Troy Football Team Holds Weekly Press Conference

Opening Statement
“The running game has to be a part of our offense. I think in the long term it will help us throw it better. It will give us a way to score points. Defensively, I thought we played hard; we did find a few times where we got a little tired and bogged down but didn't quite get everything we got to get. I'm proud of the way we got some plays, got some turnovers, got two fourth-down stops which were huge. We can get a lot better defensively.”

“Offensively, we had a couple of turnovers. One when we had a chance to salt the game a little bit, although 24-0 in this day and age is not salted away by any stretch of the imagination, but we had a chance to go up by 24 at one time and we turned it over going in on the five, certainly a negative.”

“With the kicking game, except for giving up the bunt (onside kick) and getting a PAT blocked, I thought we recovered well in making sure they didn't return that for two. With the exception for those two things, I think we held them to (-6) yards punt returning, we got one turnover in the kicking game off the rugby (punt). Their average starting position was at the 20, when you kick into the end zone they get it at the 25.”

“We lost the penalty battle. We certainly got plenty to work on. I'm glad we're working on it with a win. I'm glad we're working on it with the kind of win it was. It wasn't all that beautiful, but it was one of those things we had to keep coming back to the table to get the job done.“

“We've got UL-Lafayette coming in this week. UL-Lafayette was championship caliber in the Sun Belt last year and did a great job. Mark Hudspeth is a high energy guy that is a smart football coach and has done a great job. They got us down there last year and we helped them a little bit, but they got us. We're looking forward to the opportunity to have a good week and to get ready for our home opener and conference opener at 6 pm. I hope our people are engaged about this thing. Let me tell you, this game this week is bigger than anything we've had in a few years as far of having good support at the game.”

On history and matchup with Louisiana-Lafayette
“We didn't get it done last year, but we've been able to get it done against them over a period of time. It's all about those guys that are lining up on each and every down no matter if it's offense, defense, or special teams and performing. We had our chances last year, we gave up too much. We weren't good enough to get it done. We may be as good as ULL or not as good as ULL, but when you tee this football up and the shape it is, you don't ever know which way it's going to be bounce, but you're going to try to get it to bounce your way.

On number of plays in the UAB game
“Probably shooting for 75, which means we're generally pretty good if we're getting in that range. Whatever amount it takes to win is the amount we're looking for. We are fast paced and I think we get an advantage when we're gelling and moving fast-paced. We are total signal football team on offense and when we don't sub, we try to get off as soon as that umpire moves. We missed a few things in the game that were close to being big. But, the number of plays and UAB was not going to run up and snap. They were going to pick their spots where to run it. But, I thought (offensive coordinator) Kenny (Edenfield) and the offensive staff stayed patient. We rushed the football. Our offensive line got after it I thought with Shawn (Southward), with the exception with the turnover, had a great day. He had to shoulder the burden because you know with a couple guys being out and young.

On the possible outcome of this Saturday's game
“Well you know I have no idea what it will end up being. I think they are very capable moving the football; they have a quarterback that I've liked since he was a freshman even when he was getting in the game just a little bit. It could turn into a high-scoring game. But games these days can get away and get up into the 30s', for some reasons I don't think it will be that way. The team that can rush the football and control the ball and not turn it over, provided everything else is equal will have the best chance to win.”

On looking past Louisiana-Lafayette and looking ahead to Mississippi State
“Well I'm a lot more interested in what we're facing this week than looking ahead to Mississippi State. That game is basically the furthest thing from my mind. Regardless, this game this week is the most important game; it's also the next game. We've had a pretty good legacy at Veterans Memorial (Stadium). Of course, we will have Mississippi State in the same venue. Lafayette is the target right now.”

On team overcoming adversity against UAB
“I was really proud of them, but we certainly weren't perfect. You had a couple of things in the game that made us not perfect, but we got a couple of turnovers. We missed a few things offensively and I thought our defense was better and really rose up on a couple of occasions and got us a three turnovers. One of the key plays I thought the key play was when Willis came all the way from having covered a guy and came back out and had to come to balance, use the sideline, made the hit, and the ball came hit and we got it on the 2-yard line. I thought we had some really good things defensively that we can build on this week.”

On Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week De'Von Terry
“I think I said something about this at the press conference in Birmingham, but I've let De'Von Terry off to go work to pay his bills. I've told him 'Hey, when we get into scout team work this week, you've got to be back'. He's been tenacious in his goals and in what he's wanted to do. He's like me, he's not perfect, he hasn't been perfect, but he's developed into a dependable, young man who has worked hard and he got some payback the other day and I was really proud of him.”

Keys to the Louisiana-Lafayette game
“Rushing the football and controlling the rush will be paramount. Certainly, you mix in a couple of turnovers either way, you offset being to rush or control the rush.”

On the importance of the running game in the Troy offense
“If we can continue to rush the ball, you know we were below 100 (yards per game) last year, if we can continue to rush the ball consistently, you know around 150 yards per game, that average would really give us a enough thump, to make up folks not just sit in there and not just flush out to cover the pass. We're pretty good throwing it, but we may be able to win a game without rushing for those kinds of numbers, but it would certainly give us a better chance if we could.”


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