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Quotes from today's football press luncheon

Raiders step back into conference play at ULM

November 8, 2011 · Athletic Communications
Coach Rick Stockstill Quotes
We go down to Monroe this week, the first of four conference games (that close the season). It’s a Monroe team that is similar to us, in many ways. We’ve had three 3-point losses, and they have had three losses by a total of nine points.

They have a very fast and athletic defense, and play a lot of man coverage. We expect them to really come after us. We know that. Offensively, it’s a spread team. Their quarterback (Kolton Browning) is very dynamic. He’s a good passer as well as a good runner, and he may even be a better runner than he is as a passer. We have to be cognizant of him, and know where he is at all times. We have to be disciplined in our reads.

They are solid in their kicking game. They have a very good kick returner in (Luther) Ambrose, and will throw a ton of trick plays at you. We have to expect a reverse, a fake reverse, a throw-back, or anything trick-wise in the kicking game. We will have to be very disciplined.

STOCKSTILL ON ULM’S DEFENSE LEADING LEAGUE IN RUN DEFENSE: They are not an overly big team; they are probably a lot like us. They get a lot of people involved in the running game with their safeties, and use a 3-3-5 defense where their safeties are really active in the box. But the bottom line is that they create a lot of pressure, use man coverage, and will come after you the whole game. I think that has a lot to do with their ability to stop the run. The 3-3-5 is a little bit different; it’s different from what we saw last week at Tennessee. A lot of folks are doing some three-man fronts, especially in passing situations. We’ve seen that from them the last three years. We haven’t seen it this year, but it’s not new to us.

STOCKSTILL ON BIG OFFENSIVE PLAYS: That has always been a staple of our offense. You have to have big plays on offense to win games. The people we have played the last two weeks have done a good job of not giving up the big play. We’ve got to do a better job. When we get the opportunity, we need to take advantage of those plays. As much man coverage as Monroe plays, we feel like we will get some opportunities this week. Our skill guys, when they are in space, have to make plays when their number is called.

STOCKSTILL ON REGGIE WHATLEY: Reggie did a nice job at Tennessee. He had three 12-yard runs. I thought he ran hard, and I thought he ran physical. He is a better running back now than he was a few weeks ago. He’s only been at running back for a handful of weeks. He is doing a better job of knowing and learning the protections, and his responsibilities in the passing game. As a coach, you start to gain more confidence in him. He has to play more. He’s a guy you want to get in space because he can create things.

STOCKSTILL ON LOGAN KILGORE AND JEFF MURPHY: Both Logan and Jeff have practiced well, and they have all year. Their responsibility this week is to learn the game plan and perfect it, and when we get in the game on Saturday, it’s to protect the football and run the offense.

Logan will be our starting quarterback, he’s our guy, he’s done a lot of good things this season. We made a change during the game (at Tennessee) to see if Jeff could come in and give us a spark. We also took out offensive tackle Alex Stuart for a couple of series, but nobody asks about that. And I understand that. Logan has done a lot of good things; he’s had a good year. I’m not one of those coaches that changes quarterbacks every time something goes wrong. Jeff came in during the second quarter at Tennessee and did a nice job. Even though we didn’t score any points, he sparked the offense. Logan is our quarterback, and if he plays well, he’ll stay in there. If not, then we’ll give Jeff a chance, just like we would at any other position.

PLAYER QUOTES
WILLIAM PRATCHER

On increased playing time: It’s just a humbling experience for me. I’m working hard and trying to take advantage of every opportunity. I just want to help our team win football games.

On what to play for this Saturday: We are playing this Saturday to get a win, just like we do every Saturday. Our goal is always to win the football game and nothing has changed. We have a lot of pride at Middle Tennessee and will fight to the end.

On offense making big plays: We just have to execute and stop committing turnovers. If we do that, we’ll get explosive plays.

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