"This is a week that we've got to show some improvement. We've got to try to solidify our offensive personnel. We've got to obviously get some of the players back in the offensive line, and I think it's something where we've tried to focus this week on how can we get better. The attitude of our players has been very good. The work ethic, yesterday in practice, was very good. We've got to take a good week of practice and turn it into a good performance on Saturday.
"Georgia Southern is a team that has got a lot of gifted, talented athletes. It's a program that's had a lot of winning tradition. They do a lot of unique and different things defensively that is going to challenge our offense. They've got a 3-3-stack package, they've got a bear package and they've got several different looks and blitzes. They're a very fast and athletic football team. They've got a lot of guys capable of making a lot of plays."
Are they players frustrated or have they turned the page on the past two performances?
"I think that it's a combination. There's frustration from the standpoint that guys are disappointed that we haven't played better and I think that frustration manifests itself with kids trying to practice harder. The things that our coaching staff has talked to our players about is that the only solution to playing better on Saturday is to prepare better, watch more film, practice harder, hold yourself more accountable [and] try to improve every single week.
"We knew at the beginning of the season that we were going to be a very young and inexperienced football team offensively. We got younger and more inexperienced by result of some injuries, but the only way to dig yourself out of that situation is that guys have got to work hard in practice and they've got to try to take the lessons that they learned in the previous game and grow from those experiences."
How has the defense responded to the offense's struggles?
"I think they've been very supportive. These kids are tight. They've got a great relationship with everybody in the locker room. As we pointed out, it's a team game. You win as a team [and] you lose as a team. A lot of the guys that play defense also play on special teams, which is an area that we need to improve in and try to help manufacture and make some plays, special teams-wise. The defensive players remember equally as well in 2007 when there was 4-5-6 freshmen on the field at the same time [and] we had some struggles because of inexperience, because of youth, because the talent at the time wasn't as mature and as physically gifted as they've subsequently grown into."
We're not going to see Bryn Renner this season, are we?
"Right now, I couldn't answer that. We don't have any plans to at this particular time. T.J. Yates is the starting quarterback, and he's had some good games and he's struggled in some games. But the games where he has had struggles, a certain amount of those struggles have come as the result of everybody on offense struggling. When everybody clicks and everybody plays well, the quarterback generally has a good game. When he has some struggles and issues, the quarterback is the first person that everybody wants to point the finger at."
But you're not ruling out the possibility?
"I haven't thought about it."
On Robert Quinn's success:
"It doesn't surprise me because he was a very good athlete and a good football player and wrestler in high school. I think he uses all of that athletic ability. The one thing I guess that you never really know until you get kids on campus is [if] the game is going to be bigger or faster for them when they make that transition from high school to college. Robert will tell you himself that there was some nervousness last year as a true freshman, but the more that he played and the more confidence that he had…
"The one thing that he brings to the table is just a relentless attitude every time the ball is snapped. You get everything out of him every single play. When he has to come out of the game for a play or two or a possession, and someone else goes in, you know immediately when he goes back that you're going to get everything [from him]. He doesn't leave anything in the tank.
"I recruited a young man that played for us at Oklahoma State – Leslie O'Neal – that was a first-round draft choice and was a great player in college and he played defensive end. There's some similarities between those two. You really get everything out of Robert."