Sept. 15, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - WVU football coach Bill Stewart quotes from Tuesday's news conference.
We had a very nice win over East Carolina. We were pleased about the win; however, we were not overjoyed. But you can never be discouraged with a win, you just find ways to make the win better. That is what we try to do here at West Virginia University.
The first win, to some, may not have been as colorful as it should have been against a good Liberty team. Maybe people thought with our mental part of the game, we should have done better against East Carolina. I know we are very pleased to be 2-0, and we feel good about where we are.
I am concerned about some injuries. I am pleased to say today, that Trippe Hale, who is an Alabama native and whose dad is in charge of the senior bowl and coached at Alabama, will be going home if the hip flexor and groin are doing better. We are going to make him go full speed this week on kickoff live, on punt live and on defense, because we are not going down there to sight see, we are going to play football. We are going to take guys that are going to contribute. Trippe has earned that opportunity; we will just have to see how he responds today.
The other two are Scooter Berry and Reed Williams. Berry is day-to-day. In the pool yesterday he did a very nice workout from what I heard and they (the medical staff) were pleased with his progress. Reed Williams is day-to-day and his day-to-day is brighter.
On what happens if Berry doesn’t play
The mix will be that the veteran guys will go. But think back now what Ovid Goulbourne did. He comes off the edge in about 4.5 seconds and benches about 425 (pounds). He brings something to the table, as does Najee Goode. These are 400 pound benchers and they are fast. We will have a plan to keep fresh people in. Right now, Bill Kirelawich and the defensive staff will start off with Chris Neild and Julian Miller and then we will see how Scooter goes. We hope Scooter will play, but I don’t know that he will. We don’t want to get him hurt; this is only game three.
On Auburn’s offensive numbers
I see a track meet. It is going to be very difficult to contain the Auburn Tigers. They are fourth overall in total offense and second in rushing. That tells me they go and they make a lot of plays. They are a fast team and they are playing very well right now. It is going to be a tremendous challenge for our guys.
On Auburn’s ground game
They can run it all. They run the draw, they run the power, the belly, the zone, the quarterback and it is all fast. It is fun to watch when you are not playing them.
On being a passing team going into this weekend’s game
It is usually good going in as a passing team, but then I look and Auburn is 19th in the country in pass defense. Not only are they running the ball well, but they have a good pass defense. I have known their coaches a long time and they have a really nice plan.
On SEC speed
That means when you play against an SEC team, it is speed. They run. Their skills run, their linebackers run and their defensive linemen run. When you look back in the 1980s when coach (Bobby) Bowden went down to Florida State, those linemen get in their sprinter stances and look like lanky linebackers playing on the defensive line. They substitute size for speed and that is what we have done here in our 3-3-stack. We are fast as well.
The game is a game of speed and getting from point A to point B the best way you can.
On the Pistol Offense
The pistol puts the guy behind the quarterback, like the I-formation or the straight T. Anything balanced causes defenses not to fly to the ball as fast as they would have with a loaded set. When you get in that I-formation or the pistol, then you balance it out and spread the defense out with your wide receivers.
On opponents’ coaches congratulating Jarrett Brown
That to me speaks volumes. I found Patrick Pickney after our game and gave him a hug. I think Pickney is a tremendous competitor and player, and I see the same thing in either quarterback that will play against us on Saturday. When you see those kinds of players, it gets your attention as a coach and I think that is nice that they did that to Jarrett.
On WVU’s success against SEC teams
There league is very tough and they beat each other up. I think the BIG EAST is a physical league. We get beat up and we beat each other up as well. I did not know that we have beaten SEC teams the last five times we’ve played them. This is going to be a slugfest. When you play an SEC team, you better have everything work good for you.
On Auburn’s coaching staff
It’s not much different than it was. The spread is a little different, but defensively I still see Auburn lining up. I know the coaches very well and they have a great staff. It is going to be tough and our guys are just going to have to play well. We are going to have to coach well.
On the venue
We have played in some tough arenas, we’re just going to have to go out and play hard.
On stopping the rush
We don’t have the answers on how we are going to stop Auburn from rushing just yet. We are going to practice today and see how that looks.
Once we got ahead on Saturday, we put a little pressure on them and made them throw the ball, which worked in our favor. We took them out of the run.
This is a speed, tempo offense that doesn’t interchange a lot. They will take Kodie (Burns) from receiver and throw him in at quarterback, and next thing you know he makes a play.
On defending the Wildcat
It is like Pat White, we were a wildcat offense a lot last year. When he was in the backfield, it was a different dimension, and that is what Kodie brings to the field. If we can get ahead, then maybe they will have to throw the ball more and it will take them out of the running game. The biggest thing is to get them off rhythm and off schedule.
On Jock Sanders
Jock Sanders has bought into the plan. For this plan to work, we all must spread the wealth, in catching the ball and blocking. We are not asking these guys to block 75 percent of the time, but they seem to be having fun. They know they can catch the ball at any route. Jarrett Brown will fire that ball at anytime and you better get your head around because he is reading the coverage fast.
On biggest concerns
I am concerned with us moving the ball and them moving the ball. It is going to be a big game of field position. If we can continue to stay out of the backfield, we will have chance to have a good season.