Q&A with Coach D

Read on to see what defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio is saying a few days before the team takes on Pitt.

On Pitt WR Tyler Boyd:
Boyd’s as good as anyone we’ve seen. When the ball is in the air, he believes it’s his and it usually is. 23 is very good too so you can’t fall asleep. The offensive line has a lot of guys back. The tight ends are good. They’re a very physical football team.

On Quan Muhammad:
It’s his 7th start. Think about some of the great players who came through here and how many starts they had. Who doesn’t need more than seven starts? You need to be in the 30s to be highly regarded at the next level. He’s had a good year but he knows he has a long way to go.

On his development:
I don’t think he’s a finished product. He’s missed 13 games in the middle. Every part of his game he knows he can improve in. He’s a hard worker, does the things he needs to do to play well. He’s been consistent with that since he had a chance to start.

On the most improved player on defense:
Kamalu has had a really good year. He’s really playing well. He spends a lot of time in film study, asks a lot of questions. Quan has done a nice job. They know talent is not enough.

On his touchdown last week:
We’ve been trying to score on defense all year. You got to see his athleticism. I didn’t expect that stiff arm. It was awesome. That came out of nowhere. That was fun.

On Artie Burns:
He’s another guy that, aside from the tragedy, he was committed evert week to getting better. He was making sure his body was ready to play every week. He’s been remarkable. I can’t say enough about him. He’s really developed the process as well in terms of film study, taking care of his body, and showing up on game days.

On guys potentially leaving early:
I think the biggest thing, they’re all going to be better one year from now. If you are, in my opinion you’re selling yourself short. That’s my philosophy with guys in general. Everyone is different with their personal circumstances but the longer they do it in college the better they’ll be at the end of the day.

On an example of a junior he’s had who was ready:
I had Muhammad Wilkerson at Temple. They were telling us he’d be a first rounder. I mean the advisory board and general managers. When you get that type of information, it’s time. He went number 30 overall in the first rounder. If you’re a mid rounder, imagine how good and high you can be in one year from now.

On what he’s thankful for:
I’m thankful for the team and staff sticking together this year. Everyone has rallied and the coaches continue working hard to do what’s best for our players.

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