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2010 Coaches Quick Hits

Sunday October 25, 2009

Quoting Les Miles after defeating Auburn: "That's a very good Auburn team. They fought like heck. I give great credit to coach (Gene) Chizik, and I think he's done a great job in his first year. We went into the open week with the want to improve, and we looked at some specifics. We still want to run the football and throw the football with balance and have the ability to do both. We think that in the long run in football and in the stretch run of the season, the team that has balance - can run it and throw it - will be the most dangerous offensively. We stayed the course. We throw for 250 (yards), and we rush for 122 (yards), and an offense comes to life. I still don't think we are hitting on all cylinders. I think we can be better and more efficient. Our football team needs to improve. This is a nice win, certainly, but not one that we are going to rest and reflect on but choose to improve on ambitiously.

"We understand where we're at. We play a quality team (Tulane) next week, and as the season unfolds, we are going to play some of the finest teams in the country. To be and compete with those teams, we have to be better, and our team knows that. That's good. You'd have been proud of this team if you watched them in the open week, coming off a tough loss to a nationally-ranked team, and they just played hard. This was that mark. This was some improvement. Certainly, a very good defensive unit has taken the field week-in and week-out for us and is playing better and better. Offensively, we're coming. I didn't like how we played in (special) teams. I think we can play better in (special) teams, but again, it was a very good outing for the team."

Quoting Mike Sherman: "I'd like a few more guys to step up and be more vocal," Sherman said. "I wish more of those guys were coming from the offensive and defensive lines. I'd like someone in that group to step forward and be more of a leader, because I think they can really be enforcers for you."

The soft-spoken Johnson leads more by example than with fiery speeches. Sherman said he often pulls players aside when they make a mistake and calmly explains what they did wrong.

"I don't think his personality is such that he's going to yell and scream at guys necessarily, but I don't know if you should ever act outside your personality if you want to lead," Sherman said. "I think the way he goes about doing it is very effective."

Quoting Rice head coach Dave Bailiff: "Stats are what they are at the end of the game," Bailiff said. "Can you look for progress in stats? Probably. But because there are no common opponents in stats, they lead you nowhere. ... Really, they're insignificant. The only stats that are significant are at the end of the year in your conference when you've all played common opponents."

"We are fragile," Bailiff said. "Look at all of the games we've been tied or close at halftime. Bad things happen and the wheels come off. It's a cycle; we've identified it and we just have to keep working on it."

Playing true freshman: FIU has played 14 true freshmen this season, the fourth-most among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Only Tulane (17), Texas A&M (16) and Air Force (15) have played more.

Quoting George O'Leary: "If you don't have guys to make plays, you're in trouble," O'Leary said. "Teams that do well, in college and in the pros, have quarterbacks who have to make plays."

Quoting Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill (about Miami OH): "You can say what you want," Kill said, "they have played a very, very, very difficult schedule, and I think the coach has done a great job of keeping his kids in the wheelbarrow, so to speak, and have them get better each week."

Quoting former Tulsa head coach Dave Rader (on returning to Tulsa games as a fan): "It must be like a guy that has been divorced and is going back to his old house for a Christmas party.

"Everybody is having a great time, and it's Christmas and you should be having a great time, too.

"And everybody opened the door and welcomed you to come in. And there's even a present for you. It takes a little while to get used to that."

Lloyd Carr praised Rich Rod: "Rich is a young guy, (and) he's got a great background for such a young guy," Carr said during his interview with Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter. "What we're seeing here offensively throughout this season is a great thing for the future of Michigan football.

"The transition a year ago you could expect (the struggles) because what they were looking for in a quarterback. Certainly what we have here is exciting. I'm excited for the future."

"I've had a lot of conversations with Rich Rodriquez down through the last 18, 20 months, and I told him from the beginning if he needed me for any reason, just call me," Carr said. "I did not want to be a coach who's at practice and hanging around and answering questions from the media about what I saw. I didn't think that was good for Rich or our program."

Quoting Lane Kiffin after loss to Bama: "It's a difficult loss to deal with. You come into a hostile environment and play the No. 1 team in the country, as I said before by far the No. 1 team in the country and the best-coached team around. You come in here and outgain them I think by over 100 yards and miss three field goals. I'm really proud of how hard our players played. I don't believe in moral victories, we should have won that game. I think all of you guys that were there would agree with that, but I am happy by the way we played and at times we got out manned. That's what happens when you sign back-to-back No. 1 recruiting classes. I was proud of our effort and I was proud of the way we played. Very shocked at the penalties today for coming in the game the second least penalized team in the country and to have eight enforced penalties - and I think a couple of others that were declined - called on us at critical times. And they had one penalty for the day - very shocking to me. We've got to go back, get better and prepare for a really good team next week and we'll be excited when these guys come to our place next year."

Quoting Tulane head coach Bob Toledo after loss to Southern Miss: It's a comedy of errors. I about had a heart attack at halftime I was so mad. I was yelling and screaming. I haven't been that mad in the three years since I've been here.

We give everyone so many opportunities and we don't practice that way. We have some guys who have to step to the forefront. We make too many mistakes. That's the thing that's so bothersome. We work so hard as coaches and players and then to come into a game and perform like that is really disheartening.

Quoting Clemson OC Billy Napier: "You should have been in the press box," offensive coordinator Billy Napier said. "I thought it was 'Animal House.' I've never seen guys hugging like that before."

Quoting Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney: "No group deserved to be able to break through (more) than this group," Swinney said. "I told them coming down here that this wasn't a David and Goliath. We were good enough and expected to win.

"I don't think there's any turning back. ... I hope that this win can teach these kids that it ain't ever over till it's over, you have to appreciate the valleys because it's in those valleys that you grow and mature ... and find out who's all-in and who ain't. So that when you get on that mountain top, you know who hung in there with you. Only time will tell, but I will say this is a big shot in the arm."