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Today's Football Press Conference Quotes

November 3, 2003 · MT Media Relations
MT HEAD COACH ANDY MCCOLLUM

On Troy State
"We know what kind of challenge we have with Troy State. They showed that on TV when they lost a tough game against a good North Texas team a week ago. We know what kind of athletes they have, but our concern right now is us. We are going to start today on getting us better."

On Troy State's offense
"My biggest concern is getting our defense right, making sure we are in the right place and making plays when we have the chance. The most disappointing thing is we have opportunities to make plays and we are not making them. We have to cut down on assignment mistakes, and that is something we are going to work on all week."

"I don't think we are flat. How can you be flat playing North Texas and Utah State? There is nothing flat about it. North Texas is a good football team and so is Utah State. My kids are ready to play this week. I wish I could use that as an excuse. We got beat by two good football teams. Last week, the disappointing thing is I didn't think we played as well as we could. We had guys trying. For whatever reason, Utah State was better than us that day. They were prepared, and had a good week of practice. We didn't see that going into it. Were they down? I don't know. We are talking about 18 and 19 year old kids. We felt like they were prepared going into the football game. We had opportunities early to do some things. Defensively, we were holding our own. We weren't doing anything offensively. We gave them an easy touchdown. When you do that to somebody at home in those conditions, it is tough and we can't make those mistakes. We got some guys who shouldn't be making those mistakes making them. That is what we have to get corrected. We have three games left. We are going to practice today and get ready for Troy State."

On MT's offensive line
"I am very disappointed. I thought we were getting back to where we could run the football. North Texas doesn't let many people run the football against them. So, there is a combination there. But, should we be better up front? Yes, we should. Why were we not better? I don't know. But, we are going to work hard to make sure we have the right people in the right place that gives us a chance to move the football."

"I am looking at Middle Tennessee right now. I am looking at our players and how we are going to respond and fight back with three games left. I am looking at how our old kids are going to respond and if our young kids are going to take a step. That is what I am looking at right now. Troy State is a team that we know the type of athletes they have. We know the type of schedule they have had to play. We know what programs are trying to grow in Division I and what they have to go through. You have two programs that are fighting their tails off to be at this level. They are having to go through some pains doing it. Troy State and Middle Tennessee are the same."

"We haven't been here long. You get caught up in it because we had some success early. The schedule has toughened since then. You get caught up in wanting to get it done right, and that is the toughest part of it. But, that is no reason to not play well. The thing that I did see Saturday was we had kids playing hard. We had people slipping and bad snaps here and there. We keep costing ourselves, and that is the toughest part of it. The only thing I know to do and the only way I was raised was when things get tough, you get tougher. You put your head down and go right back to work. You don't let outside things bother you. We don't let outside things bother our players because nobody has a clue of what they have gone through to get to this point. So, we are going to go right back to work. We are going to practice this afternoon. I am excited about getting back on the practice field."

"The only thing I am trying to do is beat Troy State. We are trying to finish as well as we can. Whoever we feel like gives us a chance to beat Troy State is going to play. If I felt like there was a senior that had shutdown, he wouldn't play. But, we don't have that here. These kids want to win. I am going to play the ones that give us the best chance to beat Troy State. All I am concerned with is getting this team prepared to beat a very good Troy State team. Whoever gives us that opportunity is going to play."

On Kerry Wright
"Kerry Wright is special. We have said that all along. Kerry Wright made plays when he was double-teamed. They had three on him one time and he still made a play. He is outstanding. He comes to play every game. We know he is going to make a play. He continues to do that, and he continues to work. Winning is very important to him. In those conditions, especially in the second half as hard as it was snowing, he found a way to get open and make catches. He will continue to do that. He gets better and better every week."

"Our concern right now is getting back to running the ball. We have always been able to run the football. In the last two games, we haven't run the ball like we are capable of doing. The week before we did some good things offensively against a good North Texas defense. This past week we just felt slow out there. One thing we felt like we had was speed, but it didn't look like it in that game with those conditions."

LB Randy Arnold
"Nothing went right for us last week, but now we just have to come back strong, have a good week of practice, and get ready to take on a very good Troy State team. We have to put it all behind us and concentrate on finishing this year with three straight wins."

"Troy State is a lot like us. They have played a tough schedule and been very competitive. Their win over Marshall was impressive. They have good athletes and have guys who can break a big play. We have to get back to Middle Tennessee football and that all starts with a great week of practice."

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