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Coach Jim Leavitt Media Quotes


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Courtesy USF SID Office:

Head Coach Jim Leavitt Press Luncheon Quotes

Tuesday October 18, 2005

Opening Statements:

“We had a real good practice last night and I thought our guys did a real good job. We were disappointed we didn’t win last week; that was obvious. I don’t feel that we played as well as we could play. Sometimes you don’t play great every time out, but you always want to. They practiced hard last night and I believe we will play real hard Saturday night. I believe they will be ready to play. I expect us to go out and have a good practice today. Hopefully we’ll go out and do a good job.”

On similarities between West Virginia and USF:

“They are a really good football team. Everyone knows that. They have such a great will. To do what they did last week against Louisville shows the team will play hard all the way through. You never give up, ever. This football team certainly didn’t and doesn’t. They play hard and physical. How much similarities there are? I don’t know. They use different schemes in the kicking game. It’s important we play well. I think our guys will play hard and it will be a very physical and emotional game. As I’m learning in the BIG EAST conference, you have to be ready to play. That’s no different in any conference; you always have to be ready to play.”

On the importance of the game against West Virginia:

“Every game you win is important. I think we are already there as far as expectations. We went to Pitt and lost a game to a team that has won nine national championships and we were pretty disgusted. Does that say anything right there? We are supposed to be where we want to be. The perception of what we want and what people want from the program is very high and you have to love that. I want us to go into games with expectations to win and play well at a high level. I think we created that, somewhat. I’m sure all of you listened to the radio show last Sunday and heard me talk a lot about Cumberland. We were pretty historical on that show. It was a lot of fun. We went back and talked a lot about the program. If you missed it then you really missed a moment in your life you will never get back. I’m sure all of you will sprint over to get it.”

On if the West Virginia game is a must win:

“There is no question about that. As far as the BIG EAST race? I don’t think there is any question about that. West Virginia is on top of the conference and if you want to win the BIG EAST, you need to beat the teams at the top.”

On USF road woes:

“Most people would go back and look at Penn St., they had a good defense. Miami also has a good defense. Pitt is a good football team but I thought we could have played better. I don’t have an answer. We haven’t won on the road. We haven’t played as well on the road as we have at home. A year ago we played well on the road and didn’t play well at home. We went to UAB and TCU and won those games and got beat by teams here that weren’t as strong. We weren’t a very strong team last year either. We were very young. I don’t really have an answer. That’s probably why I was angry more so because I expect a lot out of myself, my staff and the team.”

On QB Pat Julmiste and Courtney Denson:

“I never think about getting a spark, I want to score. Now whether you say that’s a spark or not, I don’t think about getting a spark. It’s just that after a while we haven’t gotten in the end zone, I want to change some things up. We always change players. We change players at wide receiver, running back and offensive line. When you change quarterback, it’s always the most noticeable and last one to change. ‘

“Pat has great courage. He is one of the hardest working young men I have ever been around. He is one of the most enjoyable people I have ever been around. He lays it out there. We made a number of mistakes last game. He was 6 for 8 in the first half throwing the ball. That means he did some good things there. You can’t put it there. We went a while after the 10 points without scoring. I do have trust in Courtney (Denson). He has put a lot of work into it. I think Courtney is a good football player. I’d like to play Courtney more, but right now Pat gives us the best shot in my opinion. At this point I really believe that. If you know about my personality, I’ll lock into somebody. I locked into Chad Barnhardt a long time; I locked into Marquell Blackwell for years. I do stay with people but I do have high expectations and all our players do also. There is not one player on this team that does not want to do well. We need to put ourselves in better positions to be successful.”

On the play of the USF receivers:

We’ve been up and down. We’re pretty young at receiver. You have to realize that this is Amarri’s (Jackson) first year back to football. He had such a great game (against Louisville) and he wants that every week. Johnny Peyton and Jackie Chambers are sophomores and neither one red shirted. Jessie (Hester) and Taurus (Johnson) are true freshmen. S.J. (Green) is the oldest guy. We’re young there and out guys have done a good job but we can play better. We can play better everywhere.”

On USF not being able to sustain long drives:

Last game, that’s not all year, that’s just last game. If you think about it, in the 4th quarter we were inside the 30 yard line three times with no points. The last few times we didn’t go for a field goal because we were two touchdowns behind. We want to be able to drive the ball down the field and finish in the end zone. We did score early but not on a long field. We did drive the ball well towards the second half but we didn’t put up any points. We need to do that. Defensively, I don’t think we played as well as we did in the first five games. They did some good things. We gave up two pretty good plays. They had a short field eight-yard drive. We need to stop them, but it was a short drive. Couple of interesting things happened.

I thought our kicking game did some pretty good things. I really thought our punt return did well, we had a block and one pretty good return. We had one block (called a penalty) that I thought was a pretty good block. But other people that mean more than I do didn’t feel that way. That was a huge call. It was a four-point game at that point. But it is what it is. You’ve got to play through those things and we obviously didn’t.”

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