AAC Teleconference Week 6: Temple HC Geoff Collins

OPENING STATEMENT:

“I thought our kids came out against East Carolina with the right mindset. I’ve felt for awhile that we have a good football team and we keep getting better every single week. Our goals the whole game were to play one play at a time. I thought our kids stayed in the moment, they stayed in the game and executed the calls that were in front of them in all three phases of the game. They didn’t worry about the scoreboard, that was one of my favorite parts of the game was that the guys stayed in the moment and executed as well as they could against a team that was competing really hard and ended up at the end of the game with the scoreboard in our favor. I was proud of the kids with how they fought and how they played. The leadership from our older guys and ‘single digits’ throughout the whole season has been really good. I think our young players who have gotten a lot of experience against really good teams the first five games of the season, it’s starting to pay off and they are starting to play like veterans. [Against UConn] we know we have our work cut out for us, they are a great passing offense, multiple on defense with a lot of good players. You look at their roster, they have a lot of length, especially on the back end and at their line positions. The quarterback is spinning the ball really, really well. I’ve gone against Coach Lashlee’s offense for the last five or six years in the SEC. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the offensive scheme and they have some really good players that are executing his offense at a really high level. Defensively they give you some issues with some unique things they do coverage wise, pressures that they run and they are really sound defending the run game as well, so we understand the challenge we have ahead of us.”

BEING A DEFENSIVE GUY, LOOKING AT SCORES AROUND THE CONFERENCE, WHAT HAPPENED TO DEFENSES AROUND COLLEGE FOOTBALL THAT YOU SEE THESE SCORES ON A REGULAR BASIS?:

“I just think in this league, the last couple of years has had a reputation for explosive offenses and that’s the trend. There’s a lot of tempo, a lot of creative offensive minds and now that I’m in this league, I see the quality of the skill players in this league, they are comparable to any league in the country. It’s a combination of really good coaching, creativity in the play calling and tremendous athletes across the board in this league that help the offensive numbers.”

DOES THAT MEAN THERE IS MORE ATHLETICISM ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL?:

“The pace of play, the offensive play calling and the more plays you run, the more statistics will stand out and the more yards that will be accumulated, so the pace of play has a lot to do with it, along with really good players and really good schemes.”

ECU HC SCOTTIE MONTGOMERY PRAISED YOUR DEFENSIVE LINE, HOW GOOD A JOB IS YOUR FRONT FOUR DOING RIGHT NOW?:

“I’d say it’s a front ten. We had ten defensive linemen play over twenty-two snaps in the game. With that kind of depth and rotation, it keeps them fresh to be able to hold up to these up-tempo offenses, that helps. A lot of teams, you go from your first to second team, there’s a significant drop-off, but I think the way we play with our above the line depth chart, all ten or eleven of the guys that play along our defensive line consider themselves starters. When they get in the game, they play at a high level, at a starter level and that’s the beauty of how we set up our depth chart, how we run practices, so when guys get in they know the expectation to play at a high level.”

YOU ALWAYS POINT TO A PRE-DETERMINED PROCESS BACKED BY STATS FOR 3RD OR 4TH DOWN DECISIONS. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN STATISTICALLY & ANALYTICALLY ORIENTED AS OPPOSED TO A GUT DECISION-MAKING TYPE OF GUY?:

“I’ve always gravitated to that to find any edge, any kind of statistical advantage you can find, that’s always interested me. However long ago, maybe nine or ten years ago when the book ‘Moneyball’ came out, all the things that I’ve been intuitively doing, knowing and studying, was put on paper, this is the wave of the future. We have been intuitively doing it, trying to find all of those advantages and metrics that you can find that give you an advantage, so now it’s more common that more people are doing it, but we are doing the same thing we’ve always done.”

DID YOU BACK AT WESTERN CAROLINA, WERE YOU MAKING GUT DECISIONS?:

“We were doing it with excel spreadsheets trying to find any little piece of data, looking at backfield sets, percentages, the number of time the slot is on the ball versus off the ball, run versus pass, so you try to glean any kind of information to give yourself an advantage. We did some things Saturday that we knew statistically with tendencies where they were going to run or throw the ball and we either kicked the coverage or kicked the front to take advantage of it. A lot of the things I got asked about the number of tackles for losses that we had on Saturday, a lot of those we used data to show this is where they are going to run the ball and got the right stunt, blitz or coverage set to take advantage with that information. We’ve always done it, but now it’s become a little more mainstream.”

EAST CAROLINA’S OFFENSE WAS PRETTY GOOD HEADING AGAINST VIRGINIA TECH AND SOUTH FLORIDA HEADING INTO SATURDAY, ESPECIALLY RUNNING THE BALL WITH SIRK, WAS THAT A POINT OF EMPHASIS FOR YOU & HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO SHUT DOWN THE RUNNING GAME AS MUCH AS YOU DID?:

“It always starts with our players, they did a great job studying the game plan, studying the opponent and trying to pick up any little thing they could. At the end of the day it’s the execution, it’s how hard our kids play, how they would fit against the run. We had some good things dialed up, but our kids took that information, applied it and played at a really high level. We had a lot of guys that played and rotated through and didn’t have a drop off. There were some things that we used to our advantage that they executed, so really proud of our players.”

YOU SAID AFTER THE GAME THAT RB RYQUELL ARMSTEAD WAS BANGED UP, ANY THOUGHT IN RESTING HIM TO GET HIM RIGHT?:

“He’s such a competitor. He loves this football team and he does anything and everything trying to take care of his body. He probably spends more hours in that training room than a lot of our training staff does just because he wants to take care of his body, wants to produce and wants to be a good teammate. We can try, but Rock wants to be on that field playing with his friends and teammates so bad. We’ve had those conversations, but Rock is just one of the most competitive kids we’ve been around.”

YOU DID GET SOME DEPTH OUT OF THE BACKFIELD & HAD SOME OTHER GUYS STEP UP ON SATURDAY:

“I was really proud of David Hood, he had a tremendous week of practice and it showed when he got into the game. He hit the hole where he was supposed to hit them, running at a high level and really, really hard. Nick Sharga got some carries late, got us some key first downs to milk the clock. [Rob] Ritrovato, he was our lead rusher against USF, so the kid can run the ball. We list him as a full back, but he played a bunch of snaps at tailback. Travon Williams had a couple carries too.”

WR KEITH KIRKWOOD HAD A BOUNCE BACK GAME, INCLUDING A SPECTACULAR ONE-HANDED CATCH. IS HE PRETTY MUCH HEALTHY?:

“I think so. For the last two week’s he hasn’t practiced very much and has fought and worked hard to take care of his body. We’ve limited him on defense and on special teams because he’s so valuable to us as a receiver. The little things that come up with him blocking in space and on the perimeter, throwing his body around. The statistics are great and the catches on SportsCenter and College GameDay are awesome, but just what he does for this team as a leader and physical competitor, he represents the ‘single digit’ tradition very, very well. The highlight catches are great, but his work ethic on a daily basis is what this program is all about and I’m really proud of him.”

ON SATURDAY, SHAUN BRADLEY HAD A GOOD GAEM, HE SEEMS TO IMPROVE AS GAME

“That whole entire group, you’ve seen them develop and come together. They are all first year starters. Stats are great, but Shaun Bradley has to do so much, making the calls, making the front adjustments, putting the stunts on or calling the proper blitz because we multi-call a lot of our blitzes and stunts, so even though he has a productive day, his value to this team is as a leader, getting us lined up and in the right defense. You can see as the season goes on, all those things have been in place, but now it’s really starting to jell and the defense is playing at a high level. A large part of that is the mental piece that our linebackers are providing and the leadership they are providing for the whole defense.”

MATT SCHONVISKY / SITE CREATOR

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