“It was fun to get back out here in a conference game in front of our fans, our students in the Tar Pit and I thought we probably played one of the more complete games that we have played this year. I’m talking in all three phases. I do believe this team is getting a little bit better each week. As a coach, that’s what you ask for in your players. You ask for them to keep doing the things that we do, keep working hard and hopefully we get better each week. I do feel like we’re getting that done.”
How do you feel Marquise Williams did today in his second start at quarterback?
“I really thought he was just for me watching him pregame, watching him in the locker room, watching how he interacted with the guys he was as comfortable as he ever is. Nothing was changed about him and then he got out there and he managed the game very well. He took care of the football really well.
"In your first start or the second start I should say, you want to watch a quarterback that doesn’t have that kind of experience how he’s taking care of the football. The one that he got hit and the ball was floating up in the air and they got the pick. You can’t really blame him for that one but I thought he really did a great job of taking care of the football and then moving the chains for us which means he’s managing the game really well.”
Comments on the underclassmen and their involvement with the three-game win streak:
“These freshmen are going to be pretty special. Not only are they playing for us, they’re making plays for us. You’ll be able to go back and you watch these kids on defense. Mikey Bart, (Desmond) Lawrence, Dominique (Green), Brian Walker and those guys are making plays for us. They’re not just out there. They’re making plays. Then the guys on offense it’s obvious they’re making plays. Again, Lucas Crowley, I don’t know how many series he played. I don’t even pay any attention to it because you don’t see a change. (Ryan) Switzer is continuing to make plays. Bug (Howard) is making plays. Now you’ve got Khris Francis getting in the end zone.
"They’re really progressing. I think what you’re finding out now is they’ve adapted to college football. Now you see their athleticism come out. You see them just starting to play ball and not worry about everything. Not worry about making mistakes. They’re just playing ball and they’re having some fun out there.”
How far do you think the defense has progressed in the past few weeks?
“If you continue not to give up big plays you give yourself a chance. We stopped the run today and overall they’ve come a long way. I’ll put it that way. I think every week they’re gaining more confidence. They feel better about themselves and that helps you. You start getting some confidence and you feel good about yourself. You feel good about each other and you feel a little bit more accountable to your teammates so you work a little bit harder. That’s what they’re doing.”
What’s been the key to the improved rushing defense over the past few games?
“Maintaining your gap integrity. We’ve got guys that are taking care of their responsibilities and not trying to do something that they’re not supposed to do. If I’ve got the B gap I don’t need to help over here in the A gap because I got my B gap. Just take care of your job and we’re doing a much better job of that therefore you see a lot less explosive plays.”
Did you see Marquise take on more leadership with the team with Bryn Renner out?
“It hadn’t been like he hadn’t led from that second spot because he has. That’s such a good thing because the team…It’s kind of amazing. Marquise, they feel good about him. They understand he’s going to take care of his business. He’s been leading from that second spot as all of our quarterbacks are expected so today he just steps up and does what he does.”
Comments on the team overall record and the potential to reach .500 next weekend:
“I really haven’t thought about the record. I really haven’t. Just like this past week, we want to be 1-0 and next week we’re going to be 1-0. That’s what we want to do. We won’t talk about where we are or what’s happening in the future or anything. We’re just going to continue to give one more inch, find a way to get it done, do whatever it takes and be 1-0. That’s it. That’s all we do week to week now.”
Do you feel like the rushing offense has seen some improvement as the season has progressed?
“Again, we’ve gotten a little bit better each week. Last week you started to see it. This week was much better. I think the offensive line is feeling more comfortable together with those two freshmen up there. I think these freshmen running backs that are playing are too. Blue played early and then didn’t play after that and we got him some rest. No. 21 (Romar Morris) did a nice job. I think they’re all gaining a little bit of confidence each and every rep that we get.”
Comments on Switzer’s punt return for touchdown:
“Well he dropped the ball first of all. That’s not a good thing. All I remember from watching it because I’m really not watching him. I’m kind of watching the other 10 guys and I just remember they were on their people all the way down the field. It was like we didn’t feel like they were going to outrun us on the punt return. It was going to be we had to make sure we out effort them. Don’t let them out effort us. Just be on your guy.
"Those kids have a lot of confidence in Switzer. He gets a little bit better each week too. All of that decision-making back there hadn’t been the greatest but every rep that he gets, he gets more confidence. It’s the hardest thing to do on the football field. It really is. Especially when you’ve got 10 guys running down wanting to hit you in the throat. It’s tough. That’s the hardest catch there is in football. As he gains more confidence in his self just in handling the catch then he can do what he does. He can make plays.”