Kenneth Campos gave his thoughts on the match up with FIU.
Nov. 19, 2003
BOCA RATON, FL - FAU Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
"FIU is a very improved football team. Don Strock has done a great job of keeping the team together while playing some difficult opponents. They are much better team than a year ago. It will take our best effort to be able to come away with a win."
"I new we would improve a lot this season but to be at this level is surprising. The guys have gotten better day by day and have worked like hell to get better."
On the Rivalry
"This game is becoming a budding rivalry that is taking on grandeur. If we don't win this game, FIU would knock us out of a possible playoff berth. We have set a standard of performance in only our third season with no senior class."
Kenneth Campos (Dade Country Native)
On Playing Against FIU Players
"No, we don't talk, but we talked after the game last year and any time we bump into each other at Coconut Grove or something we always talk. We're always hyping it up."
FIU's Chance to Spoil FAU's Playoff Hopes
"The team's mind state is that we have made the playoffs. This is round one right here. This is do or die right here, so this is our playoff game. That's how we're thinking. That's how were practicing the week. Even Coach Schnellenberger said, 'you guys are finally having fun in practice. You guys never do that.' But really were just raising the intensity of it. We know this is the playoffs, if we win we go on, if we lose, were here and we'll get ready for next year."
On the Hype
"We're definitely going to feel alive again. It hasn't been that way since UCF I'd have to say. It's going to be a playoffs atmosphere and I can't wait."
"It is a rivalry, even though it is our second year, the parents are crazy about it. I mean this is a game where I get three calls a day for more tickets and more tickets I'm going to have a 150 people there, I know other people who are going to have 50 people there. Even people who aren't from Miami are...I know Willie Hughley's running around asking for tickets and he's from Tampa."
On any Distraction
"If there's any distraction it's from the parents. They keep asking if were going to beat FIU, hey you better beat FIU. Parents' colleagues and stuff there all coming to the game, half of them have graduated from FIU half from FAU. It's going to be a great thing. It's going to be a good environment."
Last Year's Game
"It was hard hitting, it was definitely a high tempo game and the speed tempo is definitely there. You can tell from other games."
"That win sparked us to have an incredible off season, we really busted our butt and we ended up beating Middle Tennessee State after that and having this great year that were having, on a seven game winning streak."
How FIU Looks this Year
"They look real good. I mean all their games they look real good, they've been real close. They actually look really good, defense wise, I don't know offense, because I'm an offensive player, but on defense they look a lot more physical. They know what their doing now. They have a couple new players in, a couple new freshman and they seem to have a knack for the ball."
Improvement of the Offensive Line
"Realizing what college football is all about, you've got to be dedicate 24 hours a day seven days a week. It's not going to be just your time spent here, the five hours you spend here everyday. You've got to take it outside of this Oxley center and do stuff on your own."
FIU Recruiting Him
"Oh yeah, they tried to recruit me. I took an unofficial visit there, but I wanted to get away from home a little bit so this was my best choice coming to FAU."
On the Game
"I know it's going to be a dog fight. They're going to try to end our hope for making it to the playoffs. It's not only a rivalry game, for them I guess, they'll take it like a championship game."
FIU Head Coach Don Strock
On FIU's Season
"This year we certainly had a chance late in the game to win, just weren't able to do it for various reasons. Obviously this late in the year most teams have a lot of injuries. We're pretty banged up as everyone else is. You only play the guys that are available so there are no excuses there. We had the opportunity last week to win a football game. We made a crucial mistake with a fumble while we were running the clock out. Those things shouldn't happen."
"I think we've kind of turned the corner, we know exactly who the core players are that when we do go to the next level and obviously recruiting ever year will be very important from this point on."
On Rashod Smith
"Rashod will be a game time situation. He cut his toe in a freak accident and it nipped a piece of the tendon. He's been working, but we really won't know until Friday or probably Saturday morning on his availability."
On Diamos Demerritt
"Demerritt will play."
On Other injuries
"We lost Jonathan Taylor our starting guard and we had Ed Wenger coming back who was out that game with an ankle sprain. He should be coming back this week. We are a little thin in that area, obviously the offensive line is a very important part of your football team. We have lot of different guys working in a lot of different spots. They have basically, overall, played well all year."
On the Team's Excitement
"The rivalry is summed up that a lot of these guys, players on both sides, have played against each other in high school or with each other in high school. I think that adds a little hype to the game and the fact that FAU needs a victory to secure a spot in the playoffs. I think that certainly adds some intensity to it."
"All year this team has played hard. They play hard for 60 minutes and I am sure they are going to come out on Saturday and play hard too. Motivation comes from within, they have to get motivate to...they have to prepare themselves to get motivated for the football game. I don't think Howard and I are going to throw any passes or catch any passes, or make any bocks or tackles. It is going to be up to them when they get out on the field and I'm pretty sure their going to be ready."
On the Future of the Rivalry
"Well I think as far as the Sunbelt is concerned all of our sports are I-A in the Sunbelt so when the time is right it will be a natural move for us."
"With the reshuffling that took place with Miami, V-Tech, and BC, and with other conferences taking teams, it opens an opportunity for FAU with the Sunbelt."
"Obviously FIU and FAU will be a rivalry within the Sunbelt. I think that is what they are trying to get to, and also as far as travel and expenses are concerned, it certainly helps not to have Utah State and New Mexico. That's a pretty long trip to play a football game with expenses. I think in the years to come it will be a natural rivalry and were looking forward to this game every year."
On the Similarity of the Two Programs
"I think, to be quite honest with you, we had no illusions going into the year. We knew we had certainly stepped up our schedule and we stepped it up even more through next year. But I think it's important to have these guys, these players, go and play in those environments and see how they stack up. Before each of those games on the road, the Georgia Southern and the Troy States, I would say this is a measuring stick game to see where you measure up at the next level and let's see if you're competitive enough to play at the next level. I think a lot of guys found out they were, and a lot of guys found out they have work to do. We knew we were going to take our lumps. I have nothing against the schools we have played in the past. We were playing nonscholarship schools. It's not truly a test of what's to come."
"I thought this year was very important. We've made some progress in a lot of areas. Next year will hopefully turn out to be a positive for us."
Thoughts on FAU
"I think more or less you've got a lot of the same guys on the football field, but your more mature, your more in the system. It's important the continuity of the players, it's the basics, they're running the same offense, running the same defense, and as it becomes more second hat you become more successful at it. That certainly helps, were playing with redshirt sophomores, he's playing with juniors and that one year experience certainly makes a lot of difference, a lot of time the outcome of football games. But we've stood up to some pretty good football teams this year and hopefully we'll be able to do that this Saturday."
On Josh Padrick stepping in for Jamie Burke
"Jamie went down the very first game, it was really a fluke accident somebody just kind of rolled in and just kind of bent his knee a little bit, but he's had problems. This is the third ACL operation on the same knee so were quite concerned about his future."
"The boat Josh Padrick's in is, he's from Merritt Island high school and he was an option quarterback in high school. We redshirted him last year and kind of taught him the pro-style game. He had an excellent spring last year and he got the opportunity. He's very athletic, he high jumped 6'9" or 6'10" in high school. He's got great speed, he's got excellent arm strength. When he really learns to how to play the position he's going to be dangerous."