GoMids.com: Congratulations on being named the offensive player of the week against Delaware. Have you ever had 22 knockdowns before?
John Dowd: Actually it was 21 knockdowns. I'm not sure but it may not be a career high. I may possibly have had more against East Carolina last year. I'm not sure. I didn't even think I had that many (against Delaware). I shared the award with Aaron Santiago who scored two touchdowns. Aaron is the most consistent player on the team. It was cool to be recognized because offensive linemen don't really get recognized…really ever.
GM: Is it possible that after steamrolling Delaware that the team could perhaps be overconfident going into the Western Kentucky game. It seems like that is what is of the utmost concern for the coaching staff.
JD: For us it is not possible to be overconfident. We know how good every team on our schedule is. We played Western Kentucky two years ago and they were a good team then and they only got better.
GM: Is it even possible to be looking ahead to South Carolina?
JD: 1-0 isn't much to be over confident about. We have to continue working as hard as we can. If we look ahead to South Carolina…Western Kentucky is a good football team…they will beat us up and down the football field if we look ahead.
GM: Was the team at all surprised with how well you played against Delaware? You guys really put together a complete game right out of the shoot.
JD: They are a very good team. We weren't surprised (with how we played) but we knew if we executed we could achieve the result we wanted. But it's one game…we know how fluky a football season can be. Since I've been here…we go out and beat Notre Dame and lose to Duke. I remember talking to Ben Gabbard when I was a plebe who told me how ridiculous it was that they beat Notre Dame for the first time in like 40 years and then lose to Delaware.
I know for us, we looked past Duke a little bit and that's what happens. (Beating Delaware) does give us some hope for a great season, but if we don't show up on Saturday…hope isn't going to get it done.
GM: Was the fact that the team lost the last two openers serve as a rallying cry against Delaware?
JD: Before the game we didn't want to dwell on how we opened up in the past, but (after the game) it was a relief that we came out and played in week one and got a win. Against Maryland, we did some really good things but we were really rusty and that showed when we got to the goal line. It was nice to put together a complete game. But being good on September 3rd doesn't translate to being good through October and November which is when I would rather be good.
GM: Coming into the season there were a lot of unknowns on the defensive side of the ball. Were you at all surprised at how well the defensive line in particular played?
JD: I wasn't surprised…I was excited for how they performed. Jabaree (Tuani) didn't even play spring ball so it was all new faces on the defensive front just a few months ago.
A lot of the current starters were on scout team the year before. I played against Jamel (Dobbs) and (Alex) Doolittle when they were on the scout team for the offense. It's really encouraging to see guys grow like that…when they start to develop through spring ball. I saw a lot of them in the weight room over the summer. It really is encouraging for the future of our program.
GM: Can you talk about the progress you have witnessed firsthand on the practice field?
JD: I pancaked Doolittle in the fall last year – and then I come back in spring ball and he gives me some (big) shot…and I think that I will have to get a little bit more on him (so that doesn't happen again).