Bobby Ross Weekly Press Luncheon Quotes

The following quotes have been excerpted from Army head football coach Bobby Ross' weekly media luncheon, held Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005, at Noon in the Randall Hall auditorium (courtesy of

Army Head Coach Bobby Ross
(Ref.: opening statement)
"I thought our defense played well enough to win (against Baylor). We gave up some yards, but I thought we played pretty well as a whole. Our tackling is better, our awareness to underneath coverage is better and our push up front is better. I am feeling pretty good about our defense right now. We are making good progress there. I thought Seth Lotts came in and played his guts out. He laid it on the line for us; I'd go to war with a guy like that. He is something; he plays very hard. I singled him out because two weeks ago he was running third team tackle. He kept fighting and competing and got in there and got the job done. Getting the three turnovers was nice. Our defense made some big plays for us. We didn't have the penalties that we had the previous week, and I thought we held up pretty well overall.

"Offensively, I have to take the blame for it. We had too many things at the line of scrimmage. I thought we could have done a few things in our protection that could have been better. There were times when we moved the ball well and did some things very nicely. We still haven't gotten any big plays out of our running game. On the positive side, we're averaging seven minutes more per game with the ball than we were last year. Last year, we were at 46 minutes for two games and we're at 60 minutes for our first two games this year. We're having the ball possession and that is helping our defense some, too. Our third down percentage is better this year than it was last year, and that is true on both sides of the ball. We've run up against some pretty good defensive football teams and our inexperience up front sometimes hurts us. We're not experienced enough to see some of the things that we're seeing. (Baylor) had a very complicated defensive scheme and we got pressured early on in the game. Boston College did that to us and we handled it okay. We didn't handle it well versus Baylor and that hurt us. The bottom line is that we'll have a more simple package this week, offensively speaking. Hopefully, we'll line up and play football, without trying to finesse or out-think them. Again, I'm going to take the blame for it. I've made mistakes before and this was one of them.

"Kicking-wise, we are doing okay. The only thing that is frustrating is the missing of field goals. If we make field goals, we're still very much in the (Baylor) game. Field goals are lifting for a team. They give your team a good feeling. In two years, we haven't had a level of consistency there that I would like to see. It has been very frustrating to me. We'll continue to work on it. Our punting game is doing pretty good. Our punting net is up over four yards per game right now. Our punting return is nine yards better than we were last year at this time."

(Ref.: Iowa State)
Iowa State is a good football team. They beat Iowa (two weeks ago) 23-3. They are a solid football team. They forced five turnovers against Iowa. This is a Big 12 football team that has been to bowl games four out of the last five years. It's a very solid football program. When you can beat Iowa, you've done something pretty good. Their offense is very similar to what we faced last week. The only difference is that their quarterback Bret Meyer can really run. He beat out a senior last year and started as a freshman. He's got a gun for an arm. He can really throw the football. Their wide receivers are all big and they can run pretty well. Up front on the offensive line they've got some good size. They have a very fine running back in (Stevie) Hicks. He's got good size and good speed.

"Defensively, they're an excellent football team and they've got speed. They are very similar to both clubs we've played so far. The guy who really catches your eye is the defensive end Jason Berryman. He's a very fine football player. He reminds you of Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka and Baylor's (Montez) Murphy. He's almost a copy of those two. Their free safety Nik Moser is good. He can run and cover a lot of ground. They've had a week to rest and we've had a short week. That's not necessarily an advantage or a disadvantage. Fortunately, they run a similar offense and that will help our defensive preparation."

(Ref.: how the practice schedule changes with a Friday night game)
"We went a little bit longer last night (Monday). Today will be a pretty normal Tuesday, and then we'll start to back off Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday is two days before the game and that's when you try to start catching up on your rest. Thursday is an even shorter day, and then we'll head to the hotel Thursday night."

(Ref.: the kicking game)
"We haven't talked about it. We kick every week for competition, and we'll see. I will talk with (special teams coach) Bruce Hardin and we'll decide which direction we want to go. I just want the darn ball to go through the uprights. If we can do that, that's all we need."

(Ref.: how Iowa State's bye week might affect the game)
"Teams handle it in different ways. Usually, when you're hot you want to stay with it, and when you're cold you want to get away from it for a while. (
Iowa State) was hot. They whipped up on Iowa and that was a big win for them. If you're good enough, you don't always have to be at that emotional peak, and they are that kind of team. I don't think the week off will be a factor in the outcome of the game."

(Ref.: sluggish start of Army's rushing attack)
"We're not blocking quite as well. Our effort is good and our toughness is good, but we're not executing quite as well as we did last year. We haven't had the big plays this year, either.
Carlton (Jones) actually rushed for about 80 yards against Baylor and about 72 yards against Boston College, which isn't all bad for where we are right now. Our total (rushing) yardage doesn't look as good because we're taking a lot of sacks. We've got to continue to work hard to get better along the offensive line."

(Ref.: playing on a Friday night)
"I would expect the team to be excited to play. I want them to be excited to play just to get a win. I don't dwell on (the excitement of the television or the night game) part of it. I deal with the game, and not a whole lot of the external aspects."

(Ref.: DB Hertier Diakabana)
"He's a very popular guy. He doesn't say anything; he's a very humble guy. He's got a purple heart. He's a young man who served in
Iraq as a foot soldier. He went to our Prep School and played on the football team there last year. He's a very quiet guy. He's very unassuming. He doesn't want any attention; he doesn't want media attention. He just wants to be a part of the football team and contribute in any way that he can. He's a great young man. I enjoy having him around. He's fun to joke with. He's a very good individual."

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