Head Coach Carl Pelini
Oct. 8, 2013
What did you see on the game tape?
(We) did a lot of good things. Again, not perfect. What really impressed me defensively was the effort. We did play a perfect game but we had 11 guys flying around and I was very proud of the recklessness which our guys played with. Offensively, the execution – no turnovers was big for us. I said it after the game and after looking at the tape. Quez (Jaquez) is maturing into a very efficient quarterback. He understands the offense. (He) understands what he is seeing out there defensively and gets us into the right things, makes good decisions.
What challenges does Marshall present?
They are a really good defensive football team. Physical upfront and they have skill guys in the back end, to cover you. Good team speed. They will pose a challenge for us. Offensively, it starts with the quarterback, but they’ve got good skill guys all around and they’ve got an experienced offensive line. Big. They will be a challenge they are a good football team.
Marshall Recruiting in south Florida
A lot of teams come down here. There are a lot of great players here. I don’t tend to look at it that way (as winning the recruiting battle). If we earn ourselves into a position as an option for these guys, then that is because of how we play week after week after week and I don’t know that one game is going to sway a lot of kids. Marshall has a long history and a long tradition that obviously we don’t have here, being a relatively new and start up program. To start putting ourselves at their level, we have got to do that week after week after week and season after season.
South Florida Marshall Players Getting to Play at Home
They are probably excited. It seems like they will have a large contingent here supporting them. A lot of our guys know them. We were watching films last night and a number of our guys were saying I know him and him and I played with him. It will be a good game in that respect.
Motivating the Team
I haven’t had to work very hard to get the passion side of it. The emotional side of it has not been difficult with this group. We have good leadership. In many ways that (last week) was our best week of practice coming off our most disappointing loss. Probably, I would say in the two years that I have been here last week was the best week of preparation that we have had in terms of focus, the effort on the practice field, the things that were being said by the leadership on this team. That hasn’t been an issue. Our guys come out every week ready to work.
On the road versus home
It was a grueling start to the season--five road trips in six games, but the togetherness and the idea of family on this team is as strong of a bond as I have seen in my whole career. You hear it in how the players talk about each other. You hear it in how the offense talks about the defense and vice versa. One guy makes a mistake there is no finger pointing. It has been great the way they support each other because it hasn’t been easy trip for them.
On Keith Reaser (Potentially losing him for a time being due to injury)
I have said it from the start of the year. I think Keith (Reaser) is one of the better defensive backs not only in this conference but in this country, probably. In terms of his skill and what he brings to the table; not just that—leadership. Keith is a leader on this team and people respect him. Sometimes it is easier to handle that loss in the midst of a game when everything is rolling and you put your guys in there. You don’t really know until your first full week of preparation without a guy like Keith. I have my fingers cross on the test today but we are prepared to go either way.