Q: Tate had surgery on his thumb, what does that mean to you?
Bryan Mattison: I just heard that today too. You hate to have kids get hurt. Drew's a big part of this team, but we're going to have to keep working and move on. It sounds harsh, but we can't just stop because he's out.
Q: 3 home games in a row coming up
Mattison: Yeah, it does, but first we've got to worry about the first one. It's going to be nice being home. Like I said before, we have the best fans in the world and it's going to be nice being back.
Q: Garrett Wolfe, the top rusher in the NCAA, what do you guys do to contain him?
Mattison: I haven't seen any film yet, but whatever it is, he's a great running back. He's got a great team. Just prepare the best we ever have and go get after him.
Mattison: It's nice going against good competition. It'll be nice having him in here too at our house. It'll be a fun game.
Q: Is there any sense at all that season has gotten away from you yet?
Mattison: No. No, definitely not. We've lost 3 games, and we've been in this position before in previous years. We just have to keep plugging along and keep working. This is no time to just turn and run.
Q: How much of a sense of urgency do you guys have to get that 6th win? Become bowl eligible.
Mattison: It's an important win. But it's more than just a bowl. You just have to go out and win. The 6th win would make us bowl eligible, but we've just got to win no matter if it was the first, second, or third.
Q: You've been stuck on 5 for a few weeks, it must get frustrating?
Mattison: It gets frustrating when you lose 2 games in a row, that's just the way the season's been so far, we just have to keep working, get after him.
Q: Does it put any pressure on the defense knowing Drew's out, a different QB in there?
Mattison: I don't know. I guess a little bit, but whoever steps in for Drew is going to do fine. The coaches are going to have that person ready, we're just going to have to go play defense whether he's there or not.
Q: How did the DL play against Michigan?
Mattison: We did OK. After watching the film, there were some errors that we had, like you have in any game. I think it was an improvement but I also think we could play a lot better. It was an improvement, but there's still room to go.
Q: Obviously you don't want to allow Northern Illinois' offense to get any rhythm by putting pressure, how significant is it for you guys to establish a tone early, basically give Jason and Jake a chance to feel their way out?
Mattison: It's very important. It's the same as it was at Syracuse, it's the same every week. No matter if Drew's in or not, we don't want the offense to get a rhythm and get started, the opposing offense. We want to give our offense the ball as much as we can. Whoever we're playing, that's their goal every week.
Q: There were some odd packages and formations last week, 2 linemen, 5 linebackers, all over the place. Sitting in game prep last week, did you ever look at the screen and say, "Where did this come from?"
Mattison: When I first saw the defense, they showed it to us and I was like, "Whoa, this is something new" but it was no time to question them. The coaches know 10x more about football than any of us would ever know. It worked pretty well. When we had the linebackers get down on the line, we messed around with that a little bit last year with Greenway, got him on the line a bit. It's just for speed. We were hoping to kind of get in the QB's face. I think that's what we did.
Q: Is Edds sort of the same type of player as Greenway? Obviously he's got a way to go, but…
Mattison: Yeah. Nothing against Edds or anything, but Greenway was a heck of a player. I think Edds has the ability to be that soon. We're looking for the same type of thing, some speed off the edge, just throw a wrinkle in the defense that a team wouldn't expect and that maybe we can try and work on this week, get it more perfected.