Blue Raiders head south to UAB for Noon contest
Saturday's game to air regionally on SportSouthOctober 29, 2013 · @MTAthletics
We have UAB this week. It's a big game. We've fought our way back into this thing at 4-4. We're back within one game in the conference. Every game, the ante goes up. (UAB) is a lot better football team than what their record indicates. They're 2-5, but averaging close to 30 points per game offensively. They have two of the top 10 rushers in Conference USA. Their offense has been able to put up some points. They've been able to control the clock. We've got to be able to play well defensively. Their defense is a very active and fast defense. Their offense turned the ball over a couple times last week and put them in a little bit of a bind. We're playing a good football team. Their back is against the wall. Our back is against the wall. We've got to stay hungry, we've got to continue to compete like we've done and come out here and play a good football game against a very good football team.
On the play of quarterback Logan Kilgore:
I'm happy for Logan, and I'm happy for any of our players that receive any sort of individual recognition. I know how hard they work, not only leading up to that game but throughout the course of the year. I'm happy for Logan, and I know our team is happy for Logan. It's a great individual honor, but Logan will be the first to tell you he didn't do it by himself. The other guys also had a lot to do with that. I thought Logan played really well. I thought his leadership during the game and through the open week was really good. I thought he practiced well, and competed at a high level during the game. There were so many highs and lows during that game, but he kept his poise, never got frustrated, and did a good job of protecting the ball. I thought he made good decisions with the football, and made some really wonderful throws. He played outstanding.
On being in contention in November:
We were sitting here at this time last year at 5-3, so we still had a lot to play for going into November. As they say, you remember November. We got ourselves through a very physical, demanding stretch of games and here we are at 4-4. Our players know, and we know as coaches, that there's a lot to play for. All we're focused on is this week, and playing our best game against UAB. We played a good game against Marshall in a lot of areas, but we didn't play as well as we're capable of in other areas. There's a lot out there that we can improve on. We have to remain hungry and we have to remain humble. All the pats on the back and that stuff, it doesn't mean anything right now. We've got to be ready to go play a good UAB football team.
On the change of momentum from NT to Marshall:
As a coach, you don't look at it as one win being better than any other. You're excited to win because winning is hard. It's hard to win games. We had a comeback win against Memphis. We had a comeback win against Florida Atlantic. We had a comeback win against Marshall. The losses are all the same. It doesn't matter if you lose by one or lose by a couple touchdowns. It's still miserable either way. I think one of the big differences in the Marshall game was that we were a bit healthier on the offensive line. We got 12 snaps out of Josh Chester, who was coming off foot surgery and hadn't played in three weeks. Jadarieus Hamlin was able to play about half the game, which means you're playing half the game with a senior instead of the whole game with a true freshman. We had Isaiah Anderson back who missed the North Texas game after the fourth play. We had closer to a full group of guys than we started the season with.
On UAB's offensive players:
They've got a really big offensive line. They're going to line up in two tight ends. Both running backs are very physical. It's tough to see a difference between them on film, and I think they're very similar in what they do. They may be making a quarterback change. [Jonathan] Perry started some games last year, and he's played in five games this year. He's athletic, and can run around a bit more than the other guy can. He threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns last year against Memphis. He threw for 200 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions last week. He's a good quarterback, he's a senior, and he's been around a lot of games.
On C-USA bowl affiliations:
I think it legitimizes you as a conference that much more. It's a selling point we can use with recruits. In the Sun Belt, where we only had two, it was a dog fight to get into a bowl game. It's a fight now, but you have more opportunities. It helps with recruits when you go out and are not only selling your university and your program, but you're selling Conference USA. I think it speaks of the respect that the bowls and people across the country have for Conference USA that they want to give one of their bowls to the conference. It adds more value to your conference.
Redshirt Senior QB Logan Kilgore
On his reaction to winning C-USA Player of the Week:
It's a great honor and I am extremely excited. Like coach said, it's about the team and I am excited for the guys, offensively we did so well. We were able to get healthy and finally connect on some plays, Kyle (Griswould) being able to take that screen for a touchdown was a great individual effort and other guys were able to break some talks, making some big plays. To see the way that the guys were able to stick together through the whole game, the attitude of the team, is more rewarding than rewards and accolades. I was extremely excited for our team to play the way that we did.
On having a lot to play for:
You work so hard in the off season that there is always something to play for and I think any team would argue that. If we weren't in the situation we are in I would stay say there is something to play for because we work for four years. There are seniors on every team and every team plays with that pride every week. That is why this season and this game is so dangerous. To have those things out there for us is exciting, that extra motivation to be detailed at practice. We need to have another great week of practice like we had last week. Having those things out there are in the back of people's minds, you can say as much as you want but people are going to think about that kind of stuff. The coaches do a great job. We have so many seniors on this team, we will all do a great job of telling people that we need to take care of business this week, take care of business Saturday. We saw last year that you can get your heartbroken at any time so we need to do what we need to do to put us in the best position to achieve those dreams.
On the parity in C-USA:
That is the way college football is. When you look at teams from different conferences, when we were in the Sun Belt it was any given week, every game was a battle. The FIU game last year, they won two or three games last year and it was a battle, a war. I am sure Conference USA is the same way, we have only played two new teams so far, but each game has been a battle and I am sure this week will be too. It is college football. Any given Saturday if you just roll the ball out there and play, any team can get beat. It's amazing how teams play from week to week. You watch our games and depending on what games you watch you will see different things. I am excited. We are progressing the right way at the right time, especially going into the final stretch.
On the team's momentum:
I have said this after we beat Georgia Tech last year by 21 points that ULM was going to give us any points, we came out and lose that game. Just because you beat the first place team does not mean that UAB will spot us any points. At the same time, we are rolling with momentum. I can tell with the attitude of the guys on the team, the way that we have been competing at practice, that winning cures a lot of things. There is a lot more eagerness to get out to practice. We have established the formula and it started with getting after it in practice. It is nice to see all of that hard work paying off. It's not too tough to get everyone going, the scout team going when you have proven that is what will get results.
On the comeback victories:
Coach Stockstill has done a great job putting us in those positions in practice. During camp we probably did it every other day. Here is the situation with all the different things. Even though they are not game situations, we treat them like that and it has paid off. Getting the ball against Memphis and going down looking for a field goal and this week going for a touchdown. I am excited with the way that we think in those situations, that we are never out of it. The offense always knows that when we get the ball back we are going to score. The defense starts to trust you in those situations and when you go up to Stephen (Roberts) or T.T. (Barber) and say give me the ball back one more time so we can score.
On the play of the wide receivers:
Looking at three of the first five plays went to CC (Christian Collis) this week. That is not something we have done every week. I try and tell those guys that the only time you will not get the ball is when you take a plays off, but any other time. The way that the offensive line was able to protect against Marshall, we were able to read the whole field. It's not scripted one week, it is those guys stepping up when they need to. I refer to it the team a lot, when CC went the whole game against FIU and has not caught a pass, to the last drive were he jumps over a defender to make a huge play, winning the game. Its plays like that, we have to be bought in at all times.
On the game-winning drive:
Tavarres (Jefferson) is a guy that always has the opportunity to be open. On that final drive he had a knack and was in the zone. There were some balls that could have gone either way. He stepped in front of the guy to make the play. He was there and was ready. He told me in the timeout to "find me", and I almost threw it to him the play before. He has been in those situations a lot. He ran a great route and made a big catch.
Redshirt Senior linebacker Stephen Roberts
On if a win helps carry momentum into the next game:
It puts a positive attitude for everybody and gets everybody ready wanting to play the next team.
On having to face different quarterbacks at UAB:
It can be, but I feel that our defense puts us in position to be ready for just about anything. Coach (Tyrone) Nix puts us in scenarios for whatever kind of quarterback will be in there and how to stop that certain quarterback. We will be ready.
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