Thoughts on practice...
It was a much better week than we had.
Obviously the shared disappointment we had as a staff and a team. I said we had a choice of of how we're going to deal with this opportunity. That's all it is. We're lucky to have this game. There's a lot of people who don't have the opportunities that we have and we need to take advantage of it.
We didn't do that. We all know it. It all comes down to me, and I took the blame for it, and I still do.
I'm excited to see them go back out there, and that's all I'm looking forward to, playing a new game.
Is it intensity, attention to detail?
We've had intensity, that's not the issue. It's execution, and it comes to down attention to detail, the little things. You can't get away with things in this game. You're playing teams all over the country with good players on their team.
Everything we do has to be down to the finest detail and every opportunity we get in a game we have to capitalize on it. In game #1 we got away with things and won the game. We don't talk about it and guys don't understand that play can hurt is. It did. Now it's a great learning opportunity, and that's what we're using it as.
It's a 1-0 mentality, let's go put our best product on the field this week, and we'll worry about next week, next week.
Defensively the theme seems to be finish and get off the field on third/fourth downs...
Yep, I think anytime you can get the ball back for an offense that's scoring points it's critical. There were times we did that and times we didn't. Fourth down hurt us, no doubt about it, and penalties on third down, there were two that extended drives.
We had him in the backfield a couple of times and didn't finish, and that will be big this week. Washington is a good athlete at quarterback for ODU, he can run around, and Lowery is a really good tailback so we have to tackle and get a lot of people to the ball.
Do you sense Ryan Finley is a little more comfortable?
He's poised and has incredible comfort playing the game. He takes things he does wrong and doesn't panic about... he doesn't repeat errors. A lot of kids do it, but he doesn't. The more he plays with his teammates is the deal... the chemistry of being around the same guys all the time.
You mentioned Stephen Louis stepping up... if you can get two or three receivers clicking... how much will it help the offense?
We have other guys we're still throwing the ball to. I think Bra'lon can do a lot of things after the catch. I think Nyheim can when he's healthy, and he was battling an ankle in that game. Obviously Jay Sam can, he had some uncharacteristic drops which I think he'll rebound from.
It's not a matter of if there's anyone else we can throw it to. I think we have those guys. It's just getting the ball to them and letting them do something with it.
How are you health-wise this week?
Nyheim is banged up a little bit, sore ankle. Other than that, kind of the little things you would expect but not keeping people out.
Eurndraus Bryant is probably the guy who would be a game-day decision because he's a little banged up.
Nyheim was out there today. I'm not sure how he'll feel on gameday, but he was running around. He wasn't yesterday so that's a positive.
Coach Wilder was brutally honest after last year's game. One thing he mentioned was he thought his team looked like a JV squad. He felt this year and the future he'd feel they can physically compete. Do you notice a difference?
Their defensive line is much better. They were young, and all those guys are back and have had a year in the weight room like our d-line has.
They are pretty big inside and have a good rotation at end with three long guys. They didn't have that last year, we were able to move them around up front, but last year is last year. I don't really pay attention... it was 12 months ago.
Do you think App State's game can give you a blueprint?
There are similarities in some of the run schemes... Dwayne knows how good those guys are at App and how they handled. In the second half I don't think that ODU gave up a third-down conversion on defense.
Do you have a reaction on the NCAA from this week?
Honestly, I've been focused on what I can focus on over here right now. My head has been in the sand. I can honestly tell that I haven't read or looked at anything, other than what my team is doing.
That's where my head will stay for the time being.