November 10, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University football coach Bill Stewart quotes from Tuesday’s news conference.
We are pleased with our win this past week against Louisville. It was a tough game. I was very impressed with our defense in holding our BIG EAST opponent to no touchdowns. That hasn’t been done all year.
I also was pleased with our kicking team, especially Scott Kozlowski, the way he changed field positions. Offensively, I was not pleased. We are not clicking on the cylinders that need to be clicking, and we need to hit our stride this week.
That was a good win, but it was a win that needs to be polished. It is a win that we will take anytime in the BIG EAST, it just needs cleaned up. I am frustrated that we were 3-of-11 in third downs. That has not happened to us. We usually have led the league or have been second at the worst all year. We just did not complete the play on third down. Louisville had a lot to do with that. They played hard.
We had a tremendous practice last night; it was as good of one as we have had all season. Hopefully, that means our players are focused for this weekend’s game.
Injury wise, we are not as bad as we first anticipated. Jarrett Brown practiced for the offense, which was good to see. Noel (Devine) was running around last night without getting hit, which was good to see.
Defensively, Sidney Glover, Scooter Berry and Chris Neild were all moving around well. Josh Taylor is the only one now who seems to be of concern.
Looking ahead to this Friday night, we are anticipating a tough football game. We have played each other pretty tough over the years. I think it was four years ago they hit an upright with a field goal towards the end. Two years ago, it was 28-23 win. We were in command, and then we turned the ball over. They forced the turnovers, scored and then scored again and went for two. Going back to when Mark Dantonio was there and his staff, to now Brian (Kelly), we have been in tough football games with the Bearcats.
They have an explosive offense. I do not know who is going to play at quarterback and that is none of my business. That will be decided by Brian, and he is a sharp guy and has a great staff. I don’t really have any comment on the quarterback situation. I will say this; West Virginia has to play West Virginia football.
On what has made Cincinnati better
There are over 800 high schools in the state of Ohio. There is some pretty good football. He (Mark Dantonino) brought what I thought was a defensive mentality. I thought that was what Brian Kelly has brought with him from Central Michigan. He had a pretty good football team up there. Kelly brought an offensive fair that has a shine to it. It has a swagger. He has those kids believe, and they are playing very well.
On the Bearcat’s receivers
They have guys that can stretch the field, and they have guys that can roll to the middle.
Watching them (Cincinnati’s receivers), with Jeff (Casteel) on Sunday night, they come and there is no wide outs. They have a quick throw, and it is second and two. Next play there is one running back, and they get a first down. Next play, no wide outs, they get a six-yard pass, break a tackle and the get a 30-yard gain. That is what is so tough, they get rid of the ball.
On WVU’s defense against Cincinnati
Without giving away our secrets, I think that when you play a three-three stack, you may give away a little bit of a pass rush, and we know that. But it always gives you an extra guy. I remember a few years ago in a bowl game, we had a young quarterback confused, because there was always a guy in the hole, so to speak.
Whatever your defense is, you are always going to give up something. The three-three stack, we think, stops the run, because the way we attack.
On trusting your team with injuries
It is a feel thing. I saw Reed Williams this morning, and he said he is feeling better right now that anytime throughout the year. I have seen No.7 (Devine) get his helmet knocked off, I have seen his facemask get jerked off, and he just keeps coming. I saw him get nicked in the game against Louisville, and I knew when he went down he was nicked. They will tell me the truth.
They are very honest young men. I am the luckiest coach in the world, because I have the greatest young men that anyone can ask for.
On UConn against Cincinnati
They played hard. UConn never gave up. They kept swinging. They were really impressive to watch. I really enjoyed watching that football game.
On Jarrett Brown
He is moving around well and looks to me like he has his feet back under him. His foot was sprained, but I told him that I wanted him to be alive in the pocket and have fun. I want him to play like it is sandlot football. He needs to pick it up, and he knows it. We all need to pick it up. Coach better, play better, it all needs to be better.
On Jock Sanders
Last February, he went on a mission as a man, not knowing if he would ever play again. No one had to come tell me, from the gym where he was working out, that he was working so hard. My son plays baseball near where he was training, and when I would go watch, people would come to me and tell me that he was maximizing every amount of effort anyone could. It is very nice to see in life when you get the opportunity to correct a situation that you work hard in it and with it and things turn out good.
On busing to Cincinnati
We want to do our part with the bad economy, Cincinnati buses over here last year and they won. I look at it as this; we are treated very well in Zainesville, Ohio. We always stop there and have lunch.
By the time you get to an airport by bus, transfer all of your luggage and people, then bus from the airport to Cincinnati, it has already been four and a half hours.
On Julian Miller
He (Julian Miller) is vital. Julian being the player of the week is such a great accolade. He is vital to our team. He could have a tip, a sack or an interception that would be very important in this game.