Football Player Quotes: Baylor
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Assistant coaches and players of the West Virginia University football team addressed members of the media Tuesday night. The Mountaineers travel to Baylor Saturday night to face the Bears at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
Assistant Coach (Defensive Coordinator) Keith Patterson
On the goal line stand against Oklahoma State
I think at the end of the year we will look back and see the significance of it. It shows a lot about the character of our young men and the pride and the passion they played with. The effort was possibly the best it has been all year long, and I’ve been impressed with the effort that they have been giving all year long.
On what the defense has this year that it was lacking last year
I’ve said this all along - I don’t spend any time looking in the rear-view mirror. I can tell you what they have though. They have character and discipline. They have a physical toughness and mental toughness to them. On that goal-line stand, we just held them on third-and-six, there’s a facemask call and they move the ball half the distance. Then we hold them again. We held them twice inside the 10 which was the best part of the game for me
On the toughness of the defense this year
The acronym that we’ve been rallying around since January has been T.E.A.M. When you think about West Virginia and the people that have played before, and the teams that have come, the one thing that you can say is that they were tough. Our kids today show not only physical toughness, but mental toughness. I think it showed up in the second half of the Maryland game. Someone told me that even though we were down 30 points, we were playing like it was the second half of the Super Bowl. That toughness is something we’ve harped on since January. We are going to play with a physical and mental toughness.
Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Shaq Rowell
On facing Baylor’s prolific offense
It makes us realize that we have to get a lot more pressure than in previous weeks. If we don’t, it’ll just be a rerun of last year. They have a great scheme. We can’t pick up what they’re doing compared to all the other Big 12 teams. It looks the same, but it isn’t. Their tempo is different, and their players are different. I think they are the fastest team, not just in tempo, but all around the board, from the offensive line, to the quarterback, to the receivers - these guys are well coached. They’re great players, they move fast and they don’t make mistakes. I think that’s the biggest thing - we can’t make mistakes against these guys.
On why this year’s game will be different to last year’s shootout
Because I’m a senior. It’s my last time here, and I’m just going to sell out and give it my all.
On his downfield tackle against Oklahoma State
It’s just a matter of wanting it. This year’s team wants it. I was just reacting to the play. When I watched the film, I didn’t realize what I did until the game was over and I watched the film. It was a team play. It’s no big play, and as a team we want that to be a routine play.
On how he’s developed as a team leader
It’s just something that’s happened. It’s not something I’ve been trying to do. I’m just being Shaq. I know that on this team right now, there’s no better leader than me. As far as mentality goes, I’m the oldest on the team. I’ve been through the most. I’m one of the last JUCO guys left that was recruited from my class. It’s just about who wants it the most. The guys know how hungry I am and how determined we are to win. I got those guys on defense to follow me, and that’s all we need.
Junior linebacker Jared Barber
On transitioning from the win against Oklahoma State to traveling to Baylor
It was definitely a big win Saturday. We definitely needed that following Maryland. It’s a new week, it’s Baylor, it’s a tough team. (They’re) definitely good offensively. We still have a chip on our shoulder, and people still are not giving us much respect. I think we are a four-touchdown underdog. We just have to go out and play hard.
On keeping pace with Baylor’s fast-paced offense
We just have to get back to the ball, line up, get the call and keep everything in front of you. They are going to take some shots down the field. We need to play hard and play fast in order to slow them down.
On if he sees another shootout happening against Baylor similar to last year
Absolutely not. We don’t care about how many points they’ve scored. Just like every time we play, we are going for a shutout. They take shots down the field, and a lot of the pass defenses have played man against them - the wide receivers would just run right past the corners. We have to get a good game plan, and I think we will execute it well.
Assistant Coach (Offensive Coordinator) Shannon Dawson
On who was playing quarterback in practice
Ford can’t throw. We have one healthy quarterback and one sort of healthy one. We will see by the end of the week. We are going to rep the ones that are healthy, and see what we can do on Friday. (Redshirt-junior) Clint (Trickett) threw some today, and took some reps. The main thing is how he is feeling on Thursday and Friday.
On who has the final say if Clint can play
With the nature of what the injury is, it is up to the player. I am not a trainer, though. I practice with who they tell me is not in a redshirt. If they are not in a red shirt, they can practice. I don't know the nature of anyone's injury. All I know is that if they are out there, they are going to practice.
On what worked on Saturday
I thought that Clint played well. That is one thing that everybody can see. I think some moving parts around him got settled as well. The offensive line got situated with where people should be and feel at home. (Redshirt-senior) Pat Eger is a huge leader for us, and to have him in there with that kind of stability is good. (Redshirt-junior) Quinton Spain feels extremely comfortable at guard. I think that we have found the proper home for people, and now we just need to rep the heck out of them.
On moving people around
I hope we do not have to anymore. It looks better to me, and hopefully we can continue to improve. We are still a below average offense, let's be honest. We have the ability to be better, but we need to get there.
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Cody Clay
On catching the ball
I was definitely happy to get involved in the offense in that way. It was fun for me, and I felt like I was in high school a little bit again. I was getting open, and they were throwing the ball to me, which is something we have not done for a little bit. Oklahoma State was not expecting it all, and there was another time I was open but just didn't get the ball. It was definitely cool for me. They didn't know what to do with it until the second half when they made some adjustments.
On role in previous games
We had not run that play in the previous games. I kind of just went to get open. In the past, I was doing some routes just across the field. Now, I am literally just going and finding an open void, and sitting down. It is pretty easy. All I am doing is going five yards and turning around.
On strategy of getting the ball
I am the first look on that play, because I am so close to Clint already. It is a third and short play, so that is what we are doing. The second catch was a different play, but the first and third catches were the same. I feel like a tight end now. I am more of a moving tight end that can catch some passes. Before, I felt comfortable blocking and not so much receiving.
Sophomore wide receiver Jordan Thompson
On role on special teams
It has been a learning experience. I never really had a main role as a punt returner, but it is just a process. I am getting more comfortable being back there to catch punts. Now, it is about getting more reps so I can become more comfortable during returns.
On catch against Oklahoma State
I think it is something that will continue to happen. As a receiver, Coach (Dana) Holgorsen expects us to make big plays in crucial situations. On that play, I made a good catch, but as soon as I caught it, I knew I had to get lined up, because coach likes the tempo. I know as a receiving corps, we are expected to make plays when it matters. I feel like having more reps with Clint will build our relationship, and knowing how each other plays will help us develop as the season goes on.
On fair catch on the three yard line
As soon as I caught the ball, I knew what I did was wrong. There was no question about it. I knew it was wrong, and as soon as I caught it I was mad at myself. I told Coach (Lonnie) Galloway that the reason I caught it was because I was trying to make a play in a key situation, but it backfired on me. In practice, we are working on pooch punts with just the kickers and us to make sure we do not go back when we are standing on the 10-yard line. It was one mistake that I know I will not make again. I am not worried about it, and neither is coach Galloway.
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