Coaches Corner: Lincoln Riley

Michael Prunka visited Sunday's football practice to talk to Lincoln Riley about East Carolina's bye week and how the offense is preparing for Florida International.

Q: How did you spend the bye week?

A: Recruiting. We went and did a lot of work in here with the guys, kind of like we did last week. It was a self-scouting week where we got a lot of things accomplished where we need to get better at.

We got some recruiting done this weekend and got a little bit extra time at home with the family, which is good. We got the batteries recharged and are ready to go now.

Q: Did you take a look at FIU during the bye week?

A: Yeah, absolutely. They're got some really good athletes. They remind me of a few of the defenses we've played this year. They've got some really good kids in the secondary. They play extremely hard and they're really well coached. A couple of the guys have been around.

Their defensive coordinator coached at Tennessee. Andre Patterson, the d-line coach, coached at UTEP. I thought he did a really good job down there defensively at UTEP. He's a good football coach and you can see that on film.

Q: FIU has a lot of new faces on the field and on the coaching staff. How does that make it any harder to scout the team?

A: It's a little easier because we're into the season a little bit. We have some game to take a look at what they're doing. We don't have a ton. It's not like you can look over the past five years and see what they've done like some of these people.

You've got that and there's also a little bit of unpredictability—that they haven't shown all their stuff or things like that. You've got to be ready for it. We've seen a lot of different things from people this year trying to stop us. We've got to be ready to adjust and we will be.

Q: Have you seen anything from their defense that could possibly break out?

A: Who knows? We'll see. There hasn't been one week where we haven't seen a couple of new things. We'll just have to be ready to adjust and attack whatever they throw at us.

Q: FIU might not be the toughest team on the schedule. With Tulsa coming up the week after, how do you make sure you don't overlook the Golden Panthers?

A: College football these days, anybody can beat anybody. It's easy to look at stuff on paper and say there's no chance Duke's going to beat Virginia Tech. There's upsets every week. Those happen.

College football, I know there's upsets or teams that are favored, but everybody's good. Everybody has good coaches, everybody has good players, everybody has the resources they need. You can't go play bad and win. You can't think you're going to roll over people. It just doesn't happen very often.

This is a big conference game. It's a road conference game. We didn't play nearly as well last time we were on the road for a conference game as we had hoped to, so this is great a chance to get back on a winning streak there.

Q: What else have you seen from FIU's defense?

A: Athletic. I see guys that can run. They've got kids up front that I think can rush the passer real well. I like their secondary. I think they're aggressive. They're well coached. Their defensive coordinator is a secondary guy. They're hawking the ball. They're making some plays. They're aggressive enough that they're going to try and make some plays and you've got to turn that aggression against them.


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