Opening Statement -
"Ok, opening day, always a fun time, an exciting time in any program. This team we're playing has got some similarity to ours ... They've got great skill, a big offensive line returning ... their skill guys are fast. Their fullback does a great job catching the ball, running the football ... Quarterback similar to ours hasn't played a lot but has been successful, watching him on tape ... They're a great mix of experienced players on both sides of the ball and they have a very fine kicker who missed a couple in the opening game and went on to have a great season for them last year ...
"We've have a great training camp. We've had some success last year against some ranked opponents, played very well at times and this year we're hoping we can get over that hump. A lot hinges on the first three games and we know that. As we go forward, we want to continue the momentum in this program - the growth and the momentum. We all know that we've done a great job recruiting the last couple years and we're on to a great recruiting class now. We just want to keep the momentum going. So it's important to get off to a good start for us."
What's the plan at quarterback?
"Joe Dailey will start the game for us because he's earned that right. Cam Sexton is going to play because he's earned that right. This has been the most fun since I've been here, watching these two quarterbacks compete ... This year, I'm obviously trying to work some with the defense, but I've got to admit, I was distracted. I had to watch our new offense when I got those opportunities and it was an absolute pleasure to watch those guys on a daily basis. ...
"Each one of them competed, each one made plays; they have leadership qualities. We think this is the best way to begin this season. I don't have an absolute plan in place - as the week progresses me and Frank will talk about it longer about when we would insert Cam and under what circumstances. None of that is defined. ...
"Right now it's not like it was in '01 where we had a two-series rotation. We're not there - we're not at that point. I admired what Louisville did with their two quarterbacks the year they came over and played us. Would that be something I'd like to fashion our quarterback insertion after? Yeah, it'd be more along the lines of that. I want Cam to play because he's earned that right."
More on the two quarterbacks -
"Joe has come a long ways under Frank's tutelage. From the spring to where he's at right now - it's not even close. Cam has made a tremendous amount of progress, too, because he's a natural. He has an upside that's really spectacular. And both of these guys are gym rats - they can't get enough of it."
On the progression of Calvin Darity -
"He's still a young player, he has zero snaps out on the field, so this first one will be an eye-opener for him ... He has been a real worker, he has gotten better from the spring to the summer and through summer camp which was a big objective of ours ... "
On Frank Cignetti's approach to practice -
"A big objective of ours was to get better each and every day. That was the objective for the offense on an individual basis and on a collective basis. And we've done that, that's why I'm excited about what I saw in camp. Now we want to see us getting better from game to game. As Frank says, each day we're going to practice competitively against the No. 1 defense. He's the first one in my six years of training camps to say we've got 44-50 snaps each Tuesday and Wednesday to get better against our No. 1 defense. Which is an exciting way to present it to our offense. We're going to go against the No. 1's in a competitive situation. That's a great outlook because we want to continue to get better throughout the season. And we need to."
On the linebacker depth chart -
"Mark Pashcal will start, Victor Worsley is going to play. Mark's got a lot on this plate right now with Durell Mapp being out, playing both nickel and mike backer, a couple special teams. Victor has also earned the right to play and he's going to play. That's something we've got to schedule in by how many plays Mark's playing ... our staff will have a plan for inserting Victor."
On comparing the status of this team with last year's team heading into the season opener -
"I think there are some similarities. What I look at as a more positive aspect of our team this year is we've got a broader base of leadership. I love the fact that we're starting off with two running backs. Last year I don't think we felt that way ... now we have Ronnie McGill healthy and looking good and Barrington Edwards, who had a terrific spring and a terrific training camp."
Transcript excerpts in progress ...