"It was certainly good to get off on a positive note. I thought we did a lot of good things in the ball game. Obviously, a lot of things that we can correct in all three phases but I thought that our players really gave us a good effort. We had an opportunity to play a lot of young people; with 11 minutes to in the (fourth quarter) we were able to get our second unit in…and have them play quite a bit. It was the first time for many of them to play extensively. I was very pleased with that. It's always a good reward.
"This week we have a very good UNLV team coming in here. We have a lot of respect for them. We saw them first hand last year. They came in and really outplayed us last year. They did a very nice job. And they played a very good game against an excellent Tennessee team this past (Sunday)."
Barry, in your game Saturday, the Central Florida coach wondered why he couldn't a review of (Jonathan Orr's) touchdown catch. I'm wondering if you are in his shoes sometime later in the season, would you prefer that challenges be part of this system and why or why not?
"You know what, as we sat down and discussed this, actually for the last two years, as Big Ten coaches, we decided that a coach requesting for a replay…would not be part of it. Because we didn't want to slow the game down. We thought what we were doing probably was the best answer. And I still agree with that. I thought at one time I would have liked to have seen a play where there was a reception in front of their boundary. Yet I knew there was someone up in the press box with three different views of it and a replay camera. He had a better view and obviously didn't think it should have been replayed. I would prefer not requesting the replay."
A few other coaches earlier on this teleconference said that they might call a timeout if they felt that they had a strong case, to let the replay official maybe take more than one look at it. That's a form of a challenge. Would you do the same thing?
"I think that's certainly an option you could take. I would think that if it was a big enough play. And it would have a bearing on the game that if it was that close the official in the box would then stop the game to give himself a better look at it. I would think that he could do that where you wouldn't have to call a timeout."
Last season you lost to UNLV a few games into the season. What are you going to do differently against UNLV this time to prevent another upset?
"Well, I hope we don't turn it over as many times as we did a year ago. They had something to do with it. They did a good job of stripping the ball but in some cases we had overthrows. They did a good job. But when you turn it over as many times as we did, it is pretty hard to overcome that. We didn't take advantage of many opportunities that we did have. So hopefully we can just execute better than we did a year ago."
This year Sept. 11 falls on a Saturday. I was wondering your thoughts from three years ago, what that week was like for football coaches, who get so involved in preparing their teams for a game and having to go through all of that. Were you glued to the TV like everybody else?
"I do remember that specifically. I happened to be writing up some reports and one of my coaches came into the office to inform me what had happened…And the TV was on and we saw the second plane hit the trade center. Just the disbelief of what was really going on. We were scheduled (to play that weekend) and then when we did have to go play we were going back East to play at Penn State, where they had been affected more so than we did because they had some individuals, many of their players had families that lived there. And I know Joe had some players that were in the building…We had two players from New York whose family were not involved. Just the magnitude of it and how it touched our country and how it affected our country, more or less rallied everyone. And then just made us all aware of just what could happen out there I think was just overwhelming."
Do you think in the time since then that coaches and players follow the news more closely?
"I think so. I think that's just a natural reaction. Maybe, I don't know how many people were totally aware of that type of terrorist action, of what could happen. And you never think that it could happen right here on our soil. And to see it happen in New York City, and the way it did, I think just was, it was enlightening for everyone."
I was wondering what Anthony Davis' status is for the game this week. Also, what did you hear more this summer: did people talk more to you about your win at Ohio State or your loss to UNLV?
"Anthony's at a specialist right now…I haven't got a report back. He did feel better yesterday.
"Actually…I didn't hear as much about those as just quite how we finished the season. Even after the Ohio State win we were sitting there 6-1 and had some momentum. We lost some very tough ball games, lost a few games on the last play of the game. Let the bowl game get away from of us. That all was more relevant than what had happened earlier in the season."
What were your impressions of Jamaal Brimmer and that game he had against you last season?
"He was fantastic. He was all over the field, making plays. I was impressed with his awareness of the game, how physical he was and how one person can impact a game as much as he did."
Alvarez verbatim, Big Ten teleconference
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