Jim Leavitt Press Conference Quotes (Nov.29)

Head Coach Jim Leavitt talks about the disappointing loss to UConn, what the Team needs to do to move on, Playing West Virginia in the last game of the year at Raymond James stadium, and the possibility of playing in a bowl game at his weekly Press Luncheon Tuesday November 29, 2005

Head Coach Jim Leavitt Press Luncheon Quotes

Tuesday November 29, 2005




Opening Statements:


"The last game was disappointing. The thing I love was the effort that our guys played with was as great as I've ever seen. I didn't say we played real well. As I said on the radio show, when things work, they work, when they don't work, the fans or media can't beat yourself up any worse then you do. We move forward, the night after a loss you always wrestle a little bit. It's no different when we lost to Penn State , Miami and Pittsburgh . You just tear yourself up because you want to win so badly. Our guys had a good practice last night; they worked hard. This football team is a real special team. To go into the BIG EAST the first year and do what they did to this point is really very remarkable. Our football team expected it because we go in looking for a BIG EAST championship, end of story. I think a lot of people outside didn't expect us to be in the position that we are in. I'm sure they didn't think we had any shot of being bowl eligible at the beginning of the year. With that, we've done some things, and it's disappointing because we wanted a BIG EAST Championship. West Virginia is a good football team, we all know that. They are coming in on all cylinders and it's going to take a great game by our players in order to win. I believe our guys will go out and play hard and battle and play as hard as we possibly can. We will do our very best to see what we can do and just go from there."


On the possibility of seeing Carlton Hill at QB on Saturday:


"Oh I don't know. Pat (Julmiste) and Carlton (Hill) are the two that we have been working. I think Pat is pretty good. He doesn't always play every snap real good. Certainly a lot of people thought he was pretty good after certain wins we had. After Louisville I don't think anyone was ripping him. Pat made some decisions that were tough and there were a lot of dropped balls. I don't think Pat was out there on the kickoff team when they returned it all the way. He wasn't out there playing defense either. He cares and works and does good things. Carlton is pretty good as well. I don't think negative about anything like that. I've been asked this question before, they are both ready to play. Those are the two guys who we focus in on to be ready to play. That's how it always should be."


On any difference between West Virginia since the original game date (Oct. 22):


"Their QB is really playing well and he's another dimension. He was there before, but he is really playing with confidence. He's a good football player who really opens up the offense. He can run and can throw. He's got humility. He's a big dimension. He opens up the running game. They're playing confident as a team and they've got a good football team."



On USF's home field advantage at Raymond James Stadium:


"I don't know what it is. It's real close to home, we're right here. In the last three out of four weeks we've been on a plane for no less then two hours. I just like the opportunity to play at Raymond James; it's a nice place to play."


On the support by the student body at USF:


"I think our support is great. I've said that the last 10 years. Our supporters and what our students and community give is great. I really do. I don't know if there was one negative time in 10 years that I have in my thinking with any with any support that we've ever had. It's just been that good. Look where we are right now. One thing people will say is that we are a very competitive team in the BIG EAST. To me it's been great."


On what you need to do to move on after a big loss:


"Well you remember the Army game (last year), you didn't forget it. My point is this; I don't think you ever forget a loss, but what are you going to do? Are you just going to sit there and be depressed all your life, or move on? That's one of the keys to anything in life. When all of us face adversity, it's a great lesson. We are all going to face it one way or another. When you face adversity are you just going to sit at home? Say you lose a job, things don't go well a certain day, you deal with it. It builds great character. You're going to have hurdles in your life. Just like after a win you move on, after a loss you move on too. You just have to and we will. I couldn't be more proud of this football team. I love this team. I might not mean a whole lot to them but they mean a whole lot to me. They really do. I love being around them."


On how much the senior class means to him:


"A lot. The senior class is a powerful group. They are great leaders and great workers. They do what we ask them to do; they never blink an eye. You can't go through the turnaround from C-USA to the BIG EAST without senior leadership. It's impossible. Coaches and staff are important but seniors are a powerful element. They are a special group. We have an opportunity to go to a bowl game and play more football, which I am planning on. That's never happened in the history of South Florida , I don't believe. There are a couple of other teams that are going to bowls: Louisville , Rutgers and West Virginia who we are playing on Saturday. We compete against those guys."




On USF's injury situation:


"We're all right. We really are. I expect everyone to play except for Danny Verpale of course."





On the final game of the season being a harder final game then normal:


"No. They are always fired up to go out and play. I won't say a lot to them. I'll say hello to them shake their hand and lets go. It'll be their last game in Raymond James unless somehow we go to the Outback Bowl. Some of these guys might have the opportunity to play at Raymond James in their NFL career like we have with other players before. I just want them to be focused. Sometimes you get out there and they are too emotional and they don't play well. That is my biggest concern. We're just going to go out there and play, shake their hand and get going and strap it on. Let's play."


On coach Leavitt's confidence in playing in a bowl game:


"Until you get invited you don't know, but we're focused in on West Virginia . We're trying to see what we can do this Saturday night. That's all I'm really focused in on. As far as the other things go, who knows? We're going to have to wait and see. I'm always positive; I'm always optimistic. I always think good thoughts until someone tells me bad thoughts."

Here are some video clips from the press conference:

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