Football: Coach Bill Stewart Quotes
We’re getting ready for practice today, we looked at the game film and met as a staff. It was a very physical football game. I saw a lot of competing and a lot of straining. There were so many good things, yet so many bad things that were uncharacteristic of us. You can credit Syracuse for some of that and sometimes it just happens.
It’s a heck of a learning experience for the young men, but maybe we can grow from this and come out better. Hopefully, the character of this Mountaineer football team will continue to be built on situations like this. I’m sure that we will grow and learn from this, and if we gain anything at all from the loss, that will be of help down the road. I watched all three phases of game and our staff is now breaking down UCONN.
On adapting to Syracuse’ adjustments throughout the game
They did an awful lot of blitzing and put a lot of stress on our offensive line. We turned the ball over three times, we did move the ball, we outgained them, etc., we just didn’t out-do them on the scoreboard, because you can’t turn the ball over and give away nine points.
On a remedy to the team’s current protection problems
It’s not like the protection was crazy in a desperate situation, and we threw the ball pretty well. He did get hit a few times, but on the interceptions, he wasn’t hit but once. That’s when Jock was open in the middle and the ball fluttered on us, and he got hit that one time. The other two times were just plain interceptions.
On the changes Coach Bill Stewart made to the offense
I don’t want to be argumentative, but what we did was beat USF, 2 of 3 times, and we were 1-2 against them, before I took over, so that’s something that I think should be in the equation. I thought we had some great players prior to me taking over that were soon going to graduate. We have now recruited better receivers, some of them young, but we have receivers in the program now, and we’ve got a fine young quarter back in the program that just had a bad day.
If you go back to the years we’ve had with the offensive players that went to pro football, things had to change because the players were going to graduate. The Pitt game that we lost here in 2007, the same defensive coordinator was at Auburn the same year and we beat them here. I see a lot of good that we’re doing, I just don’t see consistency. Are we masters of any one particular thing? No. We’ve got to get better, and I think if we put a little more on the quarterback’s legs and not his arm.
We may run a little bit more in the offense, and Geno is certainly talented. You love to have a running quarterback, which certainly adds to the staple, but we need to run the ball a little bit better and hopefully we can do that. We’ll get things worked out and resolved. Ultimately, when you don’t turn the ball over, you win the football game. If you turn it over, most of the times bad things happen.
On doing too many things, but not one thing very well
We had a chance to win it at the end, and we got sacked. I just think there are many things you can do in football but you can always do all of them better. I thought at times, Geno threw the ball pretty well. We had some penalties, we had some distractions with that because it got us off-schedule, we tried to push the ball deep, but we didn’t have enough time because they have a good, sound defense.
They didn’t play very well against Pitt, but they played very well to go 5-2 and beat USF, holding them to no touchdowns, and put up 38 points against Cincinnati. I don’t think there is one concrete thing. We are up and down, because they are young men and they’re going to make mistakes. Our young quarterback had a tough day, but I’m not in any kind of panic mode what-so-ever. We’re just going to have to get better, stay the course and continue to work.
On Syracuse getting our defense off-balance
They got the ball on the short side of the field when we turned the ball over. They’re strong guys, and they have two good running backs, which was evident yesterday. I credit Syracuse
On Tandy’s flag on his interception
They gave the wrong number but the call was a good call on Keith Tandy for interference. In our first interception, the exact same thing happened to Jock Sanders and was a no call.
On doing more with other players, if Noel is not 100 percent
Noel played very well; he just failed to make a couple guys miss, but did (Syracuse) make good tackles? Yes. If you can explain for any reason why one week they gave up 45 to Pitt, then hold us to only 14 tells you that it’s football and it’s a game. That’s why people get beat, that’s why the number one teams get beat and that’s why you have so called “upsets”. They’re young people, and it’s very tough for them to remain constant and remain the same.
On WVU’s preparation for Syracuse
I think we were beaten between the ears from the shoulders up. I say this every time we have a loss, to what experts say is a lesser team. When you do not respect each and every opponent, and fear none, you are going to get sidetracked. I don’t know why the upsets happen or why losses like this occur, but it’s mental. I’m not going to chastise or rip these players, because they had a great week. They worked hard, but If you do not get it right between the ears and take each opponent seriously, you’re going to have trouble.
I don’t know why young people can’t look at a USF film and say ‘wow’, then turn around and look at the Pitt and Syracuse film and not figure out that if they don’t play, the exact same thing will happen to us, or we can do what Pitt did to them. They were reminded all week by their coaches, and that’s where leadership and maturity comes into being.
I am not pleased in the mental approach in the Mountaineers’ football game after cautiously being reminded over and over by the coaching staff. I’ve coached longer than these players have been on this earth so, they better trust their old coaching staff. They worked very hard, and I know they were not nearly as impressed with Syracuse before the game as they were after the game.
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