Transcript: Fuente Press Conference Quotes from the press conference with head football coach Justin Fuente on Monday
Oct. 29, 2012
"We're looking forward to going to play Marshall this week in West Virginia. They've done a great job offensively. They're another one of those teams that tries to run 100 plays a game. They've got really good skill players on offense and they're scoring points by the bunches. It's going to be a great challenge for our team in all three phases of the game. Their offense has put up some astronomical numbers, and we'll have to be ready for that challenge. I think their defense is underrated. They continue to play fast and physical, and they're doing a pretty good job as well. I expect us to have a great week of practice and preparation and get ready to go on the road and play well."
On what has led to Marshall's offense averaging 543 yards per game
"It's two things when I watch them. One, they have very good skill players. Their quarterback is playing very well and they have several running backs that can really go. The second thing is that they are maximizing their opportunities. They are snapping the ball very quickly. If I'm not mistaken, they played Rice right before we played Rice. Watching that film, I think it was a 54-51 game. Our offensive staff was watching the Rice defense versus Marshall's offense, and it was just remarkable how quick they were - up-tempo, speed and the quarterback was really playing well. They've got good players and a good scheme, and that makes for a tough combination."
On getting more out of the running backs the past couple of games
"I think it's a couple of things. I think Brandon Hayes has looked quicker the last two weeks. He's a guy that we didn't have in the spring and quite honestly we didn't know much about. I think he's getting his legs back. I think he's had a little extra burst in his step. You've seen Jai Steib start to play a little bit better. Coming off an injury and coming from a junior college, all those things maybe stunted his growth a little. He looks a little more comfortable with himself out there. And lastly, I think we're getting better play out of our offensive line. I think our kids are understanding the scheme and understanding what Coach (Vance) Vice is trying to get across to them. I think it's a combination of factors. A good running game travels well. It's something you've got to have in order to have success because it opens up so many other things. It helps you in so many other phases of the game."
On facing Marshall's pace of the game
"I think you have to meet it head-on as a team. Offensively, you have to meet that challenge as well. We have to do a great job running the football and giving our guys on the other side of the ball an opportunity to rest. If you're not careful, those are the things that can mount up on you in a game like that. If you continue to give them opportunities, give them the ball right back and give them short fields, they're just going to continue to keep plugging away. It's going to be a team challenge."
On Marshall's quarterback Rakeem Cato
"He plays really well and throws the ball down the field a lot. They will heave it as far as they can. He has got good players around him and has made some good decisions. He's athletic and gets out of trouble. He's really good in their scheme."