Wannstedt talks about challenges of playing at Utah
Dave Wannstedt talked about the challenges of playing at Utah on Thursday night.
(on playing at a high altitude) “When we were at the Dolphins, they used to go out a couple of days early. Everyplace I’ve coached for 16 years (in the NFL), we’ve gone out the day before, lined-up and played. I think that all the studies from the Olympic athletes will tell you, that if you want to try to make a total adjustment, you have to be out there for three days, it takes 72 hours. So even going out that extra day, which some of the NFL teams do, doesn’t really do anything. You go out, you line up and play. Fortunately we’re fairly healthy, so we’ll be able to play guys.”
(on ball security concerns) "You can talk till you're blue in the face and work on it every single day. And then all of a sudden in a game you're going, 'How does that ball come out like that?' You keep your fingers crossed that we've drilled it enough and worked hard enough and that we minimize our share of them and get a few of them."
(on a first-time starting quarterback) “Tino Sunseri and I talked two days ago. He came into my office and I gave him a few stories of other quarterbacks, both on this level and the NFL that were starting off their careers for the first time. I really wanted to make the point to him that he’s one of eleven players on offense. We’re not the type of offense where Tino’s the only one who needs to make plays.
(on his young team) “We all know that this is the youngest team that we’ve had since I’ve been here. However, I think that whether you have 25 seniors or you have nine seniors, it’s the quality. What is this group made up of? And when we hit the adversity, which every team hits every year, I believe our guys will respond the right way. Sometimes being a little bit younger, kids are excited about the opportunity to play, and they’re more focused on what they should be focused on rather than the things that are out of their control.”
Pitt at Utah is set for 8:30 pm EST on Thursdsay night. The game will air on Versus.
Houston Nutt upset Masoli denied eligibility, Ole Miss appealing
The NCAA has denied Jeremiah Masoli eligibility this season at Ole Miss. Masoli would be eligible in 2011, however.
Ole Miss has appealed the NCAA decision is guaranteed to have a decision no later than one week from today.
Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone said the decision was subjective and not weighted toward benefit of Masoli. Boone added there was no precedence on the ruling of Masoli.
Houston Nutt said he would like to plead with the NCAA sub-committee. Nutt added, “All he’s done is exactly what he is supposed to do.”
Chuck Rounsaville of the OmSpirit.com said the NCAA’s stance was that Masoli was not eligible at Oregon and was kicked off the team, then decided to transfer.
Ole Miss does not understand the NCAA’s stance.
Masoli could red-shirt this season and be eligible to play in 2011.
Update: Joe Schad has just tweeted that an Oregon source told him Masoli was dismissed from team, but not school at Oregon. Still hope.
Tuesday afternoon Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes from around the country:
Urban Meyer wrote John Brantley’s father a letter: “I said, ‘Enjoy the ride. Your song has grown up to be a man.’ I hope I get that same text some day from someone. That’s really cool. It’s the truth. What he’s done here in the last year has been exactly what we needed to have happen, and that is he’s grown up. He’s the leader of this team, and he’s Johnny Brantley. That’s good enough for us.”
Saban says Mark Ingram is out for the season-opener: "Mark will definitely be out for this week's game against San Jose State and we will manage this on a week to week basis beyond this week. We will make every decision in the future based on what's best for Mark and his career as we consult with Dr. Cain and Dr. Andrews on his progress. This is not an injury that will affect Mark's future ability to make a full recovery in a relatively short time frame."
Frank Beamer pumped about Tyrod Taylor: "There are so many teams each year that start out with a legitimate shot. I think we have the quarterback who can get us there. I feel the same about Tyrod as I do about Michael Vick. Whether we can come along and play consistently as a team quick enough -- that's the question right now.
Quoting Dan Mullen: “I probably don’t sleep as good as you do the rest of the yea. You’re just kind of in that whole game mentality. I think every year, the first game of the season every year, you know the routine, but you’re not into your routine.”
Dabo Swinney says ‘Don’t buy the lie’: “I tell them don't buy the lie” of doubters and also “don't buy the good stuff, either. I know it's fun to take a piece of paper and say 'whoa, they lost all this production. Michael Palmer – who's going to replace him? Spiller and Jacoby Ford – who's going to replace them?' You see all these guys in preseason NFL games that used to be wearing that paw; but that's just college – that's what it's all about.”
“Those guys were freshmen once too. It's 'next man up.' That's why you recruit, and I think we've recruited well. We've got a close football team that believes in each other and believes in the coaches. And if you've got that, then you have a chance to win. I tell our guys all the time 'we don't need anything.' We just have to work the right way.”
(on special teams) “We don't just talk it, we walk it. We believe in our routine as far as how we game plan and install things. We use our best players. Coach Powell gets first pick- whoever it is- doesn't matter. The players will tell you- if you are on that punt team that's the most important play of the game. There's not many offensive plays where you are going to get 40 yards. If a guy doesn't have that mentality you have to get him off. You have to be sold out on special teams. If you break it down, it's 25 to 35 snaps in a ball game. That's a lot of plays. So, we've got great emphasis from week to week and we do that. Coach Powell does a great job coordinating that and we've got a lot of eyes helping him out.”
Spurrier obviously not pleased with a few local reporters
Spurrier is obviously not to pleased with some recent strong opinions from local reporters.
During his presser this morning:
(early on) “You know more about it than me.”
(middle of the presser) “I was going to ask you who to play at right guard this game. You know more about it than me.”
(later on) “I need some help from some of you sportswriters on who should play there.”
(towards the end) “I watch the quarterbacks. I know some of you don’t think so.”
Spurrier avoided naming a starting quarterback. He said, “We probably have an idea of who’s going to start. I generally play the older guys first. Usually if the older guys have played well during preseason, they’ll usually be in there to start the game. How long they’ll be in the game, I do know. I’ve never thought it was a big deal who started the game.”
“They’ll both (QB’s) play in the first-half. We don’t want to rotate series. I know some of you here know more about quarterbacks than I do, you’re not supposed to hurt their feelings…whatever.”
“I have found there is nothing wrong with playing two quarterbacks.”
Spurrier pointed about that he used a two-quarterback system during 4 of his 8 conference championships. He pointed out that Terry Dean, not Danny Wuerffel, was MVP of 1993 SEC championsip.
Part of the key for South Carolina, according to Spurrier, “We can’t keep going backwards. It’s been embarrassing. We’ve coached it as hard as we can. We’re trying to play smarter.”
He added, “We’re not very deep in the O-Line especially. We’re thin in the O-Line, very thin.”
South Carolina host Southern Miss on Thursday night. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm EST on ESPN.
Paul Johnson: 'Special guests not my thing.' Sean Payton bringing in Derek Fisher
A really low-keyed Paul Johnson answered questions this morning during his weekly game-week press conference.
Asked if Georgia Tech is where they should be heading into Saturday’s game against South Carolina State, Johnson said, “I don’t know. We’ll find out.”
Johnson did say, however, that he feels much better going into the season-opener this year than he did in 2008.
“We’re a lot better football team. A lot. I had no idea what we would see two years ago on that Thursday night. I have a pretty good idea of what we’ll see Saturday.”
(on Al Groh’s defense) “The big thing to me is can they not have a bunch of mental assignments. We’ll find out how they’re going to react the first time they (opponent) get a few first downs.”
Unlike New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Paul Johnson doesn’t like to bring in guest speakers. Johnson said, “I don’t think I’ve had a special guest come in and talk to the guys since I’ve been here. It’s not my thing.”
Payton, reportedly, will have Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher address his team before the Saints’ season opener. Fisher has won back-2-back world championships, something the Saints will try to do.
June Jones: If I went to Florida and tried this approach...
So why is the SMU head coaching job perfect for June Jones?
According to Jones, "I have to admit that because of the way that I do it, these are the only jobs that I really want to take. Because they've tried everything else. If I went to Florida and tried this approach, there would be 42 coaches in the press box saying, 'This guy screwed up. We can't do this and be SEC champions."'
The Mustangs’ third-year head coach added, "A lot of guys take these jobs that have lost forever and it's old school, you gotta be tougher, you gotta be more physical. But to come to this school and build a team on defense is not going to happen. The turnaround stuff to me is playing an exciting brand of football where you go and try to win the game on every play."
With only three rules: Go to class, come to practice, and give maximum effort…"It's not that hard," he said. "If you can't play for me, you can't play for anybody."
After a 1-11 year #1, Jones led SMU to an 8-5 season in 2009.
SMU opens the 2010 season at Texas Tech this Sunday at 3:30 pm EST. ESPN will broadcast the game. You can see the entire Week #1 TV Schedule right here.
Mike Stoops on his play caller: It's irrelevant to me
When asked to identify the coach that will be calling the offensive plays this season for the Wildcats, Arizona head coach Mike Stoops responded, “It's irrelevant to me."
Arizona travels to Toledo to play a Friday night game on ESPN.
Most suspect that either Seth Littrell (co-offensive coordinator / running backs) or Bill Bedenbaugh (co-offensive coordinator / run game coordinator / offensive line) will call the plays.
Bedenbaugh admits, however, it can be difficult for an offensive line coach to call the plays.
Bedenbaugh stated, "One of the reasons you don't see offensive line coaches calling the plays is because it's so hard to do. Mark Mangino did it at Oklahoma, but I can't think of many others. When I worked with Robert Anae at Texas Tech, he coached the offensive line. When he went to BYU, to become the coordinator, he switched to coaching receivers. It's just too hard focusing on those five guys, making adjustments, to call the plays, too. Between series, Seth and I will evaluate what's working. He's got to be tuned in to it all the time."
Kick-off on Friday night is set for 7 pm EST on ESPN.
Charlie Strong compares Cards to 0-11 South Carolina team from 1999
During Charlie Strong’s press conference on Monday afternoon, the first-year head coach compared his team to a team that went 0-11.
Strong, who served on Lou Holtz’ staff at South Carolina in 1999, said this Louisville team is like that South Carolina team.
Strong stated, “I compare this football team to my first year at South Carolina in 1999. We were a bad football team, but then as the season went, we kind of got better each game. Then, the next two years we go win the Outback Bowl. With this football team, it is just that leadership is missing. Once you get some leadership into this program, and with the whole new coaching staff, you have guys who really do not know what to expect. With the practices, the guys were like, ‘Coach, we really did not know practice was going to be so hard.’ Once the coaches and players get to know each other better, then the program will be able to take off.”
“My biggest concern is they beat us the last three years, so they should have a lot of confidence because of what has happened in the past and we are one of those teams still searching for an identity of who we are right now and it is a team that will continue to build each game and get better each game.”
Let’s hope for Strong’s sake that his Cardinals can score more than 10 points in a game this year. The 1999 South Carolina squad topped 10 points just twice during the season.
Louisville hosts Kentucky at 3:30 pm EST on Saturday. ABC will broadcast the game.