"The open week allowed our coaches and players to rest mentally and physically. What we were able to do was just turn our attention just to the small details. We were able to execute at practice. What's important now is we have two games left. This is a two-game season and our players understand that. We have Connecticut, who's coming into town, a very physical football team. Watching them play, they love to run the ball on offense. So, it's going to be a great test for our defense to see if we can go stop the run.
Then, just defensively, they are a team on defense where they apply a lot of pressure. Big guys up front don't do a lot. They just want to win at the line of scrimmage. On special teams, we have to make something happen. All year long we haven't been able to do anything on special teams; just make something happen. But, we've got to get that done.
With this football team right now, it's all about our focus and our preparation. We control our own destiny from here out. It's not what anyone is going to do to us. It's what we are going to do to ourselves. The key right now is our effort, our preparation just heading into these next two games and just making sure we are mentally and physically locked in."
On if the team was able to accomplish a lot during the off week:
"What we did is we practiced on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and we got a lot of things done. Just more of anything, we had a chance to go against one another just offense and defense."
On what the seniors mean to the program:
"Saturday is going to be senior day, and just appreciate what they've done. If you look at this senior class, three-straight bowl games. Last season, we were co-champions of the BIG EAST. You think about (Will) Stein, you think about (Alex) Kupper, you think about Mario (Benavides), Andrell (Smith), (Scott) Radcliff -those guys on offense have played their best football.
Then, on defense with Daniel Brown having an injury early, (he) may be able to play these next games. If he's not able to play against Connecticut, he will be ready for the Rutgers game. Then, with (Adrian) Bushell playing the way he's played.
But this senior class - when we came in, we talked about our foundation. I just feel this group is a part of us because they've been with us for three years and they have been a part of watching this program build. You cannot ask for a stronger group of seniors with the leadership they have provided this season."
On if the off week came at the right time:
"It came at a great time for us. You're looking at a football team that is still 9-1. What we wanted to do in the bye week is get that game is behind us. The Syracuse game is behind us. Get that game away and then just focus on the next two. Just focus on ourselves and making ourselves and this football team
On the injury updates:
"We're great right now just physically. We lose Senorise (Perry) who was a big loss to us. With (Lorenzo) Mauldin, just don't know yet if he will be ready to go play against Connecticut. (We are) hoping you can get him back for Rutgers. DeAngelo Brown, just don't know where you are with him. With Daniel Brown coming back now, it can give us a boost on defense. We just feel pretty good about where we are with how we are going to prepare with the guys that we do have."
On the running back rotation:
"What we're going to do at running back, Jeremy Wright is going to be the starter. Corvin Lamb has been taking repetitions. If we have to use Dominique Brown, we will. We want to go win a (BIG EAST) championship. Right now, we are going to go with those two, with Corvin Lamb and with Jeremy Wright."
On how much Corvin Lamb has been practicing:
"He's been practicing. Even when we had Senorise, we had three (running) backs at the time. Corvin took a lot of repetitions then. He knows what's going on. He knows the offense. Even in the Syracuse game, he was able to bust out of there with a 53-yard touchdown pass."
On if the run game is going to continue to be balanced between two running backs or if Jeremy Wright will receive a bulk of the carries:
"We'll go with Jeremy just because he has the experience and he is going to play as much as he can. A lot of times, with the running back, you do need to give him a rest. We are going to feel very comfortable when Corvin goes into the game."
On if the senior class has shown enough leadership despite being small in size:
"What you were able to do with this senior class is you have some really strong personalities. I know this, (Will) Stein doesn't play, but he has such a strong personality that guys will follow his lead. When he speaks, guys will listen to him. Even with Mario (Benavides), (he) has a really strong personality and (Adrian) Bushell on defense. You were able to take three or four guys out of that senior class and those guys were able to stand up, speak and players would listen to them. So, they were able to take that leadership."
On Rutgers pursuing other conference options:
"I try not to get caught up in that because really my focus right now is to go prepare this team for these next two games. I know this, our AD and our president are going to put us in the best position. With those teams leaving, hopefully we can continue to keep this conference together. Whoever leaves, someone else will come in. It's all about us and these next two games more than anything."
On if the teams leaving changes his feelings about the BIG EAST:
"I guess where you look at it is the stability of the league. That's five teams in the last two years that have walked away from this league. Still though, we know this, we are in a great position. We have great
facilities. We have a great AD. With each sport, not only football and basketball, but you look at Anne Kordes, she goes and wins the BIG EAST in volleyball. You look at what we do in soccer. You look at what Sandy (Pearsall) did in softball. Even in baseball. But we have enough with each one of our sports that we are so successful. At some point, somebody is going to turn around and look at Louisville and say look at what they are doing. Or maybe, they are afraid to let us come in for what we're doing."
On if not getting attention from other conference is a head-scratcher:
"I guess the way you have to look at it is 'what are they looking for?' I have no idea what they are looking for, but we have a lot to offer."
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