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How did it go today?
“That was a great experience today. Eighty plays, kicks, offensive situations… We gassed them, and then we went out and played a second half. This helped us a lot last year, and I think it will help us this year. I certainly hope so.”
How did they run through the situations?
“I think they did a really good job. I wish we had another week, but we don’t. We should probably do that twice-a-year like that. We practice situations all the time, but not in a game-like atmosphere. We had crowd noise and a lot of different things. I’m anxious to watch the tape and see how we executed. We had our kickers under pressure and a lot of different ‘teams’ situations. This is a long game as you all know. It takes 3 ½ hours to play, so you’ve got to extend your focus for a long time. Like any other sport, it’s a long, long game.”
Can you assess Connor Barth’s progress at this point?
“I think he’s regained a lot of confidence. I think he’s worked extremely hard. I think he’s had a very, very good training camp, and I think he’s ready to kick the ball extremely well. I have high expectations for him.”
How far has this whole team come in this camp?
“As I said, I wish I had probably for some players another half of a season. There are some young players out there who have never played before. When I think about Brooks Foster, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate; I think those guys can be (inaudible). They have worked their fannies off this summer camp. I’m a little uneasy about a couple of positions depth-wise. We had a lineman go down with cramps early, and that’s disappointing. Defensively, I think we’re as deep as we were last year, and we’re going to need that. I think our safeties have come along way. I’m talking about Cooter Arnold back there. There’s great competition at the corners. We’re going to redshirt the majority of this freshmen group, and they’re a great group. I would have loved to have these guys in ’02 and ’03. That’s where our program is at right now. I am just anxious –
as probably every head coach is at this time. How are we going to play next week? It’s always like that at every level and every place I’ve ever been.”
On the quarterbacks –
“We’re going to talk about it tomorrow – Coach [Frank] Cignetti and I. I do believe right now, they both will play against Rutgers.”