Football: Saturday Practice Quotes
ORLANDO, Fla. - West Virginia University Coach Bill Stewart and select players quotes prior to Saturday's practice in Orlando:
Head Coach Bill Stewart
Who will take Madsen’s spot on the offensive line?
Eric Jobe will be our starting center, (John) Bassler and (Jeff) Braun will also play. Cole Bowers will be our starting right guard. There will be a chance for Bassler to get some time in there. We will have to pick up the saber and march on. These guys have all played. Jobe has played center here for two years so he has experience to get the job done. We are going to play just as if someone got hurt on the first series of a game.
What does Cole Bowers give your team?
He was able to get a lot of playing time at LSU. He’s a very talented young man. He should have a heck of a future. He needs to go in and play, pick up the saber and press on. I trust him to get it done.
On if you will utilize Noel Devine more is he healthy
We will play to win the game. We will play with the personnel we have within our game plan. Regardless of whether it is Noel, Jock or our seniors, we hope to be in a position to play who we need to.
On NC State’s Offense
NC State has a big, tall and a physical line. When I was watching the film, Wilson (Russell) bounces all-around. He put a game on by himself, his first 10-12 plays were passes or runs. We have to stop them from making hay on first down. He is their guy who sets the tempo. If we get them off schedule and out of rhythm, we have a chance.
On NC State’s Defense
They are a strong, physical and fast unit. Their linebackers come down the hill like ours do. Their front seven is very good. I watched them against other ACC teams and they knocked them back in the backfield.
On what you are trying to accomplish these next two days in practice
We are going good on good today. We have most of the hard practices out of the way. We are going to run today but I have to watch because they were on their feet a lot at Universal yesterday. Our guys are doing great. We are really working hard and watching film. I’m very proud of these young men.
Quarterback Geno Smith
Eric Jobe is a good center, and it doesn’t change the playbook at all. Cole Bowers has played for us, he started for us at LSU, and I am confident these guys will step up and play the positions. We have some great players who I know will step up and put the distractions behind them and play hard.
These next two days are very important for us. We have to get back in the groove of things. We have a big game coming up, and we have to get our minds right.
We have to focus. I don’t think the distractions are going to bother us and we will come out ready to play. We had some time to enjoy the holiday season but now it’s time to get back to work.
Center Eric Jobe
I am excited for the challenge to play center again. I started my career at center and played the position in past bowl games. It's the challenge that is in front of me so it looks like I will play my final game at WVU as the center.
I still take reps in practice at the position from time to time so it's really not a big deal to me. I know Cole (Bowers) is looking forward to the challenge ahead of him and the key will be for the offensive line to come together as a unit, communicate and jell which is what we worked on today in practice. We put in some extra time working together on the field before practice began today and our entire unit knows we have a tough opponent ahead of us so our focus is entirely on the bowl game.
Linebacker J.T. Thomas
We put a lot of work in at Morgantown and most of our hard work is behind us. We trying to get mental preparation in now and get our legs prepared for the game. It is a fine tuning process and we have to get out some of the kinks, get our legs moving again and get the blood flowing.
This is a great place to be, it’s close to home for me and our hotel is superb. To be able to be home and play close to family means a lot to me. NC State is a great opponent, and we have to be prepared for the challenge.
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