Countdown to Kickoff
FIU Week: Assistant Coach & Player Quotes



Dave Rader, Offensive Coordinator

On what the offense needs to work on

“We have not been able to score touchdowns once we have penetrated the plus territory. That is really what it boils down to. We are taking care of the ball. We are moving the ball and have all season until Saturday. Tennessee had a very good defense and was stingy. We didn’t move it like we had been during the year, especially in the fourth quarter when we needed to. There have been a lot of good things but the major thing that shows is the number of times we have scored in the plus territory.”

On Kenneth Darby

“He had some good blocks on passes. He is a guy that is one of our playmakers. He has shown that over the years. He is a guy we believe in. Our running game wasn’t all that we needed it to be, but without a doubt we played against the best defense we have seen all year. We need more of a running game and didn’t get it which is disappointing. The way we attacked first downs was not what we wanted. We needed more wins on first downs. We have been doing a really good job of that all season. Consequently it got us in way to many third and long situations which leads to too many punts.”

On Florida International

“They have a lot of speed. They are ranked 27th in total defense. They were only down 7-0 at halftime against Miami and Maryland only scored 14 points on them. The guys that are coming in are going to show that they can play. It doesn’t matter who we play we need to the most efficient game we have all season.”

Joe Kines, Defensive Coordinator

Opening Statement

“We have to approach this like the first game, like an opening game. It is a dangerous situation. What we do in practice from now until Friday is going to mean more than anything. It is going to take a lot of concentration and leadership is going to be big this week. If you look at the numbers, Florida International has lost seven games, but five of those were by less than a touchdown. They really had a chance to win the Maryland game. In all five of those games, if they made one play they would be sitting at 5-2.”

“They have a quarterback that has been in this system and knows the system well. If you look at them from the first game to the last game they have been real consistent with what they have been trying to do. They have a good plan and they are pretty organized with what they are doing. We have to approach it like it is the biggest game we have got, because it is the only game we have this week. All we can do is go out and see if we can’t get a little better this week.”

On Tennessee Game

“I think we played hard the whole night. We some mistakes that cost us but the youngsters went out there and laid it on the line.”

On Prince Hall

“He is growing and growing. He had so much to learn early on. Matt Collins did a good job holding us in there until Prince could get his feet in there. I think sometimes that goes overlooked. Prince wasn’t ready to play early in the there. Once he got his feet in there, Prince has grown by leaps and bounds. We pay our dues sometimes when he makes a freshman mistake that he won’t make down the line. It is going to happen to a linebacker. He is going to be a good player down the road and he gives you a chance to make a big play. He is working hard and is trying to learn.”

Matt Collins, Junior Middle Linebacker

“Homecoming game, for us it’s just another game, but for the fans and everything there’s a lot of excitement. Old players come back and it’s a real big deal for them. Around campus you see all the writings on the sidewalk vote so and so for queen. It’s just fun. It’s just another treat for fans. It’s pretty cool.”

Lionell Mitchell, Sophomore Defensive Back

“I guess it’s a little different for the students, but the players, we’re in the hotels on Friday so we don’t get to experience everything about homecoming on Friday nights. We miss some of the activities. It’s a little different on campus, just a little extra buzz.”

Will Oakley, Sophomore Wide Receiver

“Yeah, every game is a big game, but homecoming game with all the student activities they’ve got going on. It’s game that everybody plays that you don’t want to lose. You’ve got to find a way to win this game, especially after a loss. Going into an SEC game next week, we’ve got to pull through and win this game to build some confidence with our team.”

“I really don’t know what goes on homecoming. If you ask me anything that the students did, I wouldn’t know. I know all the sororities put stuff on their front lawn but that’s about it.”

Jeremy Clark, Senior Defensive Tackle

“That’s just another opportunity to go out there play what you love to do. We could be on the one yard line, either our one yard line or their one yard line, still going to be the same to go out and play defense and represent the university and this state.”

“It’s an extra challenge, you know you can’t afford to let them move the ball. Just try to go out and play hard just like you do on every other part of the field. It shouldn’t make a difference what part of the field you are on. You still should be playing hard no matter where you are on the field.

No, it’s not tough at all to overlook them, especially when you watch them on film. They’ve got exceptional athletes all across the board and they make plays. Their record doesn’t have anything to do with their talent because they have exceptional athletes. We just have to go out and play hard, just like every other week. This is our most important because it’s the next game on the schedule.”

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen them, I didn’t know what their mascot was or their uniform. My friend called me and said ??Man, the team y’all are playing two weeks from now is fighting!’ It wasn’t because it was them, it was just a fight period. I’d never seen that in college football. It just so happens we play them. We’re not going to treat them any different. We’re going to go out and try to win a football game just like they’ve got a few a guys suspended they want to come out here and beat us. That’s just the game of football.”

“Me personally, I’m not a go out type of person. After the game I’ll probably go home and just lay down. But it’s homecoming and a lot of guys are going to come this week. You know people you haven’t seen. You just want to go out there and play ball the same way you would if it were another week.”