Members of the WVU football team addressed the media Tuesday night before Saturday's game against Maryland in Baltimore, Md. The game is set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson
His thoughts on today’s practice
It went well. We’ve been talking to our guys about preparing better. We didn’t think we prepared as well last week. We came out today with a lot of energy. It was cool today so that probably helped. I thought we practiced well.
On his thoughts about Ford Childress’ first start
Our protection wasn’t great compared to the previous week. We had some breakdowns in protection which caused him to get hit a few times. He did a really good job of staying in the pocket, taking some good hits, delivering balls under pressure. A lot of times you get hit, and after you get antsy or nervous, but he showed no signs of that. After he threw the interception he stayed very even-keeled. He didn’t let the negative affect him, which is really good for us. We had a lot of drives that stopped for various reasons, which was frustrating.
Junior running back Dreamius Smith
On the rotation of running backs
It’s keeping us fresh. If one guy has the hot hand, then he will keep getting the ball. One guy can come in and do the same. We are just going to keep rotating everybody in and keep everybody fresh.
On Ford Childress’ performance
He played really well. Ford really stepped up. He’s made everybody believe in him. He’s a leader on and off the field. We are going to keep leaning on Ford to get us big plays and wins.
On the energy level preparing for Maryland
We want to start the week off hard and start it off with high energy. We are going to keep that energy going through Saturday. It’s going to be a tough game, they’re a great opponent. We are just going to go out there and play our game.
Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Ford Childress
On how he felt his start against Georgia State went
Georgia State is a good opponent. I felt that our offense played well. I got the speed of the college game down well. I think it was a great help going into Maryland. The rhythm between me and the receivers has improved. We missed some deep balls throughout the game, and so we worked on that today. We got our timing down a lot well.
On things he saw on the film that he felt he missed on the field
There were a couple times that I threw the quick screen, where I should have handed it off. There were also a couple reads that I had where I should’ve waited a bit longer, before throwing it. Coach Dawson called me from the booth to say that I can wait longer, and I had the next guy open.
On Maryland’s defense leading the nation in sacks
I like my O-line. I think we will do well. We worked a lot today on their blitzes. We will get it down and will be able to get it down. They do some stuff that we haven’t seen this season yet, but we know what it is. We’ve watched a lot of tape on them so they’ll be able to pick it up.
Assistant Coach (Defensive Coordinator) Keith Patterson
On freshman cornerback Daryl Worley
He has a big upside and still has a lot to learn as far as what it is like to play in the game. I think that he will continue to get better. Because of the way he has been playing, we are trying to get him on the field as much as possible with special teams and in a nickel package.
We got a feeling about him coming in, and he just does everything right. He is a hard worker and is very diligent in the way he does things. I like what I see form him so far, and he will continue to get better as the season progresses. He has a very high ceiling.
On Maryland receivers
I think Oklahoma is a good comparison. I think they are a little older, more mature and have a little bit better handle on the offense compered to some of the other receivers we have faced that are more one dimensional.
I don’t think you can sit there and focus on the quarterback and two receivers. You just have to be sound. They are very balanced and are putting up 520-some yards a game, 290-throwing it and 230 rushing it. You have to make them one dimensional and that will be one of the keys to the game. You cannot let them get balanced.
On Maryland’s receivers
Oklahoma had some pretty good receivers, and they are very similar to Maryland’s. They are pretty big on the boundaries and are a vertical threat. (Maryland wide receiver) Stefon Diggs is a guy we need to set a back stop on. The difference is the run game. They make you play a very sound game with their ability to run. There are many options so it is a challenge. They have done a nice job with developing their offense.
Red-senior defensive lineman Shaq Rowell
It is a great team. They are 3-0, and are a very fast team. They will be a good challenge this week. It is just like playing Pitt, it is a rivalry. A lot of the other guys do not really know about this rivalry but we have played Maryland 49 times since 1919 and have beat them the last seven times. I know Maryland will come out this weekend wanting to beat us.
On playing in the NFL Stadium
It is certainly different playing in an NFL Stadium. The hashmarks are in the middle of the field versus the sideline, but at the end of the day it is no different. The Redskins stadium is like our stadium and the Baltimore stadium. You enjoy it, because it is an NFL stadium but the game is no different.
On being a game captain
It means a lot to me. It is my senior year. Last year I was a captain twice the whole season. Being captain is determined by the coaches’ picks and who they though played the hardest during the game and made the most plays. To me it is an honor. I may not make the most plays but I play the hardest. It is my senior year, as I always say, and I think it is expected from me to be a captain so I want to go out every week and earn that.
On role in the game
It is exciting to be the guy filling up the holes on the offense. I get to do all the dirty work when Doug (Rigg) and Jared (Barber) make all the tackles but at the same time it is very fun. I know that it all start at the front, and if I don’t do my job the whole defense will get exposed.
Red-shirt sophomore linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski
On being on top of the defensive stat board
It has been a guideline to who is producing and who is not. It is based on stats, but it lets you know your missed assignments and missed tackles as well. It is a way to keep track and see who is producing. Being on top of that board is definitely something I pride myself on and I will try to keep it that way.
On development from last year to this year
My biggest thing from last year to this year is the preparation I have done. I come in during my off time to do as much film work and study as possible.
On the Maryland matchup
They are very similar to Oklahoma. They like to run the ball and run option plays. It is going to be much like it was against Oklahoma but they are a balanced attack. They have two different receivers and a quarterback that can run the ball along with a good running back. This weekend will be a test.