"South Florida presents a big challenge for our football team. They're very, very talented. They're probably the fastest football team that we've played thus far. They had just a tremendous win for their program and their team this year, going out on the road and beating Auburn at Auburn. They played extremely well, they ran the ball well, their defense put a tremendous amount of pressure on the opposing quarterback.
"It's a big challenge for our football team .They've probably got two just terrific corners that have the ability to lock receivers down. They've got an experienced quarterback that was the offensive newcomer of the year in the Big East conference last year in [Matt] Grothe and he's an experienced guy at running their offense – makes very few mistakes."
On a possible play-off scenario:
"I really don't know – I haven't thought that much about it. I haven't been involved with any of the meetings with the conference commissioners to kind of get a sense of [it]. I can only speak to 10 years ago – certainly the mindset was probably to not do that, but that's a question I think you'd have to ask faculty reps and athletic directors and conference commissioners, probably."
On playing South Florida now that they are ranked in the top-25:
"I watched at the inception – being the head coach at Miami – the first couple of years when South Florida really started to put their program together and obviously through the 10 years that I spent there and with the Cleveland Browns, when you look back, they've just done a terrific job.
"They have built it with stability [and] they have built it with consistency and continuity. Jim [Leavitt's] done just a great job of staying the course and building it the right way. Keeping expectations 10 or 11 years ago in check and I think, subsequently, they're having the success that I'm sure that they envisioned…
"They've done an excellent job recruiting and they are well-coached. Just watching them from the outside, they've got as many talented athletes as just about anybody today."
On the lesser-named schools in Florida making a name for themselves:
"I think what it really speaks to is the availability and the amount of talent that the state of Florida produces in high school football. And I think it's a real tribute to all three of those other programs in their ability to keep that talent home.
"I know, having been an assistant coach at Miami in the early ‘80s into the mid and late ‘80s, that prior to the inception of some of those programs and prior to the notoriety, a high percentage of the players, if they didn't stay at Miami or Florida or Florida State, you saw tons of rosters all across the Big Ten [full of Florida kids].
"It was common place for Michigan State to have 10 or 15 players, and Michigan and Notre Dame and Penn State and the Big Ten and certainly throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference and up into West Virginia and stuff, for them to have a lot of Florida players. I think it's a real tribute to those three programs that they've been able to keep a lot of those players home."
On the concerns going with T.J. Yates as a freshman:
"Probably not as reluctant as maybe the perception might be. No one had any experience. Mike Paulus clearly had none and B.J. Phillips – we subsequently moved him to tight end – and he was one of the guys that went through spring practice. Cam Sexton and T.J. Yates were the two leading contenders and I think because it was a totally different system and a totally different offense that we just kind of presented it as it's an open competition. We gave both players opportunities to try to win the job.
"And T.J., what he has done through the first three ball games are the things that we saw bits and glimpses of – his poise under pressure, his decision-making – those are the things, because I'll be honest with, we had no other basis to base anything on. It wasn't like both of them had started eight or 10 games in the past and you could kind of look at game experience and say ‘these are things that equate to what we're looking for,' but we just felt like T.J. continued to grow.
"The growth that he had in the spring time, he continued into training camp – that every single day he made some strides and he got a little bit better. I think it certainly was the right move and we're kind of benefiting from those facts so far."