Quotes from Irish Head Coach Bob Davie

Notre Dame prepares for clash with Army.

October 21, 1998

BOB DAVIE: I think all of us are probably anxious to play again. You know, from the open date, it seems like an awfully long time since we played a game. You're always concerned when you have a little bit of momentum like we had going, having won three straight games, a chance to stop, particularly since it's our second opening date. But I think the opening date did come at a good time for us for several reasons: Number one, last week we had mid-term exams, which all of you guys that have been around Notre Dame, you realize that's a tough week. I'm not sure we could have played a game or played a game very well last week. We had eight and nine guys miss practice on different days. In fact, the last time we played Army 1995, I can remember going up to Giants Stadium, and we had mid-terms that week. I thought it really hurt our preparation; so I think it helped us having the opening date.

Second thing, it does give you time to prepare for the wishbone to some degree. Although, there's no way you can totally prepare because you can't get your scout squads running it, obviously, the way they run it. But with us, you look at the last three times we've played, Purdue Stanford and Arizona State, really, passing teams. So it does give us a chance to get back and prepare for running teams, not only Army but all four of the next teams we play are running teams, three of them option teams, two of them wishbone teams. So it gives us a little bit of extra time to prepare.

I think a third reason, probably the biggest for the opening date is it gives us a chance to continue improving as a team, develop some of the young players. Also gives us a chance to get healthy. As a team, I mentioned a moment ago we do have some momentum, or we did have some momentum. I think there's some positives, particularly over the last couple games. I think if you look at our team, I do think we are a well-conditioned team. It was hot out in Phoenix, you know, 120 degrees. If we weren't well-conditioned, we wouldn't have had a chance.

And you also look at the second half performance, I think we're out scoring our opponents 34-3 in the third quarter. I think we do some signs of being a well-conditioned team. We've been able to get off to a fast start, which obviously, earlier in the season, we had trouble with. You know, Stanford, we were up 28-3 at halftime. Arizona State we were up 14-3.

I talked about doing some different things in practice. You know, that may or may not have helped. I think what really helps as always, we're just executing a little bit better, particularly early in the game. We're playing a little bit better defense early in the game. Early in the season, we seemed to take the ball on the first drive and go score on them and got us completely off balance and got us off rhythm on offense.

I think the third reason we've got a little momentum and we're winning is the turnover ratio. I think we're 12th in the nation in turnover ratio. You take the Arizona game, defense scores four turnovers. The offense didn't turn it over. But more important, when we do create a turnover, the offense is able to score and when the offense turns is over we've been pretty good on sudden change defense. Also, we went for it on fourth down a couple of times and we've been able to stop teams after that.

I think the fourth thing is the red zone scoring is another reason we have some momentum. You look at the offense, 21 out of 21 times in a red zone scoring points I think 16 touchdowns and five field goals. Last year, we really had a problem scoring points. We didn't move the ball; so we've improved at that. And you know, when you look at the opponents only scoring 65 percent of the time, scoring points inside the red zone, you can see why we've been able to win some of these games.

I think the negatives of the team right now, I do think we're playing harder than we've played. We're still not playing real smart. You know we had 13 penalties against ASU. Although, the Big 10 confirmed that probably five of those or six of those, in their opinion, were not called accurately. The Pac 10 confirmed that four of those were not called correctly. We were penalized against Arizona State, and you can't win with that many penalties.

The other thing, we've had many communication breakdowns which have caused us to waste timeouts, and that's frustrating for everyone. And that's something that we've, you know, we've addressed and we continue to work on. I think if you break it down by unit, offensively, we're able to run the ball. And let's face, it that's how we're going to win. You know. I think we're rushing for 230 yards a game. We're more balanced because the full back carries the ball. Except the last couple weeks, Jamie Spencer was 80 yards again at Stanford and Joey Goodspeed was 100 against Arizona State. The quarterback runs the ball. Joey's got a hundred yards against Stanford.

So even though we're not an option team, it has helped us become less dependent on the tailback. I think the last two weeks Autry Denson's game, I think 80 yards or close to 90 yards but we've still been successful running the ball and we all know last year, and at times this year against Purdue, I thought we became just dependent on Autry and it helps us to be a little more balanced. You know, the ability to execute some long drives on offense. I think Purdue, 86 and 80. Stanford 99 and then 80 and 81 against Arizona State. That's important because we're not a team that scores real quick or gets a particular amount of big plays; so we've got to be able to execute and we've got to be able to maintain having those long drives. That's something last year where we always seemed to break down. Even though we had success at times, we'd find a way to stub our toe.

The other thing I think ability to have some critical drives, you always look at that first drive of the second half. Two weeks in a row we've been able to take the first drive of the second half down and score.

Defensively, I think the positives right now we've gotten productivity out of a bunch of different players. 23 guys make tackles against ASU. I think that's good for your conditioning but I think it's probably even better for the chemistry of your team. We've got some guys starting to make some plays. I think the front's getting better. Although they will be tested now as we get into a phase of the season where the teams are going to line up and run the ball on us. But we did have five six in the last two games I think our DBs are playing the football better and that's something we spent a lot of time on. And I think it helps if Rock Williams is a playmaker; gets his hands on the ball. But I think we're tackling better. We've been able to force some turnovers. In the kicking game, our kickoff coverage our front coverage was good in the last couple games. Our punter has been outstanding. Our kicker has been outstanding. But we must improper on our return game and that's something we've put a big emphasis the last two weeks is trying to get back to where we get a big play back in the return, although we haven't had many opportunities.

So as a team, we certainly don't have all of our problems solved. I think we win with a certain style. Not a whole lot different than how the academy teams win. You win by running the ball, not beating yourself and that's -- that's how we're approaching this thing. I think we did need the open date to prepare for Army. Any time you play the academies, there's a couple things you know: Number one, you can throw out the records. The records coming into the game do not matter. We went up there in '95. Army was 1-2-1. It comes down to Ivory Covington, at probably 149 pounds stopping that two point player, we lose that game. If Army kicks the extra point, it's a tie game. Were a 1-2-1 team that year.

In '96, I think we were 4-1, 8th in the country had just beaten Washington. Had about 600 yards offense I think in that game against Washington. Air Force comes in they are 3-2 had lost to Navy week before, had lost to Wyoming, Army. Air Force beats -- so it doesn't matter. The records doesn't matter.

The second thing when you play the academies, you know they are going to be tough to beat. They keep the ball away from you. They don't turn it over. They don't have negative plays. They don't get penalized. This year Army has an excellent fieldgoal kicker. He's 10 for 13. They have an excellent punter. They are a hard team to beat.

Last year we beat Navy, and I said after the game, "That was a big win." Everyone kind of snickered and said, "Boy this is the level Notre Dame football has become when a big win is over Navy." I still feel the same way. You beat the academies, you have to your earn it and you have to beat them because they play football the way it's supposed to be played and they win the way we're trying to win.

You look at them defensively, they are just as tough to prepare for as their offense. They do an awful lot of things scheme-wise. They are impressive. They are impressive. They are good against the run and they blitz you like crazy on passing down and it's been a problem for us. Arizona State blitzed us on someone passing down.

Offensively, they have nine seniors, been around the academy and wishbones enough. They have an answer for everything you do. They have two good quarterbacks. One of them has been injured. I think he'll be back. They have an excellent receiver and the number one seems like he's been playing forever. And I mentioned their kicking game not only their kicker is game but their kickoff return man, number one on punt and kickoff -- so you know, it helps having the open date to get ready for this game, and they certainly have the respect of our players and our coaches. We're going to have to play well to win this game. So at this time I'll take any questions.

Q. I'm wondering if you're going to tell your players anything about the Notre Dame-Army rivalry this week or does that not come into the equation this week?

BOB DAVIE: You know, we've talked about it a little bit, certainly. When you look at that -- you know the story, tradition. But you know, in all honesty, we spend a lot more time on playing the academies in general and the style of the games and what you have to do to win the games. You know, with the limited time we have with that 20-hour rule. There's only so many things you can talk about. But we have a lot of respect for the academies, not just because of the tradition but because of the way they play the game. But I've spent a lot more time talking about the specifics of this Army team and you know certainly the wishbone and all the things that come with it.

Q. Given that you run the option to a degree, how much easier is it to prepare for a wishbone?

BOB DAVIE: Not much. You know, it's a little bit easier, but we're not really an option team. We have some elements of -- of the wishbone, but not to the degree, obviously, that Army has. It helps a little bit in that your quarterbacks, your scout teams have a little bit more of the mechanics but it really is hard to simulate in practice. That's why we're running some forms of this because we know how hard it is to defend.

Q. You had mentioned several times about how having the extra week to prepare for the option helps out tremendously. At any point did it become counterproductive? You know, you guys are going to be on the field for a long time because they run like 55 offensive plays on the ground game. But does it get to the point where you could exhaust the guys in practice too much or there's just not enough time to prepare for the option?

BOB DAVIE: I think we've been pretty smart about that. We're getting as much work as we can but we certainly want to have a rested team. The thing that concerned me, really concerned me going into the Purdue game as well, when you have an open date it seems to particularly hurt you on defense when you haven't played in two weeks and all of a sudden when you combine that with a wishbone offense, it's a different tempo and a different style, particularly I think Army has an advantage. You remember last year Navy took the ball and then the rain storms took the first drive of the game down the field. The speed differential during practice and the game is so different, particularly when you play the wishbone teams; that combined with the open date is what concerns me more than beating our players down in practice.

Q. And just one other question, Coach, but the first time and you eluded to this earlier, you guys are almost coming in a hundred percent healthy. Given the fact that you've won three games in a row, you've had a week to rest. I would think the confident on the time, while not being overconfident, has to be at a peek, just because you guys have survived without some of these guys and now you're getting them back.

BOB DAVIE: I probably spoke too soon when I talked about being a hundred percent healthy. We still have some nicks. Donald Dykes is out, although he's been out. Raki Nelson I doubt will play. He's going to try to practice. Rocky Boiman, a young guy that's really done a great job on special teams had a thigh bruise against Arizona State. Has not responded as well as well as we'd hoped. He's doubtful right now. And we've got injuries to the inside linebacker with Ronnie Nicks and Joe Thomas so we're not quite one hundred percent healthy.

So I do think the chemistry and the confidence level of this team right now is high, but all you have to do is look at college football every week. When you look at Temple going down to Virginia Tech, Temple 0-16 and Virginia 6-0, and Temple playing their second or third team quarterback. You look at records going in. You can go on and on every week. But the confidence level is higher. The attitude is tremendous. I hope our guys are smart enough to know -- we're smart enough to realize it's a week-to-week situation in college football.

Q. Talk a little bit about the match-ups on offense, the Fighting Irish offense against Army defense.

BOB DAVIE: I think they pose some problems for us. They obviously play against the run every day in practice. They play the run well. They play some techniques that really make it difficult. They have two excellent linebacks, No. 6 and No. 48 that I think are as good of two linebacks as we'll play against. And they do a good job with their defense front of not allowing offensive linemen off on their linebackers. Their secondary does an excellent job in run support. So they line up and try to take away our strength and that is the ability to run the football so they do a good job. They are a physical defense.

Q. How would you assess the special teams play so far this season.

BOB DAVIE: Our special team's been a little bit up and down. I think it's improving. You know, you kind of get when you emphasize and what we'd like to emphasize is every phase which we do, but the teams like we've got the punt and the kickoff coverage thing solved a little bit against ASU but we made a couple silly penalties. We had one on a punt return why we held a sprinter and caused us to start inside the two yard line. And then we had a late hit on a kickoff return which caused us to start a series inside the two.

So it's been a little bit up and down, but the efforts been really good and I think we're going to get better at the special teams. I think Myers is doing a good job. You know, the punt protection was a problem early with Michigan State blocking one and then Purdue tipped one coming off the corner. We've been a little bit better, although Army rushers the punter about 95 of the time. So it's a been a little bit inconsistent but I think it's improving.

Q. You mentioned that everybody talks a lot about getting the extra week to prepare for the option without give away the store. Do you have to put in a completely new defensive package or what do you do differently to prepare for the option?

BOB DAVIE: You don't put in a new package at all. I think that's probably the mistake people make. But it's trying to take your package and adjust, first of all, to their formations and then to their scheme. And then the thing that makes it so hard is that they have three backs. When you look at us. We're really a two-back kind of an option. When you at that, the third back it changes all the run support in the secondary and their formations are different. But it's trying to take your package, keep your rules and try to make your scheme and your rules fit to what they do, just because you don't want to change things drastically.

But you know it's a just adjusting to and it's trying to get those reads and trying not to get yourself in a situation where you're trying to read it every down, because they are going to beat you. If they get you to where you're just reading it, reading it, reading it, they are going to read things better than you do because they do it all the time. So you've got to have to plays where you just predetermine or you have to have some defenses where you predetermine that you're going to take something away.

And the problems that we've run into in the past. And it sounds silly, but when you try to stop everything, sometimes you don't stop anything. So you kind of try to take the read out of it sometimes and predetermine what you're going to stop.

Q. Do you find that sometimes the players paralysis-by-analysis sets in that they are not used to doing this so they end up saying too many times: What should I do rather than just going and doing it?

BOB DAVIE: There's no question. The first thing that happens is they get so afraid to make a mistake because the mistakes are so blaring in a game like this and I think one thing that we preach when we play the wishbone particularly is play one play at a time and you do this every week but especially this week because you can't overconcern yourself with a teammate's mistake. If someone misses a sign, you can't compensate for that person. You've just got to put that play behind you and you go on to the next play because as soon as you start worrying about your buddy's technique or worry about your buddy's responsibility and compensate, then the whole thing breaks down. So it's one play at a time. Take care of your responsibility. And it's still football: Still run with the ball. It's still forcing turnovers it's still tackling. It's not such a Star Wars offense that all of the sudden you're out there in foreign territory. It still comes down to the fundamentals of football.

Q. Does it come down to more individual responsibility man-to-man than you would against a conventional running attack?

BOB DAVIE: No question. It exploits each individual's responsibility more than just conventional I-formation football. It really does make each guy execute a technique and particularly when you take big splits, particularly when you spread the field there is an emphasis an each guy playing his technique and it is hard to compensate for someone.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BOB DAVIE: I think it's an a little bit more of the kind of teams we played this year. We had is that statistic a couple years ago. We almost killed a couple safeties, you know, with those running backs breaking through the line of scrimmage. I think it's a little bit more of a reflection this year of teams we played particularly the last three weeks. So you know, I think we're getting a little bit better but you don't like it when you're DBs are making that many tackles but we have had a bunch of balls thrown.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BOB DAVIE: I think we've been pretty steady. I don't know that BJ and Brad, either one of them big-play, impact type players at that three technique position. But we've been pretty solid and they have complemented each other well, and it's consistent effort because you can keep them rested. You know, I think they have played okay.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: First of all, we have them all back. Everybody in that whole front seven, the front is back. So that's encouraging. You know, obviously when you look at Grant Irons, he's 250-some pounds. And you know every day I ask him how much he weighs and he said 252. I mean, he knows I'm going to put him on the scale some day but if he's afraid if he says more, he's afraid I'm going to move him. It looks like he can be an inside player and certainly Weaver is going to be -- you know Weaver is up to close to 260. Weaver will be a 275-pound player. So you know, you always look at Grant Irons and Weaver as the prototype guys that you want inside because they are playmakers.

But you know Brad Williams and BJ and Antwon and Lance Legree and Ching, we've got all those guys back for another year and most of them for another two years. So you do see the light at the end of the tunnel in there.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: We haven't even talked about that. He's back. He got some rest last night with the second defense. He is back. And it's an unfortunate situation, his father passed away. I think when Sean was a sophomore. And now to lose his mom -- it's he and his sister, and his sister lives in Chicago. So that's a tough situation and he's back and he's doing pretty well.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: You don't play five defensive backs or six defensive backs although we've done that against their double-split, double-slot offense in the past. That's not a big part of this package at all. It's more just our conventional defense.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BOB DAVIE: What we're trying to do is we have two free safeties in A'Jani and Deke. Both of them are the strong safeties. Tony Driver hasn't done it at all. So you have Benny and Tony at safety, but you feel like you have four safeties. The corner, you corner you feel like you have three: You have Deveron, Ty Goode and Brock and that's how we're approaching it: Four safeties and three corners.

How full speed Benny Guilbeaux is, we're not sure. Benny has practiced well. Once again, it's a different tempo when the game starts; so we'll have to wait and see with Benny. But we're not going to move around and do a whole lot of substitution defense.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: I'm not an expert on officiating and I don't really know what Tim Cameron or Joe Tiller have done. I don't think there's a probably with officiating at all, and to me it's encouraging that you're able to have feedback there from the conference offices. You know, trust me, we've -- we've wasted some timeouts in games because of mistakes we've made as coaches. And certainly as you guys know and report, coaches aren't perfect and officials aren't, either.

And what I'm encouraged by is the immediate feedback and the chance you have to send in the tape and also those conference official, they appreciate that because what they do is they take that tape, and then every week they get together as officials and they show copies of the previous games tapes just like we do as coaches, show the positive plays and the negative plays and they do that to be progressive and teach and to become better and improve. I think everybody is going to make mistakes. I think the encouraging thing is that there's the communication going on and the other important thing is to not whine about it certainly don't have your team whine about it.

And I think that's one thing our team has done a good job and those things are frustrating, but those things will all even out and I think those officials do a tremendous job. And even when you do send those tapes, some there's varying opinions on whether it was the right call or the wrong call. So I realize what a tough job they have.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BOB DAVIE: You know, we're not a great football team. We know exactly what we are. And that's why we stress the things I mentioned as a team that we're doing positive right now. We have to execute at a high degree for us to win. We cannot make mistakes. Every week we play there's not a team on our schedule that doesn't have a legitimate chance. So the only opinions that have mattered since the beginning, the only opinions that matter now are what we think and we know what we are as a team. We don't have any new players all of a sudden just because we're 4-1. It's not like there's a whole bunch of different players. We are what we are, and you know, we've got a long way to go. We're still a developing, improving team in my mind. The encouraging thing is that if we can stay healthy, I know we can play better and I think the best is ahead of us. But we have to stay health to do that. You know, we've been pretty fortunate so far at critical positions to do that but we've got a long way to go till you make a statement we play football the way it's supposed to be played. I think we are doing some good things. I think we compliment each other as a team but we're nowhere near a great football team right now. That's obvious.

Q. (Inaudible.)

BOB DAVIE: Well, number one field goal kicker is five or six. That helps. The other thing, you know we changed our short yardage offense a little bit. Last year we were in the peek you know, looking at it and developing and we thought maybe we went east and west too much. The other thing you get down inside your five and you put your backs in a different alignment that they've been in in the game. You know, we're a I-formation team. And we scored touchdowns with Autry Denson that he runs every day in practice and that he ran every play of the drive to get you down there.

So I think the subtle change of going from the T to the I helps us. But probably even more than that, we're a little bit better on offense. We have a little bit more diversity where it's not always the tailback caring the ball when you look how we scared, Autry takes it -- excuse me, Jerry takes it in the play-action pass. There's a lot of difference things because we're more of a diversified offense, I think.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: Well, I think it's -- hopefully it's because of the consistent approach we've had. You know, at the beginning of the season, we didn't play pay a whole lot of attention to what outside opinion was. So it would be silly for us to pay a whole lot of attention to what outside opinion is now. If you're not going to pay attention to the negatives, you hope you're intelligent enough and mature enough to not pay attention to the positives. And I think it's the same as a coach a player or whatever. It's easy to say: Well, I don't read the paper whenever we lose, but I read the paper whenever we win. Well, that's silly because all you're going is you're going to be a yo-yo. You're going to relay on somebody else's opinion instead of worrying about your own. And I think our football team is pretty smart.

I talked to our football team last night. I think all we need to, the only thing we need to do is find a way to beat Army. We don't need to be anything more than that. We don't need to worry about any next step, it's just find a way to beat Army and that's a chore.

So it's I think just a consistent approach we've taken and I think the trust that's been developed because of that and now I'm the first one to admit their are distractions out there. We're not around the players 24 hours a day. At some point the players go play the games we can't control everything. And I've said it before: It's not what we say, it's what they hear. But I do think that we're making strides because we are back becoming better as a football team and the next step for us is to be able to handle success and continue forward.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: One thing we've done a little bit of is we've run the midline option. We're probably the only non-wishbone in the country that people know about the duck play, we've had that thing run on us so many times. And you know it's a been decent for us. We didn't want to make a steady diet of it because we're not a true triple-option team. But we've taken a little bit of that and incorporated it into our offense. See us some of the double-slot with the full back in the back field that's a little bit of the wishbone concept. But what we have to be careful of and I think we've done a good job of, with out linemen right now the kind of linemen we have, the style of linemen we have, where he can't take too much of it. There's always a temptation to look at it and say: Well, let's take this and this and let's do it like a wishbone team. But we're not really geared for that right now. Now, as we evolve with different style linemen over the next year or two years, we may have a little bit more of that that we can do as we go through had. But you take little piece of it. But you've got to be careful not to take too much.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: You know, it always depends on how you play when you look back on things. We've taken all those things into account. You know, any time you can get away from academics at Notre Dame for a week you say the players more rested. You know, it's -- as we all know, academics are grueling and demanding here. So when they get away from academics, they are more rested. You've got to be careful not to take all that benefit away by meeting them and working them so much that you lose that advantage. On the same token, we're playing the wishbone and their defense is different and so we need more meeting time.

So you know all that is that balancing act and you try to have a plan that you've thought out in advance that you think gives you the best chance to win, but you don't like your routine changed but the trade off though not have classes, I would probably take that routine. I know these players would.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: Hard to say one. I would say for the secondary, even though it's a running team, you know the perimeter-option game and the permanent perimeter passing game, for the secondary, those reads are different begin. You sometimes end up putting the corner on the quarterback and rolling the safety for the pitch because they are an extra blocker in the back field. So I would say the coordination of the secondary is probably the biggest challenge.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: I don't think that's a disadvantage you know, I think we have freshmen that are involved, I think number one, chemistry is better. I think the freshmen develop at a faster pace if he knows he's going to play both on the field and in the classroom. You know, it's been my experience when you red shirt those kids, they not only relax a little bit in their development as a football player, they relax academically, which hurts them even more. If you're going to grad in four years in Notre Dame and that's how it's going to be. I don't think that's a disadvantage. And we're smart enough that if a player doesn't look like he's ready to play, we're not going to play a couple players so that he would have the opportunity after his fourth year to petition for that fifth year and I really don't see that as a disadvantage.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: First of all, we've had some players granted that fifth year. But we've been granted that fifth year because academically, they have taken care of their business and they have done things the right away. That fifth year is not going to be granted if it's a safety net for academics because you haven't done the things you're supposed to do. You look at all fifth year players, I bet '90 -- we had five last year all five that already graduated and all five were in graduate school.

So that fifth year will be granted if you've taken care of your business academically and you have done things the right way. That fifth year is not granted because you need that as a safety net because you haven't taken care of your business and I think that's the right way to do it. It's a good system. I think it works.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: Well, I think college football across the board has done a good job holding that excessive celebration. Also college football on another note, as far as your socks and the length your socks now, you know college football has made it where you all have to have the same socks. You don't have one guy with his socks down and the other with his socks up. Next year a rule goes into effect that every player has to have his shirt tucked in.

So they have done a good job on all of those issues. I think the Big 10 does a good job, the Big 10 officiating. And what I've found is they will communicate with you during the game and they will say got a little bit carried away on that how about warning them how about control it a little bit. So rather than throw the flag and make it a big issue, they have done a good job communicating and letting the coaches handle it.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: Big 10 has been terrific. I'd hate to see that affect the outcome of a game.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: In college football, the only thing in college football I think needs to be changed in my opinion is linemen being aloud to block down field with the ball thrown behind the line of scrimmage and that's one -- I mean offensive coaches wouldn't necessarily agree with me on that but I think that's an unfair rule. In other words, when the ball is thrown behind the line to be allowed blocking down the field with 300-pound linemen, that's not just an unfair rule. If the NFL had that rule, you'd see them throw those screen passes and throw those (inaudible) every down. I don't think you have a fair chance to play dense, being a 170-pound corner with a down field blocking me in man-to-man coverage. And I think that -- and I know Purdue has had a loss of success with that play. A lot of teams have a lot of us success with that play. But I don't like that rule. I don't think you should be allowed to pick a guy with a ball in the air.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: Well, we've had things as coaches that have not -- we have not given them a chance a couple times and I take responsibility for that. When you look at wasted timeouts. I think the big thing is not make the same mistake twice. Everybody is going to make mistakes. It's correcting the mistakes and that's what I think by -- what you mean by playing smart and that's how you get better is to not let it happen to you twice or let it happen to you three times to get it corrected.

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB DAVIE: Well, I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I didn't know they had a meeting, to tell you the truth. Did they have a meeting? I mean, did they?

After the Michigan State game? You know, I think -- unless they practiced and practiced fundamentals and techniques is that meeting, I think that -- you know if they think it had a lot to do with it then it did. But in my opinion it's down to playing techniques and fundamentals better. We're having guys stepping up and making some plays. DBs playing the ball a little bit better. Getting some sacks, tackling a little bit better. So I don't mean to make fun of that at all. I think we practice a little bit better. I think we're getting guys a little bit better as players but the test is yet to come with these running teams coming the next four weeks and having to play disciplined football down after down after down. I think the fact -- the reason we're playing better defense is we've got some players makes plays and if they think the meeting helped them to do that, I'll have a meeting -- they can have a meeting every week.

I think Kory's back now to where the best football is ahead of them this year. I think he would be the first one to tell you he hasn't played up to his potential because he's been injured and I think -- I think the best football for the season will be ahead. I think now he's healthy. I think these next few games really important because they play a physical style -- physical style and he's going to have to step up and make the plays. And you always lead by example. I always lead by example and I think these next few games L are critical for Corey Minor.

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