September 9, 2003
Head Coach Gerry DiNardo:
GD: "Good to be home after two weeks on the road, so that's a welcome change. Indiana State won last week and they come in with momentum and we don't have any momentum, so they obviously have the edge there. One of the things that separate I-A and I-AA programs is scholarship number. In this case, I don't know if there is separation because their numbers are down. We are looking forward to playing them at home on the new surface. It was a good week."
On mood of the team on Sunday after the loss:
GD:"We changed the schedule and didn't do anything on Sunday because we got home so late. We practiced on Monday instead. It's hard to gauge because Sunday's a lot different than Monday. We're a little bit off our schedule because we got home so late. I didn't have a Sunday feel because we didn't have a Sunday feel."
On differences between the Washington and UConn games:
GD:"I thought the first half we did some things better than we did the previous game. We're starting to defend the run better and starting to run the football better. We wanted to go into the Washington game getting better offensively in the red zone and we were. We wanted to be better on the goal line and we were. And we didn't want to drop six passes and we did that. Those things improved offensively, but we threw a pick. We didn't throw a pick the week before. Defensively we wanted to stop the run better. I think our first-and-ten efficiency, at times, looked better in the first half. We didn't want to give up the big plays, the explosion and break out plays, and we did. We didn't stop them all together. We had that one for a touchdown. We were in zero coverage and they scored. I thought the breakout plays were better on defense. We set some goals from Connecticut to Washington, and we achieved some of them."
On improvement of your defense.
GD: "I think their progressing and you can see improvement in almost every one of them. Obviously different amounts in certain guys. I think we need to play smarter. That's something we need to do better. I'm disappointed in some second-year guys. Some guys that have been with us for two years that still aren't playing smarter football. I'm not saying anything they haven't heard. We have to be a smarter football team. We're not a dominant team and the margin of error is very critical. I know we can play smarter. I'm not disappointed in the younger guys, I'm disappointed with some of the second-year guys making the same mistakes they made in their first year. When the other 10 guys got it and you didn't, you could be the right minority, but you're usually the wrong minority, assuming the other ten guys are right. Our first-year guys are progressing nicely."
Impressions about Indiana State:
GD: "They won a close game and that is impressive. Some of their players are more impressive than others, just like on our team. They're pretty balanced offensively and that causes problems in defending them. They have a lot of formations. Their defense is a pressure defense and that's always an issue. They have momentum and have won a close game, which we have not done. "
On goals for Saturday:
GD: "Play the entire game. We played one game without playing either half, then we played one half, so the natural progression would be to play both halves."
On players mindset right now:
GD: "They were disappointed in their performance the first week. They felt like they played better the first half of the Washington game. And they feel for us to have any success this year at all, they have to play an entire game. I think that's their mindset."
Compare the players on both teams.
GD: "I never like comparing players. They're all good players or else they wouldn't be playing. (Left tackle) Stuart Williams on Indiana State has caught our attention. (Left guard) Matt Greibel has as well. Obviously they have a good offensive line. Ryan King, their tight end, is their leading receiver and was second-team All-Conference a year ago. We recruited (Quarterback) Jake Schiff from Mater Dei a couple years ago when we first got here. We liked him very much. As a redshirt freshman, he is doing tremendous. (James) Braden and (Chris) Lewis are both good receivers. Lewis has speed. (Jake) Shields, their running back, has 340 yards. Our whole offense has 195 yards rushing. So their one guy has gained more yards than our entire team. Our leading rusher has 94 yards. We don't have a guy that's a third as productive as their running back. Their fullback is really a tough kid. On defense, (Left end) Kyle Mitchell had 11 sacks last year and 23 TFL's. I think he is going to be all we can handle. (Defensive tackle) Bruce Blue is a strong inside player. (Linebacker) Kevin McDavid is their leading returning tackler and is a good player. (Darryl) Morton, at linebacker, and their secondary play with four or five guys depending on what offensive set you show."
On running the ball more effectively:
GD: "In college football they subtract sacks from the rushing yards. If you want to study what you are doing in the rushing game, you have to take those out. We are only averaging a little over two yards per rush, but if you minus the sacks, I think you'll find that's a little deceiving. The improvement has been on first-and-10. I believe we're running three plays and we're running them better than we did a week ago. On first-and-10, when you run, if you can get four yards or more you stay on schedule. Statistically speaking it doesn't look very good. I'm saying if you take the sacks away from it, it's better than it was a year ago, and that's what we wanted to do coming into the season."
On being excited to play on the new surface:
GD: "I sure am. We had the heavy rain a couple weeks ago and that really helped it. We've been on it. We were on it twice last week and we were on it last night. The band has been on it. That has all really helped it. I think it is in very good playing shape. I don't know what the weather is supposed to be like Saturday, but I think it will be a very good surface for both sides on Saturday."
Sophomore Linebacker Kyle Killion:
Describe your play the first two games:
KK: "Just okay."
On his play at this point in the season:
KK: "I'm always trying to improve, pursuing the ball and doing the tough things."
On what he can do to improve:
KK:"I need to read my cues and tackle better."
On differences between this year playing inside rather than outside linebacker:
KK: "Last year is was always trying to contain the ball. I like my position now. I have a lot of fun playing inside with the flow and being able to get down field."
On the mood of the team after the Washington game compared to after the Connecticut game:
KK: "We know we are capable and playing better as a team as we become more comfortable off the field."
Evaluate Josh Moore's play:
KK: "Josh is playing great, he's a good player. He has had to learn a whole new defense and pick it up fast. I have tried to help him out as much as I can."
On playing at home after being on the road for the first two games:
KK: "It's great. I can't wait to play in front of the home fans."
On the future of the defense:
KK:"I'm looking forward to see how everyone keeps playing. You learn more every week, and the more you know about the defense, the more comfortable you feel and what your responsibilities are. It makes you a better player.
On how the defense can improve and what would a good performance in his eyes:
KK: "In spring ball the concentration was stopping the ball. I feel like if
On Indiana State's strengths:
KK: "They run a lot of one-backs and they are a good team. A football game is a football game, and you have to go out and play hard no matter who your opponent is."
On the new playing surface:
KK: "It's a lot sturdier. You can't tear out chucks like you could on grass so you don't have to worry about divots and rolling your ankle. I think it's fast and soft to land on."