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Listen to Audio (21:52)
On Jonathan Cooper’s injury:
“He left the game because of a little bit of an ankle sprain, and we took him into the locker room to get ice on it. It will be day-to-day. We haven’t seen him yet. The kids will come in today – today’s their day off, but I’m sure he’ll cycle through here and we’ll get a chance to take a look at it and see how he feels.”
Would he have played if it was a close game?
“He did it the third play of the game and he finished the entire half. And just because we felt like it was a good opportunity, we said, ‘Let’s go ahead and get Greg Elleby in the game.’
Did Elleby respond well?
“Yes. Greg’s kind of in the situation that he has to prepare every week for left tackle and left guard. He probably took the most of his practice reps last week at left tackle. When he stepped in, we felt like he did a very good job. I think it really opened his eyes to the role that he’s going to have to play to be able to be the swing tackle and the left guard. And when the second-unit offensive linemen got into the game, he went back out and got a chance to play some at left tackle and it allowed walk-on offensive lineman Sam Ellis from Chapel Hill High School to get a chance to play pretty significantly at left guard, which was good for Sam.”
On the wide receivers:
“My expectation is, and as I told the team, we need to get better in a lot of areas, not just necessarily that. That’s an area where the focus needs to be good and I think a little bit of it was first game jitters. But as they become more comfortable playing, the expectations would be that they relax and be able to catch. It was so unusual – some of the drops were things that I wouldn’t have guessed would have been dropped, just because of the nature of the types of throws. Some throws are going to be very difficult. People are going to be draped all over you and pulling your arm down and putting their hand in the hole and trying to rip the ball out. You live sometimes with some of those, but some of the easier ones I think are just a little bit of nerves.”
How do you address the drops in practice?
“You’ve just got to be positive and tell them to focus on the little things. It’s like somebody that’s missing three-foot putts – you don’t just want to stand there and say, ‘Well, make it’ and just starting screaming at the guy. You want to talk about guys getting the yips. It’s, ‘Hey, you want to focus on the X of the ball… You want to see the X come into your hands. You want to see the ball and tuck it away and secure it.’ And a little bit of it is the relaxation part of it.”
Listen to Audio (6:30)
What do the wide receivers need to do to improve on their performance?
“It’s going to come a little bit with experience. Some of those things you can’t really work out until you get into a game situation. But I’ve got total confidence in the young guys that are playing out there. We’re just going to try to go this week during practice [and] try to work as hard as possible to work those things out.”
Is it nice to have a solid running game to fall back on?
“Absolutely. When you can hand the ball off and watch the running backs run down the field and not have to worry about getting yourself out of a 3rd-and-short type of situation, it just really helps you out.”
On the rushing attempts doubling the number of passing attempts on Saturday:
“Quarterbacks obviously like to throw the ball, but when you can hand the ball off a lot and plays are gaining yards and you’re moving the ball down the field and scoring touchdowns, there’s nothing much better.”
Listen to Audio (3:15)
On keeping the intensity from Week 1 to Week 2:
“It’s easy for everybody to come out for the first game. Everybody gets excited. But this week we’ve just got to go out and have a good week of practice, prepare well and make sure we know our assignments that we’ve got to go out and execute on Saturday.”
On Da’Norris Searcy:
“He’s doing real good. Trimane [Goddard] was a great guy and a great player for us, but I think Searcy brings a little more to the table. He’s more athletic and he’s faster, so he’s doing a good job back there for us.”
Listen to Audio (9:12)
What’s your opinion of Saturday’s rushing performance?
“I think we did a great job. It’s one of those things where we’re trying to establish an identity in the running game this year. I think Shaun [Draughn] did a fantastic job. The line did a great job. We definitely have a lot of work to do and hope to do a lot better in the upcoming games.”
Coach Davis mentioned that you out-manned The Citadel’s defensive line. Considering that, how did you evaluate yourself on film?
“Definitely fundamentals and technique. That’s one thing that Coach [Sam Pittman] is real particular with – he wants us to do really well with our fits and our technique. I think we did a really good job. It’s really going to help out in the long run if we have our technique down and have our fits so that we can drive off the ball and finish people.