Countdown to Kickoff
Mike Shula Transcript


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Head Coach Mike Shula

Opening Statement:
I think our team got some rest over the weekend. I think the bye week was a good week for us and we were productive during that point. I think it’s important for us to come out today and be real focused. We know what we are getting into this week at ole miss. It’ll be a loud stadium and an early game on the road, all things that we have to make sure we are prepared for, really starting today if not before. We know how hard it’s going to be to put our best foot forward. These three days are vital. We will use the crowd noise out there all three days and get ourselves ready to go.

What do you feel about the early kick times of some of these games?
Well, we’ve had the other 11:30 kickoffs before, but this is going to be even earlier. I think it’s definitely a change. We’re going to start Thursday night; we’re going to move up curfew Thursday and Friday night. We’ve got a long bus ride too, from the hotel to the stadium. So after an early pre-game meal, our pre-game meal will be at 7:00, and we’ll probably spend a little more time on pre-game warm-ups. We’ll do a little extra hitting to get ourselves ready to go early. Those are all things that we’re going to have to talk about and make sure we are aware of.

You have talked a lot about your next game being your biggest game. With the 5-0 start, you can see that it is true, that your next game is the biggest one. Is that message one that you regularly talk to your players about?
It’s something that I learned a long time ago, growing up and when I was here as a player. It’s a clich?, and we all know that, but it’s the only thing we can do anything about. We talk to our football team and tell them to worry about the things you can control and nothing else: not what people are saying about you, not about what is down the road, but everything that is right in front of us each and every day. Technically, we shouldn’t be worried about Saturday, we should be worried about today and how we can get this football team better today. If we take that approach each and every day, that gives us the best opportunity when game day comes. This is my third year, and all SEC games are tough, playing on the road is tough and we’ve got some young guys who have had only one road trip of playing experience on the offensive side. We’ve got some leadership and experience with our quarterback, with Brodie, and a lot of the guys on defense. A lot of those guys were there two years ago, when we didn’t play well over there. We got off to a poor start early and never caught up. That’s why we talk about one game at a time, and one day at a time and worrying about the things you can control.

As the season has gone on, especially after the Florida game, national media coverage has increased. Do you like the national media exposure?
I don’t really read the papers and watch TV and things like that, but I’m aware of it. I’m happy for our program and the fact that it is getting the notoriety for our players. We’re in this thing to win, to win football games and that’s what makes me happy and motivates me, is winning football games.

Did you see the Sports Illustrated cover? What did you think? Are you worried about the SI jinx?
I did. I was happy for Brodie. It’s over, we had the bye week. Someone else is on it this week.