Oct. 10, 2011
Coach Bailiff Transcript
"I appreciate y'all coming, that was a good win for us. I'm just pleased. (Rice assistant A.D. Chuck Pool) just told me that was our fifth-consecutive win at home. There's no place like home. That was fun, I think its nice being able to start a press conference with the progress the defense made - the front four after watching the film, starting with the inside out, with Michael Smith and John Gioffre's play. They played a heck of a game up the middle with Jared Williams and Scott Solomon on the perimeter. I'm really pleased with that front four and our efforts this week. Linebackers, Cam Nwosu and Justin Allen were really all over the field and were the leading tacklers in that football game. We gave up seventy yards rushing, that was nice - with 2.4 (yards) a carry. I thought our pass defense was much-improved and yet a lot of that pass defense was that front four that did such a great job putting pressure on that quarterback, and our blitzing which was very effective. When Cam Nwosu hit their quarterback down in the redzone, he got the ball out and recovered. That was a big play of the football game.
I though offensively we still have to do a better job protecting. We have to do a better job of opening seams in the lane. We got Ian Gray in and thought he really did a good job at guarding his first two stints of play, so it's something that we've still have to get better in the offensive line of opening the seams. I thought we ran the ball on the perimeter well, we blocked on the perimeter well, but we have to get it to where we can establish the run. The two interceptions Taylor threw, one of them he was getting hit, and the other should have been caught. The pass was tipped into the air. He's getting better each week. Still, we have some big-play people over there. We need to start making bigger plays and being more consistent moving those chains.
Special teams I thought we were very solid. Kyle Martens average was a little over forty-four, but he put three of them inside the twenty, which was huge for us. Chris Boswell's kicking ability, I think he's probably one of the tops of the conference. (We) needed him just on some extra points but it sure is nice to know he's there. I thought we were solid in all phases of the special teams. I'm sure thrilled for this football team to get that win
We're heading to Marshall. They're a good football team. They've played a very challenging schedule. They beat Southern Miss, who we struggled against, and we're going to have to bring an `A' game there. They have a freshman quarterback who gets better each week, tremendous skill, and their defense is really doing some nice things. They put up 26 points per game and have only given-up 13. I think a lot of that is the schedule. They're a good football team and they're at home. We have to go in there and start fast. We can't have any of the let-ups that we've had in the past."
You alluded to, after the game, tweaking some things with your defensive rotation. As you looked at film, what jumped out at you that you guys can keep doing?
"The defense was better when fresh. Getting Scott Solomon off the field a little more, even though he doesn't want to come off the field because it makes him really angry, allowed him to finish a football game when we need to. All those positions up there, we really did a better job of substituting a lot of people than we did the week before and it really paid dividends for us. I thought Paul Porras, in his first start at the weak safety, played a very good football game for us, and the same with Tanner Leland at the free safety. I thought they really did a nice job. Moving Xavier Webb to strong (safety) really helped, and Corey (Frazier)'s hamstring, just see where he is, and I haven't got that report yet today."
You mentioned you guys tinkered with some speed packages?
"When we were putting in Kyle Prater at the end trying to just get fast on the perimeter because of the `Joker package', and that allows us actually to scheme Scott (Solomon) where we want Scott to be lined up. Earlier in the year they were just sliding protections to him, and this makes it to where we can move him around to where he's a right-end, a left-end, a three-technique or the nose guard, and try to attack protections in a different way."
By and large did you like the way that worked out?
"Yeah, I did, and that's a lot - five sacks, ten tackles for losses, and a lot of quarterback hurries. I thought it was a very good move for us to create that personnel package."
Is that something specific to the opponent or... "No, I think its something we can continue to build on."
On the running game you mentioned the injuries. How much of it is the teaching or, you got some guys that are playing?
"Well, this week Tyler (Smith) did rush for ninety-seven yards. We did have a running game this week. Most of it, if you noticed, was out on the perimeter. We've got to get back where we're opening seams. We've had (to face) some very talented defensive lines - that one guy weighed three hundred and fifty pounds. It was hard on us to move him. We tried double-teaming him and coming off on linebackers and coming off the double team sometimes. We were leaping the linebackers, but we have to come up with ways to where we are creating seams because we've got some talented running backs."
Do you view this as a prime opportunity for you guys to continue to get better?
"Yea, its one where we need to take what we've learned form this game and you'd think we would have some confidence coming out of this football game and be able to play good at Marshall this week."
Talk about the Marshall's defense and Vinny Curry:
"Yeah, their D-Line, he's pretty special. Look at the Southern Miss game where he caused a safety. He's just untouched. He's as talented a kid as you're going see, and that's one where we have to, through reps and hard work, we just got get to where we can rely on our fundamentals and technique. There's times where even great offensive linemen, if they don't use the exact type of footwork, good things don't happen. We just have to continue to get reps and get better. If you've done it a million times then you've got to do it a million-and-one. You have to keep working to get the improvement that we need to win football games."