Press Conference Transcript (10-28-03)
October 27, 2003
Head Coach Gerry DiNardo:
GD: This is my first game against Minnesota. I think program-wise, Glen Mason has done a good job. Everyone that follows college football would agree with that. They had six losing seasons before he took over. That is a lot of losing seasons to overcome. Where he has that program is a really tremendous coaching job. I would relate it to some of the great turnarounds in college football. This Minnesota team specifically; their offense is one of the best conceived attacks Ive seen in a long time. Its basically a one-back attack. They do some really good and unique things that will challenge a defense. They are playing the best defense they have ever played since hes been there. They have a rugby-style punt. They cause you a lot of problems. Theyre a well-coached, big, physical team. Theyll look a little like Ohio State up front, physically.
On teams play against Ohio State:
GD: We did not play very well. Ohio State is really a big, physical team. I would imagine they have the talent of a top-five team in America. I cant imagine them not being in the top-five talent-wise. But we can play better."
On teams struggles on the road:
GD: Its only mental if you are winning at home. I dont think its mental if youre losing at home and on the road.
On teams attitude after the Ohio State game:
GD: It was typical of a Sunday after a loss. It was quiet and business-like.
On whether the team has been overcome by adversity this season:
GD: I dont think they are overcome. These are tough times when you are no longer bowl-eligible with four games left. I tell the kids all the time this is an extraordinary job and only extraordinary people can deal with this. If they dont have extraordinary feelings about this, they wont survive.
On Minnesota quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq:
GD: He is a really good player. Hes a veteran player and a two-year captain. He has qualities you dont see on tape, such as leadership qualities. Hes the real deal. This is a really good Minnesota team. They got early momentum, and theyre playing like it.
On Minnesotas running backs:
GD: Theyre all good. They each bring different things like a typical team that uses more than one running back. Theyre all good running backs.
On the similarities between Minnesota and Ohio States offenses:
GD: Both of their attacks start with the run. Their formations are different. Other than that, they are pretty similar. They both have big, physical offensive lineman. They run the ball more than they pass it. Their attacks are different. Ohio States a two-back. They run the power and gap scheme. Minnesota runs more zone scheme out of two tight ends and one back. They fake the reverse a lot, which causes some support problems. Its really a well-conceived attack. Its really impressive."
On challenging the defense to get better:
GD: You explain the plan to them, make them practice hard, make them play hard on gameday, and if they dont, you replace the guys that dont play hard the following week. That hasnt been a problem with us. Our guys have played and practiced hard. I dont anticipate that being a problem, but if it is, well address it. I have no reason to believe they wont play hard and prepare hard.
On Mason rebuilding Minnesotas program:
GD: I dont know if I know enough about his program. I havent played it in the past. I dont know enough about them except for what I have read in the media guide. I know hes done a heck of a job.
On practicing indoors:
GD:We may go inside today. The downside to going inside is youre only on one field. Other than that, there is really no downside. Youre on top of each other. My original plan was to start outside and then go inside. If it continues to rain, well go inside right away.
On defense against Minnesota:
GD: You have to be a little different because their formations are different. We didnt make a lot of different changes (from Ohio State).
Will Graeme McFarland play an early series:
On Josh Moores status:
GD: It depends if he practices today. If he practices today, hell be fine. If he practices tomorrow, hell be fine.
On what he wants to see the team accomplish the rest of the season:
GD: Theres a picture frame outside our team room reserved for the next bowl team at IU. I want them to work on that. I want them to practice and play as if their practice and play will have an impact on when that picture frame will be filled. If they continue to work to fill that picture frame it will be a successful last third of the season.
On Jake Powers:
GD: Jake has to get bigger. He just needs to get bigger and stronger during the offseason. Hes a student of the game and studies the game and tape a lot. Hes a really good player, and hes going to be fine. He just needs to get bigger.
On Matt LoVecchio gaining experience in the offense:
GD: I think he is getting more comfortable with the offense. Our whole pass game problems are a result of protection, route running, throwing and catching. We just work on each one of those things on a daily basis. We broke the pass game down a little more in our teaching. I believe that our pass game will improve the more we continue to break it down like we have.
On LoVecchios progress with the offense:
GD: I didnt envision us being 1-7, so its hard to separate any part of your team from being in the position record-wise you didnt think youd be in. When you ask me about a particular players progress, its hard to answer the question.
On LoVecchios confidence:
GD: I would say hes probably very typical of everybody else in the program. I dont know why his thoughts would be any different than anybody elses. I see him in a very similar situation as everyone else.