Larry Coker's Quotes on Clemson Game


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Miami head coach Larry Coker



Opening Statement: “Good morning. It’s what’s been phrased déjà vu all over
again. (Clemson) is much like Florida State, they are very fast—the linebackers,
the defensive line, their secondary is extremely athletic and fast. I think the
big difference, obviously, is they have a proven, established quarterback in
Charlie Whitehurst. They have a new offensive coordinator, a new defensive
coordinator and are playing very well.



“Charlie is very, very efficient and he’s running their offense very well and
they are finding a way to win. I think all this efficiency and stats and that
stuff is really good, but more than that, I think Charlie Whitehurst is helping
them by getting them in the end zone when they need to, making a big play when
they need to and winning football games. We know we’ve got a tremendous
challenge going to Clemson, our players are going to be up for it and it’s an
exciting time for us.”

(On Clemson’s ability to run the ball and Reggie Meriweather): “I think that’s a
different philosophy they have this year because they are running the ball more
this year. And I think that’s part of new offensive coordinator [Rob Spence’s]
philosophy and it’s making their whole team a more efficient football team and [Meriweather]
is part of it. They have an outstanding freshman runningback [Jason Davis]. We
have to do a good job up front, getting off blocks. They are very big upfront,
they are very physical upfront and we’re going to have to get off blocks, tackle
well and make sure to swarm the football, much like we did against Florida
State.



(On the notion that the team is out for revenge): “I don’t know how much affect
it has after things get started. But whatever motivates somebody, if it
motivates you, it’s great to be motivated by it. But normally, and I use a
little Bill Belichik philosophy here, after the game starts all the hype and all
the rah-rah and the rhetoric goes out the window and now you play the game.”



(On team’s confidence and do or die reference surrounding game): “Definitely
it’ll be hard to catch up and it’s a game we need to win without question. Is it
do or die? No, we lost two last year and we didn’t die until [a 16-10 loss to]
Virginia Tech. I think it’s a very important game for us. To say it’s do or die,
I wouldn’t say that at this point.”



(On possible changes along the offensive line): “No, there aren’t any changes
personnel wise. The personnel is who we have. But obviously getting [right
guard] Tony Tella for another week is going to be good. He and Andrew Bain are
going to be good, but again, we have to play better.



(On TE Greg Olsen): “He is one of the guys we’ve been fortunate enough to have.
I’ve coached for a long time and just haven’t been around the tight end position
we have had here. I think Mario [Cristobal] does a great job of coaching that
position, I think we have talented players there. Greg Olsen is certainly in
that mold. Losing him last year, that really hurt our football team, because we
lost him the last part of the year. He’s a tough player, he’s a talented player,
he’s a competitor and we just have to keep him working.”



(On 19-play, 81- yard drive in the fourth quarter against FSU): “I thought it
showed a lot of character of our football team in a tough environment on the
road and I think had we finished the drive off, like we expected to do—it would
have been one for the ages. To talk about it at the college level, you just
don’t see many college football teams in that type of environment, against that
type of competition, that is able to do those things.”



Miami quarterback Kyle Wright



(On how much better prepared he feels): “Surprisingly a lot more than I thought
I would. Even the first practice that we had after FSU it seemed like I had a
little more confidence while I was out there and things had slowed down a little
bit. Playing against FSU definitely got me mentally prepared and I have an idea
of what to expect in that type of environment, playing against that type of
team. I think it prepared me a lot more than I expected.”



(On the do or die tag being applied to the game): “I guess you can say there’s a
lot weighing on this game. But I’m confident that we are mentally ready and we
kind of know that there’s a lot riding on this game. We are going to go up and
hopefully play mistake-free football and get better from last week. But we know
one loss is not what we wanted on our schedule so we have to pick it up.”



(On confidence that offensive line will rebound): “[I have] a lot of confidence.
If I lost confidence already the season will probably be doomed. I know those
guys are going to work hard and they’ve been working hard in practice and
watching extra film, really trying to get some kinks worked out. I need to help
them out too, try and get rid of the football and take some pressure off of
them.”



(How do you handle sacks mentally): “I honestly didn’t think about [the sacks].
I knew they were getting pressure on me in critical situations, but if I’m going
to start pointing fingers at the o-lineman, or at the running back—that’s
something that you can’t have.



“You just have to move on and keep playing because we still had a chance to win
the football game. No matter if we there were nine sacks or no sacks, we were
still in a position to win the game. You just have to stay positive through the
end and keep the your guys motivated.”



(On his growth within a leadership role): “I think that’s something comes
natural. You’re either a leader or you’re not. Forced leadership is probably the
worst thing you can do.



Whether you have to get in a guys face or pick him up, that’s something I don’t
think can be coached. That’s part of your personality.”



Miami tight end Greg Olsen



(On having to sit around after a loss): “I just think everyone is anxious to get
out there and play another game. This bye week, I think was kind of rough, not
having a game this weekend and to sit back and watch everyone else go out and
play.



“We’re just excited to finally be back in a game week and be back in our regular
rhythm, go out there Saturday and be able to play another game.”



(On Clemson’s defense): “They have a very good defense, they have a bunch of
good players. They are going to try and do a bunch of things and we have a very
tough task ahead of us but if we can just get ourselves right—like we’ve said
since two-a-days--we don’t have to worry about what other people do because
we’re going to be fine.”



(On Clemson keying on him after a big game): “You would think [they would do
that]. But we can’t worry about that because the second they do that, we have
five or six other guys that who’ll beat them. Hopefully they do that. Hopefully
they try and keep an eye on me and if they do that, it’s going to be a long day
because we have some other guys out there that they haven’t seen do anything
yet.”



Miami corner back Marcus Maxey



(On moving on): “As a competitor you never want to get beat at anything and you
want to make the most out of any opportunity. But there’s a little phrase we
use: ‘FIDO’ and that means forget it and drive on.



“As hard as it is to do, you have to try and manage to do it somehow because if
you don’t you’re just going to drag that negative energy with you. And it’s
going to have you constantly worrying about things and you’re not going to be
able to play up to your full potential unless you do forget about it.”



(On focusing on what’s in front of him, not looking forward): “I try not to
worry about what’s behind me, what’s ahead of me. I just try and take care of
everything one play at a time and do my job as I am coached to do.”



(On pressure to prevent an 0-2 start): “It’s definitely a lot of pressure
because for one, we’re trying to get a win right now. And second, we owe Clemson
from last year. We’re on the road and I know it’s going to be tough, but we’re
preparing ourselves for the best. We’re just going to out everyday and work hard
and do what we are coached to do. We try and take the same approach and account
for our mistakes from last game and be the best we can be.”



(On freshman FS Kenny Phillips): “He’s young in age, but on the field he’s not
young because once he’s out there on the field he’s just like everyone else.
He’s called upon to do a job and obviously we have trust in him, the coaches
have trust in him to put him out there.



“He’s going to be out there and there isn’t going to be any less expected of him
than any other veteran guy.”



(On forcing errors from Charlie Whitehurst): “Bascially, all we have to do is go
out there and play Hurricane football. We’re going to go out there and do what
we’ve [always done] by not trying to do anything too spectacular, nothing too
special. We’re just going to go out and play our game.”



(On the hostile environment): “That’s why you come to places like [Miami], to go
to Doak Campbell Stadium the first game, sold out on ABC, then you’re next game
you go to Death Valley and places like that. You don’t come to [the University
of Miami] to play in front of 40,000-50,000 people, you come here to be playing
on national TV and in front sold out crowds.”

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