we were able to accomplish in the second half and at the end of the game and he actually drove us down and he actually proved the spark. He proved the big plays and kind of got us into a rhythm offensively, so our players have a lot of confidence. Like I said, the way we practice, our number two quarterback gets the same amount of reps as our number one quarterback, so he’s had the repetitions and as we know repetition is the mother to all learning, so he’s had that. So now, it’s being able to do that at game speed repetitions and that’s way this week of preparation. The thing with Rutgers is we know they are going to bring it from everywhere. They are going to bring double edge pressure, they are going to bring it up the middle, and they are going to play press man coverage. You know they are extremely aggressive; they play an aggressive style of attacking defense so we understand that but also that lends itself the big plays.  The game of football is the greatest team sport but it also comes down to winning your one-on-one matchups.  And we have to win our one-on-one matchup.  If it’s a receiver on the perimeter or our offensive lineman versus their defensive lineman or our running back on their linebacker or vice versa on the defensive side of the ball.  So our team has great belief in Munchie and they believe in him and that’s the great thing.  And you can see that on the sidelines because they see it every day in practice.”

On Zach saying Munchie is more physically fit than him:

“I agree.  Zach is kind of a gritty, the old Kenny Stabler.  He just has a lot of grit to him, toughness, extremely competitive. And Munchie is the same way but he’s extremely talented, he’s very gifted and he can throw the football and he can run the football.  And so the big thing again is just Munchie to be able to practice this week at game speed reps and make quick decisions with the football and good decisions.”

On turning to Munchie as QB over others:

“I just think Munchie displayed a little more consistency.  You may see Jordan (Luallen) play as well and I’m excited about the progress Brendon Kay has made as well coming off of the injury.  But I think just from a consistency standpoint, Munchie was a little bit ahead of the other two.  He continues to progress and his knowledge of the offense, his knowledge of the game and obviously his skills set both run and pass, also helps as well.”

On what Zach meant to the transition years as a coach:

“It meant everything.  I’ve always said the head coach and the quarterback have to have a different relationship than anyone else in the program.  It’s to the point we kind of hit it off right away and our philosophy and how we’re going to play and our standard was exactly the same and I could look at him and he could look at me and we knew what each other was thinking.  And Munchie and I are getting along that same line as well so I’m excited about that.  But Zach just means so much because our players respect him.”

On wishing he’d redshirted Munchie last year:

“Well you always wish you would have gained that year obviously, but unfortunately we didn’t have that luxury in our program last year and that’s where the program was and we can’t do anything to take that back.  But I also think just some of the game speed reps even though a receiver helped him realize the preparation that goes into the game and the physicality, but when you are talking about a quarterback you would have loved to have redshirted him but we didn’t have that luxury.”

On Zach coming out of locker room to be on sidelines during WVU:

“It speaks volumes and Zach is one of the greatest team players I have ever been around. He’s totally unselfish and it’s all about the team and it’s all about this football program and it’s all about winning. He cares greatly about his teammates and I think that was exhibited on the sidelines. You know he wants to be a coach and he thinks like a coach. He is going to help Munchie and the rest of our players as well.”

On how important it is for Zach to possibly play in a bowl game:

“I think it gives him hope that his career isn’t over with. You know, anytime you’re a senior and your career is taken from you prematurely, obviously that weighs in on you. But we can’t worry about that right now, Bob Mangine and our training staff does an excellent job and they will take care of that. The thing for us is that we have to focus on the bull’s eye and we have to focus on Rutgers. So all of our efforts and energies, coaching staff, player wise is on Rutgers.”

On Munchie’s gaining confidence after leading the team back against WVU:

“It does reinforce that. You’re talking about a big game, a high-scoring game. The speed of the game against a very talented defense. That’s a very difficult task he had to go in there. As a backup quarterback, you’re always one snap away. Sometimes it’s very difficult to prepare as a backup quarterback. All of the sudden, now you’re forced into it. I thought he did a great job but that just builds the confidence that our team has in Munchie and it builds on what we already had”

On the wind factor on the last-second field goal attempt:

“The wind conditions obviously were  a factor. But I told our team this, that it’s standard operation procedure that we make those kind of kicks in this football program. The whole play in general, the snap wasn’t clean, the hold wasn’t clean. I think that threw the rhythm of the kick off for Tony (Miliano).  The ball was a low trajectory. Those all played a part in it. We just didn’t execute. West Virginia did and they won the football game. The game just didn’t come down to that kick. Usually, there’s about six to eight plays in a game that really create the outcome of the game. But when you watch the film, there were probably 14-16 plays that had a hand in the outcome. Everyone remembers the final couple plays of the game, but there’s a lot of plays we can point to. The fourth and goal. We should have gotten it in and we didn’t . The third and eight and the third and 15 that we gave up in the go-ahead touchdown drive for them. We have a blocked punt and we don’t execute it. There’s a lot of things that go into the outcome of a football game. That’s the fundamental details that I talked about earlier in the press conference. We have to be able to execute every time, week in and week out. And we’ve done that. We told Tony that we have as much confidence in him last week as we do this week. When you look at what he’s done, this season and the level of consistency he’s kicked with, that’s the life of a kicker. He’ll battle back and he’s a strong-minded individual.”

On going for the TD on UC’s final drive vs. WVU as opposed to kicking a field goal:

“Actually, two plays prior to the field goal attempt, we had a play for the end zone. It was a wheel route to Isaiah (Pead) and he was wide open. We didn’t execute the play. We took a crack in the end zone and we felt had a great play called on the third down play, and we had a fundamental breakdown. When you look at the film, every play is designed to score, we just didn’t execute it. That’s the thing is that the game is played by human beings and not robots. We can get out and draw the plays to be successful but we have to execute them.  We had some great play calls. We just didn’t execute them.”

On Rutgers’ Quarterback Situation:

“They’re looking for the best quarterback that manages their offense. They’re both talented individuals. We played against (Chas) Dodd last year and he’s doing a great job of managing their offense from the play action game to the run checks that they want to get into. They’re looking for the individual that gives them the best opportunity to win and both quarterbacks have proven that. We are going to prepare for both, but right now, we’re thinking it will be Dodd.

On the injury bug:

“It was a physical football game. You’re never at full strength at this stage of the season. We expect all those individual will be back. Travis Kelce is the one who is questionable right now. You have three games to go. Our players have shown a great resiliency. We’ve had a number of individuals play with nicks and bumps and bruises that are associated with the physicality of the game we want to play with and that’s why I can’t say enough about the mentality of this football team. These kids continue to persevere and it’s important to them.

On the backup quarterback situations:

“Those are difficult questions. I’m going to base a lot of those decisions off of what I see in practice this week. During a week of practice, each player is earning trust and they’re earning confidence. It’s just like plays that we put in the game plan. If we execute them throughout the week of practice, then we will call those plays. If not, we will throw them out. I will be able to answer that more towards the end of the week.”

On the team’s mentality heading into the final three games:

“We talked about Rutgers in the team meeting. Our players are intelligent. They understand the ramifications. They understand the situation. We have a very prideful football team. They hurt. It was a hard-fought game that we came up short in. But now, we can’t let West Virginia beat us twice. The way you feel is a direct correlation to your investment in the football program, and our players hurt, but now it’s a new week. That’s the beauty of college football. We get to go back on Saturday and do it all over again. The difficult thing is that it’s not like basketball where you can turn around and you have one or two days and you’re playing again. It starts all over with a great week of preparation. Our players were very enthusiastic when they came in on Monday. Very positive and looking forward to the challenges of this Saturday.”

On addressing Zach Collaros’ injury to the team:

“They understood what was going on. We didn’t need to address it. The way this team has managed their business throughout the year has been impeccable. It’s all hands on deck and we’re going and Munchie (Legaux) is our guy and we will get Brendon Kay and Jordan Luallen ready and we will be fine.”

On the Rutgers defense compared to a year ago:

“It’s a completely different football team. If you look at the stages of our seasons, both football teams are very similar in a lot of regards. From the defensive side of the ball, they are No. 1 in every defensive statistical category you can think of. They’ve done a great job of putting players in positions to succeed. You look at Khaseem Greene moving from safety to linebacker and he’s leading the conference in tackles. They’ve done a great job and schematically they challenge you with all the movement and pressures. They’re a completely different football team just like we are.”

On the UC secondary matching up against Mohamed Sanu:

“It’s going to be a great challenge. He’s a great player. The thing that concerns you, not just about him, but about their entire receiving corps is just their physical makeup and their matchup. They’re going to throw the fade in the end zone. They are 6-3, 6-6, so they present some great challenges just from an overall matchup standpoint.”

On the advantages of Munchie Legaux being an unknown:

“The great thing for us, in our football program is that Munchie (Legaux) is not an unknown. Our players see him on a day-to-day basis in practice. How hard he works. The time he puts into film study. Obviously, they don’t have a lot of film but they can watch West Virginia. We are going to run our offense. Our offense isn’t going to change. To everyone in our program, Munchie is not an unknown because they see his capabilities each and every day we practice.”