Ricky Bustle Comments On The USC Game

Coach Bustle said, "We exchanged film with each other (us and South Carolina). It's hard to tell exactly what they are going to do offensively. And how they are going to set up the new defense. You do the best you can. You try to get a few looks on each side of the ball of things you know that you can prepare your kids to respond from what they see at that standpoint. Hopefully, we'll be able to adjust to anything else." ...

Q: A lot of teams are playing nationally ranked teams right off the bat. Can you talk about the Sun Belt teams playing these teams?

A: I think it is a great challenge for us. You've always got to be ready for your opening ball game, your playing high profile, high caliber football programs. It's something your players look forward to and obviously the Sun Belt Conference will play a lot of teams like that. I think it's exciting for the kids to come right out of the box and get ready to play a big ball game.

Q: What did you bring with you from Virginia Tech to help you block so many kicks last year?

A: I think it is an emphasis. I'm in charge of our punt block team and involved very much in our special teams. We did block several field goals and so forth. But I think it is the emphasis that you put on it. Everybody works at it and tries to defend it, the whole nine yards. We put a lot of emphasis on our special teams. I know people say that they do, but we do a whole lot. We've had practices the past week and a half where most of it was special teams. Not just offense and defense, we're going to use a lot of our starting players on these special teams. It's not going to matter what position you're playing. We're going to rest our players on offense and defense.

Q: How do you prepare for a (South Carolina) team that has a brand new offense and defense this season?

A: It's hard. There are things that you put in in preseason. We exchanged film with each other. It's hard to tell exactly what they are going to do offensively. And how they are going to set up the new defense. You do the best you can. You try to get a few looks on each side of the ball of things you know that you can prepare your kids to respond from what they see at that standpoint. Hopefully, we'll be able to adjust to anything else.

Q: How do you feel coming back to Williams-Brice Stadium?

A: I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to have a lot of family there. I've thought the fans and friends are some of the most special people. It is a great atmosphere. I'm looking forward to it.

Q: What is your offensive philosophy for this game with a few USC players questionable?

A: We don't know exactly who their back-ups are. We don't know their personnel. We know where some good players are. We know what's being said about what they are trying to do. It's hard to say that you are going to pick on people when you don't really see them on film and know exactly where you can get them one-on-one in any type situation. That's probably the hardest thing.

Q: Will you be starting your freshman at quarterback and how has he responded this fall?

A: Jerry Babb will start at quarterback and we are planning on playing Eric also. I've alluded to that ever since Sun Belt Media Days. I'm not a big proponent of playing two quarterbacks and I'm not saying that there is a set series where Eric will go in. But I feel that I want to get them both in the game. Jerry is learning our offense and obviously he got all the quality reps in the spring and in the preseason. I feel that he deserves this opportunity. Eric brings experience to the table. This is going to be a tough place for Jerry to open up and play. There isn't a better college atmosphere than there in Williams-Brice Stadium. Jerry gives us more athletic ability at the quarterback, a guy that can move around in the pocket and runs the ball very well. He's going to have to be focused with what's going on on the field.

Q: Will your running game be improved this year?

A: If we can get up to about 80 yards a game, that would be much improved over what we did last year. We've worked on it hard. I believe you've got to be able to run the ball. We can throw, that was our strength last year. I want to take pressure off the quarterback. The problem is that we haven't had the same offensive line this preseason. We have had some guys banged up. We finally got four or five of them in our last scrimmage. But we worked on that and that's what we got to do. No doubt about it.

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