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Simmons, Faulkner talk about backfield as Blue Raiders hit final stretch to opener

Kickoff next Saturday at 11 AM

August 26, 2011 · Athletic Communications

COACH BUSTER FAULKNER ON THE QUARTERBACKS: “We are excited to have two quality, experienced quarterbacks in our program. Logan (Kilgore) will take most of the snaps with the first team, and when Murphy is called upon, he’s always ready. We are excited about both of them. It’s one of the best quarterback battles I’ve ever been around. They’ve both played well.

“It’s a shame that both can’t play, but at the quarterback position, you can only play one. Right now, Logan is our quarterback, we are moving forward with him as our starter. We look forward to continue to get better with him.”

COACH WILLIE SIMMONS ON BENNY CUNNINGHAM:Benny Cunningham has had a phenomenal camp. He brings a workman’s attitude every single day, in the meeting rooms, on the field, every day. You can’t coach that. He’s got something special inside of him. A lot of the guys feed off of him, and I think that is why he is probably our best team leader. He’s been just what we expected. He doesn’t take a day off; he doesn’t take a play off, he doesn’t take a rep off. His enthusiasm is contagious, and that is what he brings to the table. He has a great attitude. He enjoys playing the game of football. He actually enjoys practice, and that’s pretty rare to get guys who truly enjoy practice. He’s not afraid to get in guys’ faces and tell them to get going. That’s what makes him such a great leader.”

COACH WILLIE SIMMONS ON D.D. KYLES: “Right now D.D. Kyles is injured with hamstring and ankle problems. He’s a guy that, if he can get back healthy this week, get back in shape, then he could help us at Purdue. His biggest deal is consistency. He is a player who can do things with the football, it’s just a matter of getting him in the right position where he can make plays and not let his lack of practice hurt us in certain situations.”

COACH WILLIE SIMMONS ON WILLIAM PRATCHER: “He’s had a strong camp. He’s gained a lot of confidence in himself as well as within the coaching staff. If D.D. (Kyles) can’t go, we have a lot of confidence in Pratcher as our Number two back. He has a great attitude and great work ethic. I think a lot of that has to do with Benny (Cunningham), and how those two guys challenge each other.”

“Benny, Pratcher and Marquise Branton will all play on special teams. Coach Stockstill has always put the best athletes on special teams. They all know that they have to excel on special teams for us to win.”

DT JIMMY STATEN ON ANCHORING THE DEFENSIVE LINE: “It’s a lot of responsibility, but I’m ready to go. We are all depending on each other, it’s not just me. Omar McLendon is going to be a real big factor on the line at one end. Kendall Dangerfield is going to do a great job this year at tackle. JiaJuan Fennell, a redshirt freshman, has been playing well and could be a starter at the other end.”

“Like Minnesota last year, Purdue has a big offensive line, but I think we will be fine if we stay low and play hard. No one can take a play off.”

“We can’t worry about being “young” or “inexperienced”. We’ve got players who can play. All we can do is play hard. It’s time for everybody to step up.”

CRAIG ALLEN ON HIS FIRST START: “Am I nervous? I’ve played football a long time and I’m used to it by now. I’m proud to be starting, and I have worked for this for a long time. I played some last year against Minnesota as a freshman, so it won’t be a totally new experience. I’m a lot more prepared this year. I know where I’m supposed to be, whether inside or outside. And I know my teammates better. I’m also playing on all the special teams.”

SIX QUESTIONS WITH … KHARI BURKE
What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore? Dressing up as Freddy Krueger.
What is the craziest thing you did in High School? Knocking on teacher’s doors and running.
What is the worst part of pre-season camp? Waiting on the first game.
What is the best part of pre-season camp? Being around my teammates
What is your dream job? Playing in the NFL
What is your hometown, and what is it famous for? Miami, Florida, and its famous for South Beach, and all the pretty people.

SIX QUESTIONS WITH … T.L. EDWARDS
What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore?
Last year I dressed up as my teammate, Jamar Brown. I had my big red chicken and I was ready to go.
What is the craziest thing you did in high school? It was the era of California music, and it was music that you danced in your car. I was dancing inside my car, and I fell out of my car on the road, and my car kept going. I had to get up and chase my car.
What famous person would you like to have following you on Twitter? Superman. I want him to know what I am doing so he can save me if necessary.
What is the worst part of pre-season camp? Any serious injuries that occur.
What is the best part of pre-season camp? Days like Fan Day, when we get to meet the fans, they get to see us, and we get to interact with them.
What is your dream job? I want to go to the NFL, then be a businessman, open a chain of ice cream restaurants. Everybody loves ice cream.
What is your hometown, and what is it famous for? Lake Elsinore, California. We are famous for a California League baseball team called the Storms. Manny Ramirez played there a little bit when he got in trouble with the Dodgers.

SEVEN QUESTIONS WITH … SANCHO MCDONALD
What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore? It was a pirate costume when I was 11.
What is the craziest thing you ever did in High School? I ran around the whole school with just my boxers on.
What famous person would you like to have following you on Twitter? The President of the United States.
What is the worst part of pre-season camp? Getting in the ice tub after practice is over. It is very cold, but it helps you, though.
What is the best part of pre-season camp? Bonding with your teammates, becoming a family
What is your dream job? NFL or working at the Playboy Mansion
What is your hometown, and what is it famous for? Miami, and it’s known for a lot of things, beaches, pro teams, talent, the Orange Bowl, a lot of things.

SEVEN QUESTIONS WITH … SAMMY SEAMSTER
What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore? My power ranger outfit when I was in the 5th grade.
What is the craziest thing you ever did in high school? Performed as the Jabbawockeez in a talent show.
What famous person would you like to have following you on Twitter? Beyonce
What is the worst part of pre-season camp? Being so tired.
What is the best part of pre-season camp? Getting ready for the season.
What is your dream job? To be an architect and design buildings and such.
What is your hometown, and what is it famous for? Chattanooga, and it’s famous for the Chattanooga Choo Choo and Lookout Mountain.

FAMILY 4-PACK: When Middle Tennessee opens the 2011 home football season on September 10th against Georgia Tech, families should be well represented among the anticipated sell-out crowd with the debut of the Family-4-Pack. The "Family-4-Pack will consist of four reserved seat tickets, four hot dog vouchers, four Pepsi vouchers and four rally towels. The Family-4-Pack will sell for $100. Family-4-Packs as well as season tickets, and individual game tickets are available by calling 1-888-YES-MTSU or by going online at www.GoBlue Raiders.com/GameDay.

NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will practice on Saturday at 11:00 AM. The practice is open to the public.

SEASON TICKETS: 1-888-YES-MTSU OR GoBlueRaiders.com.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.