College Football Notes & Quotes: Week 3

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The Owls gave their fans very little cheer about at Ford Field.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

The Owls gave their fans very little cheer about at Ford Field. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

The Weekly Sampling From Big Ten Coaches

Mark Dantonio

On what the success of walk-on’s like Blair White and Dan Conroy says about the opportunities for players to succeed in the Michigan State program:

“I think that’s across the board in College Football, you see young people excelling…It speaks about attitude to me, the attitude that Blair White had, the attitude that Travis Key had when he came here and became a Captain…it’s attitude, it’s attention to detail, it’s ability…but you have to believe in yourself, that’s the first thing you have to be able to do.”

On whether there’s a ceiling to how good True Fr. William Gohlston can be expected to play this year on the Defensive Line:

“I think it’s an open book. He’s so young, he played Linebacker in High School…he’s playing against players that are as big as he is now…that’s a change. He’s extremely quick and athletic, so I think there’s a huge upside for him, and he’ll continue to get better every game that he has these experiences…We can expect great things from him in the future.”

On memories of the 1998 Notre Dame game that featured a 42-3 half time lead:

“I remember pretty clearly how we were 0-2, and had just gotten beaten thoroughly at Oregon, and Amp Campbell we had lost to the neck injury…he was our honorary Captain that week. I remember it was Julian Peterson’s coming out party, he made a huge play…we blocked a punt in the 1st half, and it was sort of “on.”…I know it was a very emotional game for us…If your team can seize momentum, great things can happen, or a lack of momentum, bad things can happen. We need to be careful and come prepared mentally.”

On some of the specific differences between the 3-4 and 4-3 Defense:

“I think that people get a little bit over enthralled with 3-4 (or) 4-3, because if you look at our game last week, we played some 3-4, but nobody asked me that question after the game…I think you try to fit it to your personnel…you want to put your best football players on the field. We use it in certain situations, we’ve used it before, we used it different situations last week...Every football team, and every Defense…they do things differently, they have their own package that they do things out of, so it’s a little bit more complex (4-3 vs. 3-4) than just wording.”

Jim Tressel

On the importance of WR blocking down field to the Buckeye running game:

“That’s so important…One of the top receivers we’ve ever had here was Santonio Holmes (New York Jets), and one of the things that he did best was block downfield…the relative importance he gave it, it was a passion of his.”

On the importance of team leadership to avoid a letdown following a big win like Miami (FL):

“Maturity is the key…the more mature you are, the better you’re going to handle success or adversity. Typically that comes on a college team with some older guys…We’re hoping that our Senior class does a great job…that everyone in our room understands we’ve played two games…and that’s all we’ve played, and in neither of them have we played as well as we need to play.”

Kirk Ferentz

Impressions of Arizona QB (former Spartan) Nick Foles:

“He’s a good decision maker, he’s quick in his operation, and he’s been accurate with his throws…It’s a well conceived scheme (the Arizona Offense), they’ve got good players…and most importantly, their trigger guy’s (Foles) done a really nice job.”

On dealing with playing a game at night in a different time zone:

“I think at the end of the day it’s going to affect the coaches a lot more than the players. Players are young, their used to being active at 9 o’clock at night, coaches…we’re all well in bed by then.”

Rich Rodriguez

On the poise of his Wolverines as the Notre Dame game got tight in the 2nd half:

“A lot of times for a young team to get a long pass play like that (ND’s 80+ yard go ahead TD late in the 4th Quarter), you could maybe see some panic, but there was none of that at all that I could see…It was nice to see a young team maybe grow up…But we’ve gotta battle and compete on every snap.”

On the high amount of carries (57) for So. QB Denard Robinson in the first two games:

“It’s probably a lot more than we’d like to have. Normally you’d expect 12 to 15 times a game at the most, but it really depends on how teams are defending us…going forward we want to have more balance going forward, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do to win the game.”

Bill Lynch

On keeping an Offensive tempo during an odd early season 16 day break between games:

“We really worked to get better the first four days of the bye week, and I think we did that…We wanted our guys to compete. We didn’t want our guys to get comfortable after one game…I am anxious to see how we do play with this long of a lay off.”

On the “major upsets” that have become a consistent part of the early College Football calendar:

“I even said to our football team, I’m not sure there are upsets in College Football anymore. It’s a matter of who prepares themselves both physically and mentally, and who goes out and plays the best.”

Brett Bielema

On the impact of Iowa Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker (former MSU Assistant) on his career:

“I worked with Norm for three years, and he’s one of the best coaches in the game….I learned (in his time coaching with Parker) what it meant to be a true football coach. He’s a guy that is in it for nothing more than to be around young men and to make them better in all facets of their life…If you knew him as a family person, you’d realize how special he is to the people around him…Football wise, the knowledge he has…he has an answer for everything. If there’s something that’s happening here, he knows how to shut it off. They play a simple defensive scheme, and he knows it as good as anybody out there.”

On the importance of down field blocking to the successful Wisconsin running game:

“For us to do what we do Offensively, we’ve got to take care of the point (of attack) and also try to take care of immediate run support (downfield).”

P.A.T. (Perhaps Another Thought…)

  1. Calvin Johnson scored late a TD Sunday. The football I know rules a pass complete when both feet are down in bounds and the ball is secured by the receiver. Johnson caught the ball in the end zone, got both feet grounded, and had total control of the ball. That was it, play over. If a player is diving or falling to the ground as the catch is made, then and only then should continued control be a factor in ruling a play a catch.
  2. It can be a big mistake to judge a team by how they look in winning early, non-competitive matchups. Remember how good some of the “quick flash” JLS teams looked at times? How many late season games did they play that even mattered? What matters most is how well you play in the games that matter most. For Michigan St., those games are Notre Dame, Michigan, Bowl Games, and later season matchups (like Iowa ’09) with Championship implications. The next 4 weeks will tell us how good these 2010 Spartans are. The first two weeks should be in the rearview mirror already, it’s Notre Dame week.
  3. Baker, Bell, & Caper = The BBC

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