Leavitt Press Conference Quotes

Coach talks to the media at his weekly press conference. Read on for the entire transcript.

Opening statement … "Just going back to last game (vs. North Carolina), it was a good win for us. Beating an ACC team does carry a little bit of weight in this country even though sometimes people downplay because North Carolina hasn't won a lot of games, they've only beaten Furman, but to go up there and play, the guys played pretty well. To win the game was big. We had a good practice last night. We're going to go today in just shorts, pads and helmets. We'll go for about an hour and a half or so and then we'll get on our Tuesday schedule on Wednesday. We'll go full pads tomorrow and go at it as if Sunday were a Saturday game – try to get back on schedule, so we get a Monday night practice last night like we always do. That'll try and get us another day and we'll do mostly teamwork today and work a little bit of kicking. I'm excited about playing Cincinnati; they're a very good football team. They had Louisville beat, they missed a throw in the corner of the end zone, otherwise they beat them, and we all know Louisville's a pretty decent team. And they did that at Louisville. They've also lost to Ohio State at Ohio State, lost to Virginia Tech at Virginia Tech – this is a very good football team we're playing and in command of a ball game. It will be a heck of a ball game. It will be a very physical ball game and we've got our work cut out for us, a great challenge for us. I'm excited about it. Excited about it."


On playing at home vs. on the road … "Well we lost to Kansas, that wasn't very good.  We won in North Carolina, that was good. We won at Central Florida, that was good. I don't think its road or home that has anything to do with it really, that I see. You've just got to go out and play. We could've played a lot better at Kansas. I have no idea. (We) Just get on the airplane and go. Doesn't really change much; just keep doing the same thing we've been doing for ten years. We haven't changed anything."


On playing on Sunday night … "I imagine a lot of people will watch it. I don't know what people do on Sunday nights, I know I usually study film, but I imagine there will be some people watching it. It's a good opportunity for exposure."


On the addition of Ricky Ponton to the run game taking pressure off Grothe … "I think really the week before, when Ben (Williams) was able to run for 100-something yards, I thought that was pretty good. I thought when we played Connecticut, I wouldn't say it took the pressure off Matt, but we had the running game going with somebody else other than Matt. I don't know if the pressure's on who we're going to run – Matt or anyone – whether it's (USF fullback) Mike Padilla over there just to give you another guy with Ben. That's a pretty solid running back. Not that Keeley (Dorsey) wasn't doing that well, but a guy with some experience – that's what we'll do."


On getting Ricky Ponton back … "It gives us two running backs that can both run the ball and both block. They need to be able to run and block. We felt Walt (Smith) did some real good things. We all saw Walt play earlier in the year and make some real good runs. But he's not as big and Keeley is young, he's a true freshman. He's doing good; just need a little more experience. We're not real deep around there."



On kicking issues … "I don't know if I'd say confidence or non-confidence, you go with the guy that's kicked the most. Mike (Benzer) kicked real well in practice and I just always assumed Mike was going to be able to make it; well he missed a couple, so I wanted to help him out. I just assumed he was going to make it. I'm always pretty confident with whoever's there.  I don't think any other way. I don't think "oh this guy's going to miss it; oh he's going to make it."


On what Cincinnati possesses … "Everything. I really mean that. They hustle on defense, they run, they're well coached. They are solid. Offensively, their line is big.  They have big running backs, big receivers and this quarterback has got the heart of a lion. He is a lot like Matt. He is going to do whatever it takes and you saw that when he played us last year. This quarterback is outstanding, he can beat you throwing and running and this team plays with passion, they play with energy, a lot like our guys. All of our guys. I see, really, two teams that are very similar. I really do. Their kicking game is very good."


On underestimating Cincinnati … "We knew Cincinnati. Shoot, they had Ohio State.  Third quarter they were within a touchdown of beating them. Ohio State's pretty good.  Virginia Tech, they had them on the ropes. They were 11th in the country at the time. We knew about Cincinnati, we saw them play early. Shoot, you take Ohio State all the way into the fourth quarter at their place? We know about Cincinnati. We know all about Cincinnati. They're probably the best game of the year that we'll play – we'll play the best game of the year this week. It's going to be a barn burner ‘til the end; I'm telling ya.  That's what it's going to be."

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