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Blue Raiders hold weekly press conference

Quotes from Tuesday's meeting at Bluesboro

October 3, 2006 · MT Media Relations

Head Coach Rick Stockstill

Talk about what lies against Louisville.
"We are getting ready to play another great team. Louisville is very balanced, a very good offensive team and they really come after you defensively. We are going into a stadium where we have never played but I don't think that matters. Hopefully we can play better than we did the last time we played a top-ranked team."

What is the return for your team when you play teams such as nationally-ranked Oklahoma and Louisville?
"With Louisville, it's a chance to measure ourselves and play on a national stage. It's the first time we have been on national TV here in a long time. It's a chance to strive to get where they are and get better each week. It's another opportunity but it's a bigger stage than what we have been on this year. It's a Friday night which means more people will be watching."

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The offense performed better last week against North Texas. Do you look at expanding the offense even more?
"We are going to try and get better each week at what we do. I thought we improved from Oklahoma to North Texas in a lot of areas and that's all we are trying to do each week. As we get better and are more efficient with what we are doing then we can add more."

Although there is no Michael Bush right now for Louisville they continue to pile up the numbers. It almost looks like it doesn't matter who they put back there.
"They are a very talented team and there's no question about that. A lot of it is the guys in front of them. The offensive line is very good. Louisville throws the ball so well that you can't just stack the box because they will kill you in the running game, and then you can't drop into coverage or they will get you on the ground. We just have to be sound in what we do defensively. If we can get ahead of the chains offensively it will help us."

Louisville likes to throw the ball deep. How big of a concern is that?
"It's a concern every week and it's the number one concern in the secondary, keeping the ball in front of you. We didn't do that well against Oklahoma but North Texas tried to go deep on us and we were back there in position so you could tell they had worked on the deep ball. We have to defend that this week because, to me, that's how you score a lot of points - the deep balls. We have to protect ourselves back there."

How pleased are you with the offense after last week against North Texas?
"For last week I was pleased because we executed the plan. I said going into the game that whichever team ran the ball best would win the game and we were able to do that. Now we have to do that two weeks in a row. We did that last week but this is a new week and in this profession every week is a new challenge and new opportunity."

What is your team's state of mind entering this week's game?
"I think our team, right now, is confident. I think they feel good about themselves and the more you feel good about yourself then the better you play and the only way you get confident is you practice better and if you practice better you will play better. They have to challenge themselves and compete every day to get better."

Talk about linebacker J.K. Sabb's performances.
"I think J.K. Sabb has played in the system very well. His athleticism allows him to make plays. He's got a good knack of avoiding people without running away from people. He's been able to run make some plays and he's getting some individual recognition right now but I promise you if it's not for the guys around him it wouldn't happen. They are the unsung heroes."

Defensive Lineman Trevor Jenkins

Talk about playing against Louisville at LP Field.
"It's my first time on a professional field and professional stadium so I'm looking forward to it."

How do you feel about getting to play on Friday night?
"To play under the Friday night lights, it's going to be like old times. I am looking forward to it."

Are games such as these against Louisville an opportunity for you guys to leave a mark for yourselves?
"This is a great opportunity. It's not important for us as players to leave a mark but it's important for our defense to make a mark. That's how I look at it. Win or lose, I want people to know our defense is going to bring it, regardless of the results."

The defense is creating turnovers more this season. Is that the biggest difference on that side of the ball?
"As long as we do that the defense will be fine. Coach Manny Diaz is always stressing the importance of turnovers and we have created some. As long as we do our job on defense we are going to be fine."

Tight End Clinton Corder

How big of an opportunity is this game against Louisville?
"It's our first game on national television. It's a great opportunity for our program to get our name out there and this helps recruiting. All-around this is a great opportunity for our football program and that's significance."

Talk about playing Louisville and the fact it's a home game but not a home game?
"It's a home game. We have a lot of in-state players so that's big and it's only 30 miles down the road so that's not a concern."

Talk about playing for Rick Stockstill and how that's been this first season?
"One of the first things he said when he was hired (last December) was he hoped a year from now we would be on our way to New Orleans. The attitude right away was we want to win and we don't have to wait. It's been great and it's been fun playing for him.

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