McGee Previews Thursday's Rice Game

UABSPORTS.COM Head coach Garrick McGee previewed Thursday night's Rice matchup at Monday's media luncheon.
Head coach Garrick McGee previewed Thursday night's Rice matchup at Monday's media luncheon.

Nov. 18, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- UAB head football coach Garrick McGee spent time previewing Thursday night's Rice game during Monday's media luncheon on the UAB campus. 

The Blazers and Owls kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT in a contest that will air on Fox Sports 1. 

Below are comments from McGee, senior tight end Bud Pruitt and sophomore linebacker Jake Ganus

Head Coach Garrick McGee

On the challenges of quick turnaround…
“You lose a couple of days of preparation. In the offseason we spent some time on Rice, using last year’s video, to make sure that we understood who they were. We knew that we would be traveling and would have a quick turnaround. We had a preliminary game plan. Coaches spent all day yesterday with the game plan. I think we’ll be fine.”

On changes in Rice from last season to this season…
“Structurally, they are about the same. Their offensive sets and their defensive philosophy are the same. They are playing really good football right now. They have their minds on getting into the Conference USA championship game. They have momentum. They have confidence.”

On message to UAB fans…
“If I was talking to UAB fans, I would talk to them about the hidden victories that I see that they don’t get to see everyday. Some of the young players are performing at as high of a level as there is in Conference USA. I would talk to them about our recruiting class and our ability to recruit players like Jake Ganus, Jamari Staples, Jordan Howard, and Jimmy Jean. We are going to continue to push forward. Our kids are going to get bigger, faster, and stronger. We are going to add another recruiting class, along with about 17 players that are coming off of injury. The future is bright for us.”



On the hidden victories…
“We had a meeting with the team yesterday. We watched the offense and the defense with the whole team. There are a lot of small victories that are hard to see when you are looking at the score, but my responsibility is to evaluate it all and make sure our kids are pushing forward. There are some good things going on.”

On senior TE Bud Pruitt…
“He’s done a great job. He’s got a very good attitude. We saw Bud change his body and overall athleticism in the offseason. He works hard everyday. He goes about his business the right away. He’s an example of how you carry yourself as a student athlete.”

On keeping players motivated…
“It’s a process for them. We do have players on this team that don’t know what it feels like to have success or know what pressure feels like. My expectations are to go after a Conference USA championship. Expectations bring a certain amount of pressure. The pressure to perform and live up to those expectations is a process to deal with. It’s not going to change. We are in a state with enough high school players, that we can recruit enough players to go after a championship.”

Senior Tight End Bud Pruitt

On playing during the week … 
“I definitely like the challenge of playing during the week. More fans are able to come out and support us, and I think it will be a fun night.”

On staying motivated…
“All these guys work so hard throughout the summer and in their offseason. Our love and pride for the game of football definitely keeps us motivated and pushes us.”

Sophomore Linebacker Jake Ganus

On challenges that Rice presents … 
“They run the football really well, so we have to stop the run. That’s our main focus right now. They have two good running backs who are big and physical that can run too, so we are going to have to stop the run to be successful on defense.”

On adapting to Rice’s offense ... 
“I think we play to different strengths and weaknesses. We are going to have to be more gap sound in our run fits, just keying the quarterback in case he pulls it on those read options. Really just playing sound defense will help us.”

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