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A head coach with 36 wins in previous 4 seasons defends his staff

At 4-5, with remaining games against USC, at Stanford, and Oregon, the season hasn’t gone as planned for Oregon State head coach Mike Riley.

The Beavers are 92nd nationally in total offense and 65th in scoring.  Defensively, Oregon State is 87th nationally in total defense and 66th in scoring.

Unbelievably, a head coach (Riley) who has won 36 games in the previous four seasons, had to stand up for his coaching staff. 

Riley said, “It hasn’t been that long ago that we played a good overall game (against California), a game that appeared to be a turn-the-corner game. I’m not going to lose the faith that we don’t have the potential to play that kind of a game.”

 “We don’t live in that world where we’re trying to defend or make a statement or anything like that. We just work. We know it’s not going good as a coaching staff. I’ve got veteran coaches, a lot of ’em have been with me a long time and have been a part of good seasons here and good teams and winning games, and big games.”

“I don’t think any of ’em have gotten dumb or stopped working. I’ve got a real sense of confidence in how they do their jobs and how they feel about this.”

“When you commit as much as we commit to what we do, then it’s going to hurt badly when you are where we are right now. No matter how bad everybody else feels out there, there’s nobody who feels worse about it (than the OSU coaches) but we’ve got a job to do.”

"It's up to them and our staff," Riley said. "Our staff has to be the adults here. They must set the tone for preparation and not go crazy. We are not in a blame game here. We are not going to go to a player or a coach and say ‘It's your fault.' That's stupid. It's everybody's fault. We are in this together."

Kick-off against USC is set for 8:00 pm EST on ABC.  You can see the entire weekly TV schedule right here.




Quick hits with Stock, London, Nix, Willie T, GP, and the Zooker

Rick Stockstill’s team at MTSU is (-20) in turnover margin, on pace to finish the worst in 13 years in D1 football: “It’s going to hang over me this offseason anyway and until it gets corrected. Since I’ve been in this profession, I’ve preached (winning the turnover battle), and I’ve talked about it more than anything.”

 

Mike London not too happy that Virginia ranks 118th in penalties: “It's not just a linemen, it's maybe the wide receivers on the edge, trying to capture the edge with their hands outside. You look at things like this and you make sure you address it by getting an umpire to stand back there (during practice) and officiate up front what's going on. If you see anything close to a hold, throw (the flag). But that's all part of that process of learning.”

“The lack of discipline would be personal fouls, unnecessary roughness with your head or sideline warnings. As animated as I am, I never got called for a bench foul, and that's been called in the conference.”

“So is that a discipline thing as far as players handling themselves? I think we have to do a better job of teaching hand placement with receivers, offensive linemen or anyone that's blocking on the perimeter. So we'll continue to learn. You'll see we'll do better. I'm responsible for that.” 

 

Ole Miss defensive coordinator says “put it down that we’re going to make plays.” : “The plays are going to start going our way. So if you want to quote it, put it down that we're going to make the plays on Saturday (at LSU)."

"Our attitude. Our attitude. We haven't quit. We haven't given up and we worked harder today than we had all year."

 

WKU head coach Willie Taggart appreciated text message following 36-35 win over Arkansas State: “Oh I received a lot of them. I got some pretty interesting texts, too. It was good. Some of them called me a stud, gutsy call, some other things that aren’t appropriate. They were jacked up for me and happy about it. Some said ‘I wouldn’t have done that, that’s a little Jim Harbaugh right there.’ ”

“The ones that mattered the most were the ones I got from the Harbaughs. I got one from all those guys and that always means something to me. They’re always watching and supporting and that means a lot (to me).”

 

Gary Patterson begins lobbying for TCU: "It's very hard to be undefeated. If it was so easy there'd be a whole lot of people that did it. We'll go play anybody who's in that top 10. Whoever wants to play, let's go. We've never backed up from anybody. You can look at our schedule; we're still not backing up."



Quoting Ron Zook heading into game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field: “I think we've just got to go back and play the way we played in the past, like I said the first eight games. There're some things I think we can do to help that. I think we've got it rectified, now we'll find out if it works.”

“Well, I don't know if mystified is the right word. But once again, they are the same guys, the same coaches, that played in those first eight games. They're still a good defense, they're still good coaches and they're still going to play the way they are capable of playing. I believe that and we're going to go from there."




Gundy explains big win at Texas and celebrates with team

Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State are now 9-1 with remaining games at Kansas and against Oklahoma.

After defeating Texas 33-16 in Austin, Gundy said, “Honestly, it means nothing to me from a personal stand point because I’m thrilled for the players and the commitment they have made this year.  Coaches, this is our job and this is what we do. So we understand.  I wanted it for the team for the commitment they’ve made since January.  The hard work and the effort they’ve put it…It’s really good for everyone in the organization to be able to come down here, obviously Texas isn’t playing as good as they want to this year, but they don’t just give them away down here.  You’re still coming down here in front of 97,000 people and have to earn it.” 

“He (Blackmon) was in about 55 plays and I’m going to get he was bracketed on 45 plays, and he still comes up with 9 catches.  Pretty amazing for a guy that gets bracketed like he does.” 

“You don’t come in here and average 5 yards a carry, so I think it was one of his (Kendall Hunter) better games.”

“Special teams…Joe DeForrest did a great job.  He had an unbelievable game plan.”

Following the game, Gundy told his team:

“That’s another complete game in all 3 phases.  You practiced well.  You played physical football.  I’m telling you right now, your special teams coach, offensive coaches, defensive coaches did a great job.” 

“It’s so enjoyable for me to sit back and watch you guys buy in.  You only need to worry about tomorrow’s practice.  That’s what you’ve done all year.” 

You can see Gundy's pre-game and post-game speeches right here:

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Game Changing Coaches - Week 11

Last week, there were several outstanding coaching performances that we've highlighted in our weekly series, Game Changing Coaches.

We are very proud to have Family Relocation, rated the #1 moving company in the country by coaches wives, as the title sponsor of Game Changing Coaches.

Family Relocation has been helping coaches move for nearly 100 years. Regardless of how far you’re moving or where you live, if you want your move to be handled professionally, trust the team at Family Relocation. You and your family will be glad to you did.

See the coaches we have recognized for Week #11 right here.




Spurrier thanks baseball program and AD for making championship possible

Steve Spurrier began his Tuesday press conference by thanking the South Carolina baseball program for getting it started.

Spurrier said, “I really want to thank the baseball team for getting it started for making people realize you can win championships at South Carolina.”

Later on, Spurrier complimented athletic director Eric Hyman for his commitment to building outstanding facilities, which as Spurrier pointed out, helped land top recruits like Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery, and Stephon Gilmore.

“Our facility improvement has been tremendous the last 5 years.  I just remember when our AD Eric Hyman said five years ago, he said, ‘It’s expensive to build nice facilities, but it’s more expensive not too.’”    

On the win over Florida, Spurrier said, “Our star players played like stars.  That’s how you win.”

“We had a live dressing room, locker room.  I could tell we were ready to play.  The week before (against Arkansas), we were dead.”

Spurrier said the winning the SEC East is a great accomplishment, “but beating TN, Bama, UGA, and Florida in one year might be bigger.  We may not have done that at Florida. Well, maybe we did. I don't know.”

Spurrier added, “Without him (Lattimore) running the ball, I don’t know what our record would be right now.” 

South Carolina hosts Troy this weekend before traveling to Clemson.




After Nutt's sermon on Monday, Dabo takes the alter this morning

After Houston Nutt delivered his Monday sermon to Rebel fans, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney took the alter in Clemson this morning.

Coming off a 16-13 loss for Florida State, Swinney said, “55 yarder at the buzzer.  That’s like one from half court.  They count.”

At 5-5, Swinney assured the Clemson fans that his team is making progress.  He also encouraged them to “back off the cliff.”

"It's not time to panic, or turn back or do some complete overhaul. The reality is that we lost 4 games by 17 points. Nobody wants to hear that we’re close, a few plays away from 8-2, 9-1, that’s the reality. It's as simple as that."  

“We’ll look back at the season and it will just be a scare.  I don’t need 5 years, 6 years, 7 years, 8.  Everyone needs to just back off the cliff and take their hand off the panic button.  Let me do my job.  Be supportive and we’ll be alright.” 

“We’re in year 2 in trying to build this program the way we want to build it. This year hasn’t quite gone the way we want it on the scoreboard, but we are making progress.  I can assure you. I’ve been a head coach for 2 seasons.  It will all even out.” 

Again, Swinney stood up for his offensive coordinator.  He said, “Billy didn’t just get dumb over the last year.” 

It appears the 2010 goal has turned into winning back-to-back bowl games.  Swinney said, “I think it was 89 or 90 the last time Clemson won back-to-back bowls.” 

Clemson travels to Wake Forest on Saturday before hosting South Carolina to finish the regular season.




Charlie Strong sends mass text message to his team

Despite an overtime loss to South Florida, Louisville head coach sees his program coming together.

At 11:30 pm on Saturday night, Strong sent a mass text message to his players.

Of his text message, Strong explained, “I said, tough loss. I believe in each one of you. We're a really good football team, and you are a very special group of guys. If I had to do it all over again, I would go for it on fourth-and-inches. That's how much I believe in each one of you.”

Strong added, “It was emotional in that locker room. You see our program is turning. It was a game we should have won, and we felt that way after the game.”

In Strong's first year as head coach, the Louisville defense ranks 15th nationally in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense.  Louisville is 5-5 with games remaining against West Virginia and at Rutgers.




Marrone, Dantonio, Harbaugh, and Ruffin share thoughts

At 7-3, Syracuse coach Doug Marrone says, “I’m doing what I was brought here to do” : "The sense is that I’m happy for the players, the seniors, people in the community, the faculty, and the alumni. I try to tell people all the time that I’m really just doing my job, I don’t look at it as being extraordinary. I’m doing what I was brought here to do. To see people excited about the program and happy, I’m excited about that for them. I’m even more so excited for the players because it is more than just a football game what we play."

 

Mark Dantonio compares Michigan State to 2002 Ohio State team: "I always try to say that we will evaluate things at the end of the season and look at the full body of work. But the one thing I will say is we came off a 7-5 record at Ohio State in 2001. Our players had great chemistry the next year. I remember Mike Doss telling me he was coming back and wasn't leaving for the NFL because he wanted to win a championship. I remember Greg Jones telling me exactly the same thing this year when I was down in his home in Cincinnati, that he was coming back because he wanted to win a championship. So there is a parallel there, and I also think there is a parallel in the fact we are winning close games like that team did. Coming down to the end, our players are making plays at the end of games. And that's exactly what happened at Ohio State."

 

Jim Harbaugh compliments Cal and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast: "No question, they dominated Oregon. They played lights-out on defense. Coach Pendergast has done a terrific job on defense. They're fast, physical and play smart. That's coach Pendergast's mantra. Tremendous football team, especially at home. That's the challenge we have going to their place."

 

Ruffin McNeil compliments special teams coordinator Clay McGuire: "Clay McGuire and the coaches who work with Clay have done a great job. Those guys generally go unnoticed until something tough happens, but Clay has done good job taking over in a very adverse situation. I knew he would. He’s the most versatile coach on the staff." 

Syracuse Football Post-Rutgers: Coach Marrone's Monday Press Conference