Quotes from Tuesday's football press conference
Blue Raiders face Maryland on Saturday, 6 PMSeptember 2, 2008 · Athletic Communications
Review of Troy game:
"I though we had plenty of opportunities to win the game but we didn't take advantage of those opportunities when they presented themselves. I'm not discouraged about this team, just a little disappointed that we did not take advantage of the opportunities we did have. I think if we keep working and improving we have a chance to be a really good football team. We played with a lot of effort and character. Yes, we made some mistakes and, yes, we missed some opportunities, but we didn't quit and I like how our team fought and battled."
On missed red zone opportunities against Troy: "I think the big thing is we had three missed assignments up front where we didn't block the right guy. Dwight (Dasher) had a misread one time and then he stumbled on another play where I thought we had a chance to get in if that doesn't happen. It was more our mistakes and this is not an excuse, but we had some young guys up front who have never played and that is what happens in these early games. It is nothing that can't be fixed. It was more about us than what Troy did. I wish we had done a better last Thursday night but we didn't. From there, we have to keep working to correct it."
Lonnie Clemons, (LB) Andrew Harrington and (DB) Rod Issac are doubtful, and (OL) Rogeric Govan, (OL) Chris Hawkins and (OL) Eveon Lettsome are out. (OL) Mark Fisher did play some against Troy and he did not re-injure his shoulder so he survived his first game back. I don't think he's physically in condition where he can go all 87 plays like some of those guys did. We have moved Jawan Carson from running back to corner because it looks like we may have a couple guys in the secondary who won't be able to play. We don't have a lot of choices right now when people get hurt."
When you have BCS schools come to play you in your stadium is there any added pressure to win? "To me there is not. We want to beat Maryland at home Saturday and we wanted to beat them two years ago on the road. We don't spend a lot of time talking about Maryland because, to me, it's about us. We have to work and focus on improving as individuals and as a team. It would be nice to win at home but we are not putting any more emphasis on this game or added pressure on the players because I don't think that's how you approach it with your players."
But a win at home against Maryland would create a 'wow' factor wouldn't it? "When you beat somebody from the ACC, SEC, or Big 12, it's national news because no one expects you to do it. There is the wow factor in that but that's the reward for playing well on Saturday night."
What type of challenge does their big offensive line create for your defensive line? "I think it's going to be hard to get to their quarterback (Jordan Steffy). All of their offensive linemen are 6-foot-5, 330-plus pounds. They are very big and very active and we don't have a huge overpowering inside guy. It will be a challenge to get to the quarterback but hopefully we can keep fighting and battling and scrapping and find a way."
LB Danny Carmichael
Talk about what it's like to be a veteran out there on the field with so many first-year and young players. "The young guys have always been there. We have players hurt so the young guys have to come in, take what they have learned in camp and try to fill some big shoes. I think they will be able to do that."
Your thoughts on Maryland: "They execute very well. They have a big offensive front and a very big receiver. I think they will come in and try to run the ball on us. We have to stop the run and try to make them one-dimensional."
What do you expect from Maryland? "Maryland has always been pretty much a run team. Their offensive line has a lot to do with it and they are a big team. I just personally think they will come in here and try to run it down our throat."
RB Phillip Tanner
What's it mean to have a team like Maryland coming to play on your campus? "Whenever a team comes into your backyard you always get up because it's your home game and it doesn't matter who you are playing."
Does having played them so close on the road two years ago help this team at all as far as knowing you can win? "We look back on it knowing we can and we have the athletes and coaching staff. There is no reason to believe we can't win."
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