Football Shifts Focus To Tulane

Senior Nick Adams and the Blazers will take on Tulane on Saturday.

Oct. 22, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB football team continues the Conference USA slate this week, traveling to New Orleans, La. to face Tulane on Saturday. The matchup is set for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff.

On Monday, head coach Garrick McGee along with student-athletes Chris Hubbard and Nick Adams addressed the media at the weekly luncheon.

McGee and the players discussed a variety of topics, including making adjustments at halftime and the upcoming matchup with Tulane, who is coming off a 24-20 loss at UTEP.


UAB Head Coach Garrick McGee

On injuries:
"We do have a couple of guys that have serious injuries. Diaheem (Watkins) has a serious injury, and he will be out indefinitely. Calvin Jones will be out for a couple of weeks. They both have rib injuries. Lamarcus Farmer hurt his ankle in the game Saturday night. We will treat it really well during this week and will see if we can get something out of him this weekend."

On replacing Diaheem Watkins:
"Trey (Grissett) and Jamie Onufrak will step up for us. Chris Rabb will be out there, and has played some really good football. We've been playing with a lot of defensive lineman throughout the season, and Diaheem (Watkins) is our special defensive lineman. This is a contact sport, so injuries are going to happen. We just have to plug another guy into the game and keep moving."

On the difference between the first and second halves of games:
"The adjustments made at halftime make the difference. We went into the locker room Saturday night and made some adjustments. That is how games are played. In the first half, you really do not know what your opponent's game plan is for you. Then, after you play the first half, you go into the locker room, make adjustments, and come out in the second half and execute. Our staff does a good job in that area."

On whether the seniors' confidence has been shaken this season:
"The only time that we really talk about that is when the media is around. (Senior Leaders) Marvin Burdette and Chris Hubbard have a lot of pride in our program, our university and in themselves as people. They show up and perform at a high level in every game."

On the success of senior linebacker Marvin Burdette:
"He is a senior veteran, which means that he understands how to take care of his body. He also understands how to put the right things in his body to give himself a chance to perform at a high level. He has a slight ankle injury that he has to have maintenance on non-stop. Marvin is either in class, getting treatment, or in there watching film. He is an example to our younger players, and he shows them how a player should prepare his body and mind for the game. Marvin has been a pleasure for me to be around as a senior. He is a guy who is going to leave a legacy around here."

On the current senior class:
"It is always good to have seniors, and we have some really good seniors on our team. Chris Hubbard, Marvin Burdette, Nick Adams, and Patrick Hearn are all experienced, and they play well. Nick Adamsbailed us out on two third-down-and-long situations where he went out and made an individual play that helped us continue a drive. Chris is always responsible for blocking the best defensive pass rusher on the other team. It is always good to have guys like that who know how to prepare for games and perform when the lights come on."

On the recent success for sophomore running back Darrin Reaves:
"I thought we had more rushing yards in last week's game than we really had. We were able to get nice gains in certain formations, and we wanted to get Darrin (Reaves) 20 carries in that game. He is a workhorse, I really like him, and I think that he has the ability to really carry our team. I wanted to see how he would react to 20 or more carries in a game, and we will try to continue giving him that."

On Tulane:
"They are very talented. They have a lot of really good athletes. They play a lot of man-coverage defensively, which means that they have athletes in their secondary. They are an attacking defensive front, and they get a lot of penetration in the backfield. Those are things that we really have to concentrate on. Offensively, they are balanced. Most teams in the country have studied Sean Payton (NFL Head Coach) and the New Orleans Saints' play-action passing game, and Tulane uses similar plays in their offense. Those plays are very tough to defend. We will have our hands full, and it will just come down to somebody making plays to win the game while the other team does not. Most of the time, the team that makes those plays wins the game."

On the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brownin the game Saturday:
"He was under control, and he knew what was going on out there on the field. He was able to go through his reads, and he went through his progressions exactly how he was supposed to. He took all of his drops properly, for the most part, in the game. I have really been pleased with that guy. He studies film, and he is up here at 5:15 a.m. before he has class and workouts. I am really impressed with that guy as a first-year quarterback."

Senior WR Nick Adams

On the ECU game:
"We did some good things, but lost it in the end. We played hard and everyone played with passion. Unfortunately we came out with a loss, so now we are just focusing on the next game against Tulane."

On locker room mentality and perseverance of the team:
"It seems like everything is starting to click. There were no turnovers on our part and we did not give up a sack and that is improvement."

On quarterback Austin Brown:
"He came into the game with a lot of confidence and a different game plan. He was very comfortable and he took it upon himself to help us get some points on the scoreboard."

On freshmen stepping up in the team to be impact players:
"It is possible for anyone on the team to step up and be a key player. Especially at the quarterback position with Austin Brown, being a leader and remaining confident shows the other guys they can do the same thing. I trust Austin and it has really opened my eyes to what he is capable of doing. I am very proud of him and I know my teammates are too."

On what needs to improve before game against Tulane:
"Penalties are a big factor that needs to be improved. We need to stop getting off sides penalties and the type of things that can set us back. We did pretty well this week with fewer penalties than during previous games, but the ones we did have still hurt us and we can't have that happen in the coming games."

Senior OL Chris Hubbard:

On improvements of the team during the ECU game:
"We came out very strong and played hard as an offense. We played with passion and heart, but at the same time ECU had the ball last, drove it down the field, and used up the remaining time."

On commitment of the team to come out every week prepared and ready for a win:
"We come out prepared every week. That's the basic mentality during practice; we are getting ready for the game. We practice tough and coach helps us prepare mentally and physically. We strive to play all four quarters and every down to the best of our ability."

On Austin Brown's performance against ECU:
"He came out and showed that he was prepared. He practiced hard during the week and he has proved to be a good quarterback. Austin has stepped up and proven to other players that they have a chance to make a difference on this team."

On upcoming game against Tulane:
"These teams are all very competitive. In order to get ahead we have to keep scoring and keep scoring. With C-USA it is offense and defense going back and forth and we have to be able to score and keep them from scoring at the same time. The penalties we are making need to diminish."

On progress of offensive line:
"We got (Brian) O'Leary back in the game this past week and Aaron Green has stepped up. As a unit we have gotten better every week, but it makes a big difference with these guys stepping up."