Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brandon Presser--Buffalo edition

My wise ass remarks are in orange, but I don't think I have much to work with this week.

On the Buffalo running game

"Starks is their back. He is 200-210 lbs. He is one of the better backs in the conference. They are only rushing for about 135 a game and we're rushing for a 120. That's what they do. They are going to run it downhill. We haven't demonstrated any consistency in stopping that throughout the season. We have to step up and stop their running game, which is going to be a tall order for us right now."

He's right. Everyone has run out of us--we are instant Heisman-makers. It is a shock we can win while teams run on us like they do, and as Coach alluded to Friday, sooner or later when won't be able to pull it off. Of course, scoring on 14 of 19 drives helps.

Was that one of your worries coming out of pre-season having a defensive line that is in experienced and young?
"My concern was not only for that group but for the entire defense. We are still young on that side of the ball, only two seniors over there. You get a couple guys nicked up in there and you are playing with young guys and that's what we have been playing with the last couple of weeks. That's not a legit excuse in my opinion. We have to play better. Those young guys have to step up and pick up the riffle so to speak and stop the run. That's what we need to do."

We are young on defense. But, it is not an excuse (as Coach says), since we were told last year that they were playing a lot, and gaining experience. We still tackle lousy---and have for years, and we're being blown off the line and can't defend the zone play.

I have no idea what riffle means.

How big has the offensive line been this year?
"Our offensive line is huge. Our offensive line got the team award as the offensive player of the game. It was a really good performance. We rushed the ball for almost 200 yards. Tyler had all day to throw for the most part. We had no sacks, which is huge against that defensive line. We got four hands on Jones most of the night, which was big for us. I talked to Coach Genyk after the game and after he watched the film he said he thought we did a tremendous job taking care of him. Really that wasn't the only thing. We had to block No. 91 who was singled a lot so Shane Steffy and Brandon Curtis did a good job when they were singled on him and kept him off the quarterback and knocked him around in the running game. I think our offensive line really executed the plan well. It was well conceived. Matt Campbell did a good job with that. No sacks is pretty impressive I think."

Great job to our line. It is the single most consistent strength of this team leading back into the beginning of UM I.

Does the experience of the offensive line come out a little bit?
"Yes, I sleep well at night with my offensive line and wake up with some other things. Those kids have done a great job."

On Brandon Curtis...
"Brandon Curtis was a defensive linemen when we recruited him, a defensive tackle nose guard. When we moved him to offensive line he became one of the hogs. You develop your character when you play offensive line. Every week I have a couple kids address the team, usually older guys or guys that have something to say. This week it was Nate Waldron, back up linebacker and special teams player for us. Then Brandon Curtis got up and talked to the team before the game and did a great job. He talked about how he is tired of hearing about No. 83 and No. 91 and wanted to go kick their butts. He has done a nice job for us. It will be nice to have him back as a fifth year senior."

On the emergence of Chris Wright
"That is really a great success story. He was on his way out of here academically. He was struggling. I suspended him for the summer, he had to get eligible and he did. He paid his own way for summer hours got his grades back and then really has continued to emerge and get better as a receiver. When we recruited him we played him on defense and he kind of floundered over there a little bit. Then we moved him to offense and it took him awhile to grasp the system and understand everything we want our receivers to do. Now that he understands it he can play with more confidence and I think that's what you are seeing right now out of the kid."

Both Brandon and Chris Wright are great examples of what we want to see in Falcon athletics.

On Tyler being able to play within himself the last two games compared to others...
"I think he is healthy and that is the big thing. I think that last two games he has thrown the ball with more accuracy. He's throwing it better. We've scaled down. We aren't throwing it 45-50 times we are throwing it 35 times to help keep it that way a little bit. Whether we continue to do that remains to be seen. If he is healthy we can be as effective as we were early in the season throwing the football, there is no question."

Interesting. Once we believe he is 100% healthy I wonder if we will retreat to throwing the ball more to close out with two more wins.

Other thoughts on Buffalo besides their running game
"Their defense is pretty salty. You know I have always been impressed with the way they play defense. They run to the ball well, they are scrappy, they will fight you. You can see on film that they are playing hard. We have to challenge our guys that you have to go in and play harder than Buffalo. That's our chance to win the game. They have renewed enthusiasm and spirit there. Their kids are playing hard, flying around and that's what they do defensively. We have just got to play harder than Buffalo to beat Buffalo.

OK, he hasn't said salty in a few weeks, so I'm going to restrain myself. Still cracks me up. They are also scrappy. This is not the old Buffalo, who we actually struggled to beat the last two seasons. If we are "back" when need to grind a win out.

It's nice to be in the situation that you don't control your own destiny. You still have a shot as do only two other teams in the East.
"Obviously we are going to need some help but I think that the goal was to win these last four and we are half way home and if we can win these next two we will be in a bowl game. We will be virtually locked. Lose one of them then I think it is going to be a beauty contest. Lose both and we probably are not going to a bowl. I think everybody in the country is getting bowl eligible. It is nice to be bowl eligible for this team I think at this point it's a huge credit bouncing back from last season. Winning six games right now I think is big for this program."

All true. I would love us to win out, finish on a four game winning streak, go to a bowl game and then bring everyone back (pretty much) next season.

Not only bouncing back from last season but from a Miami and Ohio loss
"I think it is the consistency thing that we have talked about all season. We have to develop some consistency. Early in the season we won back to back games Temple and Western Kentucky and now we have won back-to-back games. I think that is what is still out there for us. Can we win three in a row, four in a row? Can we get that done? If we can get that done then we will be in a bowl game."

On Stanley being MAC defensive POW
"Glen is instinctive and runs well and that is why he is playing. Glen can play all three of the spots because he runs well enough. I think he can go out in space and defend. He brings a lot of versatility to the table right now."

On the offensive line scoring a touchdown
"The thing about that was so beautiful when you watch it on film. The ball was sitting there and there are four Eastern guys right there and they don't get it. One of our guys, I think Pronty, comes in an wipes two if them out and the ball gets shoved out and Nystrom comes in and plops on the pile. The ball is still around and Steffy does a superman and lands on it. You watch it on film it is hysterical. That was a huge play. We work on turnovers and ball security every day in practice. Coach Campbell throws a ball out and they jump on it. We teach them to get in the fetal position all that. It paid off and to see those kids when we came up with the ball was just great."

End of transmission.


Anonymous said...

"Riffle" has something to do with a stream.

"Pick up the riffle" only appears in five Google search results, and two of them are this story. Also, I'm ashamed that while wasting time playing TextTwist on Yahoo shortly after reading this post, "riffle" was one of the words and I missed it.

Damn you Gregg Brandon! ;)

Orange said...

Well, thanks for doing the leg work on that one.

Shame on you.