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NIU Coach Rod Carey Comments on USF

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Courtesy NIU official site:  http://www.niuhuskies.com/news/2016/9/6/weekly-football-press-conference-quotes-sept-6-2016.aspx

DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois University head football coach Rod Carey spoke at NIU's weekly press conference at the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center to talk about the upcoming game at USF. Joining Carey were linebacker Renard Cheren, offensive lineman Lincoln Howard and defensive tackle William Lee. Below are excerpts from the press conference.
NIU Head Football Coach Rod Carey
Opening Statement
"I just don't think we made plays. Certainly, we had plenty of opportunities to do that. When you play good in the kicking game, you have some people on offense do some dynamic things, you have the defense that goes nine possessions without giving up points you sure think you're going to win that football game. You didn't because of in those same areas we had critical mistakes or lack of execution which certainly was the case. So, we're disappointed but that's over that's done with. Today we hit the field. The first thing we have to do is correct our mistakes of execution and then the next thing we have to do is get going on South Florida, which we are well, well into right now."
"I have a ton of respect for South Florida. I don't know Coach Taggart at all, but you can see on film he has a well-coached team and a real dynamic team with great personnel. It will definitely be a challenge going down there, one I know our guys will be excited for and ready to get down there. We have some guys on our team from Florida so a lot of them will be excited to get back down and play in front of family and friends."
On if he was surprised in the mistakes made at Wyoming
"Yeah, I was surprised from the standpoint that we got up to a fast start and we weren't making those mistakes. Then, later on we were. Again, I'm not pointing the finger I'm pulling the thumb. That's my job to make sure we are on top of that and we didn't stay on top of that. It was as much my fault and the coaches' fault as anybody elses."
On the play of Bobby Jones
"Bobby played a whale of a game. Really was where he needed to be all the time. Made a lot of good plays, played physical and certainly played downhill. I thought Renard Cheren played really well too. I thought, Folliard, even though he was a little rusty, missed a little time in camp, he played a lot of football. I thought our linebackers, for the most part, played good. The defense overall, we didn't tackle good enough. That was part of the execution issue that we had. Certainly did not tackle well enough. Some of that is expected in the first game of the year. Some of these execution things are kind of normal. The sting of it right now is we didn't find a way to win that football game and make the execution corrections. We will definitely move on today and I know we are all excited to get back on the field today."
On the delay
"Yeah there were challenges with that. I'm not going say that there weren't, but certainly not going to let that as an excuse in any way shape or form.  Whatever challenges we had as it pertained to the delay, they also had. I don't want to sit here and harp on those things too much."
On if it takes a while for the players' bodies to bounce back
"Sure, we had to change up we gave them Sunday. We pulled in about 9:30 or 10 am into the Yordon Center. We normally practice on Sundays and we weren't going do that. We changed it up. Thankfully, we had Labor Day so we didn't have class conflicts on Monday. So we moved our Sunday to Monday. Although, the coaches got off the bus and worked a full day and into the evening on Sunday. And then again last night, late into the night, just because of the schedule having to be rearranged.  Players got up, got moving yesterday, I think that was good for them. Then today we're back on the field."
On if the players caught up now
"Yeah I think they're very caught up, listening to everyone. Caught up yesterday, so they are pretty caught up tonight."
Injury concerns
"Trequan Smith probably is doubtful for Saturday. Brandon Mayes went out the game and TQ came in and made a couple nice plays. But then, unfortunately, he tweaked his hamstring a little bit. For DBs, that's kind of a big deal. I know he's working hard trying to get back and we will see later in the week how that goes."
On if it was fundamentals that caused the mistakes
"There were three factors that, played into the execution that I'm talking about. One, certainly we made adjustments to what they were doing. They came up with a different game plan, give them credit. Two, it was absolutely fundamentals. You saw that from how we were maybe on the edge of blocks, offensively, and lack of disengaging later, defensively. Early we were think on blocks and disengaging. For sure, the third thing was guys knowing what to do having already done it and missing assignments. So mental errors there as well. All those things played into execution issues"
On Mycial Allen
"He played a real good game. He got himself in some trouble a couple times, with some bad positioning and alignments pre snap. I think Mycial played a really good game. I was really excited to see that. Unfortunately, we needed him to play a little bit better, just like we all needed too. I was happy overall."
On what he has seen from Allen from this year to last
"He's back and he's in a situation where he's grown up a lot. It starts with his maturity and how he's grown as a person. That's translated into football. Really, starting to turn the corner into a leader here. I think that's all a part of the maturity and growing up process. He's doing a really good job at that."
On how good South Florida's offense is
"They're good. Their back and their quarterback are exceptional and all of their wide receivers are good. Number 87 is a real difference maker. Their O-Line is big and physical. They play downhill on you. Their offense is as good as we've probably played in a while."
On if USF's fast pace makes it tough to substitute on defense
"Yeah and we do some of it too. Although, we probably change tempos more than they do, but that's definitely part of the no huddle is get certain people out there to keep them out there. That's going to present a challenge, no question."
On if he welcomes the heat this week in DeKalb to prepare for USF
"Yeah, you learn pretty much the hard way on Saturday, you can't do anything about Mother Nature. So maybe she's smiling back on us. Maybe we'll get a little heat up here, but yeah you have to take Mother Nature for what it is."
On if there are any adjustments defensively when facing a mobile quarterback
"Well, sure you can't just go ahead and do things that are going to allow him seams to run the ball whether it's by design or scramble. You have to go ahead and be cognizant of where he is all the time. I think that's a big part."
On if there are any starting positions still open
"Definitely some competition, especially after the execution. There's going to be a lot of competition across all positions and that's deservingly so. You are what you put on film. Right now, you are that as a coach, that's what you coached, and you are that as a player, that's what you did. So I think everyone needs to understand that and make do. Competition is the great equalizer. Let's get out there and compete. Who does it right more, usually ends up the guy."
On if USF's running back Marlon Mack will play
"I don't know how their concussion protocol works, but I will be expecting to see him, he a whale of a back. From what I understand, and I didn't personally recruit him, coach Diersen knew of him in the recruiting process, I think he recruited him some, but he's a fantastic individual as well."
On any more areas he's concerned with about South Florida
"Offensively, they are obviously dynamic. Defensively, they are really active and mobile and physical as well. Starts up front with the lone returning starter, number 10 [Deadrin Senat]. He's a really good football player. Everybody on their defense can move. Their two linebackers are back. They're seasoned, grizzled vets and kind of been there done that type of deal, which is a real good thing."
On if anyone surprised in a good way on film
"I wouldn't say I'm never looking for it from somebody, but someone I was really hopeful for was Jake Ambrose. He punted the ball lights out. He changed the field position a few times and really did a nice job for us. I was really happy to see that he was having the type of day that we were hoping that he could have. It's one day. It doesn't make a season and he understands that. It's a good start for him."
On the attitude of the team coming back yesterday
"Well, I think everybody was disappointed, from me to true freshman who didn't even make the trip. I think everyone was disappointed and you have to leave room for that in this, that you're going to be disappointed because you put so much into this. At the same time, you need to move past your disappointment real quick and look at what you have to fix. The good news is, and I believe this, that it's in our control to fix those things. I don't think it's out of our control. We're going to get on the field and control what we can control."
On if he feels NIU should've won the Wyoming game
"Listen, I said that with all due respect to Wyoming, this is a game that we lost, in my opinion. Whether they agree with us or not, if I was them I'd say, 'No we won it' and that's fine. We can go back and fourth. I'm just giving my opinion and I gave it to the team. I think we lost that game by our execution.
On if it was hard not having tape on their quarterback
"Oh no. We knew he was a good player. Obviously, you don't have a lot of tape on everybody the first game. Even though they had a lot of guys coming back. He's a good player, I mean and he played a whale of a game. Obviously, that last touchdown that he had, the touchdown run, goes to show. I mean his future's probably bright and they're probably really happy with him."
On if the guys had trouble breathing because of the altitude
"I think that anytime you go ahead and play up there, I think there is an adjustment period. But, I think 95% of our guys made the adjustment fine. There's a few guys that probably didn't, I don't think we're probably any different than any team that's ever gone up there."
On what the team did during the delay
"Yeah, there's not a whole lot you can do. You're confined to a certain space. We were getting minute-by-minute updates. Coach Bohl and I sat down and talked a couple of times before the game face-to-face and I really respect coach. We got together and both kind of came to an agreement what we thought was best for the kids because we never got a warmup. So we knew once we were clear, we had to go through a warmup and it couldn't be a get on the field, shake it lose, and let's kick it off. You know, because then you risk injury. So we did not a normal warm up, shortened that up a little bit, but it was still a good warm up. Like I said, the challenges we had with that, they had with that too. Sit around, get your pads off, you try to stay loose try to stay focussed. Obviously both those things are going to be hard to accomplish but I think we did it the best we could."
On if there was any talk of playing on Sunday
"It was getting close, it was getting close. I think everything was on the table as the night went on, even to the point, when we knew we were clear, I think everything was still on the table. But, I think, well I'm not going to speak for coach Bohls, I'm going to speak for me, I felt like our kids had made that trip, been out there, we wanted to get them on the field. To wait another day or to go home, I don't think that was in anybody's interest. It's hard, someone said we ended the game 4 am this time back here roughly, that's hard. Do you question that decision? I think I would've questioned that decision win or loss. So I don't think that I'm speaking out of turn there. That's something that you wrestle with and something you try to do what you think is best at the time given the situation."
On if he had ever been through something like this as a player or coach
"Now, at half, I've been through a two-hour delay at half. Army, in 2011, I think we had about a 40-minute total delay to kick off a game that was supposed to be at 6 pm. I think we kicked off at 6:40. But, certainly nothing like that."
On if there were still fans hanging around for the game
"Yeah, I think their fans did a great job, it was a pretty good crowd. They were there and I think they were happy they were there 2 or 3 am."
On if he anticipates family and friends from NIU's Florida players to attend the game
"Well, I can't speak for them but it's drivable. I mean it's drivable to come see them play, so I would sure think they would be up to come to see them play."
On if he is excited to play at a venue like Raymond James Stadium
"Yeah, I think our guys are pretty excited about that. Something that we're going to talk about today with them. Obviously, a lot of them know it. They've already seen film, they've come in there on their own. When you see that on the scoreboard flashes up on the film Raymond James is up there so I think their looking forward to it. Another pro stadium we're playing in that's exciting for the guys."
On if the coaches will be doing any recruiting down there
"We're going to go ahead probably do some recruiting on Friday. Get ready for the game on Friday night as well and get up and get ready to go. We have a little bit of a day but we're used to that with MACtion and stuff playing in the evening. So it will be business as usual."
On if kids NIU is recruiting in Florida can be guests at the game
"No, NCAA guidelines, we can't have guest there. Home schools can do that. But, we can get out and see them play, we can't talk to them. Evaluation-wise we can get out and see guys play."
On if there any MAC vs American Conference aspect to this game
"No I think its NIU vs USF that's plenty for us. I don't think we need anything more than that."
On Tommylee making the Saints roster
"Isn't that big, super happy for him. He text me on game day and I texted him back and we haven't text since but I had heard that and I'm just super, super pumped about it. He deserved it, I'm shouting from the mountaintops the whole time. I was fortunate enough to coach him for three years. That kids every bit of a pro player you would ever want and I'm sure glad he made the saints. He'll make a difference for them too."
Renard Cheren, Linebacker
On the type of adjustments needed to make against a mobile QB
"We just have to trap the man and make it difficult for him to scramble. He can tuck it at any time. Keep our eyes back there while we in pass coverage. And he's a good one, he is a very good mobile quarterback. Pretty much another running back there, so we have to keep our eyes on him."
On playing in Florida
"I'm very excited. I have a lot of family members coming. I'll be playing against some old faces from seven-on-sevens and what not. It's going to be a fun game."
William Lee, Defensive Line
On if he feels like his body clock is back to normal after Saturday's game
"Yeah, I think the heat today and tomorrow will definitely help because it will help us get a little more conditioned. I know as far as D-line we plan on running to the ball more today. That heat you know is going to be a big thing during the game so we got to get used to it now."
On if the hot weather in DeKalb could help prepare you for Saturday in Florida
"Yeah, I think the heat today and tomorrow will definitely help because it will help us get a little more conditioned. I know as far as D-line, we plan on running to the ball more today. That heat you know is going to be a big thing during the game so we got to get used to it now."
Lincoln Howard, Offensive Line
On if he feels NIU lost the game more than Wyoming won the game
"I would say that's true. We definitely didn't go out there and do what we were supposed to do to be successful during that game. Wyoming's a great team. No disrespect to them, like Coach Carey probably said, but I feel that game was all on us and our execution."
On if the hot weather in DeKalb could help prepare you for Saturday in Florida
"Yeah it will definitely help us get in condition for this game, especially our first couple practices in pads. Hitting and banging out there it will be good to get us ready."
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26 minutes ago, Brad said:

On if anyone surprised in a good way on film
"I wouldn't say I'm never looking for it from somebody, but someone I was really hopeful for was Jake Ambrose. He punted the ball lights out.

There's always this game plan to help get some yards back. jk NIU fans, but it was surprising to hear more than one coach say NIU lost more than Wyoming won. If true and they can shore up their goofs, maybe this is a good game.

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Wyoming is in the game with Nebraska, it's a one score game in the 3rd.

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23 minutes ago, slick1ru2 said:

Wyoming is in the game with Nebraska, it's a one score game in the 3rd.

Saw that, thought "hmmm..."

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