Sugar Bowl: Martinez talks WVU

ATLANTA - Read Willie Martinez's comments about the Sugar Bowl.

Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez

On playing in the Sugar Bowl

"We are very excited about being here in the Sugar Bowl. We have had a great year with winning the Eastern Division Championship and the Southeastern Conference Championship. We understand the circumstances involving this Sugar Bowl and are excited to be a part of this special Sugar Bowl and what has happened in the City of New Orleans. Our players recognize this are excited about participating in the Sugar Bowl this year. We are excited to be a part of this tradition."

On West Virginia's speed

"The quarterback Pat White is as good as anyone we have played this season. He is a very talented quarterback. He plays like a tailback with his running capabilities. You then throw in his throwing abilities and it is like a tailback playing quarterback. With the type of offense they run that is a major concern for us. When he runs on the designed quarterback running plays, it is alarming when people can't make plays. He will put us in stressful situations. (Steve) Slaton is similar to a Darren McFadden at Arkansas. I don't know if he has that kind of speed, but he's fast enough. You can see him run away from players taking angles. Owen Schmitt is another concern for us. He doesn't get knocked backwards. He's about 250 pounds or maybe even more than that. He runs over guys. When you have to defend a fullback, quarterback and tailback like those three it presents problems. Those three guys are pretty good."

On linebacker situation

"We started this season with five healthy guys, but as the season went along, we had several injuries. Some of the positives for us this season were having Taylor, Danny and Jarvis. All three of those guys are smart and talented players. They could play all three positions. When we had limited numbers this season, we had players step up and make plays for us. We did play more nickel than what we intended, but we got away with it this season. We had several secondary players step up and make plays or the actual linebackers themselves. These guys also played hurt this season. At one point during the season, we looked out on the field and had several guys with wrists, arms, hands, or elbows taped up. That is basically having guys playing one handed and that is a problem on the defensive side of the ball with the tackling aspect."

On West Virginia throwing the football

"They do such a good job with the run game that they don't have to throw very often. You have to respect the play action pass though, because they are so good with the run game. We want to make them one dimensional, but we say that about every team we play. They aren't fifth in the country for no reason. They are ranked 115th in the country in the pass game, but then you see that they have a 62-percent pass completion rating and think that isn't right. We have t contain the run game first and then deal with the pass game. We have to force them into third and long situations. D.J. Shockley causes us problems in practice on with third and short and third and medium. White can do the same thing for them. Someone will have to get off their blocks and make plays."

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