Practice Update: Defense 9/26/2012

I had a chance to catch up with linebackers Jeremy Grove, Montese Overton, and Defensive Coordinator Brian Mitchell after practice Wednesday to ask them about how the UNC game went from a defensive standpoint and what they have in store for UTEP at home this Saturday.

Coach Mitchell

-How the defense faired against UNC: "In the run game we did some really good things, they weren't to get the run game where they've had it in the past against us. That has been steady for us all year long and has paid dividends for us. In the secondary, we still are doing some things back there that aren't consistent enough for us to be that dominant defense. We're going to keep chopping and chopping until we get it right."

-Importance of returning home: "We finally get to return to our home fans, sleep in our own beds so to speak, and do things that are familiar. It's going to be a nice relief after three hard games on the road and hopefully it will pay dividends on Saturday night."

What to expect from UTEP's offense: "They're and explosive offense that will stretch you not only vertically, but they'll test you out in the flats. Also their running backs are very capable of the big plays. They're definitely a team that is going to be explosive and they have a quarterback that is going to command attention."

Jeremy Grove

-Thoughts on the UNC game: "I though it went pretty good overall on defense, we need to work on some technical things and some coverage things to really get our defense down. Other than that I felt like we swarmed to the ball and played aggressive defense."

-On returning to Dowdy and importance of this game: "It's a huge game, I feel like we haven't been here in forever. We're excited to play in it; it's a night game which is always fun with a little more drama. That being said, the biggest thing we have to remember is that it's a conference game and we need to come out with a win."

-Expectations from UTEP's offense: "I expect a lot of passing, but at the same time they are four deep at running back so they have a lot of depth. Their wide receivers are good, they have two good tight ends, and their quarterback makes good reads so we have to be prepared."

-How defense is looking in practice this week: "Pretty good, we got after it this week. We've been working on running to the ball and spent some extra time on tackling. I feel like this has been one of the best weeks of practice we've had all year."

Montese Overton

-Defense's performance this weekend: "I think we did pretty good and tried to go out there and do what we do. Coach always tells us to hold to the run, hold to the pass and fly around. It got difficult at times because the defense was on the field for so long throughout the game but we had to hang in there and play hard."

-Returning to Dowdy-Ficklin: "It feels good to be back, this is also our first home conference game which is a really big deal. We have been out here practicing hard so we're hoping that come game time we'll be ready to go on Saturday night."

-UTEP's offense: "We expect a lot of fast motion, and a lot of pull game. Also they have two big tight ends that are athletic so we expect a lot of screens and flat routes. They're going to test us on every level but we feel like we're prepared for them and we'll be ready to go Saturday night."

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