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Quotes from Tuesday's football press luncheon

Second half of 2010 starts Saturday vs ULM

October 19, 2010 · Athletic Communications

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill

Opening Comments: We have Louisiana-Monroe this week. Monroe is a very hot team. They have won three of their last four. They had a thrilling come from behind win against WKU last week.

Their quarterback (Kolton Browning) is playing very consistent. He is throwing for over 200 yards a game this year. They have some good skill players around him at receiver and running back, so they are able to control the ball offensively.

Their defense will come with pressure on ever snap. They will play a lot of man coverage. They are a very athletic team with a lot of speed. They are not very big in size and stature, but they are fast and play hard. They are not a team you can pinpoint a weakness that they have. We will have to play extremely well this week.

On playing conference games the remainder of the season: The team knows all of our games left are conference games. I told them yesterday, there are a lot of similarities between where we were last year and where we are this year. Last year we were 1-1 in conference after six games, this year we are 1-1 after six games. It is not about six games left, we have one game at a time. This week is paramount that we concentrate on us. We have to get better. We have to do some things from a ball security standpoint, getting turnovers and making explosive plays that we haven't been able to create this year. It is a one-game season.

On similar approach to last's years one game at a time method of success: That has been my approach since I arrived on campus. You never want to look too far ahead. We have to have tunnel vision the rest of the way which is something you need in this profession. As soon as you start thinking, you have three games left and you have to do this and that, you stub your toe. I do not think any coach is going to look that far ahead and forget the task in front of them.

On Jamari Lattimore's success in 2010 without Brandon Perry and Chris McCoy: He has a good support group this season. Dwight Smith is playing very consistent. Emmanuel Perez has done a nice job. Brandon (Perry) did not have big stats, but he did his job. Dwight does not have big stats this year, but he is doing his job. Jamari is a very smart player. It is not a one man show up front. We have four guys playing very consistent.

On back to back big losses: To me, getting beat 42 to 14 is no different than getting beat 14 to 13. You still got beat. To me the score is irrelevant. When you break down the game, you see we did a lot of good things in the Georgia Tech game. We went toe-to-toe with their offense and our defense. We did a nice job.

We had some missed assignments and gave up a couple big plays where they scored on us, but I thought we did well other than that. Offensively, I thought we did a good job. We moved the ball and were able to score, when we protected the ball. When we did not protect the ball, we did not do very well. You can look at it and say, when you do not turn the ball over, this is what you do to a team that was ACC Champions and went to the Orange Bowl.

On Turnovers: We talk about it everyday. I do not believe in the theory, you can talk about it too much. We talk about it everyday. That is how you win and lose. We have to get that corrected.

On balancing the playing time of D.D. Kyles: All three of our backs bring different skill sets to the table. D.D. is the best zone runner. Phillip (Tanner) is the best downhill runner. Benny (Cunningham) is the most complete in that he is our best blocker and pass catcher. We have to do a good job of getting the right guys in, in the right situations. We should not have left D.D. in on that third down play. That is not his specialty. We try to rotate them. You cannot play one back 70 or 80 snaps a game. You have to rotate them.

Last year D.D. got most of the work, because he was the only back we had. Benny was just learning the system. But now we have three backs I am really confident in. At the end of the day if we have success running the ball, I do not care who runs it.

On defending a young unknown team: At this point in the season, you have watched film for six games. It is not early in the season, where you do not have a lot of film on them.

On Louisiana-Monroe's freshman quarterback Kolton Browning: He has done a good job and they have done a good job coaching him. He is a smart player who has protected the ball well. He was on the team last spring and it is not like he has only been in this offense for six games.

Defensive Tackle Dwight Smith

On the defensive line's improving play: We have been improving everyday. We still have a long way to go, but we are continuing to get better. However, we can always get better.

On the chemistry of the defensive line: We have a very good chemistry. Emmanuel Perez is playing well, Gary Tucker is playing solid and obviously Jamari (Lattimore) is playing well. We have to continue to gel.

On Jamari Lattimore: He is just a smart football player who studies the game. He is very coachable and he listens. When you are smart and have his physical talent, you are going to succeed.

On what the team learned from winning six consecutive games at the end of the 2009 season: We learned to go out and get better at every practice. You play the way you practice. We wanted to get better everyday and not just certain days. We even got better on Sunday, coming in and watching film. We just try to take it one day at a time.

On playing a quarterback you have not seen: It does make it easier because this quarterback is calm and collected. Sometimes it seems like he does not have anything going on back there. He might have two guys coming at him and he will make a perfect throw and not even think about getting hit.

Offensive lineman Mark Fisher

On approach when different running backs are in the game: It does not matter who is back there, whether it is pass or run we are going to get the job done. We have confidence in all of our backs.

On winning six consecutive games at the end of the 2009 season: We got better every week. We did not think, if we win six, we will go to a bowl game. We just stayed focused and paid attention to each game and each detail.

On importance of beating ULM to get the team back on track: The next six games are conference games, so we have to take this one seriously. However, we just play one game at a time and Saturday's game is the next one on the schedule.

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