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Lunchtime Coaches Quick Hits

UNLV coach Bobby Hauck compares UNLV vs. Nevada to Alabama vs. Auburn: This one I would compare to, from what I know about it, and obviously I haven’t experienced it first-hand, maybe the one I just mentioned (Montana vs. Montana State) or Alabama vs. Auburn, where they really don’t like each other much.


Sonny Dykes says LA Tech to use 4th different starting quarterback at Hawaii: "I don't know if anybody has had a similar situation. This may be unique to the history of football. We'll see what this one does.  I wish we had one guy. I wish there was a quarterback that had taken over in the spring or the summer."


Gene Chizik’s message: "The message to our team is we have to focus at getting Auburn better. What were you not good at Saturday, individually. That’s what we have to work every day to get fixed. All the other stuff is not really on our radar. I know people are going to hear it and all that stuff, but we have so much room to improve on our team.


Mack Brown reflects on time when Texas lost 5 straight against Oklahoma: "I always felt that it was always unfair to the Texas fans to lose five straight times. It was a hard part in my life to understand I wasn't getting my job done. I don't think I ever dug harder."

"We have a chance at just about any recruit in the state of the Texas. Our first year, we had trouble getting the top 10 kids to visit. It wasn't until 2005 that we had a chance at every kid."


UGA athletic director Greg McGarity talks about football program: “Probably in our private moments we’re hurting. But I think outwardly and publicly we’ve got to set the tone for everyone. And that’s gotta be positive, upbeat and what we can do to help. We all want to chip in and do what we can do to help us pull out of this tailspin. But you’ve gotta have confidence in people, and be confident that we can maybe right the ship and have a successful year.”


Tom O’Brien think team is mature enough to handle early-season success: “I think that they, it’s all part of them understanding where they are and how they got to this point and how they have to continue doing what they’ve done for the past month. If they don’t, they’re not going to be able to continue winning football games. Certainly the opposition steps up this weekend when Virginia Tech comes to town. But I think we’ve gotten really great leadership out of the captains thus far and we’ll find out if they’re mature enough to handle it or not.”

“A lot of people have asked, and I know there has been a lot of conversation about the 54-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Looking back, would I like to do it over? Yes because it didn’t work. But if it had worked, we would all be happy. I have rationalized the good and the bad the last couple of days. But, at the same time, I made the decision, it didn’t work, and I have to live with it.” 


Todd Dodge compliments OC Mike Canales after 21-17 road win at FAU: “Mike did a tremendous job of getting Riley ready and putting together a game plan. Riley made good decisions and added about 70 yards running the ball.”

“We have to hang on to what we did well against Florida Atlantic and make that who we are.”

Turner Gill’s 3 keys to beating Baylor: 1. Win the special teams; 2. Score touchdowns instead of settling for field goals; 3. Tackle extremely well on defense.

Mike Stoops thoughts on Pac-10 championship game location: Should be in San Diego, Glendale, or Seattle.

Dabo: Let's quit quacking like a bunch of ducks, whining, and complaining

Clemson’s Death Valley is notorious for a hostile environment during night-time kick-offs, but Saturday’s kick-off against Miami is set for 12 pm EST. Herbstreit will more than likely point this out on College Game Day, as he usually does. 

Dabo Swinney, however, wants “The Valley to be rockin’.” 

Swinney said during his press conference today, “My job is to get this team ready to play whether it’s 9 am or 9 pm.  Let’s quit quacking like a bunch of ducks, whining, and complaining.  Let’s get the Valley rockin.  This is the best venue in college football. We had this place rockin’ to 125 decibels the last time Miami was here.  Let’s get it to 126.”

“It’s going to be our offensive line vs. their defensive line.  Something has to give.” 

“We have to tackle.  One of the things we have done well is give up the big play. We have to make a team go earn it.” 

“It’s going to be a tough order, but I’ll be disappointed if we can’t establish a run game.  Our goal going into every ball game is to establish some sort of run game.”

“They bring more pressures this year than they did last year.  They are really long and fast up front.”

 Clemson won last season 40-37 in overtime.  The Hurricanes won the previous meeting in 2005 at Clemson by a score of 36-30 in overtime.

Thursday morning Coaches Quick Hits

Jim Harbaugh being Jim Harbaugh: “I hate to be defended in the newspaper. As long as all that is said against me, I feel a certain assurance of success. But as soon as honeyed words of praise are spoken for me, I feel as though I am one that is unprotected against my enemies.”

“We want to play with class and an element of cruelty. We want people to know that this isn’t the Stanford of five or six years ago. We’ve moved on.”

"Our players believe they can win a national championship. Our players believe they can win a Pac-10 championship. And they believe they don't have to take a back seat to anyone."


FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher says a lot of unknowns about Virginia: “You don’t know them. I mean, you wouldn’t – as new coaches, you wouldn’t know their schemes anyway. You’d have to watch it on film. The thing that makes it weird for both of us is we don’t know each other’s personnel. You’ve never played against it so you really don’t know how big is he really, how fast is he really in person?”


Navy head coach Ken Niumatololo and assistants attended class last week: “I’m not sure what the term was but they had something called Coaches To Class (set up by Christine Copper, the NCAA Faculty Representative for the Naval Academy Athletic Association) and we were invited to attend class with some of our players and I thought it would be a great opportunity for all of us to go and see what these young men go through.  It was a great experience.  Some of us had been to class before, but it was kind of cool to go. It reaffirmed for me that I went to the right school (laughter).”


Quoting Skip Holtz: “When you look at us having a young quarterback in a new system with a lot of inexperienced receivers we just felt like we could put the saddle on the offensive line and the running game. We said let’s not throw the ball around and get a lot of statistics and lose the game because we are trying to win left-handed. We played right handed. It’s not flashy, it’s not pretty. It’s winning ugly unless you love the running game. But it was the smart way to play.”


Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood talks about struggle at Arizona State: “It was almost like we were playing in a panic out there at times, rather than collecting ourselves and doing what we were supposed to do. And things just seemed to snowball.”

“I’ve got to look at myself first and find out what I’m doing wrong in the teaching process, of getting some very core concepts to stick with them. That’s what’s frustrating me out there. We’ve just got to collectively get our act together.”


Mike Sherman says Aggies are now more mentally tough: “I think we're playing better defense now. We're a year older and a year wiser. We're not as fragile as we were a year ago.”

“When things went south in the fourth ballgame last year against Arkansas — and they went south very fast — I don't think we handled that very well. (Now) our team is more mentally mature to be able to handle the adversity and the bumps in the road that come in a game.”

Tuesday morning Coaches Quick Hits

Interesting quote from Jim Harbaugh: “And Michigan and Bo -- that was my foundation in football and the coaches that I had there. Just the way I look at the world view of football comes from my days at Michigan."

Bo Pelini say Nebraska bought the hype: "I think the guys bought into the hype. They bought into all the things that were being said about them. They believed it, instead of taking a good hard look at what we talk about each and every day. I said, 'You've got to respect the game or you get humbled.'"


Tuberville reiterates Red Raiders have to run the football: “We took our first-team offense and went against our first-team defense. ... We’ve got to play faster defensively to help our offense. We did that last week. We did some things in practice that Texas did to us to try to overcome the problems we had moving the football.”

“But we’re not going to ditch anything that we’re doing. We’ve got a good offense. We’ve just got to execute it better. Again, I came here to win a championship. For us to do that, we’re going to have to learn to run the football, whether it’s this year or next year. If you abandon it as we speak, then things will get worse. You’ll be going through quarterbacks very quickly.”


Joker Phillips says UK has to beat Ole Miss: “We're 3-1. We've still got an opportunity to have a great season, do something special. But we can't do anything special if we don't take care of business and go down (to Ole Miss) and come away with the victory.”


Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman talks NFL vs. College: “There is a lot of creativity and a lot of different things you can do that maybe you couldn't do in the NFL. A lot of that has to do with the speed coming off the edge and hitting your quarterback. You don't normally face great passers in college but maybe twice a year. In the NFL, you face one every single week. It changes how you play the game and the things you are able to do, so you can be a little more creative in college. In the NFL, you are so concerned with protecting your quarterback that you can't stray too far outside the box.”

"The other thing I have come to realize is it's harder to be a college football player than an NFL player. Not talent-wise, but a college football player is in class all day, has study hall at night, he gets rehab done if he's injured, there is weight-lifting. There is absolutely, positively no time. We have a 20-hour rule in the NCAA that I think is a great rule because if you take more than 20 hours, they can't get their education.”


Butch Davis concerned about ball security: “Ball security has dramatically got to get better. From a coaching perspective, we have to take that responsibility to make sure we're doing enough drills to encourage taking care of the football.”


Quoting Mark Richt: “It’s the most adversity that I’ve had since I’ve been here.The bottom line is we are 0-3 in the league, and we’ve never been there. We’ve had issues off the field that have been a distraction, and it’s sad for our team, our program, our university and our fans.”

“I’ve been blessed to be with Florida State (as an assistant coach) through all those years and to be at Georgia. We’ve been successful, and we know what success looks like. We know we’re not far off, and if we stay on course then it’s not far away. We’re going to continue to believe in each other and in our players.”


Bob Stoops talks about OU vs. Texas: "Winning that game doesn't do it all for you. It also gets down to being able to finish the season and be a champion. Three of the last four years, we've also been Big 12 champions."



Bronco Mendenhall says Utah State game is not a “make-or-break” : “It is certainly, in my mind, not a make-or-break game, nor are any games this season. It is the next chance to improve, the next chance to measure, the next chance to develop. Certainly a win is what we are shooting for. … But I think I have said all along that I think this step is going to be a longer process than I think many would like it to be. But I think the direction [BYU is heading in] is the right direction.”

Best coaching performances of Week #4

Five more coaching staffs have been recognized this week as part of our 2010 Game Changing Coaches series presented by Family Relocation.

Every Tuesday during the season, we recognize the coaches involved in the most outstanding coaching performances from the past weekend.  This is our third year of this award winning series. 

This year, 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 #4 right here.

Former USC assistants Kiffin and Sarkisian talk about first match-up

Former USC assistants under Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, will face off as head coaches on Saturday at The Coliseum in Los Angeles. 

Both Kiffin and Sarkisian acknowledged their close friendship during respective press conferences today, but Kiffin didn’t really want to make a big story out of Kiffin vs. Sarkisian.

Kiffin said, “I don’t think it’s relevant.” 

Kiffin said he was sure he would talk to Sark during the week, but joked, “He’ll send some texts and messages to try to manipulate or trick me into something.  He’ll try it all this week.  Yeah (it’s still a great friendship).  Maybe he’ll let our band play this year.  Last year, they didn’t let our band play last year at Washington.”

Sarkisian said, “Fortunately for everybody involved, Lane and I aren't going to be blocking or tackling or running or throwing or catching Saturday. So we're all OK there. We're going to let the premier athletes do that. You know, both of us have been mentored for this opportunity to be head coaches. He's done a nice job, I think we've done a nice job. These are both jobs we thought we special ones, especially in the Pac-10. It's a unique experience, this early in our careers, to be facing each other in such a pivotal ball game in the Pac-10 race.”

"Yeah, we talk. We text. It's a good friendship. It's one that keeps us healthy in the profession. The ability to talk to another head coach and bounce ideas off of. Because so much of this profession is keeping things in close and in tight and you can't share with anybody. The ability to share with Lane different thoughts, different ideas, different frustrations that maybe you don't want everyone else to see, but you can bounce it off him and he understands. So it's been a good relationship that way."

Kiffin said, “They do know us really well on both sides of the ball.  The amount of hours, whether it was myself and Sarkisian or Nick Holt and my Dad at times, we are very familiar with each other.  Probably have to be careful to not overanalyze it too much and just make sure we are playing really fast.”

Kick-off is set for 8:00 pm EST on ABC or ESPN2. 


Paul Johnson says Yellow Jackets had 85 missed assignments

Georgia Tech is 2-2 on the season with loses to Kansas and NC State.  Today, Paul Johnson made it quite obvious that he is NOT happy with his team.

Johnson said, “After watching the tape, I was more disappointed than I was after the game, if that is possible. I was really frustrated and this is probably the second or third time this year that we have played with little emotion in the mental aspect. The physical aspect wasn’t great, but it was ok. The mental aspect of it was just out there. We have guys that have played for two or three years that are doing things that there is no explanation for. Concentration, paying attention to detail, all of those things, we just have to do a better job of getting through the basic fundamentals. With some of the stuff that we busted in the (NC State) game is really unexplainable. They can’t explain it when you show it to them on tape either.

“Actually, we had 43 missed assignments on one end and 42 on the other. There were so many -- from turning guys loose on pass protection to us going the wrong way, we were busted the first play of the game on offense. These are guys that have played for two or three years and it is not new stuff. This is just mental lapses and holes in concentration.”

“You have to stay in your rush lanes, you have to make a block, you have to make a tackle. It isn’t complicated stuff. I think we have had 125 passes thrown against us, and one interception in the secondary. We have seven sacks, one sack where somebody made a block, the rest they turned them loose.”

“I am not going to single out any players, there are a lot of guys that could be leaders. I don’t think one or two players could do it. I think it has to be the nucleus.”

Georgia Tech travels to Wake Forest this weekend. 

Les Miles: Offensively nobody is satisfied in our building

During a press conference today, Les Miles summarized the West Virginia game, addressed his quarterback play, and offered his opinion on the booing by Tiger fans in Tiger Stadium.

Miles said, "Enjoyed again another wonderful evening in Tiger Stadium. ... I can tell you that the West Virginia team was a very, very capable football team. They had a quality defense, a very explosive offense, they were very good in special teams, and frankly we were in control of that game the entire time."

"That quarterback was pressured the whole night. Again, the special teams, I think our average starting possession was the 37 yard line and I think theirs was the 25 yard line. We controlled every special teams snap. Our coverage units were very crisp with tackling, our return units got yardage.”

"Offensively nobody is satisfied in our building."

"Our quarterback didn't throw three balls well at all. He threw one right to them and two that were incomplete. ... I was very pleased with the running game. I think our running backs are coming to life. I think our line is understanding the commitment to the rush. I have had quarterbacks not nearly as talented as either one of these two guys. ... It's an offensive issue. It's one that we need to make sure we correct collectively. ... I've had quarterback's that have not played well ... but they seemed to get better and I suspect this will happen again."

(on the booing by Tiger fans) "I guess I'm stuck this way. I'm a purist when it comes to sports. I've always felt like when you've stepped in between those white lines ... those people that stepped in between those white lines played for score and competition. ... I've never in my life seen the reason to root negatively. I root strong for the team I support. I was raised in Ohio where I went to the Browns games. ... I did not know how to root against Dallas, I did not know how to root against St. Louis because I was rooting so strongly for the Browns."

LSU hosts Tennessee on Saturday at 3:30 pm EST on CBS.