Week #3 Football Press Conference – September 18, 2013

Head Coach Daryl Daye

On growth of the defense in the second half against Northeastern State:

“Sure, we got in some short field situations and put the defense to the test and their backs were to the wall a couple times where they made critical fourth down stops, turnovers. I thought it was very good they came together and they settled in there after halftime and I think it kind of hit them to just relax and play football.”

On how difficult it is for opposing team to prepare for triple-option offense Southern runs:

“Well it makes people play assignment football and if you are not sound in what you are doing it can definitely expose you. I have been on the other end of that style of offense and I have been exposed before and that is what triggered me to want to run that style of offense and that is the part I like most about it. It is a team-oriented offense and a ball control offense. We had 50 plus plays on defense rather than the first week where we were on the field for 84 plays on defense so that is a big difference for our defense so you can shorten the game and get in the fourth quarter and have a chance to win it and at this time where we are at as a program and our depth as a team it is beneficial to do.”

On what made the difference last year to get the win at Lincoln:

“I think special teams. We were kind of going back and forth and I think some key special teams’ plays kind of opened it up for field positions. They are definitely a different style of team now and they look like they are a much better coached team. Coach Jones is doing an outstanding job. They had a shot at beating Lindenwood and then beating a Division I team that has got to be one of the biggest wins in school history so they are going to come in here riding high and rightfully so. They are much improved team and you can see they are starting to buy into what Coach Jones is selling and you have to commend him for doing a good job.”

On Lincoln’s running back Morris Henderson:

“He is a tough, physical guy and they do a lot with him. But like you said it is every week with every team in the MIAA, you are going to have to bring it every week from the top to the bottom of the league. They have quality players at quarterback, receiver and running back with nice size up front offensively. Defensively, they have some transfers that are playing some good football for them and a big physical defensive end and a good linebacker in the middle so we are going to have our hands full.”

On if scoring 52 points one week and 17 points the next week gives him confidence that they can win any style of game:

“Like I told them in our team meeting on Sunday, there are going to be some game where the offense is up and the defense is down and vice versa, but we have to learn to play in concert and we need to get both sides of the ball playing well and special teams must improve as well. I think what it did was gave our kids some confidence that they can play pretty good football on defense. Again it is a process and we just need to settle in and relax and play football.”

On what Lincoln has done to make things easier:

“I think they have simplified things for what they feel is best for their kids. They have a good quarterback, wide receivers, so they are spreading out the offense and make you defend the formation and they are going to run the offense based off how you defend the formation and they will hurry up and get to the line of scrimmage and try to get as many plays off as they can. It is going to be a difficult offense to defend so you better have your things together when you start substuting people because they are going to roll out many different formations.”

On if he has paid any attention to Southern receiving eight votes in the AFCA Coaches poll:

“No, not one bit. After we finishing game 11, ask me that again and we will re-visit it.

Junior defensive back Gaige Washington

On what adjustments the defense made to slow down NSU in the second half:

“Coach Acke gave us a nice little talk and calmed us down and everybody on defense just put our heads together and we just made a commitment to each other that we were going to play for each other and play hard and stop their offense.”

On how much improvement he feels the defense has made since the start of fall camp:

“I feel like we are bonding as a group and learning everyday about everybody’s personality and everybody is buying up and everybody is working hard and doing whatever it takes to win.”

What attracted him here to Southern coming from Hinds Community College in Mississippi:

“Coach Daye was one of the best coaches I talked to during my recruitment and he really made me feel like I was at home. He actually feels like a father away from home. He will get on you, but at the same time he is teaching life lessons and I feel real comfortable here.”

On the defense taking advantage of the offense going on long drives:

“It is great, we are able to rest, get our game plan together, talk about what is going on in their offense and what we need to do to stop it and great to watch the offense go out there and do their thing and putting up those points and yards.”

On what he sees in on film of Lincoln:

“From what I see on film, they have a great offense, they have a great running back, receiver core, a lot of athletes, they are all disciplined and they play hard every snap and that is something we are really going to have to focus on.”  

 

Sophomore running back Michael Nelson

On changing positions to running back this spring after playing defense in the spring:

“Oh I am really comfortable. I am here to play football and either side of the ball is football and I am excited to be at running back. It feels comfortable and real natural and I have kind of picked up the last couple of weeks a lot better than I did the entire spring at safety actually. “

On how playing receiver helps with running back as well:

“All through high school I played both sides of the ball. I came here as a corner/ safety and ended up going to receiver my first year and then went back to safety in the spring and now I am a running back so I am kind of comfortable with almost anything.”

On finding a home at running back:

“Yeah I think I feel like I have found a home, somewhere I fit in and where I will end up doing the best.”

What did Northeastern State do in the second half to slow the offense down:

“They came out with a little different defense than we were expecting and played us well, but we also didn’t play to the best of our ability. We were not executing like we should of, like we can and we just got to come out and execute better basically.

On what they need to do to improve for Lincoln:

“To be able to come out and look just like we did in the first half against Northeastern State and actually play the entire game and our big thing is to play the fourth quarter and we did not come out and play the entire second half that last game so we just want to come out and play the entire game like we did the first half.”

Does the fact Lincoln beat a Division I school in Grambling State peak your interest and make you prepare a little bit more for them?

“No, they are just another team that we are playing and they are a better team than they were last year, but we are going to prepare for them just like they beat any team in the nation and it does not matter who they beat, it is just next week.”