How about the performance by Jonathan Orr and Brandon Williams?
White: Well I'm very, very pleased with their performance, particularly in the first half. They made a bunch of plays and Jonathan continues to be a big playmaker for us, running by people and just doing a great job. I couldn't be more pleased with their development. And they're only going to get better. It was nice to see Brandon come back and have a nice football game and have some critical third-down catches and execute when we really needed him to. And I was really pleased with the quarterbacks. I thought both quarterbacks played very well, very efficiently. They gave us a chance to score a lot of points in the first half.
Do you feel you should have scored more points in that second half?
White: Well obviously we didn't score any in the second half. We certainly would have liked to have scored and played better than we did in the second half. I think there were a lot of contributing factors. No. 1, we haven't dealt with a huge lead, really for a long time, probably since '99. It was extremely hot and we just didn't play the way we certainly wanted to in the second half. But all things considered it's a very positive step for this football team, particularly offensively.
But based on the first half, you saw some improvement in your unit you wanted to see this week?
White: Absolutely. We scored 34 points in the first half. I would consider that pretty good improvement. I saw some other people emerge. Brandon Williams, and I saw the continued success of Jonathan Orr, and I thought our quarterbacks were very sharp and accurate with the football and made a bunch of plays.
Does that offensive rhythm you had in the second quarter start with Bollinger?
White: Well absolutely. I think any quarterback will tell you, you get a couple of completions under your belt, and now you just go play the game instead of pressing. He got out of the gates pretty quickly and really made a lot of nice throws. And we caught the ball very well. I don't think we had a drop tonight. Well, Bob Docherty, but we did a nice job particularly in the first half. We certainly have a lot of room for improvement, and there will be tons of things on this tape we will be able to correct and correct off. We'll have to evaluate the tape and go forward.
The performance of the young talent like Williams, Orr and Dwayne Smith has to be extremely exciting for you.
White: Well it is exciting because they're making plays and they're contributing at such an early age. They don't seem too terribly fazed by playing in this stadium and playing this early in their careers. I'm very pleased with all three of their progress, and I only expect them to get better. That is exciting because they can platform a lot of the achievements they've reached so far in the first couple of weeks and move forward.
Did West Virginia crowd the box more than you've seen teams do in the past?
White: No. More than we've seen before? No, that's the structure of their defense. We went into the game prepared for it. We knew it was going to be a grudge match up front in terms of getting some movement and getting some real estate to be able to run to. I'm just happy we didn't have any turnovers again. That's always been a trademark for us, playing pretty error-free football in terms of turnovers.
Did West Virginia get a little stubborn with that in the second quarter, with the way you were able to hurt them in the passing game?
White: I don't know. You probably need to ask them what the trade-offs are. I would say we were able to take advantage of some things, and our players made plays. Consequently we were able to jump out to a nice lead.
I know Brooks is all about the winning and not about stats, but isn't it nice for his confidence to have a line like he did today?
White: Absolutely. It does nothing but help his confidence, and it will do nothing but help our young players and their confidence, to develop the continuity and rhythm that we need to, to play the competition that we're going to be playing here coming forward. We need to play better. And I expect we will, but I'm certainly, obviously very happy being 3-0 right now and being able to score the points we did in the first half.
Did you feel better about how the offense handled blitzes this week?
White: I thought we did a great job. They were blitzing pretty consistently. I thought our backs did a great job protecting, Anthony and Dwayne. I thought our tight ends did a nice job and our offensive line was in tune with what we needed to do.
Did the rotation on that offensive line with Dan Buenning's absence affect their consistency at all?
White: Certainly that doesn't help. I know that. Continuity is one of the things you're always striving for, particularly on the offensive line. We had a couple of replacements in there. People had to play in and out of that football game, for a variety of reasons, injury and the extreme heat. I mean it was brutal down there. I don't know what it was like from the press box. We don't get air conditioning. I figured you guys would have fans or something, or have some people there fanning you.
Is this the best young talent you can remember at wide receiver?
White: I can't personally, since I've been here. We just need to continue to develop them. I'm happy with that they're doing, and they'll need to make the next step. It's going to get harder and harder every week, and they're going to have to be more productive and more productive until we get Lee (Evans) back full steam.
You've had two second-quarter explosions this year. Is that you making some adjustments to what teams are doing to you in the first quarter?
White: Well I would say yes, and particularly this week because we really were uncertain as to how they would play us defensively and we made some nice adjustments. We were able to get into a nice rhythm in the second quarter. I'd like to carry it to the third quarter and start a little faster in the first quarter, but I guess you can't be too greedy.
Where are you in the running game? People are just taking it away and you have other avenues to go to now?
White: It comes back down to, we have to be smart enough to take advantage of what defenses are doing against us. And if they're going to be ridiculous with where they're deployed on first and second down, then we have to throw the ball and we will. And we'll hurt you. That's what we showed today. We just need to improve on it and get better and better.
Q&A with Offensive Coordinator Brian White
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