Just wanted to, like everybody, I think we're excited to start the season off here and start going against other teams instead of ourselves.
Looking forward to the opportunity to not only play Louisiana Tech, but to play them at home at Carter-Finley, and my first opportunity as a coach to be in our stadium. I've heard so many great things about it.
Since being here, obviously, the fans, just hearing their excitement about getting the team back out there. Just looking forward to watching our guys play in the game.
Louisiana Tech is a team that has always been tough against BCS level opponents. Last year had two big wins on the road with Virginia and Illinois and then almost knocked off A&M. A team that had a coaching change like this one, and then both staffs are working off film from other schools from a schematic standpoint. I think there will be a lot of adjustment going on on the field from both staffs.
I know our guys are excited to play.
Hey, Coach, how hard is that to prepare for a team with a coaching change? You really don't know what kind of offense he may run and a new quarterback in Scotty Young.
Yeah, I mean, it's difficult. You see it a lot in your first-- really your first three games of the year, you'll have at least one of them against a new staff.
You have to cover a lot of bases. It forces you to be in a defense or offensive system that is able to adjust to the different things that can happen that you can't show your kids because you're obviously not going to show them everything you can see because you don't know what you're going to get.
You try to keep it somewhat flexible early and make good adjustments, sound adjustments throughout the game to attack how you're getting defended. Obviously, from a defensive standpoint, being able to adjust to new formations or play types.
Scotty Young obviously is a drop-back quarterback, coming out of Texas Tech, I know had great numbers in high school. Louisiana Tech scored so many points last year that, even though there's new guys, you know they had good skill behind them.
Good afternoon, Coach. What's your latest on your quarterback situation? How are you feeling about your offense in general leading into this first game?
Well, you know, we need to play a game so we know kind of where we're at. Right now we're trying to figure out what kind of team we are.
Until you start going against someone else and seeing how your guys adjust and react and how coachable they are at game day and how they take the rules of your system and apply it to things that, like I said before, you don't show them because everything we do has rules to it to handle what could happen.
So seeing how they handle it and when things go bad, how they react. We have two quarterbacks, Pete Thomas and Brandon Mitchell, that are both practicing really hard. Proud of the way both of them have handled camp and competed for a job. You'll know, when we start the game, who's playing.
Have you made up your own mind? You kind of let the guys know what your situation is, I guess, or you're still mulling it over?
No, I know what's going to happen, and I think our players do. It's just we want to get to kickoff and let both of them continue to get reps.
It's a 12-game season and a lot of things can happen. Both of them have worked extremely hard. So I told both of them they need to be ready to go.
Coach, Louisiana Tech's beat writer. You already touched on Scotty Young, but just wanted to ask a followup. How do you prepare for a guy going into his first start? I mean, he hasn't really played a meaningful snap since high school. Do you go back to 2012 film at Louisiana Tech, or how do you try to prepare for him?
This game, we really worry more about ourselves than we are Scotty Young. It's just impossible to predict the growth that he's had since high school even if you watch that film.
So we do look at Louisiana Tech so we can evaluate their returning personnel and what they didn't have, and then you go and look at Marshall because Tony Petersen ran the offense at Marshall last year, and then you look at South Florida to see what they did under Skip there.
I think you take those three pieces and try to show your guys a little bit of all of it. We read the newspaper like everybody, so we hear about the plays that are being made by certain receivers in practice and the freshmen that have shown up. We know the tailbacks are both tremendous players. That's, without a doubt, the two guys you worry about the most are their two tailbacks.
They've got a young offensive line. So that's an area we're not sure how they're going to be. It doesn't mean they're going to bad. A year ago at Northern, I had five new offensive linemen, and we were pretty good. Just because they're new doesn't mean they're not going to play well. We've got to get outs on the field and compete with them.
I wanted to ask about-- you mentioned Louisiana Tech had some success against BCS schools in recent years. You're coming from a background at Northern where you had some situations where you'd be playing against BCS schools. Can you talk about the mentality that your team brings in that situation?
I think a lot of guys at that level feel snubbed. Maybe they should have been playing at a school a level higher. So those kind of games give them that platform to show everybody who they are.
I think, as a program, as a mid-major program, Northern, Louisiana Tech, Boise State, and Fresno State, and all those schools that are playing well, San Jose last year, those kids are going to have a chip on their shoulder to prove something. They weren't recruited at the level those guys are.
As a coach, you're the same way. You want to show you belong at that level when you're coaching those games. So they'll be very competitive. They'll have an edge to them. And we've talked about it with our players.
I was going to ask how much your experience with that could help prepare your guys for what comes.
You know, I definitely talked to them about it. I really don't spend too much time focusing on things like that, but we have talked about it. Our whole focus has tried to be on ourselves just because there's so many unknowns in a game like this. We need to handle our business and not beat ourselves and not turn the ball over and distribute it the right way and line up correctly and play hard.
That's where most of our talk has been.