Coach Kelly's Monday Presser

Coach Kelly took over Cincinnati (5-0) before the end of last season and was able to coach the Bearcats to a bowl victory to end the 2006 campaign. So far this season, Cincinnati has looked impressive including a 34-3 win over Oregon State in the second game of the season. On Monday, Coach Kelly took some time out to share his thoughts on the upcoming game against Rutgers (3-1).

Opening Statement:
For us it is our first chance in the Big East, we played a non-league schedule that we think prepared us to play a great Big East schedule. It starts with playing a ranked team on the road against Rutgers. From our standpoint, the preseason is over and the real season starts now.

Thoughts about leading the league in scoring offense and defense:
For football coaches it is more about the development of your football team. Are you coming together? I don't think I am surprised. I am happy where we are. But now that we get into the Big East, I think we get a better idea of where we are.

Comparing the team that beat Rutgers last year to the team playing Rutgers this year:
I think the circumstances are different. The teams are different teams from last year. You change from year to year. Chemistry, dynamics, players graduate, your locker room changes. So I just think the circumstances are different then they were last year.

How does it feel to not be under the radar:
I think they are going to play like they played the first five weeks, just the competition is better. We haven't had any adversity. We haven't had the game on the line, going into the fourth quarter. So from that standpoint I am very curious to see how we will respond in the tight ballgame, which it will be with Rutgers and how we will play down the stretch. I'm not concerned that we will play tight. I'm not concerned about those things. I just want to see how our players respond in a close ball game.

Advantages of taking over the program before Cincinnati's bowl game last year:
There is no question it helped. Most responses are you have a chance to evaluate your kids. I think they got a chance to evaluate me and my staff and what we are about, how we prepare and how game day is like. Certainly those 15 practices and the game, I think gave our players a better understand of what to expect for their head coach. So I think that has helped us to build on what we did in the first five weeks.

Discussing their No-Huddle offense:
I think it is like any other offense, it comes down to balance. The ability to run it and throw it equally as well depending on what you get from the defense. Again, I don't care if it is a power-I or it is a no back-I, I think you got to have the ability to run it as well as you throw it. I think what has been our strength this year is that we are pretty balanced. We have about 193 yards rushing and 260 yards passing. We have pretty good balance and that is what I think makes it more difficult to defend.

Biggest challenge facing Rutgers:
I think first of all defensively handling their pressures. Obviously they have done a great job. I think if they don't lead the country they are right up there in sacks. Clearly they put pressure up front. Then offensively, Teel and Rice obviously, there is much more balance in their offense this year. They are throwing the ball much better, they have receivers that can make plays.

What can the Maryland game teach you:
Yeah, if Rutgers isn't going to tackle well that will help us. They just didn't play up to their capabilities. I don't think there was anything there scheme wise. They didn't tackle as well as they are used to tackling.

Does last year's game influence this year's game:
I know Greg (Schiano) pretty good and I am pretty sure he is not going around saying remember last year. I think he is living in the now just like I am. We need to have a great week of practice and prepare ourselves to play at a higher level. I've never been big into what happened last year. I really haven't spent much time thinking about last week's game. It is really about the present and this game.

Challenges of facing the wide receivers from Rutgers:
If you look at the teams we have played all year, we haven't been challenged with the balance that we see this week, with Rutgers' receivers and running game. I think it is going to be a great match up, We got two teams ranked [in the top] 25, you're going to have good players matched up against good players. I think that is going to be the case this week.


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