Richt Talks FSU

Read on to see everything Mark Richt was saying a few days before his team takes on Florida State.

Opening Statement...

 

"We had a good practice this morning. Very hot, very humid. The guys pushed through. It was not the easiest of days out there, as far as the heat and humidity. Of course, we're kind of used to it, but it's hard to get used to it, really, when you practice like we do. We had to push them through a couple of moments, but overall, I though they fought hard through it. I thought we got better. Yesterday was our day off for our players - more of a planning day. Sunday I was very impressed with their effort and attitude. We had enough game plan in there that we got our scout teams lined up pretty good,  had a few key plays that we liked to get started on repping-wise. So far, I think we've prepared well. I used to do a little scouting report, but I think that bores everybody to death. Everybody can look at the depth charts and figure it out. But you guys can ask anything you want."

 

 

On what his reaction would have been if before the season he was told that his team would have a better record and ranking than Florida State at the time of the matchup...

 

"I probably would have been that it doesn’t mean a whole lot at that time of year. I would be happy and thankful to be 4-0 - that's what you want, you want to win every game and all. But you coach 33 years and it's not that big of a deal. We're on Game 5...all games, to me, are a big deal, period. Every conference game is bigger than a nonconference game, every Coastal game - by rule,  rules of engagement in terms of who is going to make to  the championship game - there's a little more weight on those. And every conference game counts on our record. It's a big game, for sure."

 

 

On how he keeps the game from becoming too big for the players...

 

"Just practice hard and focus on your job. The players do get out - they go to class, they probably read social media more than most coaches do. Coaches can hole up in this building and just work, watch film and plan and not read anything we don't want to read, or not hear anything we don't want to hear. It's easier for us to focus, probably, than [the players]. And we've been around it long enough where we know there are certain things you think about  that are not productive. You need to think about things that are productive, as far as execution, ‘What do I do on this play or that play, or this defense or that defense? How can I prepare myself mentally and physically  for this game? How can I get enough rest? I have to make sure I hydrate, I have to make sure I eat right throughout the week.’ There are so many little things they can do to get themselves more prepared for a game - any game - but that's what I want them to focus on."

 

 

 

On balancing hurry-up offense when playing a team with a talented offense like Florida State...

 

"First of all, I think we need to do what we think is best offensively to score. If that's using tempo, then that's what we need to do. There may come a time in any game where you might slow things down. In the last game we played, we had a two-touchdown lead and with six or seven minutes to go, I thought it was time to slow the thing down, run the ball, to use as much clock as possible and things like that.  I think we just have to do what's best. The other thing is, I've always said this, and I'm not saying this as a knock against the defense, but I feel like the defense is allowed to get off the field, if they go three-and-out  or one first down and get a stop or turnover...they don't have to be on the field for 12-play drives. It's kind of up to them to get off the field, in my opinion - and I'm talking about everybody's defense. That's just part of football. But if the game gets going in a certain direction and we have to do something to try to help things out, I'm willing to do that as head coach and play-caller."

 

 

On his offensive philosophy as it relates to the running game...

 

"Every program that I've been a part of, the run game has been very important - the one-back run and two-back run. At Florida State, coming up as a young coach, Coach Bowden believed in that and we ran it, and I've  seen it be successful. When we had Charlie Ward, we went shotgun, no huddle, fast break - and that was in 1992 and 1993. What people are doing now, we did in '92 and '93 because that was the best thing for Charlie. Charlie operated  better in shotgun and in space than he did under center in I-formation. Nonetheless, there were times even in Charlie's career, where there were moments when we needed to line up and get physical.  We kept that as a part of it. When I went to Georgia, I wanted to make sure that I kept some physical nature to the offensive system and run game, because you don't always have a Charlie Ward or a quarterback who can create  and run like a deer, and also throw well like he did. I don't know, I guess I've just stuck to it. A lot of people aren't used to playing two-back stuff. Florida State is a team that does know how to play, because they do it themselves. There are some teams that are just spread, spread, spread, and that's all they do. They never see a two-back power come at them very often. In some ways, it can be an advantage if we execute well. But a lot of it just has to do  with what I was brought up on."

 

 

On his confidence in the play of the team's freshmen...

 

 

"It better be high, because that's all we got. They are the starters, they're the guys that are in there doing it. They are gaining valuable experience, but they have not been through certain types of games that they're about to go

through. They might hear it and visualize what it might be like, but until you live through it, it's a different animal. I know there will come a time where they'll hit a wall in the middle of a game or the middle of the season,

whatever it may be. There's been moments in games when they look like freshmen. But overall, their production has been good. We've won. Our defense has played well. Everybody wants to pat them on the back, but there's a lot of other

guys playing good in order for them to have success. Awful lot of penetration by the defensive line, guys like Corn Elder, Jamal Carter, Rayshawn [Jenkins], [Sheldrick] Redwine, [Adrian] Colbert...guys playing physical, hustling to the

ball. There have been balls that have spit through the interior front - our linemen and linebackers - and now who's going to tackle them? The cornerbacks who are defeating a block, coming off a block and making a form tackle out in space.

That's hard to do. There have been a lot of guys playing pretty good right now."

 

 

On what he has seen from quarterback Brad Kaaya through four games...

 

"This [Georgia Tech] game in particular i thought he played really well. We only threw it, what was it, 18 times? Not a lot. We only had 48 plays or whatever it was, not many plays total. We didn't have that many plays. But he graded  extremely high in decision-making, his accuracy super high. He had one ball that was a little bit off, like I said - that slant to [Stacy] Coley that was a little low. Catchable, but not a ball that was a bullseye. We want a bullseye  where he can catch it and run, like on the touchdown he had. I thought the one time on the rollout to the left, it was a dead play. He threw the ball where I thought it could have been in jeopardy of a pick. That was the only  bad decision I thought he made the whole game, and it started with a bad decision from me to call it, when really the goal should have been to make use their last timeout or chew another 40 seconds off the clock.  I put him in a bad  spot, but we have a rule - don't turn a bad play into a catastrophe.  It was a bad play. Throw it away. Don't turn it into something worse.

 

“But overall, I think he's doing well. I think he has faith and confidence in how we're going about our passing game, as far as reads and progressions and what he's trying to get accomplished on those. He's doing a super job getting us  in the right run, and what we call 'mike decoration' -  we kind of point out who we decide is the mike linebacker, and that sets the blocking scheme for everybody in the passing game and in the running game. He's very instrumental in  getting everybody not only in the right play, but knowing who to block."


Canes Time Top Stories