Football Quotes: Texas Tech


By WVU Sports Communications for WVUsports.com
October 15, 2013 07:26 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University football assistant coaches and players addressed members of the media this evening at the Milan Puskar Center.

Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson

On the quality of opponents WVU has faced to this point
We started talking about that back in January. It's the Big 12. You beat Oklahoma State, then you have an undefeated team waiting on you. It's no different now. We have another undefeated team. Texas Tech is a Top-15 team in the country. People forget that these games are now five hours long. There is a lot of mental stress that goes into each and every game. You have to be able to handle. The mental part of it is probably just as taxing as the physical part of it.

On the mismatches Texas Tech junior tight end Jace Amaro presents
First of all, it's his size and his ability to run. He bodies up on you, so even though you have good position, he can go over the top of you and catch the football He's obviously a different type of challenge than someone who has great speed. He's very physical. He's a great blocker. He poses so many challenges. From not only catching the football, but also blocking in the run game

On goals and expectations for the second half of the season
It's the same approach we took for the first six games. It's very disappointing, because I felt we got better and better for the first five games, then I felt we took two steps backwards against Baylor. Now, we just kind of hit the restart button and are trying to get off on the right foot again. Go back to emphasize the things that we've been emphasizing all year long, the fundamentals and trying to be able to play with a lot of passion and energy. We want to continue to become a better team each and every week. That is going to continue to be our goal for the next weeks.

Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker Isaiah Bruce

On how things went during the bye week and through practice this week
The bye week was a big help. We got to really focus on us, and what we could really get better at. We didn't focus so much on Texas Tech as much last week. We really just focused on us and getting better.

On how tough it was playing six straight weekends before a break
It was tough, but it's also the name of the game. It's not going to be easy, or everyone would do it. Having a bye week halfway through the season is awesome. It definitely helps everyone mentally and physically.

On WVU playing its fourth straight undefeated team
It's actually good. It gives us a chance to bring them down a level. It definitely makes us step up our game – going against an undefeated team. It just makes us want to play even harder.

On what to expect from Texas Tech's running game
They run a lot of zone. We've seen that all year. It just gives us something that we've seen a lot this season. We're preparing for it.

Junior Linebacker Jared Barber

On if Barber has been playing with a chip on his shoulder
Absolutely. Last year, I didn't have the year I wanted to have. I really disappointed myself, and embarrassed myself and my family for the way I played and the way I prepared. I went about things the complete wrong way, and I can't get it back. This year, I just came in and set my mind to playing hard and playing how I used to play. That's all I'm trying to do – play hard, play with effort and play with a chip on my shoulder.

On what helped Barber see the light last year
The coaches definitely told me I wasn't playing very well, and I could tell myself that I wasn't playing very well. I wasn't enjoying playing football, to be honest with you. Things were going wrong that kind of hindered my emotional state. (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Keith) Patterson and I had a great talk last spring, and he really helped me out about not letting my emotions affect me. You have to be the same person night in and night out. I set my mind to it and just kept working

On how difficult it is to block things out mentally
You try as best as you can. Sometimes, big things like family and stuff like that, you're thinking about it constantly, and I just let it get to me too much. There needs to be a light switch, I believe.

Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson

On the health of the offense
It seems that everybody is healthy. Everybody is playing pretty good right now, so we will see come Saturday. The bye week was really good for a lot of people and came at a good time.

On communication with redshirt junior Clint Trickett
The communication with Clint (Trickett) has gotten a lot better. We have done some things on our end to clear some questions up, so it has gotten better. We have also switched a few things around, which has really helped.

Timing between quarterbacks and receivers
Timing has been the biggest set back in our offense. Everybody is so new, and you are not sitting back there giving one guy 90 percent of the reps. You are switching guys in and out. Every quarterback has played in a game, so there has not been a lot of gelling taking place. Hopefully, we will start to see that this weekend. It all comes down to how you play in a game. We have not played well in a game yet, so we will see how it goes this week.

On Paul Millard's mindset
Obviously your mind is fragile, especially if you start a game and then don't start a game. I understand the nature of the position, and I have been there before. My job as a coach is to keep Paul (Millard) positive. I have had a lot of conversations with him about opportunities, and you have to take advantage of opportunities, because they do not always come up. Right now, his mindset is positive, and he has taken a lot of reps. We are dividing it pretty well, and he is doing a good job. There will probably be a chance for him to play soon, and when he does, he just needs to capitalize on it. That is all you can tell him. You can't say that anybody in that room has not had an opportunity.

Redshirt Senior Running Back Charles Sims

On how the team has performed through six games
The team has been up and down. We are getting better though as a team, and will continue to as the season goes along. We have been going with the flow, and will continue to work hard to get back on track this week.

On the bye week
The bye week came at the perfect time. We all got a chance to relax a little bit. We all got back Monday, regrouped and are ready to get back on task for this weekend.

On Texas Tech's defense
They play every snap really hard. Everyone on that defense flies to the ball, and they have a very nice front line.

On breaking the big play
It takes patience to be able to break off the big play. Once you start getting into the flow of the game, moving the ball and playing fast, things open up. Throwing the ball deep helps a lot by getting the safeties out of the box. The big play is coming, it just take a lot of patience. It is coming.

Redshirt Senior Offensive Lineman Pat Eger

On the bye week
I did a lot of resting. It was nice to actually sit down for a whole day and watch college football. Last week, we had three great practices, and got out there and moved around a little bit. The younger guys were able to get some more reps, and the older guys took a little bit of time off. It was good for us to get back into doing some basics.

On what the offensive line needs to do for the run game
We need to play together up front. There is no time that we can play with three or four people. All five people need to be on the same page every play and be moving people off the ball. That is the plan for this weekend, and we are excited for this weekend. Texas Tech has a great defensive line with physical guys that can move, so we are excited for the challenge.

On wanting to beat Texas Tech
We will definitely be playing with a chip on our shoulders after last season. We need to worry about playing West Virginia football. At the end of the day, if we go out there and play for four quarters with great effort, great energy and Mountaineer football, we have a great opportunity to win.



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