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Blue Raiders preparing for Saturday's Homecoming game

Team holds weekly press luncheon

October 31, 2006 · MT Media Relations

Head Coach Rick Stockstill

Returning home leading the conference
"I don't know if we could have imagined being 4-0 at this point in the league standings. This is what we worked for since we got together as a team back in January. We've been on the road for three of four conference games and it is nice to be home. We've had a demanding schedule but it's not over yet. It is hard to go on the road and play the way we've played and I am proud of the effort our team has given. Our players deserve all the credit for the success we have had to this point. This is an exciting opportunity to come back home 4-0 and it is a great accomplishment for our players. Up to this point we have answered the bell every Saturday and it is time to do it again."

Do the players realize they are on the brink of something special?
"I think they understand that. They have a great perspective of where we are and how we got here. They know how hard we worked and know they can't slip up and afford not to be mentally ready for this game with Florida Atlantic. It is so hard for coaches and players to win games because of the fine line between winning and losing. I think they know how we got here and it will take that kind of effort and more to keep it going."

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Press Conference Video
You seem to be playing your best ball in fourth quarter. Tell us about your final 15 minute push.
"I believe we are in great condition. We are a physically and mentally strong football team. I think we have a lot of confidence right now and have had to overcome a lot of adversity. I just think they understand how to win games and how easily you can lose them. The better job we do at protecting the football and decreasing penalties increases your chances to win football games."

Difference between quarterback Clint Marks at the start of the season and now?
"It is a combination of a lot of things. Understanding the offense as well as the players around him has helped him feel comfortable. I think the main thing is we have gotten some continuity. For the first three weeks we didn't start the same offensive line now they are in tact and have played together for the last few weeks."

Tell us about the improved play of the offensive line
"I think the main thing has been the familiarity with the offense. We have five guys who have to work together in harmony, so there are so many little things that they have to do perfectly. We are playing better as a unit because it is the same guys every week in the lineup. We are getting good productivity out of our running backs and that helps a lot."

FAU has been impressive on the defensive side of the ball. Can you tell us about their season to date?
"They are playing guys that are more equal to their talent level right now. You really couldn't judge their play in their first four games against teams like Clemson, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina. They are a very fast defense and they have great athletes. They are playing with a lot of confidence. You never can tell on film how fast they are but they look like the best defense we have played so far in the conference."

DT Trevor Jenkins

What does it feel like to finally return home? What kind of reception do you think you will have?
"We are very excited to be back in the stadium and we are expecting a big crowd. There is nothing like being at home and playing in front of your friends and family. Even with more attendance expected, we still have a very big job ahead of us and we have to stay focused."

What are you feelings on the success of the team to this point?
"Overall, we feel great. We have put ourselves in this position to do something special. We just have to maintain our focus and never look ahead."

How do you stay grounded?
"We can't overlook anyone and we have to stay focused on each play of each game. We are always conscious of that. Our goal is to get to a bowl game and win the conference, but the only way is to take each game one at a time. It all goes back to highs and lows, and you have to stay consistent."

TE Clinton Corder

What does it feel like to finally return home? What kind of reception do you think you will have?
"It is nice for all the Blue Raider fans to have us back in Floyd Stadium. I have talked to numerous people and they are happy we are going to be back home this week. It is good to have fans in the stands but we have to come out and be prepared for this game."

How do you stay grounded?
"Yes, we have had some success but we also know that we can not look ahead. Teams falter when they look ahead and we have to approach this game like any other on our schedule. Florida Atlantic is a a really good football team and we know we better be ready to play our best come Saturday if we have any hopes of winning."

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