Football: Select Player Quotes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU football player quotes following Tuesday’s practice.
On preparation for Louisville
We need to come out and still have that fire under us to go out and compete. We all came together last week, getting excited after the game, turning up the music and getting in each other’s faces – we had fun again. It was so much fun to bring back that family aspect of it.
On the difficulty of playing on the road
It’s all about staying focused. It’s easier to do that on your home field with the crowd behind you, so we just have to stay focused when we’re away.
On playing Louisville, a traditional rival
Every team is a rival to me – I want to win all of our games.
On Louisville’s defense
They do a lot of blitzing. They have a lot of tough twists we have to pick up and communicate with each other. It’s not a complicated defense, but they do bring a lot of people so you have to get everybody picked up and know where they’re going.
On the improved play against Cincinnati
We came out and were able to run the ball and pound it to them. Then when they brought their safeties in, we threw it over their heads. It was awesome to see us come together and just dominate a team like that. We want to do that every single week.
On Louisville’s new coaching staff and defense
Last year, it seemed like they took some plays off. They weren’t lazy, but kind of quit on some plays. This year, we saw one of their defensive ends get smacked and then go down and make the tackle, so we see that they’re putting in the effort.
On this week’s early game
You have to be ready to play at all times. I don’t think that the time of the game will do much, but we have to be ready to come out and play.
On the possibility of winning the BIG EAST
I think it will help us stay focused and keep the momentum going to play well.
On Louisville’s defense
They throw a lot of different coverages at you and blitz a lot. They go about half and half blitzing and staying back in coverage. They play hard and try to make plays.
On staying focused for the remainder of the season
It’s extremely important. Those two losses really hit us deep and we feel that we should have won those games. We got over them, though. Having that extra week off and getting mad at each other, going extra hard in practice; really helped us. Our defense and offense are competing. We got after each other in practice. Practicing hard translates into playing hard. That is going to be a snowball effect for our team.
On the attitude of the team this week
We’re having another good week of practice. Today we went hard in third down drills and competed very well. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made so far.
It’s not tough at all. We’ve played in some difficult places like Baton Rouge and I think that really prepared us for games like this on the road. They’re going to have a loud crowd, so we need to be ready for it.
We have to stay focused and do what we have to do. We have to play our part.
On playing on the road
I can’t say that the environment is any tougher to play in than when we’re at home. You love to play in front of the home crowd, but it all come down to just executing and doing your part.
On the increased confidence of the team
You can definitely say that our confidence is increased. We feel like we regained our identity and we know who we are. This is a pivotal road game with the BIG EAST title on the line, so we better play well. We’re definitely approaching it with a better attitude.
On Cincinnati’s offense backing down after falling behind
When you execute your game plan to stop the run, it makes it hard for them to only be able to pass the ball.
On the emergence of Bruce Irvin
It gives you another dimension to work with. Last year, people were saying that I was out there on my own at the end position to try to be the main pass rusher. With Bruce, he’s able to break free if I’m getting double-teamed so he can make the play. It works the other way around, too. To be double-teamed shows that they respect us. He’s a new dynamic that’s helping our defense out a lot this year.
On setting the WVU all-time receptions record
I’m approaching the game like any other. It might seem different that it won’t happen on our home field, but it’s all the same. If it happens, it happens, but if not, it doesn’t. I just have to go out and play.
It would be a great accomplishment and show that the coaches have trusted me. I just want the victory and to move on and win out and let everything take care of itself.
On WVU’s offense heading into this game
There was more excitement in practice this week going against our defense. We were going at it and competing. We haven’t gone this hard at our defense since camp. Knowing we’re competing at a high level with our defense means that we’re more excited to play. We’re changing up a lot of things.
On the struggles of the road
We have to come out fast. We have to go in with the mentality of playing our own game.
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