Quotables: The Swamp

ECU players and coaches reacted to their upcoming matchup with the Florida Gators in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. See what the players and coaches had to say about the noise and the stage.

Head coach Ruffin McNeill

On The Swamp: “We’ve played in other hostile environments. We played at South Carolina and Virginia Tech last year. Those are some pretty rowdy crowds. There are a lot of stadiums. We know what The Swamp is about, but that’s an uncontrollable. I can’t tell them not to sell tickets or cut down from 90,000 and only let 30,000 show up. What we can control is practicing well and focusing. I’m excited to see us improve. The biggest improvement comes from game one to game two. It’s always that way. It’s just how it happens.”

Junior quarterback Blake Kemp

On playing on the big stage: “I talked to Shane (Carden) a little bit about it and he said once you get going it’s just like playing in the backyard. It’s just like any other game. He never really got rattled, he’d take some shots or make some mistakes but he’d always get back up. That’s all you really can do.”

On crowd noise: “I have to overcommunicate. With my signals, I have to be more clear because I can’t just say it out loud. I’m going to have to use my hands a little bit more.”

Senior linebacker Montese Overton

On crowd noise: “ Really, I don’t think the noise will be a problem just because we play in front of (a lot of fans) that get pretty loud. I don’t know how much of a problem it’s going to be for us. The issue is just about us getting our calls and executing.”

Senior cornerback Josh Hawkins

On emotions in the game: “As soon as we saw Florida on the schedule everyone was excited. We’re all pumped to go down to The Swamp and show everyone what ECU’s all about. We’ve been pumped up since summer camp and spring ball so everyone is excited. We’re going to bring all we’ve got this game and give them the best that we have.”

Defensive coordinator Rick Smith

On The Swamp: “It’s going to be very very loud. I was telling my players today after practice; I’ve been in a lot of places in my life. I’ve coached in Texas’ stadium, Oklahoma’s stadium, Alabama’s stadium, I’ve been in all of them in my career. And after my first year here (at ECU) I said these people here love football. East Carolina is as loud as anywhere I’ve ever been.”

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