Felt like our players did a nice job being focused on the road. Did a nice job at Old Dominion. It was sold out. Had good energy on the sideline. I thought we handled our business. Had no penalties offensively and no turnovers, were very efficient. Had a lot of different guys make plays on the offensive side of the ball.
Were able to play a lot of guys.
Defensively shut down the nation's leading rusher. He had 15 yards in the game rushing. Continued to have success on third down. Really controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
We were able to get our kicker his first field goal. That will be big for him moving forward. Our punter had a nice day, A.J. Cole, four punts down inside the 20, two inside the 10.
Everything was kind of what we would hope it would be there. Got home late, 2 or 3 in the morning with our guys. Have another road trip playing South Alabama. 12 transfers and an offensive coordinator from UAB. They've benefited from another program's demise. Good players. Five of them start on offense. Their top receivers, top tight end, quarterback, one of the best O-lineman.
They've benefited as a team to the players they've gotten. Like I mentioned, their offensivecoordinator.
Another challenge. We're six of eight on the road as a program, five of seven now. Still in that stretch of many road games. Guys just got to focus and continue to do what we're doing.
Going into the rushing game, five touchdowns on the ground in the first, then four, then four again. What can you say about the committee of running backs that you have and how successful you've been there this season.
Well, it's nice to have rotation. Getting Shad (Shadrach Thornton) back, with Matt (Dayes), had equal carries, different numbers. Matt's change-of-direction skills are unbelievable, how he plays in space, how quick he is.
Shad is a bulldog. He's very physical. Both of them are playing well after contact. It's nice having them both back.
Behind them, Reggie Gallaspy and Dakwa Nichols, are good players as well. Jaylen Samuels is rushing the ball well for us. A lot of that comes back to your O-line. We've been probably the most nicked up there than we have at any position.
Thankful to get Garrett Bradbury back this week. He's been out since our opener at left guard. That will help us depth-wise as we wait for Alex Barr to come back from his injury.
It's nice to have that run game. It helps your quarterbacks, it helps your receivers.
What can you say about Jacoby (Brissett) and what he's done in the passing game? What have you seen from the passing game so far?
He's taken advantage of what's there, best way to put it. A lot of underneath throws we've asked him to make. He distributes the ball well. He's accurate. He's efficient. Doesn't take sacks when he doesn't need to. He's protecting the football, which he needs to continue to do. He's had a couple nice extended plays with his feet.
We haven't thrown the ball a lot down the field. To be honest, it's been tough. The teams we've played, they've played high safeties, that's why we've been very effective running the football. This week I think we're going to get both safeties in the box. It will be a big week for him throwing.
That's kind of what we're built on, take what you give us. If they're going to take people out of the box with our guys, we've got to run to win, and we've been able to do that.
What is the one thing that stands out the most when you watch South Alabama on film?
Athletic. They're a very athletic team. They got good team speed. They're undersized at some positions, but they can run and they play hard.
You mentioned that you shut down the nation's leading rusher last week. You're facing another test. (Xavier) Johnson is coming off a great running game against San Diego State. Talk about him and the problems he presents.
Averaging almost nine yards a carry. He has home run speed. That's the thing that scares you, you don't see him making a lot of people miss or really running people over.
When he hits a hole, I mean he hits it. He's got great speed. They get him on the edge of your defense with a couple different crack screens that makes it tough. You got to be able to replace your perimeter support with other players, tackle well.
So every week you have a new challenge. It's not just him. They have a receiver that caught three balls over 30 yards against Nebraska and really had four because one of them got called back. They have good team speed. They have a tight end that's averaging 18 yards a catch. Their quarterback played really well at San Diego State.
It's going to be a challenge. Offensively they've got five starters from UAB that are really good. That's really helped them on offense.
Your freshman kick returner Nyheim Hines came in very highly touted. He hasn't broken the big one yet, but he's third in the league in average. Talk about him and what he brings to the table.
He doesn't hesitate.
What I like in a kickoff return guy is a guy that will make a decision and go. Not a guy that tiptoes and dances. He hits it. You're always one block away on that stuff from popping one. He's going to get one soon. He's got home run speed. He's close.
We have played him on offense quite a bit. He hasn't been able to get open as much. For whatever reason, the plays we've given to him just didn't pop the right way, but they're going to. He's got a great skill set and we're really excited about it.