Opening remarks -
"This South Florida program by Coach [Jim] Leavitt began in the mid-90s they've made progress every year. They've played some big games they've got some momentum going for them. They just lost to Rutgers. They had a bowl game last year. They're doing a great job down there. They get a couple of guys back form suspension. They've got good receivers. The guy standing out for them right now is the freshman quarterback. He's really a terrific ball player On some of the designed runs and throwing the football makings some good decisions. They're a team were going to have to play really much better as a team than we did last week to beat them. We really appreciate the team Miami has and the players they have. We'll have to move the ball on the ground. We'll have to defend really well. I call it hockey on grass. They really spread you out. They make you play disciplined. This will be testy, edgy game. We have to make them earn every thing, not like we gave away plays to Miami last week. They are very well organized with what they do offensively."
South Florida's run and pass offense -
"They're going to do both. They'll jump into the two tight end offense and run the ball. They'll run the ball with one tight end. They can do all of the tings like Furman did in the one tight end offense. Those things are all available to theme. They've got a talented group of receivers. They're all on the same page."
On who will pick up at receiver for injured Hakeem Nicks -
"Both Dirk [Engram] and Kenton [Thornton] will play. We wanted to be in four wides a lot against Miami. We'll probably settle Brooks [Foster] into a position Jesse [Holley] is going to have take a larger role in terms of what he might be doing. Obviously we like Brandon Tate and what he might be doing. Thornton and Engram will be working into the offense today, and during the week will make progressions depending on what we see."
On Cam Sexton's play -
"He got banged from both ends (against Miami). The next play he completed to a perfect pass to Jesse Holley. One play he gets killed; the next play – perfect and we move the chains. He's in with the scheme of things.
"Barrington [Edwards] did a good job on pass plays. We like to use our backs in pass plays."
What indications do you have that the defense will play better this week?
"I believe that having Larry [Edwards] and Durrell [Mapp] play their best games last week got their attention and focus. We want that to continue. That gives us a chance. Kareen Taylor is playing great football. We're still working with Cooter Arnold. D.J. walker has got to go out there and play the whole game. Those are the things you're juggling in the air when you're trying to run a defense. Our corners have to play really terrific. We've got to get a pass rush going. There are a lot of different things to get handled here. They played better last week, except for two plays that gained over one hundred yards. Both were extremely preventable. We need to do a better job of seeing things. We've got to d a better job of coaching. Other than turning their tightt end lose a couple of times, we stopped the run better."
On staying positive during the difficult season -
"I am fired up about this week. I have to look ahead to Virginia because we've got plans to be made in terms of practice schedules. For me as a head coach, I have to look ahead and do that. but our football team is focused on this game. Playing at home on Student Appreciation Day and Youth Day – it's a great opportunity. That's what it's all about.
"I'm trying to win one game. That sounds like something I said to Dick Vermeil a few years ago. I said, ‘Coach, if we could just win three in a row…' He said, ‘I'm trying to win one.'
"I talked with the offensive staff first yesterday. They felt great about last night's practice. Defensively, I think our kids are pretty resilient on that side of the ball.
"I believe that they paid a price in the off-season conditioning program. There have been no issues in my opinion with they're conditioning. When you face three top defenses in the ACC that can smack you in the face a little bit in terms of production, what I want us to do in terms of an offensive staff is say we're getting better. We just need to have the performance on the field, so you can show them all the good plays."