Oct. 24, 2000
ON THE TEAM'S INJURY SITUATION: "Well, we're getting some of the ones back that were hurt at the first of the year. We hurt a couple more Saturday. I think Johnni (TE Johnni Arrington, high ankle sprain) will be back tomorrow, Cedric Thatch (shoulder) may make it back. We just want as many healthy bodies as we can get. Everybody has those problems at this time of year, and I think the ones that are the best are the ones that stay the healthiest."
WHAT DO YOU TELL YOUR TEAM ABOUT THE STRETCH RUN?
"I think they know where they are and what they've got to do. They know how tough it is, the route we've got to take with three away games and only one home game left. We've got a tough row to hoe and we've got to win some of them. We're challenging ourselves to play our best football, I'm not sure we can beat any of these four if we play like we have in the first couple (of conference games). We've got to get better and improve, and I think we will."
ABOUT EAST CAROLINA:
"The good news is, we've played this bunch before, the bad news is, we beat them. I think that's a great incentive for them. We know their players. They've got great team speed, that's what they've been noted for for years, and they're no different this year. They're real fast on defense and they have a lot of playmakers on offense."
ABOUT THE 'REVENGE' FACTOR:
"All I can do is make our players aware of it. I know East Carolina will be excited about playing the game. I know their fans will be. We've gained that kind of respect. But at the same time, I think that as a player, you've got to get yourself ready to go and do everything you can to win, and not worry about the other team. We try to do that every week. Any time you see a good team on the schedule, I think you get excited about playing. And we sure see a good team this week."
WILL PLAYING EAST CAROLINA PRESENT A SPECIAL CHALLENGE TO YOUR DEFENSE?:
"I think so. Any time someone's running the ball right at you, maybe the front people get a little more excited, and if someone's spreading you out and throwing it the defensive backs will take the challenge a little better. That's just in their nature. A good team can do that, they can spread you and get vertical on you real quick."
ON THE UAB OFFENSE:
"I think we're getting better on offense. I think part of it is that we're slowly starting to get some players back -- they need to play some. Some of these guys haven't played in six weeks. Jeff Aaron's playing well, he gets better every week. We've got to score more points to win some of these last four games, but I think our offense has really improved over the last two weeks."
ABOUT PLAYING ON THE ROAD AFTER FOUR STRAGHT HOME GAMES:
"Well, we did our job at home (UAB was 3-1 during the home stand). We set ourselves up well. Now we've got to go and play three out of four on the road, with Southern Miss as the one home game. So it's a tough stretch. We're approaching it with the idea that we've got to play better than we have. But we've been a pretty good road team this year. We lost on a long field goal at Kansas and we beat LSU. So I don't think we're going to be uptight or intimidated. But I think we're aware that we need to play better than we have up to this point if we're going to win."
IS THERE A SECRET TO GETTING YOUR TEAM TO PLAY WELL?:
"I think that surroundings help you take care of that. You are more relaxed and confident when you're at home. But the good teams get excited about going on the road. They feel like that when you go on the road, it's time for you to play well and upset the home team. The ones that take that kind of approach to the challenge are the better ones. So far I think we've handled that pretty well."