Leavitt Luncheon Quotes, Sept. 26, 2006

USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt talks about the Bulls first loss to Kansas last Saturday, on using Justin Teachey as a punter, the upcoming game vs Rutgers, facing the Rutgers running attack, and more at his weekly Press Luncheon Tuesday September 26, 2006


On whether there are two seasons for a football team – the non-conference part and BIG EAST part … "You do kind of have two seasons.  You have the conference race, certainly, the BIG EAST, and the other games.  So if you look at it that way, yeah, it's the opener for both teams in the BIG EAST."


On Rutgers "Pretty good.  They're a pretty good football team. Undefeated, nationally ranked, a couple of people up for the Heisman (Trophy). A pretty good football team."


On the reason for using kicker Justin Teachey as a punter … "He could catch the ball and run around for a little bit so are we going to keep doing that? We'll see."


On whether USF will continue to use Teachey as punter … "You tell me. What was the net punting average?  It was about forty-something?  That ain't bad.  It's better than dropping punts, and that's not knocking those two young guys (punters Ilia Petrov or Delbert Alvarado). Those guys are going to be real good. They are real good, they've got great legs. In soccer, you're not using your hands a lot, we're teaching them around that a little bit and how to catch a little bit, you know, it worked last week and we go week-to-week. But it worked out pretty good last game. But everything's different; it's a different deal every week."


On playing on Friday's because of television … "I'd rather—high school football I think should have Fridays. But we're going to do it, we're fortunate to be able to play on TV. So you get – that's the positive part of it all, but I've always been a big proponent of high school football and coaches and you hate – I think television hates getting in that situation also, it is what it is I guess. But high school football means a lot to me, but how often to you play on TV?"


On Matt Grothe's development and on him coming into a game with a nationally ranked team off a loss … "There's always adversity. There's always adversity. Every player has to go through it; every coach has to go through it. The key is just how you deal with it, and he think he deals with things very well. There's never not adversity, that's always going to be there. Everybody deals with it, everybody. You do, I do. It's just how we deal with it and I think he deals with it pretty good. He keeps pushing forward."


On the frustration of not converting on third down and having the defense come back on the field quickly after not getting the first down … "Yeah it was (frustrating). Well we don't like it, third down is important. We want to try and get off the field and some of it was our mistakes, some of it was they just did a good job. They protected and got the job done. We've just got to do a better job. Got to coach better and play better."


On it being frustrating … "Yeah, yeah, you're right, you answered your question again.  If I'm out there and I'm battling my tail and our guys have played so hard and they get a third down completion, I'd probably be pretty disappointed if I'm a player – I know as a coach I am; as a player, that's kind of not what we want to do. We want to try and get off the field."


On Rutgers ' running game … "We haven't faced a running game like this one. This one's good. I mean real good; they know what they're doing. Backs are good, line's good, this one's a test, a real test. This one's going to be a great challenge for our defense.  It really is."


On Brian Leonard"Oh yeah. Yeah, he did a pretty good job. He's a good back; they're a good line, good football team."


On which back USF may try to focus on defensively against Rutgers , Brian Leonard or Ray Rice … "Well we'll try and focus on the one that has the ball. Now, as for which one has they ball, we'll try and see if we can hopefully figure that out."


On whether Matt Grothe is going to be USF's staring quarterback the rest of the season … "I don't go there. I don't go there, I don't know, I' don't know the future. I'm all fired up; I've been exited about practice today. I'm focused on practice today and I know he's going to be our quarterback today in practice. That I can promise you. And Pat (Julmiste) will be ready, Grant (Gregory) will be ready and (Anthony) Severio will be ready to go. That I know today. What happens tomorrow, I don't know. We'll have ‘em all. I hope I can get through today. Hope the Lord blesses me and allows me to get through the day and if he does, that'd be a tremendous accomplishment."


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