Larry Porter Press Luncheon - Nov. 14, 2011
Nov. 14, 2011
In terms of football this past weekend was hard to swallow. It was disappointing and frustrating. When you have somebody on the mat and you're in a position to take them down and you don't and you allow them to fight back, it's hard to swallow. That was this game. I know we're growing and improving, but we've got to learn how to finish games and put people away. That didn't happen this past weekend, and it was frustrating. But we practiced yesterday, and our kids came back with a healthy attitude. We're disappointed, but we cannot allow our frustration and disappointment to carry over into this week unless we use it in a positive way to motivate us.
This week, we have a short turnaround. We're playing a game on Thursday night against a team that's very, very capable in Marshall. If you look at them as a team, they've been consistently getting better, and that shows up on film.
Offensively, their quarterback, No. 1 A.J. Graham, has done a tremendous job in providing leadership, managing their offense and putting them in a position to be productive. It's my understanding, this past weekend, he didn't quite finish the game so they brought in their young freshman, No. 12 Rakeem Cato, who came in and played well. Their tailback, No. 2 Tron Martinez, has done a pretty good job of being productive as a runner for them. He's small in stature, but he plays big. He's strong, he runs with good vision, and he has pretty good speed. They do a pretty good job of using him. Their receiving corps has probably been the strength of what they do, especially No. 3 Aaron Dobson. They like to move him around and put the ball in his hands in a number of ways, and we have to be very conscious of that as we go forward.
Defensively, their defensive front is really good. They're led by an All-American in my opinion, Vinny Curry, who could very easily be the Defensive Player of the Year in this league. He certainly plays that way. If you look at their front across the board, I think all of those guys are talented. They like to bring a lot of pressure. They don't do much, but they're very in sync with what they do in terms of spacing and being in position to make plays. They've got a really good feel for their system, so we have to be conscious of where they are at all times. The linebacking corps is a solid group. Their secondary is athletic. They can make plays and be productive. So as we go forward, we'll definitely try to put ourselves in a position to take advantage of some of the things they give us. Coach Doc Holliday has done a really good job of building that program. I know with the way things turned out last week, they'll come in all charged up and ready to go. We have to be ready to counter that, and I think we will. I liked the attitude of practice yesterday, and I'm looking forward to another good practice today. It speaks to our productivity and us putting ourselves in a position to wrap ourselves around this game plan, especially with it being a short week. We have to have tremendous focus in practice because we have to get it the first time; we don't have an opportunity to have many do-overs when it comes to practice. I think the staff has worked extremely hard in putting together a quality game plan so we're truly looking forward to playing this game.
Is the short week a good thing this time around with what happened last week and not having time to dwell on it?
Is what happened last Saturday still just a matter of growing pains?
In the second half against UAB, why not run the ball to take time off the clock?
Can you talk specifically about the progress you've seen from the Mississippi State game up to now?
What do you tell Taylor as far as throwing the ball away and not taking so many hard hits?